48 Hours: To Paris and Back

Before we started this little adventure called Vienna, a few discussions needed to happen. We covered topics like language, the dogs, leaving our friends and family behind, etc. But when all was said and done, the most important decision we needed to make was “where will our first trip be?” My immediate, and very surprising, answer was “PARIS!” Paris, let alone France, was never my dream. Sure, I’d always thought we’d fit it into a longer holiday. But to focus in on Paris alone? Unexpected. 

We settled into Vienna, took classes, explored districts, and hunted for the perfect apartment. Within the first 3 weeks, it became apparent that my next trip was back to the US. Paris was on hold. Our first wedding anniversary came and went without the hoped for Parisienne adventure. And within a month of my return from Seattle, I headed back to the US for another three weeks. 

Finally the time came for us to make it happen. I AM IN LOVE!! Paris, within the first few hours, took a hold of my heart and said “MINE.” We stood on French soil for a mere 48 hours, and this is what we did.

First and foremost…. FOOD

I don’t know anyone that visits Paris and thinks… Hmmm, maybe I want to eat Brazilian food. While it wasn’t our intention to do so, we stumbled upon a little 4-table spot just up and down the hill from our flat. With a kitchen still open at 11pm, we certainly weren’t going to say no. And the stop was well worth it! Rich red wine, seasoned and cured meat, flavorful rice, and a few ladies sitting right by us chattering away in Portuguese to complete the setting. If you are ever there, swing by Carajas on rue Trois Frères. We certainly weren’t disappointed!

Macarons are favorite treat for me. We even opted to join the trend of macarons for our wedding favors two years ago. With flavors like caramel apple, pink champagne, salted caramel, and berry you can’t go wrong. After Paris, my world is forever changed. Coco steered me to Ladurée to experience flavors I have only dreamt of. It took a while for me to settle on a few, but I walked away with a selection of blissful floral flavors. The beautiful box contained geranium, orange blossom, rose, and lemon. Coco added in coffee, salted caramel, chocolate, and lavender. 

The stunning presentation topped the whole experience off. I’ve always been painfully aware that I am an 80 year old woman inside. Stepping inside the stunning salon just solidified that notion. 

Sightseeing, of course

We walked that city like the day would never end. We wandered from Sacre Coeur in Montmarte to the Champs-Élysées, the Flame of Liberty to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame to La Promenade Plantée. We covered 14k of that city. I felt like we could go another 14k, if needed. Beside sitting in the gardens of the Eiffel Tower, my favorite spot was certainly La Promenade Plantée. A former railway line turned green space for city dwellers to walk feels like a private garden tour. With murals strategically placed on sides of apartment buildings, I was taking in my own secret retreat. 

Lessons Learned

As we learned while in Salzburg, ALWAYS TAKE THE STAIRS. Luckily, there is no shortage of stairs to climb. The metro stop at our flat boasted 92 steps up. We then descended 43 stairs. Half a block later we took 49 steps up to our 3rd floor flat. We wandered further and further up through Montmarte, turning left or right at each street and taking the following set of stairs. No destination needed, just determination and leg strength. The moments you find are well worth the energy. 

I am certain that this is just the first of many weekends spent wandering the streets of Paris. 

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