One Perfect Day in Paris

Fly into Paris, into CDG early in the morning and take the RER into the city. You are only in Paris one day, so make the most of it by splurging on a hotel that really makes you feel like you are in Paris. My boyfriend surprised me with a hotel view that screamed “you are in Paris” and it’s exactly what I wanted for my one Parisian sleep (check out Hôtel La Comtesse). I have written many posts about Paris, so please refer there for inspo on what to do. As for me? After dropping my bags at the hotel, I started the day walking around the cobblestoned streets of Montmartre. I had the streets virtually to myself except for the shopkeepers cleaning their windows, and lifting the grates to open for business. I made my way to a favorite café, Au Rêve to get a croissant, café and jus du orange. Made my way back into the center of town and guess what – I was already hungry again. Paris has that effect on you.

Up next it was time to visit a market and pick up goodies for lunch. Be sure to check out the markets in your neighborhood, as they are only open on certain days of the week. I filled my bag with mini strawberries, fresh goat and sheep’s cheeses, a baguette, olive mix and of course, some rosé. Then it’s time for the next tough decision, where to picnic? My top spot is Parc Montsouris, but for this trip I chose the Luxembourg Gardens. Bert and I laid out our picnic and drank our bottle of wine and had the loveliest day pretending to be Parisians over an extended lunch. Yes, it’s time to eat again.

FranceItaly2017-0471.jpgFranceItaly2017-0467.jpgFranceItaly2017-0439.jpgFranceItaly2017-0449.jpgBack to the hotel to quickly freshen up, drink a half bottle of rosé taking in the amazing hotel views and off to dinner. I had the hardest time choosing where we would eat, but ultimately decided to dine outdoors at the Clown Bar – a bar where clowns used to eat after the circus (and the decorations prove it!) We had the most wonderful meal including beet salad, a rare cured meat, and duck foie gras. Heaven. While we were dining outside, Ilana Glazer from Broad City asked to be seated and was turned away – hey girl, see you in Brooklyn! Then you’re off to Île de la Cité for a cone from the world’s best ice cream shop, Bertillon and a walk to burn it all off along the Seine past the Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay and all the famed bridges. Get home with just enough time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle and fall in love all over again with Paris.

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7eme + 6eme + 4eme

It’s finally here, springtime in Paris. We’ve waited long enough for it and it is time to truly take advantage of what this city has to offer, starting with a trip to the outdoor sculpture garden of the Rodin Museum. 

I wasn’t very excited about going, as I couldn’t appreciate sculpture as a form of art, but Rodin changed my views. Glad I didn’t close that door. The garden is absolutely lovely and if you aren’t interested in visiting the museum, you are able to pay a euro and sit in the garden (where most of the sculptures are anyways).

The same person, in three different positions

The Thinker(s)

My french professor had us meet at St. Sulpice the other day and from there, she gave us a list of directions in French. It was a scavenger hunt throughout the St. Germain-des-près area that required us to go into to cafes and ask waiters, look into store windows for certain books etc. The hunt lead us to Luxembourg Gardens, which was in full bloom and alive with people. 

Meeting point: St. SulpiceKind garçon helping on the hunt! Jardin du Luxembourg 

Today, I woke up and visited a petit cafe near my home to get some work done for my classes. The vibe you get at Parisian cafes is so unique, they really give the city character. 

“Je voudrais un café crème s’il vous plait!”

When my paper was finished, I started walking in the direction of the right bank with an agenda in mind: Shakespeare and Co. bookstore and Victor Hugo’s home…oh and because the weather is so fabulous an ice cream cone from Berthillion. 

Shakespeare and Co. BookstoreFrequenters of the bookstore (Fitzgerald, Stein and Hemingway just to name a few)Reading my new book of French poems by the SeineWalking to Ile-de-la-Cite for my ice cream

Banan et ChocolatHome of Victor Hugo

Feeling inspired to finish “A Moveable Feast” by Hemingway, I went to the local park to do so. Parks in Paris are just so much better, more crowded, happier, and livelier. America we just don’t do it like Paris.

Une bonne journée

At this point in my semester abroad, a certain someone, namely my Gramps, is wondering about my studies. So, I would like to address them. I am only taking two classes. Not as easy as it sounds. My French class is for three hours a day, four times a week. I have only had two classes thus far, but I think that I have already learned a lot and refreshed on some French skills that were buried deep inside my hippocampus.

My professor, is a bubbly French woman who taught in Orange County, California prior to teaching at the Catholic University. The most interesting part of my classes are my classmates. Maybe I should have known, but my class consists of students from all over the world, at all different ages and points in their life. There are approximately 5 Americans, 10 Asians, 3 Germans, 3 Russians, 1 Macedonian, 1 Polish, and 1 Ukranian. Some are married, some have children, some are engaged, and some are students. For this reason, the class is a complete French immersion experience. This is the first French class I have taken where the teacher can’t break out in English to explain a concept; it has been difficult, yet somehow helpful to learn in french. I have also very much enjoyed hearing the different accents. Europeans have the easiest time mimicking the French tongue, where Asians have the hardest time. It has been a very dynamic learning experience.

imageWhere I have found myself before classimageMoss covered bench at the fountainimageNot quite sure who this is, nonetheless beautiful

After class, I ran to the local boulongerie to pick up a baguette for a picnic with my friends. I had an idea, once a week, my friends each pick up a different item (red wine, baguette, cheese and meat) and meet at a different spot in Paris. Today, it was the Eiffel Tower. It somehow took me an hour to meet up with my friends due to issues with the metro (I ended up taking a legit train), but it was so worth it.

imageFirst purchased baguette-succesfully ordered in French imageThe adventures of my baguette et moi on the trainimageA fine spot to picnic

After our lovely rendez-vous under Le Tour Eiffel, a brilliant idea inspired us to walk along the Seine in search for Berthillion, the best ice cream in Paris. It was a beautiful day in Paris, and nothing could stop us from finding the ice cream. We passed all of Paris’ architectural beauties, standing tall and strong as they have for centuries. Along the way, we stopped to give our picnic leftovers to the homeless, peered into bookstalls and enjoyed the small yet meaningful rays of sunshine.
imageOne of Paris’ lovely bridgesimage

imageThe lock bridge: go with your lover and throw key in water to symbolize eternal bond of love
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imageBook carts along the Seine

imageThe cat postcards especially spoke to me

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imageFeeding the pigeons

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I know this is a day I will always remember, then again I think most in Paris are unforgettable. After walking through Île de la Cité and finding our way to L’Île-Saint-Denis, we finally came upon the famous Berthillion. We came to find out that it was closed on Tuesdays. That was ok, not only because the walk was worth it, but because every restaurant on the island seemed to serve the Berthillion ice cream, and our waiter told us the line is normally monstrous. And I can assure you, i’ll be back to wait in that to get the original.

imageFermezimageBefore: Carmel-salé et figue (Salted carmel and fig)

imageAfter

Now, I have some planning to do. My friends and I met up and discussed our travel plans for the rest of the semester. I am very excited for all my adventures to come!
imagePlanning our travels
image…while enjoying Nutella (Converse are très chic in Paris)