…was one of the best weekends of my life. No joke. I’m a big city girl so attending a show, eating delicious food that’s available at all hours of the day (for the most part), and getting driven around by a crazy taxi drivers make me happy. Having the privilege of getting guided tours of the Latin Quarter, Montmartre, The Opera Garnier (plus more) between March 9 – March 12 put the icing on cake that was last weekend and I cannot wait to share it with you! See below:
WARNING: Since this trip was a four day weekend, this is a bit of a long post. If you don’t want to read every single word, I bolded the restaurants, and places I toured as well as the days I did them. If you haven’t done, seen, or tried any of them, I highly recommend each and every one! Of course, you can pick and choose butttt (try and do them all). #nopressuretho
March 9: Flew into Paris around noon. Had breakfast, lunch on the plane, and dropped off our stuff at the Hôtel Paris Bastille. Soon after we were quickly shuffled through the metro station and out onto the boat tour on the River Seine where we got a brief overview of the city’s history, saw where the Louvre and other museums are located, MANY different bridges, the Eiffel Tower, where Marie Antoinette was beheaded, etc. Post tour, I was famished. Luckily, I have foodie friends and together we discovered L’As du Fallafel, a BuzzFeed “27 of The Most Delicious Cheap Eats in Paris” recommendation. There I got the most DELICIOUS falafel plate with hummus, cabbage, cucumbers, onions, eggplant and tomatoes. ALSO a starter of mushroom hummus with the warmest, most pillow-like pita bread that I split with my friends. And for dessert? Berthillon where I got the world’s BEST SCOOP OF CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM (also on BuzzFeed’s list).
***and allow me to just say, idk if it was because the food was rly THAT good (it actually was) or because I was so hungry, but I ate every last bite of everything and consider it to be one of the most amazing meals in my entire life. So if you happen to be in Paris now or in the future, do yourself a favor by eating at these two places. You will NOT regret it. I swear.***
THAT NIGHT I saw Les Choirists which confused my mind because it made me feel like I was in NY for like 20 seconds. Especially since my dad and sister, Jessie, were there! 🙂 It was Jess’s spring break from college last week and they both came out to see me. 🙂 ‘Twas a fun time. But back to the show, for those wondering, it was like the choir version of School of Rock. Adapted from a film of the same name- Les Choirists that is, NOT School of Rock.
March 10: A guided tour of the Latin Quarter. This was cool because I got to go inside the Notre Dame, pass by Shakespeare and Company, visit medieval houses, and learn why the Catacombs were built. Apparently, there were too many bodies buried in the graves behind some of the houses which made cheese and milk go bad within the hour, made the locals terribly sick, and when the ground corroded, sometimes the bodies fell into their basements. Yeah, they had it pretty bad.
Right after the tour and just before lunch I saw the Luxembourg Gardens which were GORG even though it was still winter and all the trees were naked. For lunch, my friends and I ate at Le Soufflot where I had a healthy fix of salmon with quinoa…then became starving for dinner…still getting used to the fact that people don’t snack or drink a lot of water out here. BUT THAT ASIDE and before dinner, I spent about an hour an a half with my Jess on the fifth floor of the Musée d’Orsay where I taught her about all the impressionist paintings and painters I’d just learned about that Wednesday in my art history class. I feel very appreciative of being able to see the real thing so soon after learning about them. My dad was there too and took longer to look at the art work…but I couldn’t blame him…he’s been waiting to see them in person since middle school.
That night, we had a group dinner at the Bistrot Barjot where the portions were so tiny, my starter, main dish, and dessert felt like an appetizer combined. Afterwards my friend Bailey and I (with the help of our trusty Parisian, Brannon) raced through the Metro to the nearest Chipotle and satisfied our slight homesickness and hunger pains.
POST CHIPOTLE I went with another group of friends to see the Eiffel Tower light up from the view of the Trocadero (highly recommended). And then an hour later we checked out one of the most famous jazz clubs in Paris, Duc des Lombards (also highly recommended) where I tried a Bordeaux wine and listened to some of the most exciting improv sets in my life.
March 11: A walking tour of Montmartre Hill (where the best lookout of Paris is), Sacré-coeur (the beautiful church on the hilltop), and Place du Terte (where TONS of artists gather to paint portraits and where at the very bottom of the hill, you can see the exterior of the the Moulin Rouge Cabaret. ALSO got to pass Le Gernier A Pain Saint Amand on the tour which is an AWARD WINNING BOULANGERIE (pic on my IG). But sad story short, I didn’t get to try the official 2010 and 2015 best baguette in Paris because there was still so much to do and see. Also my tour guide walked super fast. But its just another reason to go back!
