This is Us...In Paris
I think I am in croissant-shock from having been able to travel to Paris with my husband! I am STILL processing it all and soaking it in and really solidifying that week in Paris into my memory bank.
I can tell you that I "lost" or had my phone stolen like the first full day we were there. Either way, I was devastated and literally CRIED. I will spare the story, but let's just say that for a blogger mama who has like 4K photos and videos on her device at any given moment it was pretty bad. Poor husband tried to console me and I just wanted to get on a plane and go back to my girls. The first two nights I actually turned in early, jet lag, probably, phone loss depression- most definitely. Oh, and my Monthly decided to join us in the City of Light too. My trip to a Parisian pharmacy was for a box of O.B.s and NOT to peruse the shelves leisurely for fancy European creams that we had wanted to do. I hear French pharmacies have amazing products! If oyu know of any specifically share in the comments!
But despite the phone, insert ALL the emojis you would for that tragedy, and despite the somewhat unexpected arrival of the incredibly intrusive Aunt Flow, and despite major separation anxiety from my babies mixed with jet lag those first couple of days... there were some pretty incredible things that I loved about Paris.
People have asked me since getting back, "HOW was Paris?!" It's hard to answer really... Romantic, not really in the way you expect it to be, or should be, or would be. Apparently we were supposed to have kissed at the TOP of the Eiffel Tower? Husband's co-worker just asked us if we did that yesterday, I had no clue. I was a wee bit frightened by the heights and more interested in the views. Again, my poor husband. BUT, one of my very favorite moments from the trip that was so happy and special was sitting in FRONT of the Eiffel Tower, or is it behind, on top of a wall at the Trocadero at sunset and eating an hours old sandwich I had purchased at the boulangerrie by our hotel earlier that day. (In the video.) Or LEAPING in front of the Eiffel, or standing underneath it and looking at that thing in complete amazement, and literally zooming in on the foundation where there was moss growing in the grooves, also in the video. For me romantic notes seem to be discovered in the not-so- SO of ways. Seeing my husband get excited about a poster of his home country, Syria at the Louvre, and she with me some of his culture through art, seeing him stir in so. much. sugar. into his "caffe cremes," being able to hold his hand walking places... those moments were golden.
Other favorites were getting a container of fresh strawberries from the local grocery store by our hotel after checking in and freshening up and strolling along Richard Lenoir- which we learned after five days of staying in the area, is pronounced Risharre Lenwhaa... after many a metro train ride up and down Paris and hearing that stop name. We discovered a mutual LOVE for avocado toast not once, but twice on two different occasions- Cafe Frou Frou in Oberkampf and Fragments. We have now made it our mission to make a mashed masterpiece of the green stuff at home and a trip to a bread harvest is in order for me. If you have any personal recipes or hints for making the best avocado mash please share in the comments too!
Another absolute FAVORITE for both of us was visiting the Picasso museum. Big thanks to a pal who had messaged me some recs literally the DAY of me losing above mentioned phone, and also a local restauranteur who recommended the same museum. I had NO idea of the magnitude of Picasso's body of work, his activism in politics at the time, and his extreme TALENT in every medium. WOW! I could have stayed all day there.
Another memorable and special day was strolling randomly around our neighborhood of the hotel and popping in and out of shops on a gray day and having husband completely SPOIL me with a couple amazing pieces for my birthday. I absolutely LOVE fashion, and special pieces I know I will have FOREVER, that are made well, one-of-a-kind and unique just really mark moments in time and space for me. Thank you my dearest love...for treating me to Paris and for loving your bossy, strong-willed wife who wanted to see Paris for what she imagined it to be, fancy pastries in a beret in front of incredibly opulent doors with knockers the size of dinner plates, and resisting your simple request to see "Chinatown." I am sorry I was so rigid at first, and actually, THANK YOU for expressing how I wasn't being the best travel bud.
After a day at the Louvre, and all the "D-*ck art" as my husband called it, (insert the vowel you prefer), INCREDIBLE by the way, but you need to pick a couple things to see and get a taste of and know that there is no possible way you can see it all), we did venture a little further out of city center up to Belleville and we had some Chinese food and walked to Bellevue Park and took in some incredible scenery and local street culture.
