tales from paris.

HI THERE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

feels good to be back. 
…um, no, not really.
quote needed though.

so you wanna hear everything about my trip to paris, i know i know.
that’s why i’m bothering to make a long ass post to tell you all………….
but if you want the useful stuff, i made a list of 50 things i learned in paris that you should know too!!!!!! click here to read it :):):)

if you really care about what i did () well then…

let’s start!

# DAY 1.

<< paris is frowning. >>
said the bae as we gracefully wrestled our way down from the plane against 3 suitcases.

now, assured that this narrative style does not quite fit me, let me state that it was a poetic, 100% appropriate way of saying it was f*cking freezing cold.
a thing we later got to thank in the following days, because no one wants to break a sweat simply opening the window………………..amirite?

we felt so overwhelmed we immediately got out to see it. paris. like are we really here or not.
spoiler alert: we really were.

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this was also the day when i almost broke down crying on the doors of the fnac store @ the champs elysées, when i realized we had been in paris for less than 3 hours and i had already found the dress of my dreams & eaten the beautifullest, brightest, boldest macarons sitting on a bench and watching people pass by.

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fortunately i recovered soon enough to stumble home – our little, cozy studio with its tiny kitchen and huge windows and wooden table and no broom for that time i shattered a glass but who cares – and decide we were too lazy to go out for dinner / cook anything but we settled on hot japanese stuff takeout which turned out to be one of the best decisions ever, along with just jumping on a plane for the week, y’know.

p.s. we went to bed @ 8.30 pm on our first day in paris not even kidding ha ha we’re truly old people

# DAY 2.

on our day two i embarked in what would become my one woman quest to try all the boulangeries in our neighborhood. life goal rn: fly to france and get me another pain choco amande.
(note: pain choco amande is nothing but a pain au chocolat – laminated dough w/ real chocolate inside – stuffed with almond frangipane cream. YES SUCH THING EXISTS)

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then we got out, went to the louvre, did nothing to no queue, didn’t pay, gaped at aaaall the paintings and aaall the statues – which i photographed nothing of but their assssss #sorrynotsorry, played barefoot contessas –winkwink– on the grass behind the louvre whilst eating mcdonalds stuff because we’re cheap and because their thai noodle salad is actually good -maybe not good for your health but good on the tastebuds?????-, listened to music, enjoyed the crows (!) and set off for a giant garden full of dead people aka pere lachaise cemetery.

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we really were only into oscar wilde’s stone… of which they shattered pieces – i’m not telling you which, go google it yourself ;) – and where i found this little lovely irish note…! #yespride

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last thought of that day was how the heck on earth we’d managed to a) find such a good bagel on our way to the tour eiffel b) get the timing juuuust right to start climbing the tour’s 12039483992 steps at sunset and go down at night with it being all sparkly and lit up.

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# DAY 3.

DAY THREE WAS A BLAST MUCH DISNEY MANY FUN TIMES INSERT OTHER DOGE MEME HERE.

disneyland of course had to happen during our trip. no questioning it… but questioning our lack of self-restraint as we got dragged by some…um… let’s call it weird force into a thousand attractions before admitting we were too grumpy to ignore our need for breakfast – precisely, a huge cookie because yes.

i refuse to say that disneyland is not a magical place where i didn’t have goosebumps at all while strolling on the streets hearing orchestra frozen themes (!!!), wearing minnie ears, wondering where the hell on earth @iphotographyone tricked us into going if the star wars flight simulator didn’t exist when he went there, joining a 6-year-old-targeted drawing class on the winnie pooh tiger that i drew more like the frosted flakes tiger and ooh-ing and aah-ing as peter pan chased his shadow through a 30-min long fireworks show.

p.s. i had my first taste of peanut butter cup ice cream @ disneyland, THERE’S NO COMING BACK I REPEAT NO COMING BACK.

# DAY 4.

pro travel tip again: if you’re two or three people, let every one of you plan a day where he/she/xe/they drag along the whole squad to surrrprise places. GUARANTEED 100% FUN.
works best if you have chouquettes for breakfast.

day four was the day my main squeeze took me to les jardins des plantes aka flowery sun-filled goodness. i knew i was in for a sunburn treat: pique-nique-ing at its finest, then sweating it out through tropical greenhouses and pink flamingoes??????? couldn’t ask for more, i guess.

