We’ve been home now for 11 days. I have spent the last few of those 11 days unexpectedly trying to get me a job. So, understandably, I have not been in the most romantic of moods. After you spend all day trying to sell yourself to strangers (on paper, that is), the last thing you feel like doing is getting weird and lovey dovey with your husband. Unless, of course, he pulls an excellent job opportunity out of his pocket and later reveals his generous super package.
So, all poor old J-man can do at the moment is read this here blog and remember the days when we were flushed with cash and in love. From the bottom of my now cold, dead heart I bring you my five most romantic moments overseas:
This is a neat tradition you see all over Europe. People put their initials on padlocks, lock ’em to bridges or railings and throw the key in the water. How cheesy and disgusting. I would never do that.
Taking in the view of Florence from Piazza Michelangelo. To get to the top of this hill in Florence, you’re forced to walk past tiny shops with strings of fresh vegetables hanging on the door frames, buzzing wine bars and lovely Italian villas. As I trudged up the hill, I wasn’t expecting that much. It’s a view of a city, I thought, I could care less. Give me Real Housewives of Beverly Hills over this crapola any day. But, as it turned out, it’s not just any view. It’s a beautiful view on top of a lovely hill, where there are stalls to buy wine and warm chestnuts, people having their wedding photos taken and young couples huddling together on the steps. An autumn breeze blew lots of lovely aromas around and I just felt so content, happy and lucky to have such a wonderful J-man to share all of this with. A wonderful J-man who didn’t mind when I forgot that most Italians can speak English and blurted out: “Look! That boy matched his socks and undies! What colour are your undies today?!”
Taking the ferry in Venice. J-man, the vulgar romantic that he is, was planning to surprise me with a gondola ride. I pried his secret plans out of him with meticulous skill and then firmly told him no, I wasn’t interested. See, the thing is, gondola rides can cost more than 100 euro. Plus, if you want your rowing man to sing, you gotta pay even bigger bucks. At the time I felt like the grinch who stole my own marriage, but I’m glad we didn’t fork out a kidney and a half for foul touristy dross. Instead, we hopped on a public ferry that took us from our place, near the train station, around to San Marco in about 20 minutes. A lot of tourists had done the same thing, but there were also some genuine Venitian businessmen and families just going about their business and taking the ferry around the city. Plus, Venice is just beautiful and it’s hard not to get all wussy about it. When we got to San Marco, we walked around the square together and happily talked about our future. Gag, I know.
Going to Disneyland. Throughout our trip, I was hoping that we would have enough money to visit Disneyland when we finally ended up in LA. I went to Tokyo Disneyland on a school trip, but J-man has never been and, you guys, he is the cutest when he’s excited. I would pay $80 just to see THAT. We went in mid-December and it was the perfect time of year to go, with every ride somehow Christmasafied. We started the day slowly, with the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and the Storybook Land Canal Boats. I could see J-man was kind of bummed. This stuff’s for lame, idiot kids, I could hear him thinking. That was until I took him on the kablamo awesome that is Space Mountain. It blew his mind. Of course, we did the Mad Tea Party, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and even It’s A Small World (CHRISTMAS!) My favourite was the Haunted Mansion, which was revamped in the style of Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas (CHRISTMAS!) for Christmas. But, the best part of the day was when the sun went down and we sipped the famous Disneyland hot chocolate and watched the Christmas parade. It was nice to feel carefree and be swept up in the magic. Barf.
Hanging out in the Malasaña district, Madrid. Spain’s capital was the last stop on our four month trip around Europe and we were exhausted, dirty, a little bit sick and really over each other. Instead of visiting churches, museums and taking walking tours, we decided to take a little break. A little Spanish break, how quaint! So we saw lots of movies, including The Town (hello, Ben Affleck, touch me?), ate until our bellies hurt, drank Sangria, went to crazy food markets and slept in a lot. We spent a lot of time in Malasaña, just wandering around, checking out shops and cafes. One of my favourite moments was devouring an incredible red velvet cupcake in a deserted playground while it drizzled. Life is good, dudes. Vom.
Locking the shit out of our love on the Pont des Arts in Paris. OK, so we carved our initials into a padlock, attached it to the bridge and threw the keys into the water. Gross, right? Our last night in Paris was the only romantic night we actually planned, but it was so much more amazing than I could have hoped. We had dinner at the McDonald’s near the Louvre, in the hopes of having a Royal with Cheese (no such thing, apparently). I remember I was worried about something and J-man worked his usual magic and talked me down from the top of the (figurative) Eiffel Tower over a serve of cold fries. When we left the Louvre to head to the bridge, it was drizzling and, huddling under umbrellas, we happened to catch the sparkling light show on the tower. Then we did the deed on the bridge (edit: some readers have mistaken this for actually doing the actual deed on the bridge. I actually mean this is the point at which we attached the love lock to the bridge). Afterwards we went to a little, empty bar and sipped on mulled wine, sitting on purple velvet chairs. A little part of me will always be in that bar in Paris (lame).