I turned 23 this past Sunday! *insert wide-eyed emoji here*
I kicked off my birthday dinner on Saturday night with my friends. We gathered at one friend’s boyfriend’s flat for appetizers and drinks. They all surprised me with a cake and candles which was so sweet! From there we bar hopped in Saint Germain and ended by dancing the night away at the Cuban bar, La Peña.
On Sunday, I started my birthday by opening presents sent to me by my family. It was so nice of them to mail me a few things to unwrap for my birthday and made it feel almost like I was with them. Later on, my friends and I reconvened for brunch in the Marais at Le Croco. During brunch, the sun miraculously came out. This is a very rare occurrence for Paris in the winter. Because of this, we then moved to Montmartre and basked in the sun on the steps of Sacre Cœur. Don’t get me wrong, it was still freezing outside but a few bottles of wine and good friends made it bearable. It was so nice to spend the day relaxing and laughing with friends and a good view. That night, I had dinner with my host family. We all sat down for sushi and chocolate birthday cake. I wouldn’t have wanted to end my birthday any other way!
Birthdays are always a great time for reflection and looking ahead. In thinking back on my 22nd year, I can’t believe everything that happened. I graduated from college! I moved to France! I took solo vacations! I decided I liked red wine! Like any time in life, there were highs and lows. 22 was full of goodbyes, many of which then lead to unexpected hellos. One of the biggest revelations 22 brought was a real sense of my loss of innocence. In moving out into the “real world,” the world got real. I experienced a lot of the messiness of life for the first time. It’s overwhelming at times, but more fully understanding the world around you only makes you more compassionate, more accepting, and, overall, a better person. I laughed a lot, I cried a lot, but I’m thankful for it all because lead me to where I am today. I’m excited to see what 23 will bring!
The beginning of this week brought something Paris hasn’t seen in 5 years: SNOW! Beginning Tuesday, Paris was a winter wonderland. We woke up on Wednesday to an extra 3 inches over night which was so magical. The kids have half-days on Wednesdays and heir usual activities were canceled due to the snow so it felt like a real snow day! I partook in 3 separate snowball fights with my kids and some of the neighbors. We built a snowman, who is still standing today! I’ve never lived anyplace where it snows this much so I’ve been in awe for days! A good bit of the snow melted on Thursday but we got another inch today. It’s melting now and turing to slush but I don’t even care because Paris in the snow is rare, beautiful, and magical.
I have one more week of work before my February break and I’m getting everything ready for my trips! Any guesses where? I’ll give you a hint: it’s going to be VERY cold…