John and I took his youngest daughter, Katherine, to Paris in early April. She said it was on her bucket list (an 11 year-old with a bucket list, go figure) to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and John's sister-in-law, who'd been living in Paris for the last few years, was moving back to the States. Anyone who wanted to visit needed to do so pronto. Off we went!
I'm still sorting through photographs from the trip, so there are more posts on the way, but I wanted to share a photo-an-hour diary of our last day there. (Why not work backwards?) Here goes:
7am - Waking up to the trees in the courtyard...
8am - Out the door and through the gate, passing all the perfect spring flowers along the way.
Our route to the Metro bordered the woods of Bois de Boulogne.
We'd stop every day at the boulangerie near the Metro for donuts and ham and cheese baguettes to take with us for lunch. It was my favorite place to practice French... the ladies there were so nice.
9am - The Metro! Today we planned to start out in Montmartre.
10am - La Cimetière de Montmartre. Old and beautiful and quiet... I loved it here. Previous days had been spent in crowded places and I just felt so peopled-out. I could have spent the entire day here just sitting on a bench.
11 am - We wandered through quiet neighborhoods near Sacré-Coeur...
12pm - Sacré-Coeur was as beautiful as all the photos I'd seen. Behind it, a quiet street ended at a park, which is where we found the La Vie Est Une Aventure! graffiti written on a stone bench.
1pm - We took the far west steps below the church to get down to the main street again. I couldn't help stopping to photograph this tree. Paris in spring!
2:30pm - We stood in line for a good long while to get into Angelina's for their famous hot chocolate (recommended to us by Maureen, our flight attendant on the way over). Yum!
3:30pm - Walking the Coulée Verte, which is an old elevated railroad bed that has been transformed into a walking path. Apparently the first of its kind, it inspired New York City's Highline, which I've also walked. It had started drizzling earlier in the day, so everything was lush-green and bright.
4:30pm - Made some friends along the way.
5pm - A view from one of the bridges.
By the time we got to the end, it was POURING. Katherine's umbrella was turning inside-out from the wind, my shoes had puddles in them, and we underestimated how long it would take to get to the Metro station we were looking for. Of course!
6pm - We stopped in the Marais to hunt for a shop I'd read about in my favorite online sewing magazine. My winter coat needs some new buttons, and Le Mercerie Parisienne apparently specializes in all kinds of unique buttons.
I found two sets that I really liked. We'll see which one works out the best...
7:30pm - Back to Neuilly for dinner at Piccolo Mondo, the restaurant we went to on our first night. The server remembered us, which was fun. I know I know, we should have ended our trip with traditional French fare, but why, when this place was sooo good?
It was a long day --- and a rainy one! --- but we had fun and I am happy we didn't abandon our plans just because of the weather.
Thank you, Christine, for the raincoat, umbrella, and, most and best of all, for sharing your home, stories, and Paris travel tips with us :-)