A day in which, from 4 years today, something happens that makes it memorable.
Or rather, after you left 4 years ago, Mom, we made sure that every year this day could be unforgettable in the best possible way. In the happiest of ways.
This is what we should always do in life: take what we have, especially the worst, and beautify it.
This year the pandemic forced us to stay at home, but we made it a special day anyway: we put on Christmas music, prepared the Christmas tree, ate dishes of your tradition, lit the fireplace, cooked chestnuts, watched film and laughed a lot.
If we’re fine, you’re fine too.
The Christmas atmosphere will brighten this lockdown at home.
If the circumstances had been different, we probably would have been somewhere on a trip – what better way to celebrate.
Just like last year.
My sister was in Lille, in the north of France, for 6 months of Erasmus.
I had taken a flight to reach her on November 14, and on the morning of the 16th at 6:00 am we were awake to go to Paris, for a day, on a train we didn’t take.
Let me tell you the journey.
Un giorno in cui, da 4 anni con oggi, succede qualcosa che lo rende memorabile.
O meglio, dopo che 4 anni fa sei partita, Mamma, abbiamo fatto in modo che ogni anno questo giorno potesse essere indimenticabile nel migliore dei modi. Nel più felice dei modi.
È ciò che andrebbe fatto sempre nella vita: prendere quello che si ha, soprattutto il peggio, e imbellirlo.
Quest’anno la pandemia ci ha costrette a restare a casa, ma abbiamo reso la giornata ugualmente speciale: abbiamo messo su musica natalizia, preparato l’albero di Natale, mangiato piatti della tua tradizione, acceso il camino, cucinato castagne, guardato film e riso tanto.
Se stiamo bene noi, stai bene tu.
L’atmosfera natalizia allieverà questo lockdown in casa.
Se le circostanze fossero state altre, probabilmente saremmo state da qualche parte in viaggio – quale modo migliore di celebrare.
Proprio come l’anno scorso.
Mia sorella era a Lille, nel nord della Francia, per 6 mesi di Erasmus.
Io avevo preso un volo per raggiungerla il 14 Novembre, e il 16 mattina alle 6:00 eravamo sveglie per andare a Parigi, per un giorno, con un treno che non abbiamo preso.
Lasciate che vi racconti la giornata.
At 7:10 am we were on the metro to the main station: Lille Flandres.
From there a fast train, booked together by phone one evening 2 months earlier, was supposed to take us to the capital.
But at 7:40 am there was no train with our number on the board, and the minutes passed and the anxiety rose.
We went to a platform with destination Gare du Nord (ours) and asked for directions to a controller who turned out to be an angel: he looked at the booking sheet, understood without asking or giving us explanations, and made us get on the train that wasn’t ours.
What a huge blessing.
Throughout the journey, I feared that some other controller might cause us problems or that someone would claim the seats we were sitting on.
Instead, the second fortune of the case – which doesn’t exist – let us to arrive without further problems.
In the meantime, however, I had understood the malfunctioning on the site we had booked: the fast train stopped only at the 2 terminus stations of the route, so although I had booked from Lille Flandres to Gare du Nord (and back), we’d have had to leave from terminus station one hour before Lille to terminus station one hour beyond Paris: Marne-la-Valleée (where Disneyland is located).
How lucky to have met an angel-controller.
Arrived at Gare du Nord, before taking the metro to the center, we lost one hour to figure out how to solve the return.
In the end we bought additional tickets to Marne-la-Vallée, this meant leaving Paris an hour earlier to get to the terminus and taking a train that would take us one hour away from Lille, where we would have returned in some other way, an hour later than expected.
At least 3 lost hours of Paris, but better than the whole trip.
Alle 7:10 eravamo nella metro verso la stazione principale: Lille Flandres.
Da lì un treno veloce, prenotato insieme a telefono un sera 2 mesi prima, doveva portarci alla capitale.
Ma alle 7:40 non c’era alcun treno col nostro numero sul tabellone, e i minuti passavano e l’ansia saliva.
Siamo andate ad un binario con destinazione Gare du Nord (la nostra) e abbiamo chiesto indicazioni ad un controllore che si è rivelato essere un angelo: ha guardato il foglio della prenotazione, ha capito senza chiedere o darci spiegazioni, e ci ha fatte salire sul treno non nostro.
Che benedizione enorme.
Per tutta la durata del viaggio ho temuto che qualche altro controllore potesse crearci problemi o che qualcuno reclamasse i posti su cui eravamo sedute.
Invece, la seconda fortuna del caso – che non esiste – ha voluto che arrivassimo senza altri problemi.
