Paris is always a good idea; to end the year.

Paris turned into being a completely different trip than I expected, & if you have read my previous blog you will know why. We wanted to go away for a couple of days before Christmas after our last wedding on the 17th December. We had been speaking about Paris a lot so decided this would be the perfect time, plus I always wanted to go when it would be Christmassy!

We stayed in the gorgeous Hotel West End just off the Champs-Élysées which has fantastic staff, decor, beautiful big bedrooms & it also smells amazing (I am obsessed with smells. Nose of a witch). Once we survived the trip from the airport on the insanely manic roads & checked in on the afternoon of Monday 19th December, we headed straight to look at the Effiel Tower from across the river for a quick snap; as you will see below. Both of us have never been to Paris before, apart from Disneyland as children, so it was fantastic to finally see this amazing structure in real life! We were shocked by the roads & the driving situation....people had said to us "watch the roads" etc, but you actually need to be there to believe it & see the madness! We found it funny though. Then we walked down the Champs-Élysées & into the Christmas market where we had a hot dog & mulled wine, fully embracing the festivities. Rob had a mission to visit the Louvre Museum so we then walked there but it turned into a disaster as we hadn't picked up our tickets, so then ended up walking even further in the freezing cold to find where to get them from (can never be simple with us). Once we had the tickets we were too hungry & cold to go back so we found a lovely Italian restaurant near our hotel. We had a Mojito & Cappuccino straight away to help different needs! Although lovely, we clearly had 'first day away minor tweaking problems' so were relieved to get back to our lovely room & hot bath!

Tuesday 20th December - my new special day. Up bright & early to head off to the Eiffel Tower as we had booked a tour to the very top. Luckily our tour guide was incredibly lovely so I was drawn to listen to every word she said as she took us to the second story giving us history on the tower & Paris. Little did I know, Rob, who was standing next to me, had other things on his mind & probably wasn't listening as intently as I was. He kept commenting on how high it was & how he felt funny, I was finding it a slight annoyance so just kept saying "well we aren't even at the top yet!" (completely oblivious). Once the talk on the tower had finished we joined the queue to the summit & Rob kept saying "we have never done this before, this is the first time we are doing this.", which prompted my response "why are you saying that, I know we haven't done this before?", "I know. It's just a big thing." - I still wasn't getting any kind of hint. By the time we reached the top, looking back, Rob really was in a state, complaining that he couldn't stand by the edge as it was making him feel funny & he couldn't wait to get back down, so by this time I started to snap (hilarious). We managed to do a couple of photos & you will be able to tell the underlying look of annoyance in the one of me as I couldn't understand why Rob was shaking as he took the picture....On our way back down we heard 'CONGRATULATIONS' & then we were in the lift with a newly engaged couple (what Rob must've been thinking at this point, God only knows).

I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to go to the steps you will see in an image below that we saw from the top, to get the best view of the tower. Rob suggested this once we reached the bottom but I said "no not now I am hungry & need a drink. I'll get one of these pancakes". So off I stroll to a pancake stand at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower just by the river unknowingly ruining Rob's plan AGAIN. Rob walked down to the river so I assumed he was looking at the boat times. I then changed my mind with the pancakes as I was quickly put off so I walked down a few steps to the river towards Rob. "I think I've wet myself", I said to him. Now, anyone who really knows me will just accept this sentence as they know how dramatic I am. What I really meant was that I was cold & needed the toilet. I just think I was that cold I couldn't really tell the sensation. I had to include the fact I said this as it is part of our engagement story & what makes it even more 'us'. So I kept saying "Rob, honestly I think I have wet myself", "alright, alright!" he was saying. We were now at the foot of the river with the Eiffel Tower behind us, a pancake van to the side of us & about 30 car horns blasting. "Come on then, lets go on the boat now, I can get a drink on there maybe", I said, "well before we do that, will you marry me?" & I looked down to see a box in his hand. Until the moment he said those words I had absolutely no idea what was coming, so in complete shock I just grabbed him & burst out crying. Once I had got my breath, still hugging him I said "yes!", & he said "I can't live without you". We stood there crying for about a minute until he finally opened the box (shows I'm not with him for the ring as I said yes before I saw it). We were then both slightly hysterical & laughing about how I had been moaning to him & how oblivious I was, how long it had been planned & how he had asked my Dad & his parents knew. I was just in complete shock. The sun started to shine through the Eiffel Tower so we took a picture to send out to reveal the news! We phoned our Mums then put the picture on Facebook. I didn't care what we did then, as long as I was with Rob I wasn't bothered about going anywhere or seeing anything, our trip to Paris was already perfect. I had fallen in love all over again & the feeling of just being with that person without a care in the world was re-freshed. I think you can fall into habitual routines at times & almost take your other half for granted but as soon as Rob asked me to marry him it was like the final piece of our jigsaw that I wasn't aware I needed. I imagine lots of brides to be reading this will know what I mean, especially if you have been with your partner a long time. It's like an out of body experience! We decided to go on the boat so we could sit down together & take it all in, & neither of us could've been prepared for the overwhelming amount of comments & messages we received & this made us cry all over again. It felt so right. About blooming time, some might say!

