Leaving southern France and headed for PARIS!!!! If I’m being honest, I don’t have any tales to tell of the drive, the countryside, etc. because Cameron and I slept the entire way but it seemed a quick trip to us!! We parked on the curb by our apartment to unload, got yelled at by a 100-year old lady not to park there, and checked into our apartment for the next six days. Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe this three bedroom, gourmet kitchen boasting beauty that is DIRECTLY across the street from Notre Dame but we will say travel agent Daddy done good 🙂 We got everything upstairs and Mom and Dad took the rental car back to the airport while Cameron and I walked through the streets of Paris to the open air market by the bastilles. The largest in the city and only on Thursdays and Sundays, we had a fantastic time wandering the continuous rows that snaked back and forth in the shadows of the Bastille. From produce that you could smell the freshness to handcrafted jewelry, homemade notebooks to stock dresses it was a dazzle for the senses. We spent a few hours at the market before the wafting sweetness of the crepes made it impossible to ignore our rumbling stomachs any longer.
Leaving the market to wander the streets of Paris, looking for something to eat. The streets of Paris. Again, something that I just cannot capture into words. They are everything I always imaged they would be and the quintessential Paris of my imagination – ornate, swirling iron balcony’s line the romantic apartments while crepe stands dot the street corners. The well-dressed Parisian mixes with the camera toting tourist and cheap souvenir stands sit across the street from Louis Vuitton. Eventually we found a Greek pita type thing for Cameron and an egg, cheese, and ham crepe for me. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I am a crape devote and the first I had in Paris did not disappoint. I may have been really hungry but it was the best I’ve ever had without question.
We returned to the apartment to find Mom and Dad back from returning the car – having already eaten at the Irish Pub down the street we headed back out into the Latin Quarter (called so because it is the academic area in Paris and Latin is the language of learning). Exploring the sites and doing a bit of shopping we tried to find a grocery store to stock the apartment kitchen for breakfast but discovered things closed pretty early on Sunday.
Abandoning that venture for the time being, we opted for some crepes again (always, more crepes) and headed down to the water for a River Cruise. While we were waiting for the cruise to start we enjoyed sitting on the point under the shade of the willow tree. Just over an hour, the boat ride was a great introduction to the city from the rivers edge. We saw everything from the Notre Dame to the Louvre, all the bridges and the Eiffel Tower. Our tour guide was a student named Julie who spoke in both French and English – I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone visiting Paris. It gives you an hour snapshot of the sites that you will visit and had some fun facts mixed in. For example, we learned the shortest bridge in Paris (The Little Bridge) has already collapsed 12 times; the Parisians originally hated the Eiffel Tower and had plans to demolish it 20 years after its’ construction; if you spent 3 seconds in front of every piece of the art in the Louvre it would take you nearly 2 months to see all of the art. It was a great time.
After the tour, the parents headed back to the apartment and we went to get a quick bite at the Canadian Pub down the street. I’m almost certain it must be a chain of some sort because the menu is in English, the decor is JUST like that of Robin’s favorite Canadian Pub in How I Met Your Mother, and they served comfort food. It was delicious. We headed back the apartment and crashed.