Our last few days in Paris were some of the best. For starters, the sun finally decided to come out, which only meant one thing: PICNIC! We had wanted to have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower since we had arrived, but each day the sky looked as if it was about to fall. So, we waited and waited. And, finally, sunshine!
Our picnic is actual a pretty funny story. We wanted this to be as much of a legit Parisian picnic as possible, so before we headed to the lawn, we stopped by the corner store and bought a baguette, a croissant, and a baby bottle of champagne. Because, hey it’s Paris so carbs don’t count. Well, as soon as we laid everything out so many people would walk up, stare, and snap photos! Yes, I’m talking about taking pictures of random people’s picnic. It was a bit creepy at times since we’d be in a conversation and then BAM. Strangers behind us snapping away. We both couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at the awkwardness…
On the way to the lawn I basically had a mini freakout. While I’m not one for the usual souvenir trinkets, I had been wanting to find a beret. Yes, I know that sounds so cliche and corny, but I couldn’t help it. A Parisian beret, from Paris! And then, there it was. A black one just hanging on the spinning rack, ready for me to spot it and take it home.
Even though it hasn’t seen my head it since we left, it still provided for so many giggles that day.
After taking in way too many carbs and sipping on not enough bubbles, we hit the streets to explore more of the neighborhoods. Ah, I could have just walked around all day. These were the kind of neighborhoods that just called your name to get lost in. Winding alleyways. Cobblestone streets. Shutters that are just barely hanging on to the rustic hinges. You could just feel the history oozes out with each twist and turn.
And just look at the mural below. How can you walk past that and not smile? I’m telling you, Paris is just good for the soul.
Oh, the street markets. These had to be have been some of my favorite things about this city. So many street markets each and every day. From food markets to fleas — we even found a market dedicated to old books — the stalls were so much fun to roam through.
I decided to start to pin collection and bought all four of these frames…
Just kidding. But, I really wanted to.
After rummaging through an endless pile of old photos, Derek found such a cool polaroid of the Arc de Triumph. His smile was so precious when he found it. It was as if he had just stumbled across some kind of treasure. Priceless.
No, I don’t know this man below. Yes, it is a bit creepy I randomly took his picture. I admit. I couldn’t help it. My fingers clicked the picture button way before my mind even registered how creepy this would have seemed to him had he looked up. Thankfully, he didn’t.
Doesn’t he look so Parisian, though!?
Derek managed to scrounge up last minute — affordable — tickets to Moulin Rouge, which was so much fun. We always enjoyed seeing Broadway shows in New York, so this was such a treat.
After the show, we decided to walk around some. Paris seemed so breathtaking by day, but it was on a whole new level of beauty at night. Not to mention the sweetness of the summer air. It just felt right to make the night last a bit longer.
We walked across the Pont Alexandre III bridge and suddenly became halted in our steps. This bridge was so opulently decorated, spanning across the Seine River. The lavishly ornate lamp-posts lining the bridge gave it an even more romantic feel.
And then there was this view. There she was, standing so tall. The Iron Lady looked so gorgeous all lit up in her golden hue. We perched ourselves up against the side of the bridge and just stared. We were in total captivation.
It just kept getting better. At the top of the hour, the sparkling began. For five whole minutes she shined and sparkled, while the beam lit up the dark sky. It was at that moment when I truly felt as if I was in a fairytale. I mean, how can a night really get any better. While I stood there staring, so much gratitude started rushing over me. Gratitude for this trip. For this city. For this night. And for the partner taking it in by my side.
I don’t think I could have imagined a better Parisian night if I tried.
The next morning we rose bright and early — again! — to take in the Arc de Triumph. Again, what a beauty. We witnessed her lit up the night before, but it was so different taking in her stature up close. While I loved watching the traffic go round and round, I’m telling you I would HATE to have to drive in it. Things got crazy on that roundabout!
Funny story about the picture below. So we had looked up a really good looking brunch place we were excited to try. But, I had also found a delicious looking juice bar I wanted to stop by later on that day.
Little did we know they were right beside each other. Literally inches away. So after stuffing our faces with baguettes on the left, we walked right over to the right and ordered a cleansing green juice. That washed away the carbs, right!?
You know, I don’t think I would ever get tired of this city’s architecture. Every.Single.Building is absolutely stunning. From the buildings lining the streets, to the secret courtyards and underpasses, this is the perfect city to meander your way around.
Because I’m a lover of macaroons, and Paris is the master of these miniature cookies, I made it my mission to sniff out the best ones around. A top contender was definitely Ladurée. We stopped in for some afternoon tea and a mini taste-test.
These cuties were so delicious. We didn’t even leave a single crumb on our plate.
After all the macaroons, baguettes, croissants, tea and coffee from the last couple of days, our stomachs were screaming for a break.
Luckily, we found the perfect park to spend the rest of the afternoon. No tourists, just locals — this was definitely our kind of place. For hours, we just laid sprawled out on the grass chatting. Going through old pictures and reminiscing of the trip so far, I could tell by the way we were talking, laughing, and a few tears crying, that these memories would be everlasting ones.
We had talked about climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower once more, except this time at night. Yet, when our last night suddenly approached, we decided to skip the lines and take in the view from our apartment. Looking back, I’m so happy we made this decision. No noise. No crowds. Just us and this breathtaking view. It truly was the perfect end to an amazing week.
Paris, Je t’aime.