Sunday, May 24

Jour 9 à Paris: A Parisian Birthday

Your birthday only comes around once a year, so you might as well enjoy it. Well this year I can whole heartedly say that I enjoyed every moment of my birthday. Waking up in Paris is a wonderful feeling. Waking up in Paris on your golden birthday is a whole other wonderful feeling. It was another bright and beautiful morning but being a Sunday it was quiet. Kids weren’t running around outside playing and people weren’t rushing off to work; it was slower, quieter and quaint. 

The cafés open later on Sunday so we ate a quick bite in our apartment before heading out to my birthday treat: a French baking class! La Cuisine Paris, a French baking school, offers cooking and baking classes in a multiple of different ‘themes’. We chose to do a morning baking class where you learn to bake some of the most iconic breakfast pastries: croissants, pain au chocolat, pinwheels with jam, cinnamon twists, and raisin bread. 

Emilie was our instructor and led the small group of us in making the perfect pastry dough to make fluffy French pastries. What I found out: it’s all in using rich high-fat content butter and fresh unprocessed flour. We sifted, rolled, folded and patted the dough until it was perfect. We set that dough aside and she brought out pre-made dough as it has to sit for hours before use. Then she started instructing us on the fun techniques to make all the different pastries.
In the end we had wonderful, warm, rich and gooey pastries that we got to enjoy with our tea and coffee plus we got to take the extras home!

 The class was lots of fun, Emilie was a wonderful instructor and I have to say I was highly impressed by our baking skills in the end. I wish that I could eat like that every morning and a) not get sick and b) not gain 50 pounds in a year! Wouldn’t that be a great birthday wish?!

After packing up our extra goodies we left the school and spent the afternoon in Paris! Sunday is definitely a quiet day and some of the shops are closed but I found it enjoyable and fun to just walk around the city (and buy myself a few birthday gifts too). 

Mom asked what else I wanted to do on my birthday and I honestly just loved the Jardin Tulleries so much, I just wanted to go back there and enjoy one more bottle of rosé before having to leave tomorrow. Sunday at any park in Paris is amazing because it is the epitome of rest and relaxation. There was live music, tons of families having time together, people reading, couples laughing and talking…it was just so different than what my typical Sunday looks like back in the States that it was so relaxing and wonderful- plus the rosé was amazing as usual!

Following our afternoon shopping and sitting in the park we returned to our apartment to get organized and pack up our belongings. After getting things together we packed our picnic bags, grabbed a few blankets from the couch, a wine opened and our coats and headed out towards the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower and watch the lights come up and sparkle and that is exactly what we did. Kelly bought a bottle of champagne this week to toast my birthday and we enjoyed our picnic on the grass.

 As it got later and darker it was just a matter of time before the Eiffel Tower came to life and sparkled for the first time tonight and not too long after sunset, she came to life and sparkled. It was an amazing sight and it was the most perfect way to end the most perfect trip of the most perfect birthday a girl could ask for.

All I wanted for my birthday this year was to sit under the Eiffel Tower with a macaroon and a glass of champagne, and my wish came true tonight. This has been the most wonderful week ever. It makes me incredibly sad that tomorrow morning we will have to pack up and leave this wonderful apartment and this beautiful city but as Dr. Seuss once said, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. So I reflect on this trip with smiles and memories that will laugh me a lifetime, especially because I got to take them with family. I’ve loved every moment and will dream of Paris from now until the day we get to meet again.