It was time. Cody couldn’t avoid it any longer.
We were going to Paris.
And guess what? He was going to looooooooove it.
Especially the Eiffel Tower. and especially the crepes. and Notre Dame. and a romantic cruise along the Seine. and the fooooood. Basically all the Frenchiest things he would embrace.
Guess he’s just a Parisian at heart. (heehee, just kidding sweets).
The trip was made extra sweet by seeing our dear friend Wafa, whose first question when we met her for dinner that night outside of a P’tit Monoprix was OF COURSE, “What do you need?” She’s always looking out for us, that Wafa, making sure we can replace our forgotten toothbrushes and find travel tissues for our colds, and stock up on jars of Speculoos and Mama Nova coconut yogurt.
Getting to see Wafa in Paris is definitely like getting the extra special icing on the cake, the one that looks as chic as fondant but also tastes heavenly and melts like butter in your mouth (DO you exist, extra special icing?). Our first night in, we joined her for Italian food at VaPiano in the Défense area, and got all caught up on three years in three different languages: 60 percent English, 38 percent French, and a smattering of Spanish (well, four languages if you count Cody’s ‘cowboy talk,’ which added “barn burner,” “slobber knocker” and all sorts of other things to Wafa’s repertoire that night, much to her amusement).
The next day we met her at the Versailles Palace (woohoo for new experience alert, boo for getting on the wrong train and arriving 40 minutes late…sorry Wafa) to be wowed by the conceit and swagger of past aristocracy. We got our voyeur thrill fix by admiring all the decadence and splendor from the disconcerting seat of modern times.
When we started to walk around the vast gardens I tired quickly because of course: pregnant. So I sat while Wafa and Cody debated about whether or not it would rain and whose presidential candidates were more ridiculous. I can’t believe we didn’t outright lose (I mean, no body was a winner, least of all you, world). Accepting I couldn’t stroll across the old royal’s excessive park grounds any longer, we got some pictures and then made sure to grab a bite at a Bretagne restaurant for galettes and cidre on the way back to our train.
After resting on the ride over and consulting our map, Cody and I took a detour and miraculously found our way to the foot of the Eiffel Tower. I have to say, I was IMMENSELY impressed by how much Cody liked it. After subsequent pictures we hopped on a dusk cruise of the Seine to observe all of the monuments by river and sunset glow, catching just the hint of sparkle starting to emanate as the boat was turning its back on the Eiffel Tower.
The next day we spent a lot of time getting lost, trying to make our way to Sacre Coeur. We did end up in the Montematre neighborhood eventually but grumbly stomachs called and we got a sit-down restaurant to serve us savory crepes before lunch time because a. pregnant b. american c. this neighborhood has gotten A LOT more touristy and a lot less French. Of course I forgot and ordered coffee at the beginning of the meal but the proprietor was all too ready to roll with the suggestion. My things have changed from that one waiter outside of Nantes looking aghast as I ordered coffee at the beginning of the meal.
And while we waited for our (delicious) meal, Cody made friends with a glistening furred puppy who just wanted to eat him up and vice versa.
Then we were taken in by the cheap but probably still overpriced tourist art and talked each other into buying our favorite colorful paintings of the Moulin Rouge (ensuring we’d have to at least stroll through the sex district the next day to see it in person) and a scene of Paris in autumn (which now that I have it framed and hanging at the end of my hallway, can no longer ignore what was, at the time, a charmingly skewed perspective of the horizon, foreground, and Tour d’Eiffel in the background, but it’s technically art so I can’t throw it away, right? agh, principles).
When we finally got to Sacre Coeur, we were surprised by an ongoing cheese and wine festival that brought out a lot of people in a lot of good spirits. We stopped at the steps leading down to the terrace in front of the cathedral and got to enjoy a gorgeous moment of sunshine overlooking Paris. For the best view of Paris, you’ve got to come to Sacre Coeur.
The next day before our flight home, we indeed found our way into the sex district to see the Moulin Rouge in real life. This is also where we struggled to get that just-right-lovely picture of the place on our phones as about ten others struggled to do so on the exact same piece of cement. Frustrated by that endeavor, we finished the morning by getting a breakfast of coffee and bread, and on the way home, in that very same sex district, found the only Christmas ornaments to be had in all of Paris in October. Merci, sex district. You saved the Christmas tree.
Oh yeah, we made it to Notre Dame at some point, where Cody was immensely impressed, and the people who graciously took our pictures asked if Cody brought me here to propose (“waaaaay ahead of you lady”).
What else on this trip? Oh, I also got us lost, a bunch, in the less touristy neighborhoods. No surprise there. That’s what Paris is for right? Being hungry and trailing a grumbly husband as you try to make sense of the street signs. Overall, I fared MUCH better than I might have seven years prior when I first roamed the streets of Paris and couldn’t read street signs in the U.S., much less in France.
All in all, it was a sufficient introduction to get Cody hooked on the beauty and the history of Paris and hopefully we’ll be walking these streets and popping into Le Louvre and Musée D’Orsay next year with a little one in tow.
|Mode||To and from||Overnights||Accommodation|
|Air||Round trip Sevilla (SVQ) to Paris (ORY)||Paris||Avalon Hôtel Paris Gare du Nord|
|Transportation||Useful phrases on this trip
|Airport Bus||Hello! I have a reservation under the name ___________.||Bonjour! J’ai un réservation au nom de __.|
|Metro||A small carafe of cider, please.||Un petit carafon du cidre, s’il vous plaît|
Day 1: Dinner in La Défense area
Things to consider buying: Speculoos cookie spread (it tastes best in France!), wine of course, chevre (goat cheese), tourist art in the Montmartre neighborhood, Christmas ornaments in the sex district apparently, and all the French skin care from any pharmacy