Paris - Day 1
After landing late and UBERing to our hotel just after midnight, we were completely exhausted but we had to stay up a little longer to meet our friends Krysta Norman and Stephanie Messick who were flying out the next morning! Because how often do friends Parisian adventures overlap with each other? When I saw Krysta a few days prior to our trip for Julies wreath making workshop and late night drinks, we ended it with a "see you in Europe!"
We checked in to our hotel, the Crowne Plaza Paris Republique, sat down for about 2 seconds and headed out the door to Les Philosophes in Le Marais to grab a quick glass of wine with two very lovely ladies. Although at this point it was nearing 1am, luckily for us they closed at 2 so we had a little bit of time to sit and chat!
Krysta and Stephanie being the angels that they are greeted us with french wine, macarons and a lovely bouquet of white tulips. Se Magnifique!!!
I ordered the french onion soup, which, to my delight, is only "onion soup" because...you know...we were in France. That fact tickled me more than it probably should have but still tickled me nonetheless.
After they closed and we headed out, belly full of french bread, wine and onion soup hugged our goodbyes-got into separate Ubers and wished them safe travels! We then went back to the hotel as our Uber driver taught us the proper ways to say a quick few phrases and promptly fell fast asleep.
Later that morning (or should I say around 12pm) when we finally made our way up and out we explored a little bit of the courtyard of the hotel which was of course empty due to the fact that it was cold and grey outside (but still beautiful!) Having been in Paris less than 12 hours (and most of the sleeping) we were already so energized to explore the gorgeous city!
We headed across the street to Cafe Republique for espressos and lunch/late breakfast. Sitting at our first official Parisian cafe sipping espresso was incredible. Listening to the bustling city just outside, having incredible french food and a glass of wine at what would technically have been 6:26am at home. It was all so perfect!
Afterwards we decided to stroll along Boulevard Du Temple to do some exploring and shopping. Since we were still adjusting to jetlag we decided to keep it local and just do some shopping, espresso drinking, eating of all the fine fromages relatively close to our hotel. The beauty of it was that our spot sat just north of the touristy areas but still had everything we needed so we could adapt gently to Paris without being overwhelmed and without having to tackle the metro on our first day!
We strolled along the cobblestone and brick streets and popped into any place that seemed cute. Which, unfortunately was almost everything. One of our first stops was a store called Bon Ton which was a gorgeous multi-level childrens shop that is what I imagine Anthropologie would be if it sold childrens wares.
There were childrens berets, books, decor, toys and games. All charmingly french and adorable but the piece de resistance was upstairs tucked in the back of the store-an ENTIRE room of Wes Anderson film inspired childrens clothes. If you know me at all, you know I have an intense love of Wes Anderson films-Moonrise Kingdom being one of my absolute top faves. They had an entire wall of Moonrise Kingdom inspired clothing that had I a child or room in my carry on, would have taken the whole rack with me.
We picked up a few small items to take with us that were wrapped beautifully by the store and strolled along a little further until we were stopped in our tracks again.
At first, the store looked like a bookstore/library cafe where couples and groups of people lounged together over coffee and chatted away or read books. But as we passed, there was a hidden courtyard that looked like the entrance to a hotel that revealed the main entrance of the store and a courtyard full of flocked christmas trees and a little red car with white monkeys dancing on it. No, really...
We then decided we had to step into the store and look around. The best way I can describe it is like Fab.com meets Anthro meets an old bookstore meets a bespoke jewelry store. We didn't even venture onto the 1st or 3rd level as there was still so much to see, and again, not much room in the carry on.
We traipsed along the boulevard a bit farther popping into shops here and there, taking pictures of all the beautiful, large, vibrantly painted doors that seemed so welcoming out of the cold. Then we popped into a little patisserie for an eclair and meringues and as it started to rain, ran over to Cafe Canaille for some more much needed espresso, wine and a charcuterie board.
As the rain fell we mapped out our dinner plans and decided we should head over to a spot called Frenchie wine bar in the 2nd Arrondisement. There are apparently 3 different places called Frenchie on Rue Du Nil-the restaurant, the carryout spot and the wine bar. When the Uber dropped us off we had a brief moment of panic after walking up to the 1st two before finding the wine bar. The despair as evidenced on Bethannes face-
Because we winged most of our dinner plans while in Paris, we had to wait for a table but that was totally ok with us! We grabbed a couple glasses of wine and a spot at the bar to people watch. The bartender was the absolute sweetest and chatted with us while she cut into fresh, crusty bread fresh out of the oven and even took a picture for us!
When we did get a table we ordered everything delicious off the menu, I had grilled squash with roasted pumpkin seeds, the burrata topped with avocado and the most peppery red wine in existence. Bethanne got the gnocchi and apple pie and I topped it off with the chocolate pot and more wine.
With bellies full and happy we strolled down the Christmas lit street and headed off to meet our Uber. Our first 24 hours in Paris was delightfully wonderful and everything we could have imagined and more! If you are planning a trip and wish to avoid the tourist traps on a busy day, I highly recommend the Folie-Mericourt area, the 2nd arrondisement and Le Marais for shopping and eating your way around the city. I have my eye on a few things at some of the shops I'll have to return for in April!