Paris, is dare I say…THE most beautiful city. Don’t get me wrong, my love for London runs deeper than the Mariana Trench (the deepest place on Earth, of course), but Paris really struck me.
After settling into our hotel and toasting to the weekend with a glass of wine, we set out to explore a bit before dinner. The Jardin des Tuileries was a short walk away, so I thought meandering around and checking the Louvre off of our list made sense. Paris stopped me right there. Holy scenery! I was immediately taken aback as we crossed through the garden gates- the garden, view of the Eiffel tower, flowers, and iconic museum in the background was like a fairy-tale photograph. I realized then and there, you can never check anything off your list in Paris because nothing can be seen and enjoyed only once.
After goofing around a bit, we were off to dinner. Au Bon Accueil, recommended by a few friends, was delicious. Even more exquisite, was its view.
Like moths to a flame, we flew over to the Eiffel Tower and stood in awe. Originally built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, the iron lattice tower is as tall as an 81-storey building. There is no hype, this is the most-visited paid monument in the world for a reason. I can’t really explain why it is so awesome, but it is.
Saturday had high standards, following a fabulous Friday. For breakfast, we had hot chocolate (the real stuff, like just hot, chocolate), croissants, fresh orange and shared scrambled eggs at Angelina. Everyone left happy, but reluctant, since we weren’t sure when we’d ever have said hot chocolate again…
A quick metro ride later, we braved the rain and arrived at Notre Dame cathedral. This was a very special visit because my mom’s younger brother Dale, who passed away in 1997, was baptized in Notre Dame Cathedral after being born in Paris. My mom was only a few years old when she traveled by ship with my Grandma Mary Ann to live in Paris while my Grandpa George was stationed there in the secret service. It was truly meaningful to be there with my mom and think back to nearly 60 years ago, when my Grandma was younger than me, living across the world and baptizing my Uncle Dale in the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen. My grandma had given my mom pictures of her father and grandfather chasing her around the entrance to the church. It was so surreal to see her there in 1956 in photos, and in person so many years later. Just before the rain started again, we ducked across the street and into a cafe. We sipped lattes while shamelessly drying our socks and shoes on the radiator next to our table (I’ll spare you the photo). As soon as the sun peaked out, we were on our way to the Luxembourg Gardens, where another dizzying display of flowers and beauty kept us captivated for an hour. We wandered through the 6th in search of a cafe and found a sunny spot outside at Les Ambassades. Wine, cheese, meats and bread made me feel like I could get used to the Parisian lifestyle! Visiting the Arc de Triomph was our final destination for the day. We took the scenic route (that’s a joke because the whole city is spectacular of course!).
Some spa time was much needed after a long day of walking. Mom and I soaked in the hot tub while chatting away about our day. Another wonderful dinner at Le Mesturet followed (best vegetable lasagna EVER), before the last but certainly not least of Mom’s birthday cakes.
We barely finished our wine before I declared bedtime- there was no way I was missing out on my last few hours in Paris on Sunday morning! The city was certainly still sleeping by the time we found a quaint cafe for breakfast.
Although I didn’t want to leave, just like my grandma 60 years ago, I went away as one seriously happy girl.