 

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last stop for the day was a place………. no words can ever express what i felt there. “inspiration” could probably come close but will never be enough.
rue de rivoli 59. google it now. then proceed to cry and we’ll hug.
it is a super tall building where artists expose their work for free and LIVE AND BREATHE AND PAINT AND DRAW AND SEW AND EAT AND SLEEP AND YOU CAN FEEL IT IS A MAGICAL REALM OF CRAZY PEOPLE I ADMIRE WITH MY WHOLE EVERYTHING.
not getting over it soon.

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then i needed to calm down so i let the good times roll and had flammekueche for dinner which is now probably my number one fav thing to eat in the world and i’ll be desperate because i’ll never be able to recreate it no big deal bye.

# DAY 5.

on our fifth day, tiredness took over and we took a morning off, to sleep a lil bit more, to eat warm buttered-and-jammed brioche slices, to wander through our neighbourhood (chocolateries! epiceries! people who sing and dance in the street! the sun is shining! like oh please let me stay here!!!), to buy clams and pasta and parsley and a bottle of unscrewable rosé wine and to subsequently try to have the classiest of lunches.
never let me use an electric stove again, i beg you.

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then we paid our homage to victor hugo by visiting his house-museum & after sheltering ourselves from the rain in various artists’ ateliers, we snuck into a cinema to see les minions – omfg best choice ever??!?!!!?!
we couldn’t have picked a better film to go see in french because the real deal talking is reduced to a minimum and the minions speak in english, spanish and italian. three languages that combined i understand better than french……….

last stop on our way home was le dernier bar avant la fin du monde, geek-y bar that’s basically genius. think a bar stocked with tvs running anime openings & game trailers, full of table games and the cutest+kindest waiters ever. they host fun events, are chock full of references that will make you gasp and have a kickass menu of eats, gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan friendly + teas + cocktails, alcohol-free or not.
we got a giant fat chewy cookie that will be dearly missed and a ‘targaryen‘ drink that made my ginger-beer-loving tastebuds happy…………
and all of a sudden we missed our friends.
like what.
like this is not supposed to happen we’re on a dream vacation alone.
like somehow we both felt ‘our friends should see this’, ‘this doesn’t feel just right without them’ and it made me happy to an unknown extent – knowing i had unconsciously found the people i would genuinely miss even when i’m having the best time ever.

some things you gotta do alone, some in two, some with your squad. ;)

# DAY 6.

day six was my day to drag the bae around!!!!!!!!
i was beyond worried / excited something would go wrong but -uh oh- luckily it didn’t. ;)

we broke our fast greeting our old friend la tour eiffel & the whole lot of paris from the 56th floor of the montparnasse tower – ciel de paris restaurant.
hellllloooo fresh press oj + valrhona hot chocolat + mini pastries + FREAKING PARIS.
i think i hadn’t really processed until then, y’know………..

then we went flower-hunting @ le marché aux fleurs, saw notre dame from the outside because who would want to do 1029348 queue hours?????, got a drawing of us done by a street artist that even made my nose a cute shape…

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then we entered the realm in which we would get lost for the following three hours and in which i would get lost all day everyday for the rest of my life.
shakespeare & co.
i think it’s worldwide famous at this point: french-english bookstore in paris that stocks both new things & old rare finds, that lets people hang up post-its quotes and notes on a mirror and use their typewriter and play their piano and sit on couches to read there and mail anonymous letters to mystery recipients and that is simply too magical to exist.
what they don’t tell you is that they have a huge white cat that made me cry.

we got a book each – mine on which i’ll do a post sometime because it deserves it ;) – and then went for a stroll along the seine through les berges – a super cool project parisians made on the gauche banks of the river.
you can play badminton for free, you can blast your music via bluetooth from speakers under a bridge, you can rest on wooden ‘mikados’, you can go rollerblading or skating or running or whatever, you can sip on chai lattes swearing to never let go of one of them again because you’d rather have spiced cinnamon tea than blood in your veins, you can book a capsule hotel in which read quietly for an hour because you have the most lovable travel companion ever you can be comfortable just sitting in silence with………….

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then you can go for dinner @ l’alsacien again because flammekueche >>>>>> anything and the owners are too kind for this world (they even gave us free framboise liqueur shots!!!!!!!) and steal their tiny kitty.

