Have you ever visited a place that was so incredibly wonderful that it seemed almost dream-like? Like it couldn’t have possibly happened in real life, so you must have dreamt it? That’s how Paris is for me.
Our trip to France was a whirlwind of pastel colors, beautiful accents, decadent scents, and twinkling lights. I still remember the sounds of a lively nighttime Paris happening below our Rue Marcadet apartment balcony. I can still smell the strong scent of fresh garlic wafting into our window from the pizza place down the street. I most certainly will never forget the taste of the crisp and slightly sweet raspberry tart from the boulangerie on the corner.
Our trip began like most American’s trips to Europe: with an exhausting day and night of travel.
Along for the trip of a lifetime was Roban and myself with our maman and her beau, David. Quite honestly, David is one brave soul to tag along with the likes of the three of us.
(PS – this photo was taken by a real life Frenchman. You better believe Roban and I were losing our sh*t.)
The plan was to “sleep” all the way through our red-eye flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Charles du Gaulle, since we would be landing bright and early in the Parisian morning. However, no amount of expensive Amazon gadgets and pillows and compression socks could make this seven-month-pregnant lady sleep comfortably in coach. Besides, like the old Disney World commercial, we were “TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP.”
We arrived in Paris on a gloomy September morning , but our moods were anything but. The trip we had waited over two years for! Paris! We had made it! We were actually on French soil! Cue the squeals and heavy breathing (poor David).
We spent the entire cab ride to our apartment with our noses glued to the windows. It was so perfect and exactly how you would imagine it. Stylish Parisian moms rushing their little “Madeline”-looking children off to school, lean men strolling leisurely and puffing cigarettes, old women ducking away into their apartment’s courtyards with baguettes sticking out of their satchels. It was all so movie-like. I wanted to roll down the window and start singing “there goes the baker with his tray like always…” (we can’t be friends unless you caught that reference).
After arriving to our ADORABLE apartment in Montmartre and climbing several flights of stairs, Roban and I had to take a few obligatory balcony photos.
Although slightly jet-lagged and unbathed, we were eager to see the sights. We chugged some coffee, put some color on, and rendez-voused with our lovely tour guide, Jodie. Jodie is a “Franco-American” who is fluent in both English and French and knows The City of Lights like the back of her hand.
Having Jodie show us around on that first day really was one of the smartest things we did.
She taught us things like what kinds of cheeses to buy at the Marché Ordener (the local street market) and even taught us HOW to buy it (“fromage, ouiiiiiii”).
forced encouraged Roban and me to climb the seven thousand stairs up to the Sacré-Cœur. Damn thin French women and their love for exercise!
After fighting the massive crowds at the Sacré-Cœur (we seriously need a new plague), we meandered the winding cobblestone streets of Montmartre.
Montmartre is the Paris that you read about in books. Swoon.
While strolling, a few mouth-watering window displays would lure us into the occasional patisserie or boulangerie where we would grab a few delights to enjoy at our apartment later.
By the end of the afternoon, Jodie felt like an old friend rather than a guide.
DO THE CAN CAN CAN.
After parting ways with our dear Jodie, we decided to head back to our humble Parisian home to indulge in some of the goodies we had snatched up throughout the day.
I could eat nothing but Parisian bread and cheese for the rest of my life and die completely happy.
After some rest (and by rest, I mean using our apartment’s wifi to post a thousand pictures to social media), we popped on down to the little cafe on the corner for a light dinner and some REAL french crème brûlée!
At this point, we had gotten roughly three hours of sleep within a 48-hour period. Our bodies were slowly crashing.
However, that did not keep us from lounging on our balcony and watching the sky drink up the last of the Parisian day.
After the sun went down, Roban and I watched the neighborhood below us come to life with a whole new kind of Parisian light. Lovers walked hand-in-hand with bottles of wine peeking from their backpacks, the restaurant down the street overflowed with patrons laughing and smoking, and the spotlight on top of the Eiffel Tower shone just above the rooftops and beamed briefly into our apartment window.
It was all truly magical and we just kept saying to each other, “I can’t believe we’re here.”
Check back to read about Day 2 of our adventures where we have a saucy nighttime date with the tallest stud in Paris.
Also, click here for the lengthy, but quite entertaining (if we do say so ourselves) video version of our French shenanigans where we give you an apartment tour and so (SO) much more!