here we go, guys. our first full day in paris. we walked a lot. saw a lot. and, yet, played it cool and easy and slow. it was the perfect balance of tourist shit + livin’ a little more like a local.
but, you guys, i can’t do the entire day in one post, i’ve come to realize. i’m gonna have to divide it up into multiple day 2 posts. so, this is day 2.1. are ya with me?
our parisian airbnb on rue mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement
the morning started not so early, given that we went to bed at 3 am. but, when i woke, i had to practically pinch myself as i opened my eyes, remembering that i was in paris. i parted the transparent curtains, looked out the window into the tiny square courtyard, and soaked in the little view we had… french voices, windows open, flower pots decorating the outsides of the buildings, dishes clanking, coffee brewing. it was sooooo parisian. and i loved it.
after dressing + locking the airbnb apartment, we went down to explore the courtyard area, and stumbled upon this little oasis.
and, then, when lina and i opened the door from the dark, narrow, ancient passageway that was our hall that led out into the street, we were greeted with a scene from a typical french movie.
i looked to the left, smiled and said “bonjour!” to the little man who had the cheese store just beside our door. he responded with a friendly bonjour and a smile! then, as i looked to the right, two french women were arranging the flowers that spilled out of their flower shop and onto the street. lina and i walked across the street, soaking in the vibes, and watched the flower ladies chat with the cheese man. all up and down the street, people were talking, laughing, moving about. lina and i were blown away. we were giggling and awe-struck and over-stimulated. and so excited that this was our little community for the weekend.
soon, kat arrived and led us through on our first walk in the neighborhood to a nearby-ish cafe, just outside luxembourg gardens. it was coffee time! of course, it took us foreeeever to get there on account of lina and i stopping to take pictures after every 10 steps or so. it was like i could barely contain my excitement. and everything was out of control gorgeous.
brunch + luxembourg gardens
it was gooooorgeous outside, so we sat on the sidewalk – as you do in paris and ordered cafe au laits. kat is hard core and ordered a double espresso. lina opted for croissants and bread and jam, kat decided on something with an egg, and i chose the croquet monsieur (ham, cheese, and bread with french fries), because YUM.
we took our time – as we did all weekend long – never rushing anything. just letting it all sink in and only moving on when we really felt ready. it was the perfect pace for absorbing the atmosphere + observing everything around us.
brunch was long and lazy and delicious. but, we decided to move on and do some exploring. as i mentioned, this cafe was just outside the jardin de luxembourg (luxembourg gardens). so, we decided to make that our first stop.
the gardens were created beginning in 1612 by the widow of henry IV, marie dé medici. she had the palace and fountain built, and today, what was once her residence, holds the french senate.
we wandered through the gardens, and joined the many others who just sat down on the grass somewhere. lovers embracing, families picnicking, friends gathering, tourists touristing. the perfect place to read or chat or just be. and everyone who was there was slowing down and doing just that.
notre dame, wandering, + beer in Le Marais
all rested up from hanging out in the gardens after lunch, we were now off to wander around and take in some sights. we decided to walk towards the seine, the river that runs through the city, and head over to notre dame. eeeek!
it was pretty incredible to be standing there, soaking up the view of this amazing, historic place. i mean, notre dame, you guys! after a few snaps in front of the cathedral, we decided to duck in and see the inside. unfortunately, it was closed until later on in the day. kind of a disappointment. but, at this point, we knew we’d be coming back to paris many, many times. so, in the end, it was no biggie.
we left notre dame and started wandering around. no plan, no ideas, just taking it as it comes. we ended up in the historic le marais neighborhood, where lina got herself a yummy banana + nutella crêpe.
le marais is historically an aristocratic area, making up the 3rd and 4th arrondissements on the right bank. interestingly, the le marais neighborhood is now known as a center for lgbt rights – something that we didn’t know when we are there. though, lina did find a pride doormat outside one of the boutiques.
as we walked on, we noticed a woman sitting at a cafe with a big ole beer and decided that it looked refreshingly good. so, of course, we ducked into the same cafe + ordered our own beers.
we ended up sitting there for hours, people watching, drinking beer, chatting, keeping up with the soccer game on the tv, eavesdropping on the danish dudes that were at the next table, and enjoying every second.
after sitting there for so long, i was super relaxed and put my feet up on the empty chair that was beside me. before long, the owner of the cafe, a big, bad ass-looking, bald woman came and tapped my foot, telling me to put it down. the thing is, i mentioned that my feet were up in the chair before the woman came over, wondering if it would seem “rude”. my cousin and lina and i all decided that it wasn’t a big deal. guess we were wrong!
the thing is, about 15 minutes later, without even knowing it, i put my feet back up on the chair. and the bad ass owner lady came by and looked pretty ticked off at me. i apologized profusely and downed my beer, making sure that my feet stayed on the freaking ground. oopsie!
we stayed so long at the cafe, even though i was close to being kicked out a few times (hehe), that we got a little sleepy and decided to order coffees before heading off again. plus i wanted to “make it up” to the owner by proving that i could sit with my feet on the ground.
caffeine pumping through our veins, we were now ready to head off again. we strolled the neighborhood, ducking in and out of cute little boutiques. the paris vibe was just so wonderful.
ok, my friends. that’s all for this post. clearly there is so much more to explore in the areas we visited. museums, art galleries, more historic sights. but, i am absolutely happy with all of the simple wandering we did. just soaking in the atmosphere and experiencing everything one moment at a time.
in my next post, i;ll be sharing how we spent the rest of day one. the late afternoon and evening. and it will be amaaaaazing. so, check back on monday – you are gonna love it. i promise. it was absolutely magical.
oh my god, i love paris!
weekend in paris series //
day 1 → here