The past month has TRULY been a whirlwind – between starting a new job and travelling, it seems as though we have been going non-stop since mid-May. Now that we have finally settled back into a routine in Columbus, post-fourth of July festivities, I feel as though I can reflect on all the amazing things that we have done and smile! Of course the most memorable of those “amazing things” was going to Paris, France for our one-year anniversary in May!
Jake and I have always talked about going to Paris together – we even discussed it as a potential honeymoon option! Ultimately though, I was worried we would be too exhausted post-wedding to really enjoy the city of lights – so we postponed our trip! We had casually discussed it as a “one-year anniversary trip” but then we never really god to planning! As spring approached, I figured the chances of us actually going were slim to none.
Then, Jake surprised me for my birthday 🙂 – yeah, I guess I’ll keep him! I could not believe it! We were going to go after all! Jake and his family actually lived in Paris for a few years when Jake was young – he was thrilled about going to see his old house and school. Of course, all I could think about was the food. I mean, come on – duh.
I spent some time in Paris while I studied abroad in college and, to be honest, I didn’t love it! I went with a group of friends and we had SO much fun, but we only really had time to experience all the tourist spots! The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, the Champs Elysees – of course, all these sites were lovely, but I got tired of only seeing other tourists! I wanted to experience more of the actual city. More of what it was like to be Parisian.
Also, being a student, I had very little extra money to splurge on all the things that I really wanted to. This trip was going to be a chance to redo it all! I could not wait.
We made barely any plans – WHICH, admittedly made me VERY nervous! Because I am a typical Type A personality – but I stayed strong. And once we arrived, we just went with the flow! We ate at numerous random cafes, drank wine, ate cheese, and strolled the streets – stopping wherever we felt a desire! We explored many of the different arrondissements/areas including Montmartre, Le Marais, Louvre, Opera, Luxembourg, Elysee, and more!
We also made a trip out to see Jake’s old family’s home outside of Paris! For those of you that don’t know, Jake’s family lived in Paris for a few years when he was young! It was very cool to see his old home and visit his elementary school – I love to imagine a little Jake running around!
Its incredibly difficult to name one specific favorite “thing” or restaurant we enjoyed – everything was truly just so wonderful! Though, there were a few areas/place that I did especially love. Our first afternoon in the city, we went to see the Eiffel tower. We didn’t climb up – but instead just sat for a little while and enjoyed the view! After, we walked to a local cafe for some wine and beer – the first cafe was visited was honestly a bit of a tourist trap. We were too close to the Eiffel Tower so everything was overpriced. Still, we sat and drink and people watched! What was really awesome was the next cafe we ventured to – I am sad to say I honestly don’t even know what it was called! But it was about a 15-20 minute walk away from the tower – we ordered wine and a charcuterie board, and I don’t think I have ever been happier! We sat, looking out on the street, enjoyed creamy cheese, succulent meats, and dense french baguette. It. Was. SO GOOD!
I swear the dairy tastes better in Paris, even the butter! Maybe it is something to do with the pasteurization, I really don’t know – but Camembert has never tasted so divine.
Every morning we would get up and stop in a random patisserie, boulangerie, or cafe to grab breakfast. Jake would always go sweet with two chocolate croissants, I on the other hand would choose something bread related, every time. Baguette with cheese, baguette with ham, baguette with ham and cheese – I. Love. BREAD! Nom nom nommmmmmm – sure, its not really breakfast but I could have cared less. I could live off baguettes and cheese for the rest of my life! And you know what? I would be very satisfied! I may not be healthy, but I would be happy is a clam!
Another highlight was going to the basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre. We were told it was beautiful but didn’t quite know what to expect – we brought a bottle of wine with us in hopes of finding a place to sit and relax. The basilica was absolutely beautiful – it sat atop a hill, overlooking the city, we sat with many others and drank our wine.
We later walked through Montmartre, away from the basilica and looked for a place to eat dinner. We found a pizza place called Mastino – and it was, INCREDIBLE! Quite possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had. Fresh and so full of flavor – I wish I could eat that meal again and again… and again. Because it was THAT good!
The last night of our trip, we found another incredible restaurant, Fromagerie Danard. I would highly recommend a visit to anyone who is ever in Paris! The restaurant is really more of a wine shop or small market with a few tables. You enter, choose a bottle of wine to enjoy, and the incredible staff selects an arrangement of meat and cheese for you to enjoy. You can specify if there is anything that you really like or dislike, for example – Jake and I are not HUGE into blue cheese. I like it some, but only very mild variations (I know, I know I’m working on expanding my palate!). The wine was excellent, the food was excellent, and most of all the service was superb! The servers took time to explain each and every item on our charcuterie board – it made for a WONDERFUL evening.
So yes, I am aware all the above things are related to food! Because, duh I love food – BUT, we did enjoy site seeing as well! We purchased tickets to use a hop on/hop off bus to tour the city. The bus was great in that you could get on anywhere throughout the city and just enjoy the views! We chose a bus company that offered multiple routes and explored many different areas throughout the city. The bus had pre-recorded audio to describe the various sites and areas as we were driving through the city. To be honest, the audio quality wasn’t great but it was still interesting to hear some fun facts about the city!
We loved visiting the Luxembourg Gardens – they were absolutely beautiful. There was actually a movie or something being filmed while we were there, so we watched as they filmed, and re-filmed. I am actually pretty sure it was a soap opera – the way the actors were acting all “dramatic” and running around, I just had a feeling! But who knows!
All in all, the trip was just incredible – I could go on forever. If you ever are planning a trip to Paris and have questions, please feel free to ask! Or, better yet if you have ever been to Paris and you experienced a restaurant or something that you loved – please share!! I would love to know that as well. That’s all for now!