When deciding on our honeymoon, we had it narrowed down to two locations from the start – France and Thailand. We wanted a romantic honeymoon with an adventurous twist. I had been wanting to go back to Paris for years. Even before we were engaged, I told Bryan that I wanted to go to Paris for vacation after I graduated optometry school. I participated in an exchange program in fifth grade and stayed with a french family for three weeks. Ever since then, I’ve had a slight obsession with anything Parisian. Obviously, I was leaning a little more towards France. Suggesting to Bryan that we could see a stage of Le Tour de France sealed the deal. Thailand could wait until next year for our one year anniversary.
Our honeymoon began the day after our wedding. We were going to spend six days in Paris and four days in the French Riviera. Meaning the first half of our honeymoon was the adventurous part with a hint of romance and the second half was mainly romance with a splash of adventure. In Paris we stayed at a boutique hotel, Hotel Crayon, that was just a few minute walk from le Louvre. It was the perfect location. We could walk to everything. And it was conveniently located a few blocks from the Christian Louboutin boutique. It was a hidden gem on a small side street that gave us plenty of privacy from the hustle and bustle of the city, but was just a few blocks from great restaurants, the metro, and sightseeing.
We walked so much during those first five days in Paris, I felt like I ran a half marathon at the end of each day. In those five days we visited Versailles & Giverny, saw every painting in le Louvre, saw a show at le Moulin Rouge, climbed the first two levels of the Eiffel Tower and took the lift to the top for a champagne toast, visited Le Sacre Coure, le Notre Dame, le Arc de Triomphe, went on a champagne tasting river cruise on le Seine River, visited Le Musee Dorsay, rented bicycles and rode around Paris, ate numerous nutella crepes, and added our love lock to the “Lock Bridge.”
On our sixth day in Paris, we took a train to the small town of Chartres to watch the time trial stage of Le Tour de France. Bryan was like a kid on Christmas morning. The cyclists in Le Tour are like NFL players in the U.S. Europeans go crazy over them. If you’ve ever watched a stage on television, you may have noticed fans dressed in underwear or costumes and they run along side the cyclists trying to get as close to them as possible. And close you can get. Concrete barricades waist high are the only protection for the cyclists zipping by. The riders get so close to the barricades on turns in the course that if you really wanted to piss off the cyclists, you could reach out your hand and touch them as they zoom by. When the cyclists finish the course, they ride through a line of fans along the road before going to their team trailer. At the trailer, fans may get the opportunity to meet their favorite riders and snap a picture with them. The entire day was like a European style tailgate. It was fun and crazy at the same time while cheering on cyclists instead of football players. At the end of the time trial, we pushed through crowds of people to watch Bradley Wiggins receive his yellow jersey before we participated in our own race of running back to the train station to get on an overcrowded and oversold train back to Paris.
The last four days of our honeymoon were in the French Riviera. We took a train from Paris to Nice. Seven hours of relaxing, reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and napping. On the second train, we were in our own compartment and layed across all the seats. When going through a tunnel, I couldn’t help but remember the movie Eurotrip when the creepy guy would attack the tourists on the train…”Excuseee, Excusseeee.” Our hotel was in Nice, but we took day trips to Cannes, Monaco, and San Remo, Italy as well. In Monaco and San Remo, we spent the entire day walking around and exploring the cities, but in Cannes and Nice we rented beach front cabanas to bronze in the sun, drink champagne, and play in the bluest water I have ever seen. Obviously it’s called the Cote de Azur (the blue coast) for a reason.
After ten days of romance, adventure, fun, and lots of champagne, our honeymoon came to a close and back to Indy we went. Although, running seemed like a distant past, we walked so much on our honeymoon that my legs were actually sore every morning. It would have been interesting to see how many miles we walked in total over the course of our honeymoon. I loved our honeymoon so much that I’m already looking forward to our ten year anniversary trip to France visiting Paris again but also seeing Normandy, Lyon, Marsailles, and St. Tropez. Maybe next time I’ll bring my GPS watch to track our mileage.