Our first day in Paris was more magnificent, exciting, inspiring, and dreamlike (literally, the jetlag has gifted me with this part euphoric/part dreadful dream state) than I ever could have imagined. Fresh off the plane, we sat down to a breakfast of apricot confiture crêpes et thé- so refreshing. Then it was off to buy some “navigo passes”, which allow us to travel publicly around the entire city for free during the whole mois de Juin (cut to funny story about how terrible our mandatory photobooth portraits that now grace our passes came out, another gift courtesy of the jetlag). Next up was a little stroll by le Notre Dame, which is celebrating its 850th anniversary- Bon Anniversaire, Quasimodo! After that we enjoyed a lovely plat du fromage et charcuterie et un verre de vin…UM, YUM. There are no words to describe how good that meal was. The French really know how to dine. Aprés le diner, Tegan and I felt like sleeping. But it was only 7, so instead we rushed ourselves on over to the Iron & Wine concert at La Cigalle. This was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my entire life. The venue was so beautiful and the show so intimate. Like the band loved having us there and we were all friends. At one point, everyone in the audience was allowed to shout out songs they’d like to hear (Tegan and I were screaming BOY WITH A COIN! louder than I’d like to admit), which he didn’t play- until he came back out for the encore and said, “I think I heard someone say Boy With a Coin?”….we were absolutely giddy. Following the concert, we came outside and bumped in the trumpet player, and after getting acquainted and telling him how much we enjoyed the show, we all went out for a drink at the closest bar. He bought us our first Patisse, a very strong licorice flavored drink that I bravely choked down despite my aversion to its pungent taste. When in France you try new things, oui? So we did.
With less than a week until I board a plane for Paris (eeeep!) I’ve kicked my city-studying into overdrive. Attempting to refresh my basic linguistic skills, learning the layout of the city, deciding what to pack, and hunting for cool boutiques/vintage shops/cafes/museums/bars/restaurants/all that jazz has taken over my brain these past few days. There are so many interesting options in the City of Light- it’s hard to know where to begin! Since my roommate and I will be spending a good amount of time in the 11th Arrondissment, we’re looking for fun bakeries and hip bars to buy our baguettes and sip our merlots in the neighborhood of the “young bloods”. Besides hitting up the obvious tourist attractions, we’re looking to have as much of a local experience as we can, soooo if I have any Parisian readers (or frequent Paris-visitors!) I would really appreciate any and all suggestions of sites/activities not to be missed! Until next time, au revoir!