The last several days of Jared and I’s European adventure were spent taking in Paris without any deadlines, which is something that I encourage you to do. We called them “fun-days,” something we knew that we would be a long time without once we returned home.
The first day of our fun-day was spent disrespecting Paris. That is, we didn’t go. We decided to stay in our timeshare and have dinner at a local restaurant.
You can call us 60 year old party poopers.
To start, we walked outside that morning and spotted a flock of geese who were primping themselves at a nearby lake. Due to the excess in left-over day-old pastries that I had acquired from my journeys, Jared and I decided to feed them.
But this nasty old-man goose thought that he was entitled to the loot.
So Jared shot him.
But not really, I just wanted it to sound dramatic.
Jared then realized that he was hungry and with the leftover kitchen essentials that we had accumulated, I told him I would concoct a beaut.
I called it “stale-penis bread over cheesy apple flambe.”
Ever since I was a young girl, I have dreamed of a magical land called Rainforest cafe. It was a restaurant full of wild animals, luscious green jungle, and indoor thunderstorms. I have always been mystified and tantalized by it’s offerings. More importantly, they have the best dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets in the world. Now, my memory may have a few alterations here and there, but this was something that would and will stay in my heart and mind forever. Those chicken nuggets changed my life as a child.
So, considering we had already fed killer geese and eaten stale penis bread, the only natural thing to do was go to this jungle sanctuary and feast on my childhood passions.
And that, my friends, is what we did.
We ate at Rainforest cafe.
And the jungle was as magical as ever.
But my chicken nuggets…..
WERE NOT DINOSAURS! I was furious. I started ripping the elephants tusks off and swinging through the artificial vines.
Then I sat in a corner and sobbed as Jared apologized to the innocent customers who were perfectly fine with their strangely shaped poultry.
I mean, I guess if you look hard enough, it kind of resembles an obese baby dinosaur. Maybe that’s what they were going for?
And then, I tried to get over it and focus on day 2 of fun-day, which would be spent gallivanting the city of love.
We had read impeccable reviews of the crepes at West Country girl, a hipster crepe joint a bit off the beaten path. We took several subways, got lost a few times, finally spotted it, and to our luck…
“No reservations, kids.”
Or rather, crepe.
Plan B wasn’t as exciting to me as the thought of goat cheese and caramelized walnut crepes, but I tried to make the best of it. Jared and I’s indecisiveness led us to a quaint little cafe very close the the crepe joint that betrayed us.
I couldn’t tell you the name, but I can tell you that it was absolutely perfect. The kind staff helped us navigate through the French menu and they were quick to accommodate to our needs.
Jared tried the purely French ham and cheese croque monsieur, which he stated was very, “cheesy.”
And I, not knowing truly what I had selected, oredered a phenomenal salad that boasted of fresh greens, corn, green beans, tomatoes, and toasts with goat cheese and honey.
Friends, it was fan-freaking-tastic.
It was one of those items that truly inspires your way of thinking. Taking such a unique variety of ingredients and creating something spectacular out of them is truly an art. It revolutionized my way of thinking about salad.
Our next stop, before you judge our sketchy actions, was recommended to us by a multitude of people. Père Lachaise is a magnificent world-famous cemetery built in 1805. It is the largest cemetery in Paris and the most visited in the entire world. It boasts the grave sights of many famous French individuals, such as the great Oscar Wilde.
The cemetery, although strangely eerie, was quite artistic and photogenic. I fell in love with the doors of the upright graves and subsequently went on a photographical frenzy.
But after a few minutes, we got bored.
And we decided to act like children.
The “hey, cool, I’m in a cemetery” pose.
The, “well honey, it’s time for me to go home” pose.
The entire time we were there, Jared carried around that suitcase. Nothing like a tourist carrying around a suitcase in a world-famous cemetery.
Well folks, that’s just how we roll. (pun!)
We left most of our childish immaturity at the cemetery and enjoyed a purely romantic evening along the Seine.
Parisian nightlife is magical.
Every element is romantic in some way.
Notre Dame in it’s glory at night.
The locks on the bridge overlook the church of Notre Dame.
It radiates class.
We had heard about a particular ice cream company that was a Parisian favorite. The Bethillon company, started in 1954, offers bulk ice cream and “by the scoop” on the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris. The world-famous ice cream is made with only natural ingredients and offers customers a unique taste sensation.
Say no more, I say.
Take me to my ice cream.
We found it.
And we got in line.
And then we realized that we were at the original store.
The one that only sold in bulk.
I mean, I had no problem with this bulk concept, but with lack of a freezer, Jared convinced me that it would not be economical.
Why do I ever listen to him?
So instead, we found a small ice cream shop that offered Bethillon and bought a measly cone.
I ordered the honey nougat. The flavor was so intense and pure. I appreciated the complexity of the flavor, while being produced so simply.
Jared’s caramel cone was equally as intense and complex. It tasted like cold caramel. It was rich, creamy, and delicious.
And then we were finished.
And it sucked.
As we left the isle, we admired the vintage menu boards and restaurants.
And then, we did it.
We did the most touristy thing that we could do.
We walked down the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees WHILE singing this catchy tune.
And, it was everything I had hoped for it to be.
The December lights radiated.
And Jared and I took a moment to forsake our safety and get a great photo.
Jared wanted to be superman.
And then decided to take his clothes off.
And then, I spotted Laduree, the world-famous macaroon/tea house/amazingly cute everything place.
I pushed Jared down and took off, and then I entered very elegantly.
