Sunday morning we arrived at the airbnb apartment we had rented in the Grenelle district which was only about a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. We were on the 3rd floor and had a view overlooking a quiet street. So cozy! The apartment was amazing and had everything we wanted, with the exception of wifi. Haha. That day we finally decided to relax. We clocked about 6 hours over the course of the day at different cafés, drinking cappuccinos, writing, and overstaying our welcome by using their wifi as much as possible. We had about 3 cafés we knew the internet password to now so we would just rotate and sometimes just stand out front and try to tap in as we passed by. It was so funny. That night we had a picnic at the Eiffel Tower but soon had to dodge the rain. (Which has been coming out of nowhere lately!) But even Paris in the rain is beautiful. We would just head over to the closest cafe and have a glass of wine until it passed. We have quickly realized that most of our Paris diet and budget has gone to a steady rotation of wine and cappuccinos.
The next day Jess and I split up to explore the city on our own. I decided to visit the Sainte Chappelle and it’s gorgeous stain glass windows and also made my way over to the Musee de l’Orangerie that holds many impressionist paintings. In between I found myself returning to some of the places we visited on our first day for a little quiet time and some sketching. That night we ended up on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower again well prepared with wine and snacks. As soon as you sit down here get approached by guys walking around trying to sell you wine, champagne, roses, and little mini Eiffel towers. They start their bargaining with tourists at €25 and they sometimes get it! Which is hilarious because just 2 minutes away you can buy a nice bottle for around €4. We also learned you can make a lot of friends if you are the ones with a cork screw!
By Tuesday we felt like we were really living Paris. Grabbing fresh baguettes in the morning on our way out, sneaking through the exit on the metro, and having people even ask us for directions. It was awesome. We spent that day revisiting the Montmartre district getting inspired by the town that so many famous artists had lived and worked before. We enjoyed just getting lost, eating crepes, and tripping on the uneven cobblestone roads. We walked another 6-8 miles this day including hundreds and hundreds of stairs. (Unfortunately Jess forgot her fit bit so we don’t know the exact number haha) But Mom you would have easily tripled your 10,000 steps!
Our last day in Paris we finally made it to the much anticipated Louvre. The palace was huge and it was amazing to realize it’s entirety was filled with art. We arrived right when the museum opened and enjoyed a peaceful 2 hours until the hoards of tour groups showed up shoving and pushing their way through like a heard of cattle to the Mona Lisa. It was crazy to watch all these people take pictures of EVERY SINGLE painting they walked by. Not only did they have no idea what it was but they didn’t even give it a minute to look with their own eyes and see if it was worth remembering. It was like no one was appreciating or taking anything in, but rather just taking photos to prove that they saw it. This has been something I’ve been observing a lot throughout Paris with many of it’s visitors. A hurried life, a society so obsessed with remembering and capturing the right moment that we forget to actually be in it. In the end all were left with is a collection of snapshots reminding us of moments that never really happened. Lesson learned: be present.
Tonight we are hopping on a train through the French countryside and heading to Bordeux. We are going to be visiting and staying with our friend Chris for a couple nights! It will be nice to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar place.