mom-mode post #189 – on trip of a lifetime part II
June 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
I don’t stop to be amazed at how my God continually answers my prayers and realizes dreams I’d had since childhood. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve longed to one day see Paris. Maybe it was when I started studying art in 6th grade and fell in love with the ballerinas of Degas. I longed to be bathed in culture, fashion and gourmet cuisine like Audrey Hepburn’s character in Sabrina.
Our first full day in Paris started off with a bit of that: the most amazing croissant, chocolate macaron and a cafe au lait, savored on a sidewalk table. I wrote postcards to my family, excited about the day had to offer. The husband and I taking turns talking, no interruptions. We knew we only had a limited amount of time in the city, so we circled on the map our top must-see sights and tried to hit those up first. If there was time leftover, we would try to do more. We took to the Eiffel Tower first. I didn’t think I was going to think it all that majestic. But it was. To think it was built a century or so ago, the beautiful ironed architectural details took my breath away. The husband was thrilled by the view you see from the top of the second floor. We decided to just take the stairs and not go all the way to the top. We planned to go to the top of the Montparnasse building the next night and see the tower and the city lit up. I tell you though that even from the second floor, the view was worth it and breathtaking.
We found lunch at this delicious tiny restaurant, Cafe Corrette. The dessert displays alone will have you salivating, but the pink packaging they put their sweet treasures in, is also to die for! Too bad we didn’t have time to sit down and eat there. We went back the next day for some more macarons. We decided to just take some pastries and the most-amazing-oh-my-goodness-melt-in-your-mouth macarons. After I tasted the salted caramel I was hooked. We ended up having macarons every day on this trip. Our little daily ritual. They were life-changing at every bite. We then took the metro to check out the Triumph Arc and the Champs-Elysee avenue. Beautiful, gorgeous street, but crazy busy. It was there, however, that my eyes spotted an H&M, towards which my feet started walking to, as if my mind had no control over them. The husband found a comfy place to sit and let me enjoy a whole hour of mindless meandering and shopping. I grabbed a handful of stuff to try on, but in the end only came out with a simple pair of little black flats. Does that ever happen to you? You finally get the chance (and a little budget) to go shopping at one of your favorite stores yet you can’t find a thing that you truly love to take home with you. Oh well, the flats ended up being the purchase of the trip, as I wore them every single after I got them! Quick note: yes I was in Paris and chose to shop at H&M, please don’t judge me.
That afternoon we still had time to go see the Sacre Coeur church. The whole area where this church is situated is just so charming. I had fun looking around the thrift stores and artsy shops. It was there I found the cutest eco bags as a souvenir for my sisters!
We had heard the Louvre had fewer crowds and cheaper rates on Wednesdays, for it stays open until 9:30. So we saved our evening for a walk through the Louvre. The entrance alone is a feast for the eyes. That glass pyramid is just so gorgeous. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you go in, they say it could take up to four months to go through it all! With that in mind, I knew I just wanted to go in and get a feel for this place and, of course, get a glimpse of Ms. Mona Lisa. She was tinier than I anticipated. But isn’t that with most works of art? They become so huge and famous, you picture them larger than life. “Tiny” as it was, this piece is indeed a work of art, and a cut above all the other pieces of that period. I was truly in awe.
After a stop by the gift shop where I scored the cutest hide-and-seek book about Paris for O, we went to look for some dinner. After much wandering around, the place we were looking for had closed down. We settled for a place near the Louvre. I had a yummy Quiche and the husband had duck with potatoes. Talk about dinner envy. I wanted his dish so badly! 🙂
Calorie-filled, we went on a fun walk, stopping by the Pont du Carrousel. A bridge where lovers lock a lock with their initials all along the sides of it. The atmosphere there was so fun. Young people had brought their picnic fixings, wine and guitar. The husband enjoyed taking pictures of this fun crowd, while I just got to sit down and think on all the day’s adventures!