Saturday, May 23

Jour 8 à Paris: An Afternoon in Paris

After a few days of having to hit the road early and be traveling outside of Paris, today we decided we just wanted to stay in Paris and bum around and do a few things we haven’t had an opportunity yet to do. So today we woke up at a more leisurely time, got ready and walked to Café de Flor for a wonderful breakfast. I love how the French eat straight bread and carbs for breakfast yet they don’t really seem to mind. Secondly- I’m allergic to gluten but the bread here in France has been so wonderful and fresh and pure that I have actually been doing wonderful: praise the Lord!

Our breakfast at Café de Flor was the best breakfast we’ve had, hands down. Mom and Kelly ordered café crémes and I ordered a chocolat chaud,  all of which were rich and delicious. Then we had to get the fresh squeezed orange juice and it was just that- freshly squeezed. Yum! To ‘start’ our breakfast we all split pain au chocolat et croissants which were light, fluffy and perfect. Then for the main meal we felt like we needed some substance besides straight carbs so we split two pieces of quiche; my mom makes wonderful quiche but this was by far the best quiche I’ve ever had in my life (sorry mom!). Another reason that breakfast was just perfect was the pure ambiance of the place. It’s obviously an iconic café but we were able to snag an outdoor bistro table and watch people go by on the streets. Although I could’ve gladly sat there and gorged myself on croissants and hot chocolate all day, we wanted to move on and get some real shopping time.

Shockingly enough we’ve been so busy sightseeing and eating that we haven’t spent any time shopping; and coming to Paris, the fashion capitol of the world, and not shopping surely must be a crime. We spent the afternoon walking and shopping. We went to this large market called Le Grand Marche and picked up some food for our picnic tomorrow night (we decided that on our final night in Paris which also happens to be my birthday, we would have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower). We bought meats, chesses (not super stinky ones this time because last time we bought super smelly cheese and my whole bag smelled horrendous), biscuits and some fruit before going to a smaller Ladurée to get a small box of macaroons for my birthday!

The rest of the afternoon we just stopped into whatever shops we wanted on our way to le Jardin Luxemburg since we hadn’t been to that garden yet. It was another wonderful park with lots of outdoor cafés, people sitting on park benches and chairs and families out for the sunny afternoon. We spent some time here sipping on a few glasses of rosé and enjoying the scenery before realizing that we had forgotten to buy baguette for our picnic tomorrow! At this point it was late in the day and all the boulangeries were closing! Talk about the horror. A Parisian picnic without baguette- there is no such thing! Luckily my fluency in French food came in handy and a shop keeper was able to point out a bakery that was still open and wouldn’t you know it, the bakery had just made their last batch of bread for the day! (We purchased two baugettes for safe measure…and the disaster was avoided).

We took a long way home and ran into a street market which was super cool, full of foods, herbs, spices, soaps and handmade gifts. I think that is some of the fun of traveling- having unplanned, random and spontaneous adventures that allow you to see a whole different part of a culture that otherwise you would never see.

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since we arrived. I don’t think I’ll ever have enough time here. I don’t want to be sad that it’s over, because we still have one more wonderful day ahead of us to enjoy the magic and beauty of Paris.