Paris: Part 1

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The first time I visited Paris, back in 2009, I had just finished my second semester of college French.  I entered the city feeling quite prepared to talk to anyone and everyone.

 I was traveling with 7 other college students from my study abroad program and we arrived in Paris early in the morning, around 8 or so.  After checking into our hotel, we realized that we were all starving and definitely needed something to eat before heading off for the day's adventures.

I quickly found out that the French only eat meals at particular times of day, so the restaurants around our hotel were only serving coffee at 10:30AM, because breakfast time was over.  After some wandering, we finally found a very cute little cafe that was serving a limited selection of food.  The waitress was a lovely older woman who regrettably only spoke French.  Well, regrettably for foolish me.

I started off confidently enough, but quickly realized I hardly understood a word from the menu or from her.  I was the only person in our group who spoke any French, so it was incredibly unnerving, and embarrassing.  In the end, the only thing I understood was that we could order hot cocoa and ham and butter baguettes.  So I did the only sensible thing I could think of:  I ordered one for everyone.

My favorite:  Pain au chocolat (or chocolate-filled croissants)

Yesterday, I had another sliced ham and butter baguette, and it brought back fond memories of my first trip to Paris.  My bumbling French, my wonder at this beautiful city, and my love for French pastries.

This trip has already been so much different than my first trip to Paris.  I have a family that includes a small baby, so I have spent a surprising amount of time in our hotel room while he naps.  And I have been surprised at how much that doesn't bother me.  I have had time to think, relax and read.  Then, when he is awake, we go explore the city with Adam.

A mostly family photo on the converted walking gardens.  So much airplane hair in this photo...

Our first day here, we had a wonderful time wandering an old railway track that has been converted into walking gardens.  We enjoyed it so much we went back the next day with the stroller and walked all the way down to Place de la Bastille. One of the things I liked most about the greenway was that it definitely felt like a local place.  Lots of French people taking an afternoon stroll.  I love feeling like I am enjoying the city like a local would.

 Place de la Bastille
A painting restoration studio.  I think this job would be so scary and so cool!  

Adam had some preparatory responsibilities the first few days, and Fox has been adjusting to the time zones, so other than those two smallish outings, we only ventured out for meals in the area where we are staying.  So on Tuesday night, we finally wandered downtown to the Hotel de Ville, across the river to Notre Dame, and then back past the Hotel de Ville for our praluline (a brioche bread with candied nuts in it), by the Centre Pompidou.  Adam has been telling me about the praluline for weeks, and it was great to finally try it.  It was delicious, and we found out that the store that sells them also has a location in Lyon.  We might go get one every week until we return to the US...


Our praluline
Walking over one of the many bridges in Paris

Yesterday, I had heard that the students were going to visit Notre Dame and they were going to climb the towers to the top.  It sounded like fun, so I met the group, and went up with them.  What a view!  It was gorgeous!  Historical landmarks stretching out in every direction, window-boxed apartment buildings, and the green river below.  It was quite a sight.

I guess Fox was not impressed with the view


Happy Thursday!  


3 comments

  1. I love this post! My husband served most of his mission in Lyon so I'll be closely stalking you all summer and vicariously living through you until we get to go in a couple years!

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  2. Sounds amazing! Glad you're enjoying your stay there! I mean who wouldn't?!?

    www.mylittlenest.org

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  3. That is absolutely amazing! I would love to visit someday. I'm glad you had a good trip :)

    Heather // lacepearlsgrace.blogspot.com

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