For lunch and the rest of the day, I decided to dedicate it to family. My dad, Jess, and I explored Sacré-coeur a bit more then mosied on down to the Eiffel Tower where we thought we could easily sit down to a casual lunch in the tower with a view of the city buttttttt HAHA we were WRONG. The next available slot was for March 27th. I lunched on a mozzarella/pesto panini purchased from one of the million kiosks at the tower’s base instead and together we rode the elevator to the deuxieme étage, snapped some pics, then rode all the way to the top where the view was breathtaking and the champagne was bubbling. If you’ve never been to Paris, this is something you MUST DO. NO EXCEPTIONS MADE. The weather, the people I was with, the view. Even my panini. It was life changing. And when you go, tell them Rebi sent you. Jk this won’t actually do anything.
Post Eiffel Tower me and the fam did an audio tour of the Catacombs which was so creepy but totally worth it. Ever since I was forced to read the “Casque of Amontillado” in my 9th grade English class, I’ve been wanting to check it out. I took lots of pics, limestone drippings stained my white adidas, and I swear a demon possessed my Sony for 5 minutes. It was great. IMPORTANT TO NOTE: we did the audio tour and bought the tickets in advance. I prefer audio tours because it allows you to appreciate what you’re seeing more with necessary context. Well worth the money. Also buying the tix ahead of time saves you from standing in a 2 hour line….0.o We literally took the taxi from the Eiffel Tower to the Catacombs and got in within 3 minutes. IT PAYS TO PLAN AHEAD, PPL!
Post Catacombs and for dinner, we checked out Chez Gladines– a highly recommended French restaurant (shoutout again to Brannon). Famished for the third day in a row because #whatissnackingandhydrationinfrance we had to wait 30 minutes for the restaurant to open right at 7 (since it’s an authentic Parisian place only Parisians know about) and as soon as they did, we were one of the last people to be seated. It’s that popular. For the big event I ordered a vegetarian salad (hold the eggs) that consisted of giant chunks of lettuce, large chunks of cheese, and half a bottle of dressing. There were some delicious tomatoes and potatoes thrown in there that helped balance it out. And before said salad, I tried my first ever batch of escargot (soaked in a delicious garlic sauce)!!!
Yeah, I know I’m pescatarian but trying escargot for the first time in Paris has been bucket list goals for as long as I can remember. And I’m pretty proud I accomplished that.
As for post dinner? Some déja-vu. I went with my dad and Jess back to the Trocadero to show them what I saw the previous night. Then we sat on the steps and ate banana and Nutella stuffed crêpes. I ate mine then finished my dad’s.
March 12: My dad and Jess left on a plane back to the U.S. before I woke up. But I knew this ahead of time and was able to say a proper goodbye to them the night before. That morning, I got a marvelous tour of The Opera Garnier (THE OPERA HOUSE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA IS BASED ON) and fan-girled over the gorgeous stage, the grandiose stair case in the lobby (while supressing the urge to belt “Mascarade”), and the gilded room women used to not be allowed in and where Victoria’s Secret and Stella McCartney have annual fashion shows in.
For lunch? Shakespeare and Company where I feel like I had one of the most healthy and organic meals since being overseas. Plated were two (idr the name but) basically two large sushi rolls filled with brown rice, avocado, and mango, a Fulsin maple and peanut protein snack (which was scrumptious), and a green smoothie that contained mango, banana, and spinach (that was also scrumptious).
Then it was back to the hotel, onto the bus, and off to the airport so that we could fly home.
That weekend, I did A LOT. I slept about 5 hours a night, but balanced my meals and was so excited I honestly didn’t really feel tired until I got back home Sunday night. Since, I’ve caught up on sleep and haven’t gotten sick. *knocks on wood*
Also if you’re wondering, breakfast was just at the hotel every day. On the -1 floor lol. I switched it up between what looked like a whole wheat baguette with mixed berry jam, dried figs, and apricots, to the same selection of fruit with egg whites and about two Americanos to suppress any feelings of tiredness I may have had so I could enjoy and absorb every second I was in Paris.
If you follow me on the gram, you can probs tell from this week that I already REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to go back. I def want to hit up more of the restaurants on BuzzFeed’s list, eat an award winning baguette, see the Louvre (even though it would take someone 150 years to actually see all of it), go to Versailles, see Monet’s garden, goodness. The list just goes on and on and on.
If it’s your first time in Paris and you’re reading this, I suggest following some if not all of my itinerary. It’s well worth it. Your stomach, heart, and soul will thank you. I could go on and on about the city of love. But, alas, I will end it here.
Thanks for reading and see ya soon! 🙂
P.S. I rly want a nutella and banana crêpe now. Damn it.