Thursday, November 5, 2015

Paris

The highlight of last week's trip, by far, was our stop in Paris for a long weekend where we met up with my aunt and cousin for a girl's trip...


My mom and I arrived first, on Thursday afternoon. The four of us decided to rent an apartment so that we could all be together - have breakfast together around the dining room table, chat in the living room after dinner, etc. - and we rented this lovely one from a company called One Fine Stay. It was so much fun - there was a big claw foot tub in one of the bathrooms for warm baths after walking around all day and there was a sweet little backyard outside.

It was fun to get to know "our" neighborhood which was in the 6th arrondissement. The first morning, my mom and I went down the street to a little cafe for a croissant and a cafe au lait...


....and they had the best fresh squeezed orange juice! We ended up having that every morning after and it felt like such a treat. There was a group of French women chatting away in the cafe, with their dogs sitting in their laps and the waiter was so friendly. It felt really cozy and local and when we went back for breakfast the following morning, we saw all the same faces from the morning before.

Once my cousin and aunt joined us on Friday morning, we headed straight to Cafe de Flore for an omelet that my cousin remembered eating several years ago during a study abroad trip - and had never forgotten. I'm not a huge omelet fan normally, but it was out of this world.


The weather was so beautiful all weekend so we spent most of our time walking around and soaking up the sun at little cafes where we would stop for a tea in the afternoons. One day we went to the Rodin Museum, to walk around the garden there.




And another morning we went to look at the stained glass windows at Sainte Chapelle which were incredible.



Since the four of us had all been to Paris before, we tried to stay away from the crowded, touristy sights like the Louvre and Notre Dame, which we had all already seen. It was fun to explore Paris in a different way - to find the shop with the best croissants, walk around different neighborhoods, and gaze at the beautiful French architecture.





On Sunday morning we went to church at Saint-Sulpice to listen to the organ which is HUGE. My aunt had heard that when it gets going, it can shake the whole building...it was incredible.


One afternoon we bought macaroons and went and sat in the Luxembourg Gardens - which is what everyone else was doing too! We managed to find four chairs and we sat, ate our macaroons and watched all the little children sailing their boats in the fountain.




My mother used to live in Paris when she was in her 20s, so she showed us some of her favorite spots, including this beautiful fountain (the Medici Fountain):



She also speaks French perfectly which was great for the rest of us because she could translate everything and we noticed that the waiters were much less grumpy towards us since we had a French speaker in our group!


And speaking of waiters.....the food!!! Everything we had was to die for. I had onion soup three times over the weekend, we shared a plate of escargot one night and we swooned over the French vinaigrette. We sampled all the great desserts: floating island, chocolate mousse, profiteroles, creme caramel....One night we went to a restaurant called Le Coupe-Chou where I had delicious boeuf bourguignon. Another night we went to Le Select for steak frites, a place my mother remembered going to in her 20s. And we had the best roast chicken at La Rotisserie.




We were always starving at meal times from all the walking we were doing and everything was incredibly delicious. Most of all though, it was just fun to spend time together in such a beautiful place. We chatted constantly and told stories and talked about the baby, and the fact that we were in Paris made it all the more exciting.


Have you been to Paris, or are you going? I'm already dying to go back!

PS - More fun apartments to rent and I will definitely be adding a few of our dinners last weekend to my list of favorite meals abroad...