Thursday, December 27, 2012
our first night in Paris was magic!
I want to start writing about my experiences in Paris while the memories are fresh!
Our first night could NOT have gone any better! Neal and I had no idea how far the main area of Paris is from the airport so we just hopped into a cab for a very expensive ride into the city. On our way, the first thing we spotted from the freeway was Sacre Coeur glowing off in the distance! It was surreal. We had our hands clasped tightly together in the car as we knew that meant we were getting close! We kept our eyes peeled for the Eiffel Tower! That first moment when we saw the tip of it come into view I felt chills come up and down my body! It was so exciting!!! We drove a bit further and suddenly were turning down the Champs de Elysee which was completely COVERED in beautiful lights for the season and at the end standing tall and proud was the Arc de Triomphe! We had the biggest smiles plastered across our faces as we drove around the Arc on our way to the hotel.
We checked in and maybe spent 5 minutes in our room before rushing out the door to see the Eiffel Tower in person! I posted about the magic of that moment in the previous post. As we walked, hand in hand, I could not believe how fabulously the french adorn the entry ways of their cafes and brasseries for Christmas! Everywhere I turned was another incredible display, a literal feast for the eyes! Now if you read my last post you'll know that we missed lunch and dinner and were famished! It was about 10:30pm at this time and suddenly we realized that every cafe we passed was closed. I was nervous that we were going to end up eating yogurt and cereal in our room on our first night in Paris but was determined to make the best of it. As we were walking down the Boulevard de Grenelle I saw a small grocery type shop in the distance who carried the cutest display of satsumas you've ever seen! We were going to get a few snacks there when we noticed a small cafe with people eating in it across the street. We poked our heads into the door to inquire about ordering some food and were told that they were only serving wine and coffee at this hour. Luckily the owner walked around the corner and said she would prepare us something to eat but we could not order from the menu but had to eat what she had left in the kitchen. After a genuine "merci beaucoup madame!" we were seated.
In the back corner of the small cafe was a group of boisterous french men thoroughly enjoying their time together! They were laughing, talking loudly, drinking wine, and using big gestures. It was FABULOUS! I felt like I was sitting in the middle of an Anthony Bourdain special. If you've seen the one from Provence where he's spending time with several men in a local bar you'll know exactly what this experience was like! These men made my night!! There could NOT have been a better place to have dinner!
The owner showed up with steak frites for Neal and I and we happily ate our food and enjoyed our french wine while we savored the moment with these fabulous french men! I snuck a picture of them with my phone because I just HAD to remember this amazing moment forever! Our first night wouldn't have been as wonderful without them! Across from these men was a couple snuggling and smooching in the back corner over a bottle of wine but I did not dare sneak a photo of the love birds! Can you imagine a better way to live? Neither can I!!