I’ve finally been to Paris!
Seriously, have you ever met anyone who visited Paris and didn’t fall in love with it? Finally I got to see what all the fuss is about!
If you’re the type to skip ahead in stories and you don’t want to read this whole post, the short of it is: Paris was a fantastic three days and the perfect way to start our 4 months in Europe. But to tell the full story let me back up to the beginning…
After spending a wonderful weekend with my family at our Upstate NY lake house on Seneca Lake, we drove to Toronto on the 24th. (My first time driving over the boarder and I didn’t get strip searched- hooray!) Casey and I had our last day at LinkedIn on Monday the 25th and were very grateful to see the familiar faces of our Toronto colleagues before we embarked on our trip. (Thank you, Perry for everything!)
That evening we took a redeye to Paris. To say I was emotional would be an understatement. Fear, excitement, anxiety, and a little bit of doubt crept into my mind as we boarded our AirTransat flight (where’s the Xanax prescription when you need it?!).
The flight was the longest 7 hours of my life. If you’ve ever taken a redeye you know it always seems like a good idea up until the point that your legs are cramped, your neck hurts and you realize there’s no shot in hell that you get more than an hour of sleep. Couple that with the fact that Casey and I weren’t even sitting next to each other and my anxiety was so bad I thought I was going to throw up for the first two hours… It sucked. (I did get to watch Zootopia and four episodes of Arrested Development for free so I guess not all was lost).
But then we made it! We made it to Paris! My first time in Europe and officially the furthest I’ve been from home. Customs was a breeze- actually too easy if we’re being honest. We were asked no questions and our passports were almost immediately stamped. (Mayyyyyyyyybe just maybe with all that’s going on they should look into improving this? Just a suggestion.)
From there we took the metro to our fantastic (read: sarcasm) Airbnb. If you haven’t read that vent session yet, you can do that here.
But for this post we will focus on the Paris outside of our apartment…
The first night we wandered around Montmartre and ended up on the steps of Sacre Coeur, which by many of our friends suggestions was a must-do in Paris. We loved it. For 2€ we bought some beer and watched the sunset over the city. This is what this trip is all about. Not crappy flights or less-than-ideal living conditions. Sitting on those steps watching the world go by with Casey finally put my mind (and stomach) at ease.
(Speaking of stomach, we were pretty spoiled in Paris. Our amazing friends Ariel and Danny gave us the most incredible gift before we left for our trip and paid for us to have dinner at Ciasa Mia, which is a Michelin Star restaurant in Paris. Without a doubt the nicest thing anyone has done for us and we are still talking and dreaming about this meal! Thank you again Ariel & Danny!!!!)
The rest of our time in Paris was filled with walking, bread and a lot of touristy activities. We did the standard stuff: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, the Louvre (well, we stood outside and took pictures, but that counts), Notre Dame (same as before, plus add some heavily armed guards), etc etc etc.
To be honest, my favorite part of Paris wasn’t all of that sight seeing mumbo jumbo. Yes, seeing the Eiffel Tower in person for the first time made me squeal like a schoolgirl, but It was the less flashy moments that made me love Paris. It was laying down in a park to get some work done, FaceTime our families and take a little nap during the middle of the day and it was the picnic with bread, cheese and two bottles of rosé that we had at the Eiffel Tower while watching the sunset on our last night. Those are the things I will take with me long after this trip is done.
The last thing I will say about Paris is that while I’m extremely happy that we had those three days, I was really really excited to head to Spain. Paris, while timeless and beautiful, did a number on our daily budget ($50/day does NOT get you very far) and we were very ready for less walking and a lot of beach!
To Spain we go!