Intanto, però, io avevo capito il malfunzionamento del sito su cui avevamo prenotato: il treno veloce faceva tappa solo nelle 2 stazioni capolinea della tratta, quindi nonostante io avessi prenotato da Lille Flandres per Gare du Nord (andata e ritorno), saremmo dovute partire dalla stazione capolinea un’ora prima di Lille fino alla stazione capolinea un’ora dopo Parigi: Marne-la-Valleée (dove si trova Disneyland).
Che fortuna aver incontrato un angelo-capotreno.
Arrivate a Gare du Nord, prima di prendere la metro per il centro, abbiamo perso un’ora per capire come risolvere il ritorno.
Alla fine abbiamo comprato dei biglietti aggiuntivi per Marne-la-Vallée: questo significava andare via un’ora prima da Parigi per arrivare al capolinea e prendere un treno che ci avrebbe portate ad un’ora lontane da Lille, dove saremo dovute tornare in qualche altro modo un’ora più tardi del previsto.
Almeno 3 ore perse di Parigi, ma meglio che il viaggio intero.
After having done the metro pass, at 10:15 we finally arrived at Galeries Lafayette.
I finally saw this spectacular hanging Christmas tree.
We also made a quick stop at Sephora, there opposite, cause I needed an eyeliner, and at the counter another angel-shop-assistant gave us the third surprise of the day: with unexpected sweetness (and despite the purchase being one) she gave us 2 samples of Guerlain perfume, La Petite Robe Noir, one of my favorites.
Dopo aver fatto l’abbonamento per la metro, alle 10:15 siamo finalmente arrivate alla Galeries Lafayette.
Finalmente vedevo questo spettacolare albero di Natale sospeso.
Abbiamo fatto anche tappa veloce da Sephora, lì di fronte, perché mi serviva un eyeliner, e al bancone un altro angelo-commessa ci ha regalato la terza sorpresa del giorno: con inaspettata dolcezza (e nonostante l’acquisto fosse uno) ci ha dato 2 campioncini di profumo Guerlain, La Petite Robe Noir, uno dei miei preferiti.
From there we walked to the Arc de Triomphe, strolling along the Champs-Élysées, encountering the first police patrols that made us suspicious.
We had lunch in an Italian restaurant (seems to be closed now): Vesuvio, the very last one before the Arch.
Prices so low that it seems unreal for where it’s located: tagliatelle with sauce, €30 total.
Da lì siamo arrivate a piedi all’Arc de Triomphe, passeggiando sugli Champs-Élysées, imbattendoci nelle prime pattuglie di polizia che ci hanno insospettite.
Abbiamo pranzato in un ristorante italiano (mi sembra essere chiuso adesso): Vesuvio, proprio l’ultimo prima dell’Arco.
Prezzi così contenuti da sembrare irreale per la sua locazione: tagliatelle al sugo, €30 totali.
We walked to the Eiffel Tower, and discovered the Trocadéro gardens behind the famous square: seemed to be in a secret grove far from the city with plants, bridge and small spring.
Abbiamo camminato fino alla Tour Eiffel, e scoperto i giardini di Trocadéro alle spalle della famosa piazza: sembrava di essere in un boschetto segreto lontano dalla città con piante, ponticello e piccola sorgente.
Avenue de Camoëns is right nearby.
We stopped to take a photo of the happiness of being in Paris for you, Mom.
Thanks to you, Mom.
For all that you’ve made possible with your life, your love, your death.
You never stop influencing our days, and I’ll never be able to thank you for the existence you have given us.
Avenue de Camoëns è proprio lì vicino.
Ci siamo fermate per scattare una foto alla felicità di essere a Parigi per te, Mamma.
Grazie a te, Mamma.
Per tutto quello che hai reso possibile con la tua vita, il tuo amore, la tua morte.
Non smetti di influenzare le nostre giornate, e non sarò mai capace di ringraziarti per l’esistenza che ci hai donato.
We stopped to drink one of the worst cappuccinos ever (made with water) and nutella crepes.
But it was still a nice break.
From that moment, however, the situation in Paris has degenerated.
That day there had been violent demonstrations of yellow vests, police interventions, tear gas, and all the stops in the center closed.
Every metro we managed to get on, ended up getting stuck in some station forcing us to get off and walk everywhere on foot.
We took 30,000 steps that day.
And I had a wound on my right foot, I limped most of the time.
Ci siamo fermate a bere uno dei peggiori cappuccini della storia (fatto con acqua) e crepes.
Ma è stata ugualmente una pausa piacevole.
Da quel momento però è degenerata la situazione a Parigi.
Quel giorno si erano verificate delle violente manifestazione dei gilet gialli, interventi di polizia, lacrimogeni, e tutte le fermate del centro chiuse.
Ogni metro su cui riuscivamo a salire, finiva per bloccarsi in qualche stazione costringendoci a scendere e percorrere tutto a piedi.
Quel giorno abbiamo fatto 30.000 passi.