I say every city has a smell, a vibe... To me, Paris is sweet, floral scented. Everything seemed sweet and moist and dewy. I couldn't get enough of all the trees in bloom! As you can see in the video, it was definitely a running theme for me that I kept naturally gravitating to. When I went back through my photos and videos, blooms, and petals were so apparent, I had to incorporate some music to match. The tunes I found for the video were also stemming, pun intended, from music I was introduced to while we were there. A song that played in the background in Frou Frou cafe, a perfect little place we stumbled on looking for another cafe called Bespoke, that turns out is no longer, thanks for telling us Olivier from the glasses store. The music I heard as we sat in the window, edifying our tired little bodies, our first meal after a LONG day/night of travel plays now in my video at that same moment. Also, can I just interject that do NOT get any travel books or read any blogs before visiting a place! I can't tell you how many times places were closed, or places that were suggested as off-the-grid turned out to be total touristy joints, probably because they all had the same books too. The BEST places we found, we found together just wandering. We didn't always get that lucky. There was that night we had to saw our personal pizzas and nearly get a bicep workout and then pay 70 EUR for it. That place was a real stinker. But overall, looking back on Paris, and even when I traveled to New York or travels from our honeymoon, I really do feel like tuning into your inner nose and sniffing things out is the way to go, at least for me. Make your own way. Don't take anyone else's itineraries or maps, sketch your own.
Another FAVORITE place was the Petite Palais! Ahhhh... I WISH I had gone there to start a morning and seen the art! We happened to be walking by late one afternoon and I was like, "Hmm what is this place?" It looked incredible. I HAD to go in. Husband was trying to work on the Velib app to rent bikes, we never did that by the way as it cost 300 EUR to reserve one bike and we didn't feel like messing around and tying up 600 EUR to skip around on a bike, so he said he'd rest under a tree and wait for me. After I stepped inside and saw their garden, I HAD to bring him in for an afternoon tea! The service was HORRIFIC, as like several other places, the French don't seem to pride themselves on customers service, but a beautiful afternoon nonetheless.
I finally compiled a first video! It took many hours, and a few days of editing, splicing, trashing, downloading, saving, and waiting, and redoing and praying later, but I did it! I am having so much FUN making little short films! I am SO shakey though, so apologies in advance. Hope you don't get vertigo from watching it! Please advise if you have any medical condition exasperated by swirling, whirling, Law In Order-style filming, you might want to take caution in watching.
I have more footage I want to work with and some stills that I want to preserve in a post, but wanted to share with you all a taste of what Paris was to us and answer without having to really explain, "How was Paris?!"
To my husband, I LOVE you more than I can express or know how to show in a super romantic, gushy sort of way. Thank YOU, MY husband for showing me many parts of the world along with you. In Paris: To see the concrete and moss around the base of the Eiffel, and ride the elevators up to the tippy top of it, figuring out the Paris Metro subway system together from Bologny to Place de Italie, savoring those DREAMY, AIRY sweets together in the rain in Le Marais, scoring seats to a PSG soccer game and being what seemed to be the only two in the place enjoying a beer while we watched, discovering that little place we had dinner that one night that is so special and then went back again another night because we had made friends with the owner, for getting me a chicken shwarma sandwich that night I was pouting and coming back to the hotel to share it with me even when i went to bed, for not batting an eye at me losing my tiny little handheld laptop and reassuring me we would get another and everything would be fine, for being my persona pack mule everyday of the trip and carrying all the coats and umbrellas and STUFF so I could just wear my tiny tampon-sized fanny pack that apparently was too small to hold my cell phone, for being stubborn back when we didn't see eye to eye on what we should do in Paris next and standing up for yourself when I was beyond moody at times, and for snapping that terrible pic of me at the French airport, which I have yet to see by the way, the one of me exhausted, disheveled, pretty sure my straw hat was crooked, irritated and TIRED after being "randomly" selected to be poked, prodded and completely embarrassed or searched, and about to board our final flight home. I love you. Here's to us in Paris and many more places!