This is a response to VC 24 John 12 ("Forgetting Paris")...
This card is named after a cousin of mine in Oklahoma!! I don't know how I omitted this event - this has been a crazy last few months!!!
Yes, El and I DID go to Paris-for the weekend!! It was absolutely outrageous!
My parents have traded surprise parties on significant birthdays for several years now. Last November, on my dad's 60th, we had a huge surprise party and my brothers and I emceed "Bob R., This is Your Life," which had him roaring with laughter and shock the whole time. He was completely surprised, and got to seee people he hadn't seen in years.
Not to be outdone, he immediately began brainstorming for my mom's 60th just a few years away. She knew there'd be some scheming, so she requested they go away to Paris instead of spending the money on a party. My brother, Marcus, and his wife, Susie (her thirtieth was in February), would go along. We let her think she could get away with this, when in fact, Marcus, Susie and my dad had an elaborate plan in the works. My mom's best friend and her husband were going to Europe around that time anyway, so they planned Paris into their itinerary. My other brother Geoff and sis-in-law, Sheila, were accompanying some of her high school students who were participating in the opening of EuroDisney, so they would be there. About 12 people made arrangements to be at my mom's surprise dinner in Paris on April 10th!!
Eliott and I were hoping to be able to go, but reality (financial reality) set in, and we cancelled our reservations. I am, however blessed with a wonderful cousin, who is also extremely generous and paid for our trip!!! The only condition was that we tell absolutely NO ONE we were going, that way my dad and everyone else would be just as surprised as my mom!
Needless to say, the whole thing went off without a hitch, and Marcus got it all on videotape. El and I showed up about 20 minutes after the initial surprise, and everyone just started screaming! I don't think Eliott and I will ever make an entrance like that again!
The rest of our stay was incredible. We walked all over the place and got thoroughly museumed out. El had never been to Paris before and doesn't speak French, but he even braved ordering coffee on his own! Everyone we dealt with was extremely nice (as my cousin Rita commented, "Where are all the rude Parisiennes?!").
It was the trip of a lifetime! I've been bit by that old travel bug once again and can't wait to go somewhere soon (fares are down for Australia this time of year!).