Sunday, October 2, 2016

Paris, Je t'aime!

In the summer of 2009, I spent six weeks drinking wine along the Seine, touring every museum in downtown Paris, and struggling to keep up with a tiny French lady in heels as she charged through the cobblestone streets of Paris.  It was one of my most memorable summers and inspired a love of French culture, language and overall travel. 

Mike had also spent time in Paris during his prior time abroad and has a similar love for the city as I do.  When his friend from Izmir (who is French) suggested we come to Paris to meet up, we jumped on the opportunity.  We arrived on Friday around lunch time and, after a little bit of trouble checking into the world's smallest AirBnB, we had a late lunch.  When in France, eat as the French do, right?

Since we had both been to Paris before, we didn't feel the need to do a ton of sightseeing, but I couldn't go all weekend without stopping by some of my favorites.  Our AirBnB was located in the same arrondisment as my hostel when I studied abroad.  If you travel to Paris, I highly recommend staying in the 5th.  It's the Latin Quarter and while still in the heart of the city, has a more local and less touristy feel.  Plus, it's right across the Seine from Notre Dame!






Oh la la! What a view ;)


We made a quick stop by the Eiffel Tower to snap a quick selfie before moving on to the Musee D'Orsay.  I love the Musee D'Orsay because, while there is a TON of stuff to see, it's not as overwhelming as the Louvre.  We stuck to the impressionist exhibit, but the whole museum is great. 












My only other sight seeing request for the weekend was the Arc de Triomphe.  Originally, I thought we should go up to the top, but we were pretty tired by that point and were happy to just grab some pictures from the bottom.

2016
2009: You can tell it was summer by the size of my hair....
   

We ended the day with dinner and macaroons from La Duree.  They're the best!



We ended the night with a half an hour battle with our futon.  Our AirBnB was tiny, even for Paris standards.  The futon took up the whole apartment.   We didn't really care, though because we were only there at night to sleep.  What did end up being an issue was that it took us a half an hour to figure out how to open the futon.  I'm pretty sure I heard Mike mutter "I'm an engineer.  I should be able to do this." at least once.  By the time we got to bed, we were pretty tired.  

Saturday started pretty late.  We took our time waking up.  Gab, Mike's classmate, was coming from Normandy, so we knew she wasn't getting in early.   We swung by my old maison, as the French say, and took a picture before spending a few hours in Le Jardin du Luxembourg people watching.  We could have stayed there all day.





Once we met up with Gab, we mainly just wandered and caught up.  It was so nice to catch up with her.  We traded Turkish stories and discussed our thoughts on the situation in Izmir and Turkey.  It's so interesting to hear people from other countries discuss politics because it almost always makes me think differently about the situation. We also took a stroll through the Turkish neighborhood.  We opted in for kebabs but out for hookah.  
Thanks for meeting up with us, Gab!
Overall, it was a great trip and a great opportunity to catch up with one of Mike's classmates from Turkey.  We miss Turkey and it's culture, so spending an afternoon in the Turkish neighborhood of Paris and reminiscing about the country's culture (and politics) was a perfect way to spend a weekend.