A Birthday Celebration Meets Famous Cathedral

Bon lundi!

You know how I was all “let’s have a staycation and stick it out while everyone else abandons Paris?” Well, I almost made it through the month staying put. But then I realized that Michael’s birthday was coming up. He has been wanting to go back to Chartres ever since our first trip there in 2011. They had recently started restoration work on the famous Chartres Cathedral and we've been interested to see the progress made. That was the inspiration behind my spur-of-the-moment, last minute decision to book a surprise weekend trip.

Besides, this little getaway would make me feel more "French." Let me explain. 

There’s a term in French for this time of year called la rentrée. It literally means “the return” in English, and the closest expression that I can think of that we would use is “back-to-school.” But la rentrée is more than just the start of a new school year. It’s a time of everything starting back up again. The shops and restaurants that were closed for a good month or so open their doors again, locals return from their month-long vacations, and everyone is rejuvenated to get back into the normal swing of things. It feels similar to New Year’s to me - a time to look forward to the year ahead and connect to friends who you haven’t seen for a while due to all the vacation disruptions. 

So, even though I stayed within an hour of Paris, our little trip to Chartres this past weekend makes me feel like I can rentrée with the best of them. Looking forward to a fabulous fall!

The front of the Chartres Cathedral, or its official French name, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres 

Anyone else coming back from summer vacation? Where did you go?