E io avevo una ferita al piede destro, ho zoppicato maggior parte del tempo.
We were able to see the Eiffel Tower light up from the Alexander III bridge, before finally finding an open metro stop to return to Gare du Nord.
From there: Marne-la-Valleée, where we watched Disneyland’s lights from outside, eating a sandwich bought at the only opened shop.
We then arrived at the deserted terminus from which we had to take a metro to return to Lille. It was 11:00 pm and there was no one around, we didn’t even know where to go, we wandered around meeting only a few faces, all not very reassuring.
We got to the room before midnight, with a little fear but save and happy.
The next day we had another trip: to London. But this will be another story.
Siamo riuscite a vedere la Tour Eiffel illuminarsi dal ponte Alessandro III, prima di trovare finalmente una fermata metro aperta per tornare a Gare du Nord.
Da lì: Marne-la-Valleée, dove abbiamo guardato le luci di Disneyland da fuori, mangiando un panino comprato all’unico negozio aperto della stazione.
Siamo arrivate poi al capolinea deserto da cui abbiamo dovuto prendere una metro per tornare a Lille. Erano le 23 e in giro non c’era nessuno, non sapevamo neanche bene dove andare, abbiamo girovagato incontrando solo alcune facce, tutte poco rassicuranti.
Siamo tornate in camera prima di mezzanotte, con un po’ di paura ma salve e felici.
Il giorno dopo avevamo un’altra gita di un giorno: a Londra. Ma questo sarà un altro racconto.
I loved seeing all your photos from Paris & I hope to visit there one day. Also I LOVE your outfit!
Paris is a true dream, I wish you to make there soon!
Thank you so much! xx
It looks and sounds like you had a great trip. Thank you for sharing your positive experience. The photographs look great!
Lauren – bournemouthgirl
Thank you very much, Lauren ♥ xx
I’ve never drank tea or coffee, so is it unusual to have water in a cappuccino? Don’t your normally boil water for coffee and tea?
Fantastic photos of your trip to Paris. I went to Paris a few years ago, for a day trip with my partner, we went to the Paris catacombs, which were awesome, have you been?
Wow never been there! Another think to add my Paris list for the next time.
And yes, for coffe and tea you need boiled water, but in a cappucino you’re supposed to use a shot of coffee and then milk! The result tastes completly different (otherwise it’s just a long coffee, like an americano!)
Okay, I loved reading this and I am in love with your outfit!! I have been jumping from English to Italian while looking jealously at the beautiful pictures too. I love Paris x
Oh thank you very much 🙂 xx
This is so beautifully written and I am also OBSESSED with your coat!
Oh thank you! I’d love to have a coat like this one in real life 🙂 xx
In love with your beautiful pictures and the golden city!
have an amazing weekend,
Thank you very much 🙂 xx
Oh no about the stress you went through in Paris!
But you still looked tres chic with your winged eyeliner and beige palette
Happy New Year hon, Xo
Oh you are so sweet, thank you Biki! Happy 2021 your too, xx
Love your outfit very much! May this year bring new happiness, new goals, new achievements, and a lot of new inspirations on your life. Wishing you a year fully loaded with happiness.
Happy New year 2021
I wish all the love and the satisfactions for your new year too, I hope we will all be able to reach our goals and go back to a normal life❤ xx
What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Dasynka! What an ordeal you went through with the trains to get to Paris and then later with the protests, but so happy you had a wonderful day in Paris. I like how you made your mom’s passing a sweet day instead of a sad day. The pictures are so haunting and beautiful.
Thank you very much Lizzy for your words❤ it was a magical day beside everything, we felt lucky to be able to be in Paris 🙂 xx
Wow sounds like a bit hectic but anyways wonderful trip 🙂 The poctures are amazing!!! I miss Paris so much, hope to be back there soon ♥
I hope it too, I love the city so much! And yes, we make the best of it no matter what❤ xx
Such a beautiful and moving tribute to your mother. And your photos of Paris are so magical – it really makes me want to go back soon.
I want to go back too, Paris is such a beautiful city.. thank you for your kind message❤ xx
This looks like the perfect day trip to Paris! Love all the photos!
Thanks for sharing!
Well we manage to make it perfect anyway, thank you 🙂 xx
What a lovely trip and a beautiful way to remember your Mom! I love these photos!
It was special❤ thanks Ashley, xx
your blog is STUNNING !! loving the content and photos!!
Oh thank you very much❤ xx
AHHH PARIS!! Such a beautiful city. I hope to visit again one day.
I can wait to go back too! xx
I am happy that you were able to still celebrate your tradition with a different twist even though we’re affected by the pandemic. Being in Paris is exciting! Glad you were still able to book the travel! Technology is great but can have its setback. I’m glad you were able to still enjoy your time out there the best way you can! I LOVE the pictures!! Your outfit is cute!