# DAY 7.

piece of wisdom for the day: “the only way to actually see the 14th juillet parade is to be a parader.”
so after admitting we really weren’t committed to do the whole waiting-and-camping-there stuff, we happily just strolled around, looking to do some gift shopping, before eating  the french madame that made me revaluate the importance of nutmeg in béchamel and the importance of fresh cut french fries in my life.

then we changed our paths and went to the montmartre district, hoping to find a grassy green quiet spot to read and relax a little bit.
we found the grassy greeny spot, but oh if we were looking for quiet.
between gourmet boutiques and cute little shops, street artists held their own private concerts, each one gaining a crowd of read, shouting, fist-raising followers – and on the stairs to the sacre coeur, there’s a free piano for everyone to play.
magicccccc. montmartre is so full of life and joy it is impossible not to get hit by it.
plus, it’s the place where le fabuleux destin d’amélie poulain was shot!!!!!!!!!!! uber feels.

we only left our place to go stuff ourselves of bread dipped in melted cheese aka fondue aka a thing i really dig aka a thing that made me very proud because i made it at home a while ago and it tasted surprisingly like the parisian one. cooking wins.
the waiting time for the fireworks we saw perched on the top of the montmartre hill was made much shorter by a) 1€ beer b) me falling asleep on the ground………

then we made it home dazedly happy because when france parties, everyone parties. and shares that common spirit that leaves you overly tired but with a smile on your face.

# DAY 8.

we slept in. again. it was so worth it.
because i descended the three flights of stairs of our apartment to get us a jambon fromage crepe for lunch and found this tiny 3 square ft stall on our street that made. the. cheesiest. crepes. oomph.

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/hyperventilating/

then, as the idea had been running through the bae’s head for a week or so, we ran out to the coolest tattoo+piercing studio evahr.
ABRAXAS ladies and gents, where the people are so kind and chill it made us feel super safe, where it is squeaky clean and all lighted up, where they make art so good it almost made me cry… rad setting truly.
so to celebrate a freshly done labret piercing (!!!), we headed to the anticafé.
genius place. you pay for the time you stay here, and in that span of time you can eat as much as you want, get as many drinks as you want, play as many table games, use their plugs to charge your devices and get their wifi!!!!!! how genius is that.

so genius we had to go to the tour eiffel again.

# DAY 9. LAST DAAAAAY.

/crying ensues/
nah. quite the bitterness. we re-visited places we loved on our last day, found out the anon letters we had left @ shakespeare&co. had been flown out, managed to bargain bags of clothes because sales season, and wondered who the heck had cranked up the paris heat because we – or at least i – literally boiled down to a mess of blabbering, changed-for-life people.

this trip really did wonders to my soul – i come back incredibly enriched.
my heart & mind are fulfilled to the brim. i have seen so many new things that have fed them, enthused ’em, made ’em work.
i got so much inspiration, learnt – or remembered! – so much stuff: how to let go a little bit, how to truly relax, how to shoo away anxiety and stress and don’t let them stop me from enjoying, living life. i cleared my head out by having a break & discovered a couple things in the process, things i couldn’t see while going through my usual everyday pattern.
i now appreciate 1000% more the stuff i’m super lucky to have, the exceptional people i’ve had the fortune to meet – because i had been starting to focus on the wrong stuff.

and i know i won’t lose all of the crisp brightness of this feeling.
because just knowing that there is a place on earth where sparkling apple juice is a thing, where bohemien is next door, where even the air has a distinct smell, makes me happy enough. :)

-c.

5 thoughts on “tales from paris.

  1. James Charney says:

    Loved this too–sounds like you had the best time! But you said in your list “don’t take your camera”– so who took all these marvelous pictures?

    • C. says:

      @James:

      whoops maybe it didn’t come out clear. leave your camera at home or in your hotel room some days, but take it along some other. :)))
      i still love taking pictures!
      even if i wouldn’t define them ‘marvelous’…

      haha! thanks a ton! :)

  2. Gillian Elliott says:

    How I loved reading your impressions of Paris. Not only do you write with enthusiasm but you are a natural observer and your list of 50 things to do (and not to do) in Paris will be a great help to your fellow travellers. Go on travelling and writing. You have a flair for both.

    We have never met but I am a friend of Erika who kindly forwarded me your blog.

    • C. says:

      @Gillian:

      ohmygooood thank you SO MUCH!
      i hope i will be able to do that because travelling is one of the most awesome things ever.

      and yes, god bless erika. ❤️

      thank you again for stopping by! hope you will enjoy the next few bits :)

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