Finally we take the romance international! What better place to start our worldwide travel than Marseille, France – a city in the south, right on the Mediterranean. Wow, was it beautiful! I couldn’t wait to get this week of dating started.
The fewer men there are, the more serious and intimate each date seems to get.
My first one-on-one date in Marseille was with Josh. It was a date that I was looking forward to because our physical chemistry had always been strong, but I needed to see if there was more to it. I’m not gonna lie, I was extremely nervous going into this date because I always had my guard up with Josh. I didn’t quite know why I got so nervous around him, but I was hoping to conquer those nerves on this date.
After we left the hotel, Josh and I shopped for picnic supplies where I attempted to use my terrible French. We bought sandwiches and a liquor that Marseille is known for, pastis. It tasted like licorice and I bought an extra one to bring home to my mom. We sailed along the Mediterranean coast to the southernmost tip of Marseille, called the Calanques. The Calanques are these beautiful rock formations, and it was the most beautiful place to have a picnic and, most important of all, to talk. On our picnic, I learned about Josh's past, especially about his baseball career.
My Incredible Date with JoshI decided to get all dressed up and have dinner with Josh at a magnificent palace. It was incredible to say the least. I enjoyed the fact that both Josh and I were willing to open up about our past relationships, especially when it came to our insecurities regarding faithfulness. I think it was something that Josh and I bonded over.
I remember taking a deep breath and telling Josh that for the first time, I felt like I was letting my guard down with him and was allowing myself to enjoy our great connection. I gave the rose to Josh because not only was the physical connection there, but we were getting to know each other on a whole new level. I had one last surprise for Josh – you guessed it – a private concert. We ended the night by dancing to Ben Fields, which was incredibly romantic. From start to finish, the date was perfect and one I would never forget.
The Guys Learn to MimeThe next day was the group date, and I figured when in France, why not learn how to mime? I took the guys to a studio where we all learned the art of miming. Our miming coach, Thierry, was so funny. He really whipped the guys into shape and in true mime form, never spoke to us. During our practice, the guys each reenacted their limo arrivals from night one and it was so cute. Dylan did a perfect reenactment of how nervous he was. We then performed in a popular square in Marseille and let’s just say the crowd wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about our performance. I know miming means to act without words, but the audience isn’t supposed to be silent as well!
Nevertheless, the guys were great sports as usual – except Nick. I know Nick and I had a great connection from our date in Santa Barbara, and I know it’s hard to adjust back to group dates, but I remember really not liking Nick’s standoffish behavior. Little did I know that that would follow through the evening as well.
The Group Date Gets TenseThe nighttime portion of the group date got off to a great start with JJ taking me for a romantic ride on the Ferris wheel. JJ always found ways to make me feel special and that night was definitely no exception. After JJ’s sweet gesture, things definitely took a turn for the worse.
As soon as I walked back into the cocktail party I could feel that something was off with the guys. I started talking to them individually and I got the sense that there was some tension between the guys and Nick – specifically that Nick had suggested to some effect that he was the "frontrunner." Obviously I don’t like this term, because it made me feel like this was a competition and that I’m a prize, and like Olivia Pope has said, "I am not a prize at the state fair. You cannot win me!" Needless to say, I was not happy at the turn of events that night. Giving the rose to JJ was the obvious choice that night.
My next one-on-one date was with Brian. I was excited for this date – Brian and I just had our first kiss and he was definitely standing out. We started off going to a local cinema, and it was the absolute cutest theater ever. We had all this traditional French candy and it was so delicious.
Once we had our snacks, we watched a sneak preview of the movie The Hundred-Foot Journey, which was about cooking and making food become a memory. It inspired us to cook our own recipe of a well-known French dish … frog legs. Shopping in the market was so much fun and really made us feel like locals. These are the types of dates that I love because you really get a feel for the culture and the people.
Now it was time to bring the heat and cook in my kitchen. Let’s just say it was far from hot in that kitchen. The frog legs did not turn out well at all. In fact, Brian and I ended up playing with the frog legs and flipping them in the air. It was hilarious! Even though Brian and I were lacking chemistry while we were cooking, I wanted to give Brian the rose because I knew that the Brian that kissed me in Connecticut was still in there. We had been building a strong and steady relationship and despite the date not going perfectly, Brian was still someone I wanted to get to know better.
It was time for the rose ceremony cocktail party. I had thought long and hard about whether or not to have one. The truth was, I never liked the rose ceremonies. The cocktail parties beforehand are also difficult as there is so much stress and nervousness that’s put on everyone. I thought if I already knew who I was sending home, there was no reason to put the guys through another cocktail party. So I decided to spare everyone and just kind of rip off the Band-Aid.
What you didn’t get to see was right before I handed out roses, Cody pulled me at the last second to tell me how badly he wanted a rose. I really loved that he had the confidence to do that, and he really let me know that he was here for me. What Cody didn’t know was that I was always going to give him a rose that night. It was sad to see Andrew, Patrick and Marquel leave, but I knew my connections with the other men were much stronger.
Next week, in true Bachelorette fashion, the travels continue and the dates get more and more romantic. Things get very interesting on the group date when I put the guys through a lie-detector test. Let’s just say that it definitely brought out some secrets. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoy these international dates as much as I have.