Meet Me in Paris
I know what your thinking…finally a post about Paris! I know, I know. What can I say? It’s been a busy past couple weeks, but I promise to be more up to date from here on out! Or I’ll at least remember to call next time, because I know how you worry.
Anyways, a couple weekends ago was the only long weekend of the semester! Well, I guess that every weekend here in Lausanne is really a long weekend, but this one was an extra long weekend. We had Wednesday to Sunday off & until a few days before, we had no idea where we were going. We really wanted to pick a place where we could spend five days without running out of things to do. We thought & thought until it hit us…Paris!
We booked our hotel online the weekend before & bought our train tickets the night before (I am now officially the biggest advocate for train travel!). After only three hours on the high speed TGV, we had arrived in Paris!
After checking into our little chic hotel in Marais & grabbing a delicious speculoos bagel, we decided to do a boat cruise. I had taken this boat cruise the last time I was in Paris & remembered that it was totally worth it just to see the Eiffel Tower lit up & sparkling over the city.
On the way home from the cruise we stopped in at a famous falafel place the Caroline had heard about. It really was famous because the line went on all the way down the block! Fafafels are not always my favourite, but the curry falafel I had was delicious!
We started out our first full day in Paris with an early breakfast in bed before heading off to the Louvre, one of the world’s most famous museums. We wanted to make sure we could get a picture with the Mona Lisa before the massive crowds began to gather. It was my second time at the Louvre, so Mona & I had already met, but you can never get enough of that Mona Lisa smile.
The Louvre is so big & had so many exhibits that you could spend an entire day in there. We had much more to see though, so we hit all the major works before heading off to get some hot chocolate & croque monsieurs in the park.
Next was the Musee de l’Orangerie. Although a much smaller, this museum held Monet’s “Water Lilies”. This was perhaps one of the most beautiful exhibitions I have seen. Displayed in two circular rooms, the paintings surround & absorb you as if you were sitting on the riverbank next to Monet. The museum also had a Frieda Kahlo exhibit which was equally as interesting. Who knew that behind that uni-brow was such an intriguing story? Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed so I have very little evidence that I was even there…I guess you just have to take my word on it for this one.
Next, we headed off to see the Saint Chappelle. On the way, we stopped & walked across the famous “love lock” bridge. Couples write their names on a lock & lock it on to the bridge before throwing the key into the river. Looking at all the locks, we had a hard time finding one older than 2013. Apparently, so many locks are put on the bridge that pieces have to be removed & replaced before they collapse from the weight of the lover’s locks! I guess love is not eternal…but only for safety reasons.
Unfortunately, our next stop was the Notre Dame. Although this famous 850 year-old church is an international icon, it couldn’t compare to the stain glass in the Saint Chappelle. Don’t get me wrong though, it was still amazing. It is incredible to think it’s been there for 850 years! That’s crazy long.
After we found out that the restaurant we wanted to go to for dinner didn’t open till 7:30, I suggested that we pull one of my favourite moves of all time…the reverse dinner! This is a classic switch-a-roo in which you eat your dessert before your dinner. I know that almost every mum out there would say that you would spoil your appetite, but I did it & can provide a very convincing testimony if anyone needs a reference.
After enjoying three scoops of delicious gelato, we found that we were hungry for some dinner (convincing, huh? Let me know – I only charge a small fee for the “dessert-before-dinner” testimony, but others may run higher…I’m always open to negotiation though). We went back to “Le Petit Prince” right at 7:30 on the dot & had a delicious meal that complimented the gelato perfectly.
Both Caroline & I have been craving Eggs Benny for a while now, (Eggs Benny is my number two on my cravings list…sushi will always be my number one) so Caroline found a little breakfast place called Cafe Charlot for the next morning. It was so yummy & hit the spot perfectly so we were all ready for our tour & photo shoot.
“Localers” allows you to explore France like a local! The company hires locals that act as both photographers & tour guides. Our tour guide Ula was the cutest. She told us all about the history of the city, showed us her favourite spots, & took our picture in front of all the Parisien monuments. It was perfect except for the fact that it rained the entire time…c’est la vie à Paris!
After our tour ended & our hair was throughly frizzed, we said “au revoir!” to Ula & headed off to see our third & final museum, Musee d’Orsay. This museum, which was formally a train station, held one of my favourite pieces of art…Degas’ “Little Dancer of Fourteen Years”! I didn’t even know it was there, so when I saw it I was amazed. Pictures, of course, were not allowed, so I had to just stand there & appreciate it in the moment.
After leaving our final museum, we decided to take the metro to Monmartre, where Caroline had found a very special fondue restaurant. I knew that in Europe they started drinking from a young age, but I guess I assumed they would have eventually moved on to traditional glasses. However, “Les Refuge des Fondues” decided to “never grow up” & serve their wine in baby bottles. You get a choice between red or white wine & a choice between meat or cheese fondue. By the waiters recommendation we went with white wine & cheese fondue. It was definitely an experience & an awesome way to feel both young & old at the same time!
We then walked to this very cool store called “Merci” where we planned to meet Caroline’s aunt, uncle, & cousin, who also happen to be in Paris, for lunch. Complete with two cafes & a restaurant, this place had everything from chic clothes to adorable stationary! I wanted to buy everything, but it was all a little out of my price range, so I unfortunately left empty handed. The food was tasty & organic though so I left with a happy tummy! Apparently all I do these days is eat. My only souvenirs are my new found cravings for multiple scoops of gelato & steaming pots of fondue…what have I gotten myself into?
We spent the rest of the day window shopping, wandering into designer boutiques & drooling over pieces that were priced upon request. These stores made “Merci” look like Target. Eventually we stumbled upon something we could afford…macarons! We had their special signature tea & a delicious macaron tart that I have been dreaming of ever since.
After some more wandering, we decided it was time to eat once again. Another travel tip for you…when in doubt, eat! We enjoyed our last night in Paris at the Pause Cafe before going back to our hotel to pack up for our return to reality. Take me back Paris…I just want to keep living “la vie en rose”.
Just a girl sharing the baubles she loves & the bliss she experiences!