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.
Well, as soon as we laid everything out so many people would walk up, stare, and snap photos. 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 did have a mini freakout. While I’m not one for the usual souvenir trinkets, I had been wanting to find a beret. I know, so cliche and corny, but I couldn’t help it. 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.
Derek managed to scrounge up last-minute — affordable — tickets to Moulin Rouge, which was a lot of 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 fairy tale.
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 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.
You know, I don’t think I would ever get tired of this city’s architecture. Every single building was absolutely stunning. From the buildings lining the streets, to the secret courtyards and underpasses, this was 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.
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 laid sprawled out on the grass and just chatted. 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.