[trip style = staycation]
"I just want to walk beside the Seine with a baguette under my arm." - Gil, Midnight in Paris
This summer, if you can't board Air France direct to the City of Light, see Midnight in Paris instead. It's Paris at its best: in the sun and in the rain, in present day and in La Belle Époque, in a Lexus and in a horse-drawn chariot.
I admit, I meant to see Bridesmaids last night, but got to the theatre a little late and Midnight in Paris was playing next. For once, my tardiness rewarded me in the best way possible. I walked out of the theatre with a huge smile on my face because I'd just taken a mini European vacation. For 94 minutes, I felt the uneven ground under my feet beside the Seine, the wind in my hair while standing on Pont Neuf and the musty smell of old furniture while popping my head into antique shops in one of my favorite cities in the world.
As entertaining as it is, it's also a history lesson---the kind you wish you had in school---as the movie flip flops between present day and times of old. The historical figures who show up in the movie will blow your mind---some of whom I still need to look up on Wikipedia. The film follows Gil, a California screenplay-writer-tuned-novelist on a family trip. He's immediately taken with Paris and wants to live out his idea of a romantic lifestyle, writing from a rickety desk in an old apartment with a skylight. However, his fianceé thinks this is a silly notion. While walking alone at night, he gets transported to another time, a time he longs to be a part of when all his literary heroes lived in gay Paris.
If you can't get away this summer, and the romantic Parisian vacation you long for involves a blanket, grassy field and bottle of French wine, go to the best French bakery in town, buy a baguette and some melt-in-your-mouth brie cheese, and discreetly bring them into the movie. When your 94 minutes in Paris are up, don't stop the francophile fun---go to your city's best macaron shop and savor the petit delicacies with a cafe au lait! Now all that's missing is the French music, but an iPod can take care of that!
[photo collage by @tripstyler of pictures sourced from the web]