An American in Paris

Oh Paris, the city of lights and love… and sixth floor apartments with doors that you have to ‘push and pull’.

In Paris, we decided to stay at an airbnb which was a great choice.  The apartment was amazing and after a struggle leaving the airport we needed a place with ac and an area we could relax in.

We could NOT get into the apartment for over an hour possibly more or possibly less its hard to tell time when you are sweaty and smelly after traveling.  It was a struggle and finally our airbnb hosts were able to get a neighbor to let us in and at 2 am we were comfortable and able to relax inside our wonderful airbnb.

Things about Paris…

  • It is expensive ( duh!)
  • They use a lot of goat cheese and its heavenly and the portions are generous – it was dreamy.
  • They love frites (fries) – breakfast, lunch and dinner ( so get used to it, this seems to be the case in Spain as well.)
  • Get sweets here – they are the best.
  • Go to Printemps for an amazing view of the city. It is a huge mall and on the eight floor. They have a cafe and panoramic views of the city. Free and cool.
  • The 5th (Latin Quarter) and 6th (St Germain) the Cafe des Deux Magots is fashionable and historic. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoire met up with other literary types here.
  • Next to this is the church of St Germain, the oldest in Paris.
  • We stayed in the 11th quarter which is extremely close to most tourist attractions so that was convenient for us. The neighborhood seemed really safe, ( we were walking at 12/1 am with our packs and were totally fine.) THEN we stayed in the 18th / 20th quarter as well and this seemed a little more down to earth. What I heard is that it is the ‘hipster’ area, but it was awesome and A LOT less touristy than the 11th quarter.

Paris is a touristy city at least when you are trying to see the touristy sites.

I think its difficult to feel that a city is not touristy when you are attempting to see all that you can and our in extreme tourist trap central (Eiffel, Lourve, Arc etc…).

My goal when I am traveling is not to be a ‘tourist’ but a traveler, a seeker and an adventurer. I like to be in as authentic of situations as possible. Go to restaurants where locals go, hang out where the locals hang out and really see what their culture is.

I don’t feel that I got this ‘authentic feel’ in Paris, maybe bits and pieces but I did not feel that I fell in LOVE with Paris like SO many others. I like you Paris but I don’t love you.

Our first breakfast in Paris.

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I see you!IMG_2037 IMG_2039 IMG_2040 IMG_2041 IMG_2043 IMG_2048 IMG_2053 IMG_2057 IMG_2058 IMG_2059 IMG_2061 IMG_2062 IMG_2064 IMG_2065 IMG_2066 IMG_2069

Notre DameIMG_2071 IMG_2074 IMG_2075 IMG_2077 IMG_2079 IMG_2082

Stumbled upon a free music festival in the city. IMG_2083

Three course crepe meal with in house made cider. AMAZING.IMG_2084

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Cafe sitting and people watching is a must. IMG_2095 IMG_2097

Thick slices of goat cheese are best washed down with an ice cold beer. IMG_2107

Sweets, sweets and more sweets!IMG_2108

View from Printemps.IMG_2109 IMG_2112 IMG_2113 IMG_2116 IMG_2117 IMG_2118

We chose to partake in a river cruise which was equal parts crazy tourist-ness but also beautiful and if possible I recommend it your first night so you get a good lay of the land. IMG_2129 IMG_2134 IMG_2138 IMG_2142 IMG_2144 IMG_2145 IMG_2146 IMG_2147 IMG_2148 IMG_2149

View of Notre Dame at night. Along with the kids hanging at the rivers edge.IMG_2150 IMG_2153 IMG_2158 IMG_2163

This is when it started hailing like crazy… IMG_2168 IMG_2169 IMG_2173 IMG_2179

Goodnight – Au revoir beautiful city.