06 April 2014


Before heading to Tours to start my month of language classes, I spent a fabulous week (March 26-31) in Paris with Mom and Laura. We were also joined for part of the time by our old neighbor Nora, who came up from Lyon, and by Maddy.

It's impossible to complain about spring in Paris.


Though it did make my feet hurt! We walked miles and saw everything.

La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.

We couldn't visit the park behind the Notre Dame because a crew was filming a remake of Rosemary's Baby. Sadly, they didn't need any more extras.

I'd been to Paris once before but only for a day; I fell more in love with every step I took.

Île de la Cité.

Un pique-nique au Jardin du Luxembourg.

We peeked inside countless churches; this one was called Saint-Jacques.

Finally found the metro station we needed.


La Basilique Sacre-Coeur.

Quartier Montmartre was where I decided that I need to live in Paris someday (and want to drastically improve my French in order to do so).

Laura was not a fan of the graffiti.

Montmartre was also absolutely the best place for sitting, drinking wine, and people-watching. for hours.

Dusk by Place des Vosges in Marais, the neighborhood where we were staying.

Morning at Strada Café... Du fromage blanc avec du muesli maison et un café au lait. <3

Laura started a photo project: the cool doors of Paris. Turns out there are quite a few.

Took an embarrassingly touristy photo at the Louvre.

Clearly I'm not original.

I was excited to come across the bridge over the seine famous for the thousands of locks attached to its chain link, each placed by a couple to represent their love.

I think it's cool how different each bridge is from the next.

We were in paris over 48 hours before we even glimpsed the Eiffel Tower; is that some sort of record?! 

First look.

Hôtel de Ville de Paris {the mayor's office and city government}.

Lunch in the Marais at L'As du Fallafel. :) :) :)

And VEGAN FOOD at Le Potager du Marais! Even the "cheese" was delicious.

We saved hours of waiting in line by climbing the Eiffel Tower's stairs instead of taking the elevator. who needs lifts anyway?

Mom conquers her fears.

An old literary hangout.

French motto + tattered EU flag.

The oldest church in Paris.

Musée de Orsay.

Rue de Grenelle is the setting of my favorite book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog {L'élégance du hérisson}.

Mom and Laura were incredibly accommodating and helpful in Maddy's and my weird goal of recreating a photo we'd seen on the internet several years ago, of two girls' backs in front of the Eiffel Tower. The image had become a symbol to us of our dream to see the world (and particularly Paris) together, so it meant a lot to get to take it ourselves.

Ça c'est la photo.

With no reservations on a Saturday night, and then reservations at a place that wasn't at the address we thought it was, we ended up at whatever restaurant happened to be at that address. It was awesome, once we special-ordered a vegetarian option. The waiters were charismatic and Laura enjoyed her generous shot of free limoncello...

The famous independent bookstore, a romanticized hangout for aspiring writers.

Turns out there's a lot of Jersey Shore-level tacky in the shadow of the Notre Dame on Île de la Cité on a Saturday night, but we did find delicious crêpes as well.

Sunday meant moving into Tours, which meant a road trip through Central France.

Driving in Paris is scary.

I loved the signs by the highway with drawings of nearby châteaux. When we passed signs pointing to Blois, Mom somehow knew from a past trip that the Château de Blois was right in the town, so we decided to stop on a whim. It ended up being "super cool," as the French love to say.

It didn't hurt that the name of the town is pronounced "Blah," or that Rick Steves' France described the inside of the château (which we didn't see) as being partly "slathered in his emblematic salamanders."


The ceiling in Blois' old cathedral was only slightly crumbling.


In Tours, we ate lunch and walked around before meeting the host family and getting dropped off, saying bye to Mom and Laura. Life in Tours so far is another post...

x, M

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