after the previous day’s shenanigans + magic, we were so ready for another day. however, once again, we were not ready too early. i mean, we were on vacation, ya know. so, we had another slow-ish morning, taking our time getting ready before heading out.
day 3 began with lina and i taking off on our own. we planned to meet up with my cousin, kat, for brunch at a place between her place and ours. it was just a short 10 minute walk between us, so we felt confident we could find it on our own. well, yeah, i felt really confident. i’m actually a bad ass when it comes to directions + maps + knowing where i am. hehe. here’s what happened…
a sunday morning in paris
i had one of my moments as we walked through the streets of paris that morning. i just got swept up in the beauty. overwhelmed by the fact that i was living out something i had dreamed of since i was a little girl… it was absolutely simple, and yet so meaningful. i mean, just look…
well, we reached the cafe only to realize that it as closed, so, since we all wanted to eat croissants, we headed to a bakery just by my cousin’s apartment.
the place was tiny and hot and filled with parisians coming in to buy their croissants + baguettes to take home. i wish i could have bottled the smell and the humidity and the freshness. and while i am mentioning baguettes, let me just tell you… the myth is real. parisians literally walk around with fresh baguettes sticking out of their bags. it was freaking amazing to see. and to experience. i mean just look at this delicious goodness…
and notice the woman walking away with her baguette in her bag. it’s for real!
so, my cousin busted out her french and ordered us three pain au chocolat, two cafe au laits, and one double espresso. we walked down the road a bit to the luxembourg gardens (we like it there!) and snagged three of the lean-back chairs. all around, people were enjoying breakfast, sailing boats in the fountain, reading, chatting, walking, sipping coffee.
i mean. breakfast in the luxembourg gardens. i was diggin it.
after breakfast it was time for a new adventure: the metro! we were off to the eiffel tower!
a visit to the eiffel tower
suddenly we were there. just under the eiffel tower. moment after moment, i could not actually comprehend what was going on. i was so excited, and yet, it didn’t feel real at all. it was so surreal, and i was thinking, “i’ve seen this in books and on tv and in my dreams”, and here i was.
the whole area around the eiffel tower was way less commercialized than i imagined, which made me so happy. yes, there were some street vendors selling some things, but all in all, it was just the tower there, with security fences around it. it felt real and authentic and not so overrun with tourism, even though it is such a hot spot in paris.
we chose not to go up it, but instead, took massive amounts of photos just under it. it was the perfect choice.
where to next was our next question. so, we stood on a street corner, discussing our options. wanting to have a plan, and yet, not, all at the same time.
we decided to head over to montmartre, but we needed the metro and kat didn’t know exactly where the closest one was. of course, lina and i had no idea. and none of us had access to the internet or anything. so, we asked a man, his teenage son, and a little boy. as they gave us directions we pretty much all swooned at the parisian greatness that was this little family, clearly having picked up baguettes to take home and fresh flowers to give to (most likely) the mother who was waiting at home preparing coffee. at least, i think this is how it was. sooooo sweet.
after gathering ourselves together, we were off and on the metro again.
when we got to the montmartre area, we decided we were hungry, so we stopped at a cafe for a bite to eat. delicious food again. water. and coffee. we wanted a beer, but decided to walk a bit and then stop. there was so much to see.
montmartre is in the 18th arrondissement of paris, on the northern side of the city. it is situated on a big hill (hence the name… mount of the martyr) and has been known as an artist’s area filled with night life and inspiration. this is where la vie bohème was lived out. the funky, bohemian, passionate, artsy way of life.
as we wandered, i just had to duck into a little french bookstore. i couldn’t read much of anything in there, but i felt the vibe. it made me just want to find a cafe, order a coffee, pull out my moleskin, and just write away. i could feel the ghosts of writers and artists past.
we kept climbing the streets that wound through montmartre, getting closer and closer to the great basilica of sacré coeur. even though we were in a completely other part of paris, far from our 5th arrondissement home, everything was just as beautiful as ever. everywhere i looked. i mean seriously…
and then, we arrived to the top of the hill. (or little mountain!). and there was sacrè coeur, an important political and cultural center for the french.
we wandered around outside, with tons of other tourists, and soaked in the incredible view of the city. a man stood below the crowd sitting on the steps, playing a guitar and creating a little drum circle/festival vibe. it literally felt like a little love fest to me. i have no idea why, but that feeling just came over me. it must have been the artsy/bohemian vibes.
the man was singing “what a wonderful world” and, for that moment, even though there were so many people from all over, i forgot about the terrorism, the hate, and the violence that exists in the world. in this very public, very vulnerable place, i felt safe and connected and inspired. instead of feeling any sense of fear of violence or attack, i felt only love and community. and a tiny twinge of hope rose up from within me.
we began our descent down the hill in search of the way to the moulin rouge theater and some beer. but, you’ll have to wait for all of those photos, but a ton of more adventures from later on in the day, in my next paris post.
for now… let’s just end this post on the top of this incredible, historical mountain overlooking paris. filled with a sense of wholeness, community, and inspiration. and dedicated to keeping a tiny bit of the bohemian way of life alive in each of us…
creating, loving, pursuing arts, challenging beliefs, wandering, making music, expressing ourselves, living simply + passionately, questioning the status quo, engaging in conversation, opening our minds, slowing down, and embracing our inner literary, deep, gypsy hippie.
La vi bohème!
weekend in paris series //
day 1 → here
day 2.1 → here
day 2.2 → here
day 3.2’s adventures + photos + stories will be posted on wednesday. stay tuned!