Nancy thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 yes it was a magical day anyway, and this year too we managed to make it unforgettable even just being at home❤ xx
Paris is stunning during the fall. Love that festive tree and your stylish outfit.
oh yes, Paris is always so beautiful and charming! Thank you, xx
What an amazing trip and a special way to celebrate your mom. Love seeing your beautiful photos!
Thank you very much 🙂 xx
What a lovely story, so sorry with your feet! You look fantastic and I adore the pictures.
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
Thank you so much, at the end we had our Parisian day and I felt so grateful for it 🙂 xx
My dream to know paris. Beautiful photos. xoxo
Thank you! I wish you’ll be able to see it as soon as possibile 🙂 xx
Hey dear! I loved your post and already followed you!
Thank you so much!❤ xx
What a magical day in Paris! it’s a shame your journey was off to a difficult start but it’s good you got to where you wanted to be in the end and you got some lovely photos too! 🙂
Hope that you had a lovely weekend 🙂
In the end we had our Parisian day so we felt very lucky❤ thank you 🙂 xx
What an incredible day you had at the end, and such a beautiful way to remember your mom. I can feel all the heartwarming moments trough your beautiful photos.
My mum’s favourite city is also Paris, I didn’t even know that, although she took me there when I was younger; I only found it out later when I made her a birthday cake and coincidently put a chocolate Tour de Eiffel on it. But it’s certainly a city of its own charm, I’d love to see it when it gets all festive for the holiday season, I’ve only been there during warmer months.
Yes, it was a precious day in Paris last year, and at home doing the Christmas tree this year. My Mom took us for the first time to Paris too, and I’m in love with the city since than, during the holiday season it’s even more beautiful, you need to see it!
I can well understand your Mom, it’s one of my favorites cities too 🙂 xx
This looks like such an amazing trip! Really love all of your photos!
Thank you very much 🙂 xx
I am sorry for your loss you know I know what it is like. My mom passed on October 19th and her Birthday is November 11th. Yes it is hard to be sure. I can only hope it gets better with time. Thank you so much for your kind and understanding words on my blog and for your donation. I am glad you made it to Paris! That grove is beautiful as is your photos. So dreamy like an editorial and really brings Paris to life. I usually go in the fall for FW but not this year and I miss it. It is my dream to live there one day. Wish me luck!
Oh Allie, I’m sending you all my love and positive vibes.. it gets a bit better with time, but only you can make the difference.
Being in Paris last year was a pure relief, and this year we found the way to celebrate the day making the Christmas tree.. as I said, we are the only ones to make the difference, much more then the time. Love will never end, feeling the pain is ok, but let the love always win.
Living in Paris is one of my deepest dreams too, with London too. So good luck to both of us!❤ xx
This is such a lovely story, and what a great way to celebrate her! That guard was an absolute angel! It sounds like a wonderful day, protests and transport issues aside. I hope you can mark the day in a similarly special way next year x
I hope too, but aside the covid situation, this year was a special day too❤ thank you so much for your lovely words xx
Stunning photos, pretty place❤
Mi fai commuovere, davvero, questo è un bellissimo tributo a vostra madre. Foto pazzesche!
Grazie di cuore❤ xx
Aw I love that you made this day special for your mom! So much love to you!
Thank you very much❤ xx
Such a beautiful and touching post! And a wonderful way to celebrate and remember your Mom. I love Paris, I’d love to go back when this nightmare is over. Beautiful photos xxx
I’ll go back too, it’s a place full of memories and magic. Thank you Jennifer❤ xx
That’s such a lovely way to look at things. “that every year this day could be unforgettable in the best possible way. In the happiest of ways.~ I’m very sorry for your loss, but it’s wonderful how you remember and celebrate her. x
Lisa, thank you very much for your time and words❤ xx
I love the ways you celebrate your mom to remember her on her anniversary. Your mom sounds so special and I’m sure she would be happy that you and your sister always make time for each other. Family is so important, especially this year. I am not normally a Christmas person, but this year I have been feeling more interested in getting festive because this year has been so difficult and dark. I love these shots of the Christmas tree you captured!
Oh I do understand the need to find magic and festive vibes inside our homes this year.. that’s why we did the Christmas tree more than a months earlier! And celebrating family as well 🙂 I hope this will bring you much joy❤ xx
This sounds like a magical trip! And that tree is just amazing! I love seeing your photos!
It really was magical, and Lafayette always create the best Xmas trees! xx
How right you are in saying that the loss of a few hours is better then losing a whole day.
I love this rich and cultural tribute to your mother. 🙂
Thank you so much, Jaya❤ xx
What a beautiful way to celebrate your mother! I hope you had a wonderful trip minus the few hiccups in travel. The photos are amazing!
It was a magical day no matter what ❤ thank you! xx