We had decided we would take the subway to the Champs Elysees on Monday to check out an artistic demonstration and cultural fair staged by young farmers to bring awareness to local and regional farms. But, when our card wouldn't allow us to purchase tickets, we decided to walk.
From my journal: On our way, we discovered the most amazing street corners. On one was a set of bistros surrounded by gardens. On the other was a mix of Mexican, Greek, Mediterranean, and Indian restaurants. The countries's flags flew in bright colored introduction to what we would see inside the windows of each restaurant and shop. I thank my lucky starts that silly metro station forced into walking the streets of Paris.
Here I am on a busy street corner
Mark grabbed a cafe and fried pastry of some kind from a Lebonese market. It was delish!
There are some things more beautiful than you imagine them to be. That is how I felt about Notre Dame. To see it in person - it was breathtaking.
The flying buttresses and the detail of the steeple were just amazing.
We had crossed the Seine on our way to the Champs Elysees and you can see Notre Dame in the background. As we crossed, a band was perched on the bridge and they began playing "You Send Me" in French. So romantic!
From my journal: Just across the bridge and out of earshot from the band, I heard the very anticipated first notes of an accordian playing. There on the street corner sat a man who was playing the most beautiful music I've ever heard. This is why I wanted to come to Paris. I wanted to walk hand in hand through the streets of this beautiful city with the sounds of an accordian floating through the air. Magical! In that moment, the world stopped and it was just Mark and me and the man with the accordian.
We walked from the Lourve to the Champs. It was incredible to see how the city had been laid out so that you could see the Arc de Triomphe from the Lourve. In one straight line you could see some of the most historic momuments in the world.
After walking for about two hours, we were hungry and very hot. We had planned to stop in Laduree for some macarons...
but instead, we decided to do the only thing better than that, have lunch at the Laduree Bar.
I had the Ladurée Salade: Riquette salad, small artichokes, green beans, green asparagus, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, squash seeds, basil, grapefruit and lemon olive oil. I also had the most refreshing framboise mojito!
For dessert I had the Coupe Malesherbes: chocolate sorbet, caramel ice cream, caramelized hazelnuts, and Chantilly cream. This is where I discovered that my favorite thing in the world is salted caramel!
A picture of Mark and me enjoying our delicious lunch
After lunch, we had to make a pit stop at the Nike store to buy me a pair of flip flops since it was so hot my feet had swollen right out of my brand new flats. After several more hours of wandering through Paris, Mark and I decided to hop on the Bateaux Mouches.
Seeing the city from the water was amazing. I love this picture of Mark and me!
A beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from the boat
After a cat nap, some showers, and a change of wardrobe, Mark and I headed to a sweet little French brasserie I had read about called Brasserie Balzar. It was everything I had imagined a French brasserie would be. It was bustling, and crowded, and smelled of warm bread and sizzling steaks.
Mark enjoying tartines (bread and butter) and a glass of wine
Me about to taste my first real French Onion Soup. It was yummy!
We loved our dining experience here. It felt so authentic! Our waiter was hysterical and very patient with our terrible French. He even offered to let me live with him for six months to improve my French.
After dinner, we took the subway to the the Eiffel Tower. It was almost ten, and the sun was still in the sky. Our day had been a long one, but there were two more things we had been waiting for - macarons from Carette and the Eiffel Tower light show.
Here I am with my bag of macarons. We had chocolate hazelnut, rose, citron, salted caramel, cafe, rasberry, and vanilla. The area around the Trocadero (the perfect spot to see the light show for the first time) was filled with people and excitement!
Here she is just before the twinkling lights started!!! Mark didn't know what was about to happen, and I loved hearing him gasp when the lights twinkled as the clock struck 11:00 pm.
We were too excited after the light show to go home, so we had one final drink outside at the Cafe du Trocadero. What a wonderful night!
For more on our trip, click here...