November 8-9th, 2014
When Dan and I found out we would be moving to London in our first year of marriage we excitedly referred to our upcoming time overseas as a three year long European honeymoon. After our failed Belgium holiday, we couldn’t wait to pack our suitcases again and get back to filling up our passport pages with a trip to Paris, Rome, and Florence to celebrate our first anniversary.
After an easy Eurostar crossing to Paris we checked into our hotel in St Germain, enjoyed a fantastic lunch of steak au poivre with frites and a bottle of house red, and then joined a walking tour of the Latin Quarter to snap some pictures of Notre Dame and the winding streets along the Seine. To get a better big picture view we decided to hop on a river cruise that was picturesque, but cold and windy! However, it was beautiful to witness the November afternoon fade into twilight and see Paris light up. The light reflecting off of all the love locks attached to several of the bridges that span the Seine, including the famous love lock bridge the Pont des Arts, make it look like the bridges are made of glittering gold.
After our cruise, we walked back along the river in search of a dessert cafe called Flore en L’ile on the Ile Saint Louis that Dan’s French boss at work recommended. I love macarons and though I had enjoyed several of them already in only the half day span that we had been in Paris so far, when I saw the fresh raspberry macaron with pistachio cream known as amaryllis on the menu I knew immediately what I was going to order along with my evening cappuccino. And it was amazing! Dan had ordered a chocolate cake that was quite delicious as well but held nothing over that macaron and being the wonderful wife that I am I
begrudgingly graciously shared half.
After our cruise, we learned how to navigate Paris’s metro system (thank goodness for the CityMapper app!) and traveled toward the Eiffel Tower to practice our night photography.
The next morning we started off our day with croque madames and french onion soup at the cozy and highly rated Au Petit Suisse before walking over to the Pont des Arts and adding our love lock to the bridge.
Afterwards, we rented Velib bikes and rode along the Seine to get our bodies moving and the blood pumping after all the rich French food and macarons we had been consuming with glee. I am not the biggest fan of biking in crowds and little did we know but a mile up ahead along the bike route was a children’s kite making event. To say that dodging several dozen mindlessly running children chasing after their wind-strewn kites while shakily riding a bike for the first time in many years wasn’t a harrowing feat would be an understatement. But I conquered that fear as well as riding along a busy street after a wrong turn and a teeth chattering cobblestone lane deterred us from the bike path. However, given the choice, I don’t think I would like to do it again!
Following that heart thumping experience I was happy to be back on my two feet and we undertook the long walk up to the Montmarte arrondissement, forgoing the famous funicular in favor of the oft photographed stairs leading up to the La Basilique du Sacre Coeur. The church is absolutely beautiful inside and after lighting a vigil candle we spent the rest of the evening wandering the picturesque streets of the artist’s enclave that is Montmartre.