I started drooling in the cuteness of it all.
The little bows, the pastel boxes, and the dainty-ness of it all made me crazy.
Even the champagne was adorable!
When it was finally my turn to order, I just looked at the saleswoman and stared.
“Can I help you, mam?”
Me: Uhh, umm, uhh, ummm
I just wanted it all.
Even the sign saying what flavor the macaroons were was absolutely adorable.
So I just freaked, and bought a few random things.
I just kept snapping pictures, attempting to stay on the down-low.
They are not a fan of picture takers in the French bakery scene.
I’ve been kicked out once or twice
I admired my beautiful purchases and off we went, down the Champs-Elysees.
And Space-jam was also there.
And, to our delight, a mile of Christmas markets lined the street.
Like, on either side.
We saw it all.
Things that I didn’t understand.
Things that I would rather not understand.
And well…other things.
Like for instance, this below.
I turned to Jared and said, “There is an animal in the microwave.”
“I’m not really sure if that’s ok….walk away, quick!!!!”
And giant marshmallows covered in chocolate.
And giant pita bread filled with chicken and french fries.
And Chinese fried rice.
Nothing made sense. We were in an iconic French city, eating American and Chinese food, while shopping at a German-themed Christmas market.
And they were microwaving animals.
It was the best day of my life.
And to top it off, we found this lovely piece of entertainment.
A ferris wheel finds its home at the end of the Champs-Elysees.
How convenient for us.
So we rode it.
And we were absolutely blown away.
I would say it probably would have been a good time for him to propose.
Better luck trying to beat that, lover boy.
All of Paris’ main sights were visible and glowed with a spectacular evening light.
And then, then, then,
We spotted the beauty of the Eiffel tower, all lit up and shining in glory.
And, my friends, don’t believe anyone who says it isn’t magical.
Because it is.
I mean, how CAN’T it be magical, they make lollipops of it.
AND KEY CHAINS!!
AND HANGING GINGERBREAD MEN!
You see, this is how easily distracted I get.
Our fun-day ended in the most spectacular of ways. We had experienced Paris as a tourist, but took it in as lovers. We spent the day gallivanting and romancing, by eating ice cream, dancing in the streets, and kissing on the ferris wheel.
It was magical.
We came back to the timeshare in shock of the things we had done.
And then woke up and did it all again for the last time.
To start, I introduced Jared to the best eclair in Paris.
We stopped at a bakery that has the supposed “best baguette in Paris” award.
And, OBVIOUSLY we purchased a baguette.
But, we also were tantilized by other culinary delights.
Like nutty sweet breads.
And big wooden structures full of bread.
Which contained this beauty.
And this stick filled with assorted meats and cheeses.
Jared appreciated their crafting of this meat-atarian selection.
And I got a box full of loving, that contained this beauty.
A luscious orange glazed sweet bread.
It was just what the doctor ordered.
And as I was munching away on one of the few green lunches I had consumed in the last four months, I stopped to appreciate the condiments.
Olive oil is to condiments and ketchup is to necessary.
Translation: Instead of ketchup packets in the US, Italy (and Europe) have olive oil in packets.
I vote Europe!
And then we stumbled upon this gem. (by accident)
Miss Cupcake, how absolutely relevant to my life.
And at that point, we were already miserably full and could not conceive putting anything else into our systems (let alone something sweet).
But, we didn’t care.
We went inside.
And gazed at the cupcake makers, admired the frosting technique, and smiled at the bakery display.
And we bought one and they put it in a precious paper bag.
“Christmas” was the name of this delightful looking cupcake.
We dug right in and were surprised to enjoy the rum-flavored frosting that topped the crumbly, yet slightly moist cranberry base.
And this girl likes rum.
I don’t care.
Now I’m really stuffed. I feel like I want to die.
Three minutes later, another bite.
(This is my life)
And per Jared’s request, we visited the famous Sacre Coher church that overlooks all of Paris.
We looked to each other and said, “yeah…it’s way better at night.”
And we went to the Louve, and Jared posed for the crowd.
(Hoping to attract a few extra Euros).
It didn’t work.
And we saw a bubble maker…make bubbles.
And it was super cool.
And we visited the famous Galleries de Lafeyette.
And we bought foie gras.
And more macaroons.
And Paris, Paris is fabulous. Paris is terrible. Paris is ok. Paris is spectacular. Paris is gloomy. Paris is lovely.
Paris isn’t anything until you make it something.
We chose to make it unforgettable.
Our list of “unforgettable” stops:
Rainforest Cafe (Paris Disneyland)
- West Country Girl (Best crepes that we never had) 6 Passage Saint-Ambroise Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
- Bistrot 67 (Back-up resturant with amazing salad) 67 Rue Saint-Maur Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
- Pere Lachaise (Famous cemetary) 16 Rue du Repos Metro: Pere Lachaise
- Berthillon Ice Cream (Well…ice cream) 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île Metro: Ponte Marie
- Laduree (Macaroons and cuteness) Metro: Many locations, see website.
- Ferris Wheel Metro: Concorde
- La Greneier a Pain (Best baguette in Paris award) 38 rue Abbesses Metro: Abbesses
- Miss Cupcake (A cupcake shop with my name! How cute!) 22, rue de la Vieuville Metro: Abbesses
- Galleries de Lafeyette (Famous department store) 40 Boulevard Haussmann Metro :Chaussee d’Antin-La Fayette
- Fachon (Foie Gras and Macaroons-Fancy food, great gifts) 30 Place de la Madeleine Paris Metro:Madeleine