the time we walked across paris in a day

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On our first day in Paris, we walked.  And walked, and walked and walked…

Starting from our artsy flat near Canal St. Martin (with its fantastic, minimalistic, desert-ish decor), M and I hoofed it across the 11ème in search of a morning baguette.  A few “je voudrais” and 1 euro later, we walked bread in hand to Oberkampf.  Stopping in at L’Oiseaux I spotted an old ostrich friend and knew we were close my Voltaire.  As we made our way over to my old stomping grounds, a wave of nostalgia walloped me in the form of familiar scents.  A greeting from the poissonnarie’s metallic catch du jour, a nose kiss from the corner boulangerie.  A sweet, alluring exhale from the strawberries at my favorite fruit stand, and an oily embrace from outside the fromagère.  We crept up on Cité Industrielle through the brown-bagging pseudo park.  The rainbow of street art just outside our apartment had since been painted over, but the welcome of its shady trees shone just as vibrant as ever.

M and I continued down towards the Seine until we reached the Louvre.  We peeked into glass pyramids and strolled through Les Tuileries, stopping to recline in coated green chairs.  We considered a ride on the famous ferris wheel, and filled our lungs with warm, lavender-scented breeze.  Crossing the river, we pressed on by Mussée d’Orsay and sifted through dusty books and old maps.  We hiked our tired bones up le Champs Élysées, noshing a shared nutella banana crêpe until we reached l’Arc de Triomphe.  We marveled at the speed and disorder of traffic circling the ancient monument, and boarded the metro back to our side of the city to ready ourselves for le Palais Garnier.  Oh, what a way to spend the first day.

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