Friday, July 26, 2013

Paris, 2013

At the end of April (yes, three whole months ago!), B and I snuck away to Europe for a couple weeks. It was wonderful and exhausting. For the first four days of our trip, we wandered around Paris. It was B's first time there, and I hadn't been since I was 8 years old, which meant I knew as little as he did about navigating the city.

Space Invaders in Le Marais
 We were initially a bit overwhelmed by the metro system (it is vast!), but preferred walking anyway. By then end of our stay, we had the layout of the city pretty well figured out. The Seine was a big help when trying to get our bearings. But even when we were lost, there was always something to see. We literally found half the famous landmarks of Paris by accident!

(Pro tip: If you cache a map in your iphone-- zoom way in and around anywhere you plan to go-- you can still use it while you travel around town. This helped out so much when we were navigating our way around the city. Seriously, it might have saved our marriage.)

La Basilique du Sacré Couer de Montmartre

Panorama looking down on Paris from Sacré Couer

Cimetière de Montmartre

A must-have photo in Montmartre for any Amelie fan.

We had a great time exploring. Our feet were blistered and we ate our weight in cheese and bread, but we got a real sense of the city. My favorite day was the one when we got to hang out with a friend who we haven't seen since our wedding, 3 1/2 years ago. She was a college roommate and good friend of mine, who moved to Holland after school. It was serendipitous that we were both in Paris at the same time. My friend's boyfriend had been in town for several weeks already and was able to show us around parts of town we hadn't seen yet. So fun!

La Fine Mousse. Sadly, I forgot to get a picture. This photo is from here.
We saw the canal for the first time that evening, which happily reminded me of the locks in Seattle. We grabbed some great craft beer at La Fine Mousse (which sounds hilariously like "Laughin' Moose"). This seemed like a rare gem after too many evenings drinking Kronenbourg 1664. It was still early when we went, and it was pleasingly laid back at that time.

Later that night, we made our way up to Le Comptoir Général. This place was pretty rad. We entered through an unassuming alleyway (which we would never have found just by passing by) and discovered a strange lounge/community center/brunch spot/thrift store (for real!). We got fruity mixed drinks and drank them on the patio which was overflowing with tropical plants. It was a great setting for catching up on lost time and a memorable spot that I'd recommend to anyone who is visiting Paris and looking for a quirky place to spend an evening. I hear the brunch is quite good too!

Waiting in line at L'as du Fallafel
This may sound funny, but our favorite meal during the entire trip was a falafel from this little spot. It was in Marais and we happened upon it while heading back to our apartment after a long day. Since B and I do not eat much meat, a hearty veggie-filled meal was a welcome change from the meat-heavy menus at many French restaurants. We later realized that both of us had bookmarked it when we first started planning our trip and forgot about it. Seriously, this might be the meal I have missed most since we've returned home. Yummmm. 

Our seriously tiny homebase in Marais 

After a full 4 days, we had a good feel for Paris and were ready to see more of France. We hopped on a train, and headed towards Beaune. But not without saying goodbye to the tiniest apartment I've ever seen.

To be continued...


  1. Beautiful pictures! I am planning a trip with my mom and daughter and I would like to stay in the Marais area, Did you like that area?

    1. Yes, very much! It made a good home base and felt like we were living among the locals more than with all the other tourists.