My cousin lives in Paris. And back in September we were chatting with each other about how long it had been since we’d seen each other. For a few years we did so good getting together. We spent a long weekend with her in Paris, she came to Sweden twice, we met up in NYC one summer, and we had a week at the beach with our entire family. She even celebrated Thanksgiving with us in Sweden a few years ago. But, this past year and a half, we sadly haven’t crossed paths at all, whether in Europe or the States. So, back in the early autumn, she invited us to visit her for Thanksgiving in Paris.
I hopped online + snagged two super cheap tickets to the city of love for the last weekend in November and – boom! Thanksgiving was set!
This is the beauty of living in Europe. It’s possible to find cheap tickets and it’s possible to travel for a weekend somewhere without missing any work. Something that I do not take for granted. And, honestly, something we have just recently been able to really start to take advantage of (for various, too long to explain, reasons).
So, last weekend, Lina and I left work at noon + headed to the airport. A little beer + snacks while we waited, and then a short 2.5 hour flight directly to Paris!
We hailed a cab, me using the tiny, tiny little bit of French that I could muster, but soon resorted to English + google maps to help the driver understand where we wanted to go.
My cousin lives in the 18th arrondissement, Montmartre. The artsy, charming neighborhood sitting on a hill above the rest of Paris. Made of cozy, tiny streets. Filled with boutiques, art, cafés, and history. It has a funky, old world vibe. I can almost see the people, horses, carriages of days gone by. I can definitely feel their energy + vibes. The perfect, perfect setting for me to be filled with inspiration + creativity.
The taxi drove us through the teeny, tiny little streets, up the hills, around the curves, and squeezed the car between people, buildings, and mopeds. And we were dropped off right at my cousin’s apartment doorstep. It was absolutely idyllic.
After chatting for a couple of hours, we decided we were famished, so we headed out to find a café. Of course, that’s not hard to do in this neighborhood. Even at 10 pm – as it was when we left the apartment. The tiny city streets were bustling with people: walking, eating, drinking, laughing, enjoying a late Friday night out.
We snuggled into the corner of a café and ordered a bottle of red (and a glass of white for my love, who has had a bad relationship with red wine since she was 14). The thing I love about Paris, which just might annoy me any other place, is that there was no space in any café I visited. Tiny tables are crammed close to each other + people spill out all over, backing into each other, letting chairs bump into each other, and not even giving a damn. In the most relaxed way. And it just makes it all so… cozy.
Dinner done at about midnight, we wandered to another spot to enjoy one more drink before heading home. Because, why not?
Saturday was our big Thanksgiving day. But since we were out so late, we all slept in and woke around 10-11. Lina and I slept on the floor of the living room on a kick ass air mattress, and when I woke up + gazed out the window, I saw the streets of Montmartre in the daylight. And, the view out of my cousin’s cozy 4th floor walk up was classic, classic, classic Parisian. Be still my heart.
We drank coffee + prepared a few things for the Thanksgiving dinner later on. Then we headed out for a walk + to find some food. We wandered through the area and ended up at a cozy, funky spot below Sacre Coeur. Once again, we ordered a bottle of red…. but this time Lina joined in. She’s conquered her red wine issue! Then, we settled into our corner for a 3 hour lunch. Nothing hurried, nothing rushed. Just amazing conversation, laughs, and some quality time together.
We sauntered towards my cousin’s apartment afterwards at twilight, stopping along the way to take photos, pick up a few items for the dinner, and explore a few boutiques.
My cousin, Kat, invited some friends over for Thanksgiving as well, so we were packed into her little apartment. All warm + cozy. Feeling festive, with the familiar smells of Thanksgiving diner filling the air. We drank bubbles + wine. Talked, laughed, and ate ourselves full. Exactly as it should be.
It was another late night, of course, so we slept late again on Sunday. As we got ready, Kat cleaned up the kitchen, and then we headed out to brunch at a place that had been recommended by Kat’s friend the evening before.
Holy brunch, y’all. This was absolutely the absolute best brunch I’ve had in my whole life. No lie. The best. And it was so cheap! First, they came with cappuccinos, juice, and pain au chocolat. Then, came the plate. Filled with egg, bacon, potatoes, salad. And more bread. I ate my entire fucking plate (doesn’t often happen!). AND ate all of my pastry too (almost never happens!). It was so indescribably scrumptious.
For the rest of the afternoon, we wandered more. Up + down the streets + hills. Seeing art, beauty, and inspiration everywhere I turned. Into little boutiques. Including one filled with spiritual tools + vibes that just opened the week before by an American couple who followed their dream to move to Paris. And, finally, settled at a café to share one last bottle of red together before heading to the airport for a late night flight.
The weekend was short, and yet, it felt perfectly long. All we did was eat, drink, and be merry together. But, that is all I ever wanted. To just be together. To just enjoy the atmosphere, the vibes, the authentically Parisian mood of it all.
Lina and I landed back in Sweden at midnight and were in bed by 1:30. Feeling exhausted, content, inspired, and so very grateful for our weekend Thanksgiving in Paris. Definitely an amazing way to kick off the holiday season!