Our First Few Days in Paris.

I can't believe that we're about to start our ninth day here in Montmartre, France! It still seems surreal because I never thought that I would actually ever be able to travel to France. (And for three weeks at that!) 

Today I wanted to share a few updates and pictures from where Jessica and I have gone so far. (I'll just recap our first few days so it's not a crazy long post) We landed in Paris around noon on Thursday and took a bus and then a taxi to our AirBnB (my first taxi ride ever!) after having traveled for the last 30 hours. Traveling to Paris was exciting but super tiring. We had a 10 hour flight out of JFK to Kiev, Ukraine at midnight. Then we had a 16 hour layover in the Kiev airport... No fun. We tried to get sleep but ended up only getting around an hour and a half nap total. You wouldn't believe all the noise, lights, and activity if I told you! When we finally arrived at our AirBnB studio, we unpacked and showered and then explored our street in Montmartre.

The street is lined with apartments, fruit/vegetable markets, cheese shops, bakeries, florists, and restaurants. Our host, Emanuelle, is such a sweet and helpful woman. She provided us with maps and suggested restaurants for the area and graciously taught us multiple times how to lock and unlock our door ( it's pretty tricky compared to the circular doorknob I'm used to). Jet lag and a 6 hour time zone difference kicked in and we went to bed at 8pm only to sleep until noon the next day! Oops! 

On Friday we went out for lunch at this place called Hardware Société. It was such a cute atmosphere and our food was delicious! I'm still thinking about those roasted mushrooms, walnut bread with truffled ricotta, and 64 degree eggs. 

After that we went to Sacré Cœur, a beautiful church in Montmartre that overlooks tiny streets and a park. We climbed to the top for 6€ and were able to see SO MUCH of Paris! We could see the Eiffel Tower, and so much of the city. When we got to the bottom we went to Place du Tertre or "artist square" and walked around until we had to hide in a Starbucks because it was raining. Luckily we had just found wifi and delicious tiramisu ice cream to keep us occupied! 

Saturday, Jessica really wanted to find this place called De Ciercq, les Rois de la Frite. She found them on Pinterest and the french fries looked amazing! So, we walked about 2 miles to get there and were very happy with the results. The fries came in a cone and we ate them in two minutes! Then we walked around and found a candy store called À la Mère de Famille where I picked up a few souvenirs. On our walk home, we passed by a place called Soul Kitchen, a popular cafe. We got iced lattes (tres bien!) and swore we'd be back to try their food because it looked so good. 

Finally, on Sunday, we got up early to get on the metro and visit Notre Dame Cathedral. On our way, we were drawn in to this tiny cafe by the smelled of freshly baked quiche and bread. It was called Petit Pois (little pea). Cute, right? Everything about it was cute; the art on the walls, the elderly couple sitting in the corner, and our waitress who was a very petit, energetic woman with big circular, thick framed glasses. When she took our order she kept insisting that we stay and enjoy our lattes there but we needed to be going so she handed us our coffee "take away" in the weirdest to-go cups I've ever seen! They looked like soup bowls and when our coffee was finally cool enough to drink it was terrible. So, I don't recommend getting lattes from Petit Pois to go. 

The Notre Dame was absolutely beautiful! I couldn't take enough of it in. When we got inside, we walked around the outside and viewed all the icons and statues and candles and gorgeous stained glass windows before we took a seat for mass. Jessica and I aren't Catholic, but I really wanted to experience an actual church service in the Notre Dame Cathedral. The choir, the thundering organ music, the bible passages and prayers read in French; it was all so beautiful! Definitely glad we made the decision.

After that we had lunch at Au P'tit Grec (most delicious crêpes according to the internet) and then went to a coffee shop called Strada Café. It was the best espresso I've ever had. As we walked back to the metro ready to wrap up our day, we made one final stop at Shakespeare & Company Cafe. Jessica had been waiting to come ever since our plane landed and I'm so glad we did! The cafe was a place for artists, writers, travelers, and tourists to all come together and rest or meet someone new. The bookstore was packed with books from every genre and author. Jess got a book out of the "surprise box" for only 6€! It was 'If There Be Thorns' by Virginia Andrews. We're going to read it together on the rainy days, I'll let you know if it's any good. (Update: it is the weirdest book I've ever read)

We've been sharing more up-to-date on my snapchat and Twitter accounts (@simplynatters) if you want to check that out! Getting a post up within the next day or two has been tricky. Hopefully this weekend I can post more about what our first full week looked like. Thanks for keeping up with our trip!

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