Ahhh Paris. I didn’t write during my visit…and I don’t really have an excuse besides I didn’t really want to. And that’s okay! Paris felt so big to me – I mean how can a city have that many incredible landmarks and museums? I wanted to spend every second soaking it all in.
We didn’t make it far beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but hey, I’d say we did pretty well with the time we had. The best thing that happened to us there: scooters. Scooter everywhere. Two people, one scooter: scooter hack (what Conner would yell at oncoming people). We could get up to 20km/hr on these babies and would surf between the sidewalk and the road, often times stopping for food or pictures, or both. Coming from Italy, we didn’t know what was in store for us.
We rode the bus into the city at 1am down Champs d’Elyse (holy shit – the stores are incredible) and as we neared the end of it, the Eiffel Tower emerged into our view. I felt an instant pull, and couldn’t help the huge smile that grew and took up all the room on my face. The sort of doe-like wonder stare that comes with such an iconic landmark. I didn’t necessarily want to have this reaction – so typical of tourists – but I AM a tourist! SO WHAT. I succumbed to Paris and already let it swallow me up and I didn’t care if people thought I was nuts. This tower deserved my insanity. It hit me harder than I honestly thought it would.
Our first morning in Paris, we slept until about noon and finally ventured out for breakfast an hour later. There are so many adorable corner cafes that they all started to blend together and we couldn’t decide on a place to pick. After a (crazy fun) half hour going back and forth, we ended up at one of the very first places we passed. Cause that’s how life works.
All the seats were clustered close together and faced outwards towards the street. We tried to adapt and squeeze in without saying a word to each other. As the waiter came over to greet us, I was reeling with excitement to practice my french. “Bonjour, ca va?” I tried. He quickly and irritably responded, “Ca va” and then, speaking in English, asked us what we would like to order.
It’s fine, I’m fine…the French were supposed to like that, I thought. My effort was good, respectable, even!
Spoke english for the rest of the meal.
Conner’s meal came – delicious. Ham quiche. After meticulously removing the meat parts for me (I married well), he let me try a bite and oh my GOD, this quiche. I quickly batted away his suggestion that it was better than my mom’s but…it was pretty damn good. It was rich and layered with flavor, the medley of cheese and the soft crust…just mmmm.
Let me reiterate. It was not better, just different. Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t worry. I still love your quiche.
My meal? I’m not going to lie, I wish I had better news to report back. I think I could have gotten an identical meal at any major restaurant chain in the states. Like Friendly’s. It was disappointing for my first meal in France. I don’t even remember what I got. Moving on.
This was the day I had dreamed of since the start of planning this whole honeymoon: picnicking in front of the Eiffel Tower as if time didn’t exist while consuming bread and fruit and wine. We buy the baguette, the macarons, a pain au chocolat (all ordered in French! Woo), some tangerines (they follow us everywhere we go) and of course the liquid gold. It was a perfect dream. At one point Conner launched some bread at a crow we named Albert, who got so excited he brought all his friends back for more. But besides getting swarmed by birds (a somewhat terrifying experience) it was perfect. We got back to the apartment early that night, both so tired from travelling and hoping to watch the games back home. The 1 o’clock games began at 7pm Parisian time. So we stopped at a market on the way, picked up some snacks and beer, met an older man who seemed to genuinely enjoy helping us learn a little more French, and then passed out in the bed of our Airbnb.
Oh wait. I haven’t even told you about this bed.
I’ll keep this short: The pillow-bed-comforter combo must have been drafted up in some sort of sleep-city utopia and in my opinion is Paris’s best kept secret. That’s right, in the whole dang city. The bed was made of dough and the pillows gave me a genuine high. The comforter was cool on the skin but enveloping and comforting. When they all came together it was like this euphoric cocoon of pure blissful weightlessness. Real magic.
So anyways. We slept until about noon every day.
After a failed attempt at watching the games, we found a new series to binge on Netflix and drifted off into our sleep utopias.
New day. New scooter. This time it took us to an adorable little area where cafes are lined all up and down a narrow street – Rue de Bucci I believe. Like, the street is dedicated to cafes, and people crowd the road until a rare scooter tries to make its way through. Each one is different than the rest, each has its own little charm. One looks vintage, with wicker chairs and tables outside. The one next door has a pink neon sign with botanical table sets and greenery flowing out of every corner (like the one in this pic times 100). But they look perfectly at home next to each other. Not remotely out of place. And so does the next.
I ended up eating the second salad on this trip that I’ve audibly moaned over. I don’t know what it is with these European salads. I like ‘em. Conner got his burger (we were on a burger mission that day) and we split a creme brûlée for a midday dessert, cause you know, vacation.
Scoot scoot to the Louvre and wow I didn’t know the place was this massive! Tourists were everywhere, so Conner and I tried to find a place behind the main entrance where it was less crowded to take it all in. I was left speechless by each of the statues that towered over us from the building (palace?). I don’t know who they are but there were so many and they all had so much character. Each one had such incredible detail and artistry, it was just mind-blowing to think of how much time and dedication went into making them all. When I come back to Paris I will attempt to learn some of their names. I also want to make it into the actual museum next time. Whoops.
After we meandered through the Garden of Tuileries, very tired and very content, we walked along the Seine – dreaming of living in a house boat and raising our fictional children, Pierre and Marie. The ride back on the scooter was so beautiful. Just long quiet stretches of bike path lined with trees starting to turn. Yellow and orange leaves falling and framing the sidewalk, Conner and I passing flirtatious and silly commentary back and forth into each other’s ears. A surreal rom-com moment.
This one time we abruptly ran into a curb and it was one of the best moments of our whole trip. It was on a quieter street, but there were still enough people around where we should have been embarrassed. There was a puddle. And not enough speed, so the scooter stopped dead as soon as we hit the incline, launched both of us and we fell over. Not gonna lie, it hurt, but our first reaction was just to start laughing hysterically. Straight out of that rom-com movie. I’m one lucky gal…
I honestly don’t remember what happened next. What I do remember is Conner asking me if I wanted to go for a late night Mc D’s run and I surprised him with my answer: Yes.
So there we were, trying to figure out this touch screen, order-it-yourself operation at this busy McDonald’s, and I ended up just getting fries (shocker) and splitting an Oreo McFlurry with strawberry drizzle on top. It both pleases and embarrasses me how many times I just used the term “Mc” in the last few sentences. But bigger news: it wasn’t even the only McDonalds we stopped at on this whole trip. Conner had the best McBurger of his life at the Mc D’s in Napoli.
I loved getting out on these scooters and exploring the city. I’m saying it again: they were one of our favorite parts of the honeymoon. They made this visit to Paris for us. It was fun figuring it out together and coasting around, exploring so much more than we would have if we just walked. And they’re so much cheaper than most forms of transportation. Ridiculously entertaining.
I wish we had more time in Paris, but I know we’ll be back and I also wouldn’t change a single thing. We were very very homesick at that point and just went easy on ourselves, letting the city take us in instead of the other way around. It felt nice that way. We’ll reserve all the sight-seeing for next time, hopefully with our families.
This city is so beautiful. It has so much charm, so much history. But we also didn’t feel like we had to try too hard to fit in. We truly just had the time of our lives and didn’t care who witnessed it. I guess that’s what Paris is supposed to do to you.
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