I’m a hopeless romantic. Truly, completely hopeless. It must seem so cliche here because on top of being a hopeless romantic, I have always dreamed of going to Paris. It was a wish that I really never thought would come true.
Kiss by the Eiffel tower, eat baguettes, speak a little French – it was all a dream. When I told Tristan this years ago when we were first bit by the travel bug, he said he would take me one day. He wasn’t enthused. He was never really interested in going to Paris. It was just another city to him, but he said he would take me because it was my dream. During an anniversary, he gave me a small mirror with “Paris” written on it and Parisian decor on the back as well an a eyeglass case to match. He said it was to remind me every day of his promise. You know what I thought? It’s not going to happen. Ha! I just didn’t think he’d really push for it to happen – or at least not anytime soon – because he just wasn’t that interested in going. He didn’t know that’s how I felt until we were actually in Paris. I can still here the “pshhh” come from his mouth. The man proved me wrong.
When we arrived in Paris, I was nearly in tears. The second I breathed in that Parisian air (no distinctive smell, really), I was taken a back. My heart kept skipping a beat. When we got into our ride (which is an entire story in itself) and drove out to the 15th arrondissement where our Airbnb was located, we saw the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of it. You’re such a tourist, you say? Oh yeah, I’m that tourist. Head over heels in Parisian love. Eyes just welling up with tears. I’m here. I’m actually here. Bonjour!
You know what else was amazing? You know how Tristan just didn’t really care much for Paris? He left Paris completely enamored, not wanting to leave and dreaming of the day we can return. Well, whaddya know? I’m so glad he opened his heart to it. There is a sense of romanticism in the air here, and it’s not overdone and it isn’t tacky. It’s just… there. And when you fall in love with the city, it’s apparent that you fall hard.
We are part of the hopeless romantic club, and we will say it loud and proud.
Anyway, as I was saying, we stayed in the 15th arrondissement – far from the tourists and nestled in with the locals. You’ll probably hear it over and over again, but we’re the tourists that don’t like tourists. Haha. This location worked out perfectly. We were near some large businesses and a new mall, and we also had a great view of the tower nearly everywhere we walked around.
The above is a replica of the Statue of Liberty. To mark the century after the French Revolution, this statue was given to Paris by the Parisian community in America. It faces west, in the same direction of the actual one in New York City.
Our first day there was spent mainly exploring the area that we were staying in. Our second day had us going out to see the Eiffel Tower up close. I have to say the metro system is awesome out here. Everything was pretty easy to navigate; the only problem was probably the language barrier, but it was easy to pick up the necessary words.
The walk from the station to the park in front of the tower was about 15 minutes, and every building we walked by was so picturesque. Sometimes you think you’d visit a city and only see some of the classic buildings you see in books and online while everything else would be modern, but not here. Seeing a modern building almost felt rare. It’s all beautifully Parisian (or I’m blindsided).
The forecast said it was going to rain that morning, but we got so lucky. Rain here seems to only last for moments, then it clears up. We had the most stunning blue skies and wispy clouds ready for us to snap some memories at Parc du Champ-de-Mars. How I felt when I saw the Eiffel Tower? Oh, there are no words.
We later walked towards the tower and went to the other side in search of the carousel. We didn’t go on the carousel this day, but we did go on our final day here. There are a lot of vendors on this walk trying to sell a lot of souvenirs, but you’ll also see signs up warning not to purchase the trinkets from them too, so we just walked along.
At this point, it got kind of cold. Rain clouds started to rush back in, and we knew it was going to rain at some point. After checking our weather app, we knew had another hour or so before the rain came, so we decided to check out one more spot…
…The Notre Dame Cathedral. So, so beautiful. A part of me kind of wishes I went inside to see it, but a part of me was happy playing around outside too. We didn’t stay too long, but we did stay long enough to hear the bells ring which was a wonderful highlight. There was a massive amount of pigeons too, and just people watching as they passed by the birds (some trying to feed them and some trying to chase them off) was entertaining. We enjoyed the view from the Seine River, fed Dominic a bottle, and headed back.
Once we were back in our apartment, we figured we were just going to stay local. The rain would pass, we would head to dinner and then just relax. However, once we realized that the sun was going to be up for a while (sunset wasn’t until 9:30!) and the sun had come out after the rain, we decided to head out again to see the Louvre.
Because we had Dominic with us, we decided not to go inside. I’ve heard that it’s extremely touristy/crowded and a waste of time waiting in line to see the Mona Lisa if you’re not a huge art enthusiast. We were only in town for a few days too, so we wanted to make the most of it by avoiding waiting in lines. It was really beautiful from the outside though, and I don’t know if it was because of the recent rain or the time of year, but the whole area didn’t seem crowded at all. We loved being able to enjoy the open space – not to mention take photos upon photos without so many people rushing around! We will make time to go inside on another trip (because, you know, there will be another).
So, if you’re a little Instagram obsessed like I am, the below spot will probably look familiar to you. These are the Colonnes de Buren, and from what I understand, it’s an art installation that you have to pass through to in order to get to Jardin du Palais Royal which I hear is a stunning garden. It just looked like a fun place to take some photos and let Dominic try to climb the columns, but sadly, it was closed. It seemed like little guy was looking forward to getting past the gates too.
I’ll be honest, we were on the fence about going out of our way to see Arc De Triomphe. Some people said not to waste our time because you kind of just look at it and take some pictures then leave. We had a little more time on our hands before we had to get Dominic to bed, so we decided to just go. It still is a beautiful structure, and it has an interesting history. The construction of it was ordered back in 1803 by Napolean and didn’t complete until 30 years later, and the details on it contain a lot of history. Perhaps we’ll take a closer look in the future when we visit again 🙂 Until then, here’s some tourist snaps of us in front of the Arc.