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….

San Gimignano – Our Little Hilltop Home in Italy

Outside of the first and last nights we spent in Rome, we stayed the entire weeek in a lovely little apartment inside the walls of a medieval hilltop town – San Gimignano. The town is somewhat insignificant, historically, however by keeping low-key over the centuries it was able to remain structurally intact.  The town today is known for it’s many remaining towers, and I can’t remember anything else about it’s history … but they had some great gelato options, wine stores, little shops – what more could a honeymooning couple need?

We stayed in the Fattoria Guicciardini apartments, which were right inside the wall of the town and had a lovely courtyard. The apartment was stocked and the windows (fully equiped with throw-open shutters) looked out into a little road with shops and a small wine bar below.

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San Gimignano 1After seeing that last photo I’m reminded of all the old men who lived in this town. They’d walk around together all day, talking and arguing, then at night they sit together along the side of the road in little huddles eating gelato while they talked.

Here are some photos of the wall that surrounds San Gimignano, some areas around town town, and a few photos from the top of one of their tallest towers – which was the most terrifying of all the tower-climbs we did on this trip (who on earth thought it was a good idea to make the stairs see-through?) but well worth the view from the top!

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One night we had a real Italian night, after eating our weight in pasta and drinking enough wine to ensure a great time, we found this group of old men screaming at a soccer game. Perfect setting for eating our nightly gelato and pretending like we knew what was going on around us.

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