In honor of 100 days until our wedding, please enjoy.
Paris, France — We arrived in Paris about mid-afternoon. The city spread out before us with old buildings and architecture and beauty. We couldn’t check into our AirBnB quite yet, a cute little apartment in the heart of the city, so we decided to explore. Our bags were left with the cleaning lady, and we hopped on the metro, Paris’ subway system.
I was set on finding a famous bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, and once we found it, I happily scoured the shelves. I left clutching two books with a stamp of the Shakespeare and Company logo inside. If you are a book-lover, this place is a must-see!
Nearby, is the Love Lock Bridge—Pont au Double, one of several lock-covered bridges that spanned the Seine. You can see a neat view of the river side of Notre Dame from the bridge.
Backtracking: Three years prior (now four years), to celebrate our one-year anniversary, Marshall and I put a lock on a bridge in Ames, Iowa, where we met. I was obsessed with the bridges in Paris and thought it was magical, and I thought we could do one in Ames. I never dreamed I would ever be in Paris on the actual bridge.
There I was toting my Shakespeare and Company books around Paris, and Marshall was carrying our lock. When we arrived to the bridge, Marsh sat our backpack on the ground and squatted down to dig out the lock and told me to find a good spot. Earlier, I wrote “Marshall and Rachel 2015” on the gold square.
He reached into his pocket and told me to think about all the adventures we had been on since we put our lock on the bridge in Iowa three years ago. And then to think about how many more cool things we were going to do after we locked this one.
He still struggled with his pocket, and finally said, “hang on,” stood up, and slipped out a small velvet bag.
He pulled out a ring, got back down on one knee, and said, “Will you marry me?”
My brother was quick enough to capture the proposal on video. You can watch it here! You can’t really hear what we are saying, but all you need to know was that my answer was “YES!”
Later, we celebrated at the top of the Eiffel Tower with champagne. Marshall confessed that he didn’t know where he was going to do it, be it the lock bridge or the Eiffel Tower. Back in Iowa, he had told the ring store lady that he was so nervous, he might just do it in the airport. She scolded him and told him he had to wait until Paris, and I’m so glad he did!
I always feel when I travel, that I leave a little piece of myself there to keep it safe for when I return. A traveler falls in love with places they visit. Our piece is in Paris on the bridge by Notre Dame.
Disclaimer: I know that since then, the bridges have been cleared of all locks, and I understand why. However, that spot will always be special to us. I know that when we return years from now, we will still visit that bridge. Paris will hold a piece of my heart.