DSCN2073Today it's my 50th birthday (I don't feel a day over 49) and I just experienced the best trip in all my trips to Paris and France in my 24 years of traveling to Paris. It may have been my best travel ever, not a small revelation for a journalist who has been all over the world, but I have to admit the best trips ever were the trip down the aisle to marry Mr. Weekend In Paris and the two visits to the hospital to give birth to my wonderful sons Jack and Phil. But today, I want to share with you 50 things I love about Paris and France to commemorate my big birthday. 

30082014_PRISCILLA_PRINT-0023-3502300193-O photo by Gonçalo Silva from Flytographer The plan was to renew our vows in Paris. The particulars I left up to Father Tucker, the priest who married us 25 years ago. Father Tucker prearranged his "permission slip" from the Bishop which basically attests to the fact that he is a priest in good standing and should be afforded the opportunity to say mass in any church in France during the time frame he was traveling with us. Never did we imagine that he would be renewing our vows on the Notre Dame high altar where Napoleon I was crowned Emperor of France!

DSC_0270When I began the morning with a fresh cup of ripen strawberries, a warm croissant and a view of hot air balloons in the background, I knew it was going to be a terrific day. Although I hated to leave our outstanding Hotel Saint James Paris for a minute, Sunday in Paris, for me, obliges a visit to church and a mandatory stroll of Montmartre hidden gems. For others in our party, who shall remain nameless, my stroll was more like a forced death march up the stairs, down the hill and back up again. C’est la vie…

DSC_0143Mr. Weekend In Paris and I had our 25 year old marriage blessed today with a mass on the high altar at Notre Dame Paris. The officiant was the same priest who married us and our witnesses were our dear friends, Terry and Nancy Sheffield. Napolean was installed on this same altar so there was some incredible history we stood upon while reciting our prayers and repeating our vows. 

One of the best rosettas I have ever seen One of the best rosettas I have ever seen This morning began with an obscene amount of amazing freshly baked goodies and rich roasted coffee from the kitchen at Hotel Daniel. Crumbs galore fell from bites of buttery pastries onto my lap, but I didn't care. Carb-low diet be damned, this place serves sinfully great croissants and pain au chocolat. If we were headed off the beaten path Paris then I was going to be completely off the carb wagon. 

This morning began with an obscene amount of amazing freshly baked goodies and rich roasted coffee from the kitchen at Hotel Daniel. Crumbs galore fell from bites of buttery pastries onto my lap, but I didn't care. Carb-low diet be damned, this place serves sinfully great croissants and pain au chocolat. If we were headed off the beaten path Paris then I was going to be completely off the carb wagon. 

  The view from my lovely suite at Hotel Daniel The view from my lovely suite at Hotel Daniel From sunrise to sunset, a perfect day in Paris was had by our group. Father Tucker, Terry and Nancy Sheffield and myself landed in the City of Light after viewing a glorious sunset from the cabin windows of our respective flights. As fate would have it, there was a security scare at Charles de Gaulle which kept the Sheffields on one side of security and the rest of us on the other, awaiting the police to sort out the abandoned baggage and allow our group to reunite and depart for the City of Light.

Usually I am very organized, but so much has been going on with my personal and travel life that I simply ran out of time. To top it off, I have changed locations so many times in the past couple of weeks that I have no idea where most of my "go to" clothes are located. Missing in action are my favorite black pants, skinny jeans, and most comfortable sandals. Don't you hate that? What I did remember are the essentials to make my life easier while on the road.