We had a few hours to kill before checking in to our hotel; that gave us plenty of time to walk around the city and knock a few things off the list. A few days before the trip, Robert sent me a video about how simple it is to see a few sights in a short amount of time so I knew the idea of how to spend 24 hours in Paris wouldn’t be hard to accomplish.
Having an early morning flight plus a train ride into the city makes anyone hungry. I’m not entirely sure how long (or how far) we walked but once we got off the train, we beelined it to food. Fortunately, Hardware Société is directly across the street from Sacre Coeur. The Australian restaurant was already packed by the time we got there so we stood outside like we were waiting to get inside the club. It took me a while to realize the menu was in French with English translations next to it(duh Alex!). It looks like a lot of food but The Continental dish didn’t leave me stuffed; I felt satisfied and nourished. I usually don’t eat a breakfast like this but when in France, do as the French do right? Hardware Société is the perfect backdrop to a Saturday or Sunday brunch with a group or a SO. It’s not a large restaurant but the rumbling from many convos going on sets a vibe.
After the nourishment, we stopped by the Basilica to see what’s up. We didn’t go inside because there was just too many people around. Literally, there were people EVERYWHERE…makes sense because the structure is the 2nd most visited monument in Paris.
I had the idea in my head I was going to Paris and ball out on a designer bag because when is the next time I’d be able to do that? I dreamed of the day I bought my first Louis Vuitton or Gucci bag with no worries…then I woke up. Walking into Galeries Lafayette is overwhelming and a sensory overload. Every high-end designer you can think of has a section in the mall plus there are a few floors. Being there is an experience really…especially at their Louis Vuitton store. I’ve never been in a LV store where I stood in line for personal service with a consultant. I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking when I imagined myself actually walking out the store with a bag. Needless to say, I didn’t leave with a bag…not even a scarf.
If you don’t do anything else in Paris, go to the Louvre museum. I’ve dreamed of going but when the video for APESHIT, I wanted to go even more. By this time we’d already checked into the hotel and rested for a bit. After a quick train ride over, we finally made it! One tip I learned from Robert’s research: go through the back entrance. It’s quicker and there’s less people. We got there around 5:30 and the museum closes at 6 so we didn’t get to see too much of the art but I made it to the gift shop and balled out a bit *prayer hands emoji*.
Robert put me on to Eric Kayser about a month before we left. Besides being a baker/restauranteur, he’s a renowned French food writer so obviously his restaurants have to be fire. He has several locations around the city but the one we went to is walking distance from the Louvre. The foods at the restaurant are baked fresh all day everyday so there isn’t ever a time they run out of your fave pastry. One item that made me chuckle a little were their mini beignets. We all know the New Orleans version but it’s interesting to see another iteration of the dessert. The Eric Kayser version is stuffed with raspberry and lightly covered with powdered sugar. Of course, we couldn’t leave Paris without having more croissants either. I’d say the difference between French croissants and the ones here is the texture; it felt more flaky and softer than the ones we eat here…they were like clouds really.
We were in Paris during the weekend protests of their president. My supervisor mentioned it to me before I left, telling me “if I saw people in vests, go the other way”. We saw them as we walked past the Arc but I felt like they didn’t present too much of a threat to me. The Arc de Triomphe is one of those monuments you only see in movies so it’s weird to see it in person. Considering the arch is in memory of those who fought in wars, it makes sense as a protest location. We saw at least a hundred police officers on the streets on horses and in their riot gear ready and prepared for whatever happened that night. It’s interesting to say I was around when all of it was going on.
The Eiffel Tower is THE HIGHLIGHT of the entire trip. Again, it’s one of those things you see on tv or in movies but never think you’ll see it in person. It’s synonymous with anything dealing with love and it only felt right that I’d be there with the person I love very much. I think the both of us stood in shock for a minute because it’s like “Dang, we’re actually here experiencing this together.” I got so excited I sent a photo of the tower to my therapist since she’s been to Paris with her husband before(light flex). I didn’t know this but there’s a light show every hour where the lights flicker and the entire city looks like it’s lit just from the Eiffel. I want to go back during the day to get a closer view of it and go inside.
More photos are video below: