Paris: Part 1

I…am a cliche. And I can’t express how much I don’t care that I am. I. Love. Paris. I love Paris so much. I love it so much that I would trade my first born for a bite of croissant. For a glimpse of the sparkling Eiffel tower. For a stroll through Le Jardin du Luxembourg.

I really didn’t think it was possible for Paris to fulfill my expectations. I really didn’t. And honestly it didn’t seem fair- how can a place really meet the perfectly formed idea I had created of it in my mind? But it did, and somehow it was better than I had dreamt it would be. I know how cheesy that may sound, but it’s the honest truth. I feel towards this city what a normal person should feel towards a dear loved one- unconditional love. Every building is exquisite, every bite of food could bring you to tears, every charming alley-way out charms the next! Everyone told me this is what Paris was like, and now I’m telling you. Paris is the city of lights and love and forever happiness. Please go.

I have too many photos to fit into one post, so in this entry I’ll list my favorite places we ate, where to stay, and some tips. In the next post I’ll list our favorite things that we did.

First, I picked the warmest and driest time of year to go, August/September. This makes a huge difference for me when traveling, because weather can really make or break your trip. Why spend a bunch of money to get caught in the rain for a week because the tickets were cheaper? If you’re going to do it, do it right. Obviously if you rather see Monet’s garden in full bloom in the spring or be there during all the Christmas festivities, ignore my advise. But personally, I love visiting when places are their sunniest. Also, do some research on the time you are there, apparently August is when a lot of Parisians leave the city and some places close down, which could be a bummer. Research! Research!

As for the best location to stay in, my favorite arrondissements were 3,4,5, and 6. These were the most quintessential Parisian neighborhoods. We actually stayed in the 2nd district, which was great, but those four is where we will stay when we go back.

Our favorite places to nom.

Coffee: Ob-La-Di Cafe, Coutume Cafe, and Nate’s favorite Cuillier

Croissants: Du Pain et des Idees, Tout Autour du Pain, my favorite Le Grenier a Pain

Breakfast: Cafe De Flore and La Creme de Paris

Lunch: Breizh Cafe and Season

Dinner: Les Philosophes and Les Ombres

Places I will try next time…
Peonies, Marcelle, Candelma, and Cafe Kitsune

It should be noted that I had 17 croissants in the 5 days we were there. Yes, I think not having really eaten gluten in 6 years was part of how extreme that number is but also…not. Why would you not have 3 croissants a day? And how can one choose betweeen butter and chocolate? You can’t. You don’t. You get both. Every time. Also it’s worth noting that I did a lot of research before we went and found out a lot of people who can’t eat gluten or wheat in North America (here!) can tolerate it in Europe. Turns out that’s true for me and I ate more bread than I ever have in my entire life and I felt great. So, it’s also known as gluten heaven and made me question everything.

Tips and Tricks
– Don’t bother eating all the perfect croissants unless it’s before 10:30am. In most cases we got there around 8 when they were just fresh.
– Everyone told me that “every cafe has the best food!”. I didn’t believe them and obsessed over where we would eat dinner every night. Turns out, every cafe has the best food and just pick the one with the cutest outdoor seating.
– True, the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower can get over crowded and people try to sell you things which is annoying. If you picnic, just do it off to the side or in a hidden spot so no one bothers you.
– The Eiffel Tower sparkles every night at dusk and then for a few minutes every hour on the hour after that. You must see this close up and far away at least 3 times. Nate didn’t know it sparkled at all and the first time it happened he thought he was witnessing a miracle. So there’s that.
-If you’re not using public trans, use Uber, we got ripped off by a few taxi’s.
-No one hated us because were were American (that I know of). Everyone was extremely nice and helpful and if you aren’t a super annoying tourist I feel you will also have this experience with the locals.
-Things are not open all the time (New York has spoiled me) so make sure to look up and/or call to make sure they are open, we ran into this problem because we like to eat lunch at 3pm. Weird, I know.
– Give yourself time to wander around. People told me this and I didn’t do it because I’m obsessed with planning, but seriously, make time for this.

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