I’m Ruined for Life, all Thanks to Paris

You know that moment when you realize you’ve been ruined? You see/eat/do/feel something so amazing and perfect you know you can never go back to where you came from? In one day in Paris (on Day 2, specifically), I had three very specific things ruined for me:

  1. Macaroons
  2. Cheese
  3. Bread

For a little backstory: since we’re terrible at picking out food, but fantastic at eating, we planned for a “Food Tour of Paris” for our first full day.  I decided that we needed someone to tell us what to eat and where to find it. We booked through Secret Food Tours and chose the Montmartre neighborhood tour.

Our group for the tour was small, a family of four from Boston and a couple from Melbourne who were on their honeymoon. Our tour guide was a true Parisian lady, who made us feel like she was just a friend showing us around her neighborhood. She knew all the shopkeepers and they all knew her and thus were very friendly to us tourists.

We walked for about two hours, stopping at a macaroon shop, a chocolate shop, a bread bakery, a cheese shop, a pastry and dessert bakery, a butcher and a wine store. At the macaroon stop we were allowed to sample, but the other places our guide made purchases (for our picnic) and we were taught how to order in that type of establishment, what the symbols mean on signs and labels (so that you know what you’re ordering and whether it’ll be good).

At the end of the walk we posted up in a park for a picnic to eat it all. It was glorious. A couple of the boys on the tour were picky eaters and didn’t like wine… thankfully I was there to pick up their slack.

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DSC_4571This was clearly a hard day to get through.
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Ahh Paris….

I’m Now One of Them.

“Paris is the most beautiful city” they said.
“The the best wine is French wine,” people told me.
“There’s nothing as romantic as getting lost on the streets of Paris,” I heard.
“Oh, these macaroons are fine, but they’re nothing like the ones in Paris,” friends claimed.

What snobs.

I honestly, never wanted to go to Paris because I never wanted to be one of those people. You know the type. F-them. Ok, the truth: I couldn’t go to Paris…because of the money stuff it required to get there… nor did I think I would be going any time soon (again, money. So F-them and their money.

But then, I ended up going to Paris … because it was cheap. Who saw this coming? I did not.

Since we were first in London visiting, then heading to Copenhagen (for the Big Fat Danish Wedding) we ended up with three weekdays to ourselves in Europe.  What to do, what to do… being who we are we first started spreadsheets of options with the intent on picking the best city for the budget.  With the Euro close to the USD, a beautiful AirBnB and nothing but a train ride from London necessary to get us there, Paris won.

And I regret to inform you all, that I’m not one of those people. I loved it. It was beautiful, it was romantic, the food was ah-maze-ingggg – and I can’t wait to hopefully get back again.

Upon arrival into Paris we couldn’t wait to go see the Eiffel Tower. We stayed in Montmartre – which is on a hilltop – and we decided that we needed to reach the peak ASAP to get a view. So, we began the long, steep climb up to the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur – which it much higher than we expected.

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Ugh. I’m exhausted just looking back at these.

Upon arrival to the top we were ecstatic. It was like the feeling when we finally reached the Spanish Steps in Rome – WE’RE HERE! Except, this was different because we couldn’t actually find the Eiffel Tower from on top of the steps. We looked in every direction, pulled out or phones to check maps to make sure we were looking in the right direction, and then gave up. It must be too small to see from way up here. Darn.

So after a quick stop into the church we went exploring the hilltop town. Looking into shops, pretending to read menus, watching artists peddle their goods … it went on like this for about an hour before we starved ourselves into eating at the first restaurant we could get a table outside at.

Kyle and I make a pretty good team, both at home and on travel, except when it comes to feeding ourselves. We just can’t do it. It’s not that we’re too picky or unadventurous – and that’s the problem.  We want good food and we want to try new things but we aren’t good at planning out when and where that will happen. So we frequently find ourselves realizing we’re absolutely starving so we eat whatever is right in front of us at that moment (and 9 times out of 10 regret it).

This was one of those times. While it had one of our required qualities (good seats outside on a crowded street for people-watching) it didn’t exactly qualify as french food. I also ordered spaghetti. It was gross.

So by this point the sun was starting to set, our stomachs were full but unsatisfied and we still hadn’t even seen the Eiffel Tower. Whose idea was Paris, anyway? Bad idea.

We were just starting to make our descent off the mountain to head back to the apartment, when we took a wrong turn down an alley, and there it was. It was unmistakable and completely beautiful. I guess coming upon it by surprise put it into a perspective of having no expectations. So we climbed up on the fence a bit and spent the next 20 minutes taking a boatload of photos.

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It was just us up there except for a couple girls who looked like students on a study abroad. They left us alone until we were packed up and started to turn around to head out. One literally shouts at us (in a British accent, “you can’t leave now! It’s about to sparkle!”

SPARKLE!!!!

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The memories of the steps we had to climb and the food we ate in desperation were long gone at that point.

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