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September 6, 2012

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

After an amazing sleep (and incredibly well needed), we woke up early to make our way to the Louvre. We stopped at a cafe on “Voltaire Boulevard” for some Pain au Chocolat and tea and just to point out the obvious, yes, I ate chocolate bread pretty much every morning.

As we walked towards the most amazing museum in the world, I couldn’t help but pretend I was Tom Hanks following the Rose Line through Paris, eventually ending up at this large glass, pyramid. Except in our case, the sun was just rising over the structure, making it more beautiful than any other time of day. We waited in a short line for the doors to open, quickly bought our tickets, and drifted into the immense depths of the museum in search of the Mona Lisa. (PS – did you know you could take pictures in this museum? A bit odd, but we took advantage.) That Mona, she’s a popular girl (or guy?) as everyone was crowded around taking her picture. She sat there, with her slight smile, staring back at everyone. Who is this women?! Regardless, she was beautiful yet smaller than what you may think. We continued through the museum taking in all the ancient works and finally coming to Napoleon’s apartment, set up exactly to his liking with brilliant chandeliers and sky-high ceilings. Miraculous.

But alas, two hours in a museum it a bit daunting, and to be completely honest, we are not true museum people who could spend days there. So it was time to scoot. One the way out, we found the most American Americans we could find to snap another picture of us and headed back to the hotel to charge the camera. Yes, I took that many picture! On the walk, we noticed, again, how the streets were so beautiful with no obnoxious street lights hanging over the roads and the Mercedes taxis – so sleek.

30 minutes later, we were out the door again heading to lunch at Glou in the 3rd. (Did I mention I bought the best book from Anthropologie that we essentially lived on in Paris called Rather Paris – and they have them for other cities too! The book led us to Glou, thankfully.) We were able to see a quainter, homey area of the city with less tourists. We entered Glou and because my French was so fluent at this point, they gave us French menus – who would have thought! I’m terrible at French! All I said was “Deux, s’il vous plait. Merci.” So, proudly, we ate an amazing meal of clam pasta and a burger with the most succulent cheese. Although, Josh thought the burger was a bit sweet. And the wine was even better – Ze Pepe Red Ovaine. Perfect! Then we stopped for gelato at Pozzette because what is a great lunch without a great dessert. Chocolate Hazelnut and vanilla please? (I don’t even like ice cream, but I’ll tell ya what, I became a new person in Paris!) Then I bought a French notebook, because I like to write, and we walked a bit further passed the violinist (the love of my life) and a few accordian players (eh) right into Notre Dame. I got to pretend to be Esmeralda and explain to Josh who that was since he never saw the movie! (Diane, really??) It was quite the church…

We continued walking, and walking through the Latin Quarter to the Luxemburg Gardens, passed a million shops that pulled me in but I resisted. Then the first drops of rain fell and we had no choice but to make our way back to the hotel. Have you ever tried to walk quickly through rain in Old Navy flip-flops? Why, you ask, was I wearing Old Navy Flip Flops in France? Bad idea, right? Well, I kept slipping and tripping and I was just frustrated but THEN I saw the most delicious doughnuts and bread in a store window and all was right with the world again. And we finally made it back to the hotel, in one piece.

And yes, we took another nap.

But then we made it out to our first dinner and Paris. And I can’t even begin to describe how amazing and perfect this dinner was. We went to Racine’s in the 2nd (another Rather Paris recommendation). It was set in an alley with a million little restaurants squeezed together. It was difficult to find but after walking past 3 times, we stumbled into the wine and pig walled closet that was Racine. We picked a wine off the shelf (a sweet Pur Breton Cabernet poured into a perfect vase) as the waiter and chef shouted back and forth to each other and guests raved about the food. The chalkboard full of food was set at our table to look over and after getting the translation, a sausage, veal, and pigeon were delivered to our table. All remarkable. We cleared each plate fully, using the bread to make sure there was not a spec of sauce leftover. We even had room for figs for dessert. Yup, cleared that too!

Obviously, after the best meal we ever had in our entire lives (I love pigeon!), we needed to walk it off. So we took a stroll down to the Seine, back up towards the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night to finish off the evening. (To be clear, this was over a three-mile walk just to the tower so we really did work off our dinner.) We then waited in line for our first cab in the city (yes, waited in line because they do not hail taxi’s in France, they wait patiently in line.)

And after 11 miles in one day, we hit the hay in our perfect hotel room in the perfect city.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Whitney Breanne permalink
    September 6, 2012 6:13 pm

    violin guy= HOT! and pigeon really?!?!?! interesting!

    • September 7, 2012 11:04 am

      Violin guy – I know you would love him. He was the highlight of my trip. Also, pigeon tasted like Zach’s turkey. Nothing better in the world 🙂

  2. Barb Shellhammer permalink
    September 7, 2012 7:51 am

    OK….I’ll move there too…


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