Magical Moments in Paris

It’s taken me a while to write about my first trip to Paris last spring. Almost a year, actually. When I think about past vacations, I fondly reminisce about all of the best parts of the trip. Paris is no different. Although they seemed like big deals at the time—the delayed flights, missed connections, lost luggage and rain—those aspects of the trip have faded from my memory. Instead, it’s all of the magical moments that stand out now: sipping a tiny cup of the richest hot chocolate imaginable (L’Africain) from the elegant tea room of Angelina, biting into my first pistachio eclair from Erik Kayser, seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at night, sitting around with my girlfriends late into the night laughing and drinking red wine, and waking up to the sounds of the bells from Notre-Dame. It was an incredible trip. And I realize it even more now since I’ve had time to reflect on the experience. Below are my trip notes with my recommendations in bold.

Wednesday, April 10
• Arrive in Paris; took the train to our first apartment (Rue Huchette). Booked through Airbnb.
• Wine and appetizers at Relais Odéon – 132 Boulevard Saint-Germain
• Dinner at Café Le Conti – 1 Rue de Nuci

Thursday, April 11
• Pastries and L’Africain hot chocolate at Angelina – 226 Rue de Rivoli
• Stroll through Jardin des Tuleries
Bateaux-Mouches boat ride along the River Seine
• Botanical gardens at Musée du quai Branly
• Eiffel Tower
• Lunch at Le Café du Marché – 38 Rue Cler
• Nutella crepe from vendor on Rue Huchette
• Pink Martini at Le Grand Rex
Fromage crepe at Deli’s Café
• Drinks at Chez Georges – 11 Rue des Canettes

Friday, April 12
• Pastries at La Boulangerie de Papa – 1 Rue de la Harpe
Lock bridge
Musée d’Orsay
• Lunch at Le Colibri Café – 8 Place de la Madeleine
• Desserts at Ladurée – 21 Rue Bonaparte
• Fauchon – 24-26 Place de la Madeleine
• Hediard – 21 Place de la Madeleine
• Walking and shopping along Avenue des Champs-Élysées
• Arc de Triomphe
• Talking and drinking wine; late-night dinner of pizza and crepes on Rue Huchette

Saturday, April 13
• Breakfast at La boulangerie de Papa – 1 Rue de la Harpe
Notre-Dame Cathedral
French Holocaust Memorial
Shakespeare and Company – 37 Rue de la Bûcherie
• Checked into our second apartment (Montorgueil/Sentier area). Emile Zola was born in the building in 1840. Also booked through Airbnb.
• Walk through Montmartre neighborhood
• Lunch at Le Sancerre Café – 87 Rue des Archives
I love you wall
La Basilique du Sacré Coeur
• Dinner at Le Refuge des Fondus – 17 Rue des 3 Frères
• Moulin Rouge
• Drinks at Glass – 7 Rue Frochot

Sunday, April 14
Rue Montorgueil (street in the 1st arrondissement and 2nd arrondissement, in the Montorgueil-Saint Denis-Les Halles district)
• Breakfast at Boulangerie Blouet – 4 Rue des Petits Carreaux
• Purchased cheese and fruit from market vendors
• Coffee at café
• Lunch at Le Soufflot Café – 63 Boulevard Saint-Michel
• Picnic at Jardin du Luxembourg (second largest public park in Paris; also the first warm day of the year in Paris, so the park packed)
• Pierre Hermé – 72 Rue Bonaparte
• Stopped to see the outside of the Louvre
• Wine and dessert buffet back at the apartment

Monday, April 15
• Pastries from Stohrer – 51 Rue Montorgueil, oldest bakery in Paris (1730) and Eric Kayser – 16 Rue des Petits Carreaux.
• Walked by the Opera House
• Shopping at department stores: Galeries Lafayette – 40 Boulevard Haussmann, and Printemps – 64 Boulevard Haussmann
• Drinks on the rooftop terrace of Printemps (great views of Paris)
• Dinner at Frenchie Wine Bar – 5-5 Rue du Nil
• Second dinner at restaurant on Rue Montorgueil

Tuesday, April 16
• Pastries from Stohrer – 51 Rue Montorgueil and Eric Kayser – 16 Rue des Petits Carreaux.
• Tour of Jill’s old neighborhood (12th arrondissement) – walking path, old apartment and program building, crepe stand, etc.
Marché Beauvau Market et Rue d’Aligre
Le Marais neighborhood
• Lunch at L’as du Fallafel – 34 Rue des Rosiers
• Walked to Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
• Drinks on the rooftop terrace at Printemps
• Dinner at Café Constant – 139 Rue Saint-Dominique
Eiffel tower at night – light show at 10pm and 11pm, while enjoying a bottle of champagne

Wednesday, April 17
• Fly to Chicago; bus from Chicago to Madison
• Larry and Ryan with welcome home sign (MSN > Paris, Pourquoi??…Les Hommes!)

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