Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paris: Day One

This last time, when I was in Paris...sometimes that's still a bit surreal for me to say. That going to Paris is no longer this once in a lifetime dream I had, but that I have actually now been there three times, and if I wanted to, I could just pop over there on a weekend should I have the urge. Or the money.

It's more an issue of the money than the urge. And also of time seeing as how my husband's job doesn't allot him more than one day off at a time except at Christmas and summer.

The first time I went was by car for a romantic (and rainy) weekend with my husband.

The second time I went was also by car, for a super fast, hit the highlights day trip with my familia. I just love this picture of my parents.

And this last time, I took the train with my friend Brit for a middle-of-the-week Paris vacay. 

Paris, for me, will never get old. Having been there three times now, there is still so many new and wonderful things to see and experience there. I mean the city is absolutely humongous!!!

You could probably go there every year for the rest of your life and still discover something new and interesting each time. 

The last two photos were taken atop Montmartre, a hill on the outskirts of the city. It is the highest point in Paris, and a popular destination for tourists for its amazing, endless views of the city as well as the beautiful Basilica of the Sacré Cœur

Here's a shot from the other side.

It's quite a hike up there; we walked ALOT of stairs. 

But the views of both the Basilica and the city were more than worth the burn in our thighs. 

Plus there was this great little cafe at the top of the stairs; so after you have walked and walked and walked, you can have a bit of a calorie splurge and enjoy some wonderfully creative, and fresh food at Chez Plumeau. 

We were drawn in by the cozy look of the place. And the fact that it didn't seem so touristy like some of the other restaurants just around the corner.
It would have been lovely to sit outside, under the tree canopy, but unfortunately, by this point in the day we were cold and opted to sit inside, which was equally cozy and warm. And I mean that in both the figurative and literal sense.

The food was seriously incredible, and the atmosphere was perfect. 

They had the neatest little touches in both their decor and food presentation.  These little salt jars were so fun. I want to make some for our table at home. 

We just couldn't get enough of the blue glass water caraf. 

Or the fact that it did indeed contain water. Plain, normal, the way God intended it to be, clear, non-bubbly water. And it was freeeeeee. 

Our waitress came to take our drink order and we didn't order anything because:

1. we only wanted water and 
2. we didn't want to pay for plain ol' water. 

And then, she came over and set the bottle on our table. We both looked at it, shocked, and then hesitantly poured it in our glasses, wondering if this was going to cost us in the end. 
The bill came and low and behold, not a single cent was listed for water. Hallelujah, I love France! 

For dinner we enjoyed an eggplant salmon roll for an appetizer, which was absolutely amazing, and of course I don't have a picture of it.  But use your imagination for a bit and imagine a Philadelphia roll, with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Now, take away the rice and roll it up with thin strips of roasted, seasoned eggplant. Got it pictured in your mind? Good, there was our appetizer. And it was amazing. I seriously could have eaten 50 of them.

Okay, enough imagining, because I did manage to snap a pic of our French Onion soup. I realize it's a bit cliche to eat French Onion Soup in France, but give us a break, it was chilly and it sounded so good. 

And it tasted even better. My lack of photo skills, combined with the dim lighting of the restaurant do not do it justice, unfortunately. 

Montmartre is also a popular place for artists to gather.

Today, it is rather touristy, however, in the past, artists such as Monet, van Gogh and Picasso, among others, were regulars in the Montmartre district. Some had studios there, others simply worked in the area.

After our dinner, we made the trek back down the Rue de Martyrs to our hotel. This street had such a cool culture to it. It was lined with all these cool cafes and bars. Definitely an area for a more hip, younger crowd.

And there were a ton of sushi places. This place, the Sushi Shop, located at 32 Rue des Martyrs, looked like a great place for a quick, fresh lunch or dinner but we, unfortunately, did not get to try it. 

There just wasn't enough time in the day or room in our bellies. We needed at least three more days in Paris just to try all the amazing food that we saw. 

We did, however, stop in at a cute little wine shop not too far from there. Unfortunately, I can't remember if this was on Rue des Martyrs or on Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre.  

And of course, I can't find the card, so on your way back down from Montmartre wander along the Rue des Martyrs and if you don't see this store on the right hand side of the street, then continue down Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, and it will most definitely be there. haha How's that for directions?
l'é choppe had a nice selection of French wines as well as a few other things that one might serve along side wine. 

The girl working was so friendly and helpful. She recommended a red wine (we didn't have a fridge, and didn't think it was the best idea to polish off the bottle, just the two of us, in one night ☺) for us to take back to our room.

She even uncorked it for us since we didn't have an opener at the hotel. 

Speaking of out hotel, we absolutely loved ours.

The Hotel Gat Folies was clean, modern and the staff was so, so nice!  The price and the location were a major sell for us when we were booking it but it ended up delivering on so many more levels once we were there.

The rooms were teeny tiny, but to be honest, one does not go to Paris to stay in a hotel room all day, so the size is actually quite perfect for a short trip because all you really need is a bathroom and a bed.

While space may be lacking, breakfast certainly wasn't. 

We had ourselves a feast of yogurt with muesli, fruit, bread, cheeses, jams, Nutella, croissants and a whole lot of coffee. 

 And seriously, how cute is the little breakfast cafe?

Our first night in Paris was perfect. We ended with a glass of wine and a movie.

Although, I didn't make it through either the wine or the movie. As soon as we hit that bed I was out. Sorry Brit. 

But don't worry, it wasn't because you're boring or anything. I did the same thing to poor Luis our first night in Paris two years ago.

It just seems to be a common thing for me in Paris in general. 

And soon, I will be falling asleep, alone, here in Germany. Hubby's in Armenia this week for a benefit game with the team. Yes, Armenia. Pretty crazy. I'm slightly totally jealous.

And I'm sort of kicking myself because I forgot to send him with the camera. But fortunately the other goal keeper is a super nice guy and took some shots for him. I'll be sure to post whatever he has when I get them in my possession. Super excited!

More Paris adventures to come in the next few days. Have a super fabulous Wednesday!


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I feel like I've been to Paris and back - too bad I had screaming kids fighting over a toy in the background! HA! Love you two so much and I'm so glad you're loving your home and getting out to enjoy all of God's world He made for us! I'm envious! But so very happy for you! All my love! Melly

Cara said... Best Blogger Tips

Someday we'll have to get you out here Mel! You would love it. Love and miss you!

H. Gillham said... Best Blogger Tips

Pretty place -- pretty people -- pretty times.

Hold them dear.

Have fun.

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