After the boat we were too 'giddy' to walk so I thought it would be hilarious to get a lift in one of those canopy seats where you are pulled by someone on a bike...I am trying to find the actual name & I can't - apologies! So this took us through the traffic where we were holding onto each other for dear life but also in hysterics at the same time, back to the Champs-Élysées. We looked in some shops then found a French restaurant to share our first meal as Fiancés. I had classic Moules-Frites & Rob some kind of chicken. Then on we went to the famous Ladurée bar where I had champagne & Rob an ice cream as our celebratory drinks - says it all! To end a fabulous day we walked to the steps I talked about earlier to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle. I watched in awe reflecting on the happiest day of my life.

Our last day in Paris we decided to jump on the Metro & visit Montmartre where I finally managed to get that pancake! It was worth the wait. After a morning of exploring & visiting the stunning La Basilique du Sacré Cœur, we went back & had lunch at Ralph's which I comment about underneath the picture below, & then finally went to The Louvre which is absolutely HUGE inside. The lady who did our Eiffel Tower tour told us that if you spent 10 minutes with each work of art in the museum it would take you 9 months to get all the way around (not including sleeping, eating & using the toilet etc)! So we went straight to the Mona Lisa & then the Venus De Milo. My favourite was the Nike of Samothrace, the winged statue you will see below. It's tiring just to walk around in there let alone to & from, & as we decided to walk everywhere (apart from to Montmartre of course) it meant we were tired very quickly; so we were in our hotel room relaxing by 8PM on our last evening. But we were happy & felt we had done everything we wanted to in our short trip - including getting engaged!

Thank you for reading. I wanted to document it all for Rob & I as well so we will always remember every detail, & I can just send people the story now rather than getting up & acting it all out over & over again! (Haha). I feel like a new woman & even more in love with my job now I really know how it feels to be a bride to be. I am with you!

Happy New Year! x

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This is what Rob calls 'The Stance'.

This is what Rob calls 'The Stance'.

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Yes, clearly inappropriate to share on my business website. But..we found this hilarious. Come on?

Yes, clearly inappropriate to share on my business website. But..we found this hilarious. Come on?

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Little did I know what Rob was planning at this point. The image of me alone is the one I mentioned in the post where you can tell I am loosing patience.... what a shame for Rob!

Little did I know what Rob was planning at this point. The image of me alone is the one I mentioned in the post where you can tell I am loosing patience.... what a shame for Rob!

The steps in the distance is where Rob tried & failed plan B proposal but we went back here to watch the tower sparkle.

The steps in the distance is where Rob tried & failed plan B proposal but we went back here to watch the tower sparkle.

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THIS WAS IT!

THIS WAS IT!

In a complete whirlwind on the boat passing Notre Dame.

In a complete whirlwind on the boat passing Notre Dame.

On Cloud 9.

On Cloud 9.

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Probably the worst photo of us ever taken, but the first as Fiancés so I had to keep it!

Probably the worst photo of us ever taken, but the first as Fiancés so I had to keep it!

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The happiest of days.

The happiest of days.

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Mad never ending traffic.

Mad never ending traffic.

Our Parisian balcony. I am not wearing the ring as it needed to be re-sized, (in case you noticed).

Our Parisian balcony. I am not wearing the ring as it needed to be re-sized, (in case you noticed).

The Fujifilm X Pro-2 is definitely impressive. Gorgeous camera.

The Fujifilm X Pro-2 is definitely impressive. Gorgeous camera.

Rob insisted on doing a full on portrait shoot after I asked for one photo....

Rob insisted on doing a full on portrait shoot after I asked for one photo....

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Gorgeous church at the highest point in Paris, Sacré Cœur.

Gorgeous church at the highest point in Paris, Sacré Cœur.

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We lost my Nanny Doreen last Christmas & she absolutely adored Rob. I wish she was alive to see us engaged & know I will forever be happy. I am not religious but had a big urge to light her a candle when we visited Sacré Cour in Montmartre, & I hope she got the message.

We lost my Nanny Doreen last Christmas & she absolutely adored Rob. I wish she was alive to see us engaged & know I will forever be happy. I am not religious but had a big urge to light her a candle when we visited Sacré Cour in Montmartre, & I hope she got the message.

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Pub where Picasso used to hang out.

Pub where Picasso used to hang out.

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Lunch at Ralph's. Nice, atmospheric - but overpriced & you are definitely paying to be at Ralph Lauren's rather than the food. Glad we went though!

Lunch at Ralph's. Nice, atmospheric - but overpriced & you are definitely paying to be at Ralph Lauren's rather than the food. Glad we went though!

Heaven.

Heaven.

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Here she is.

Here she is.

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Light in The Louvre.

Light in The Louvre.

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Paris will always have a special place in our hearts & I look forward to visiting again one day. x

If you are wanting to know what camera I used on this trip, it was my fabulous Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with 35mm 1.4 lens which I am absolutely in love with. I love the look, feel & mainly the fantastic image quality. I know some photographers who are moving over to this camera to shoot weddings; I would be too scared to do that but can totally understand why! Maybe one day I will put it in my bag but for now I am enjoying having it as a personal camera for me.

Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com