Paris

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We’re that annoying couple that got to go to Paris on their honeymoon and loved it.  So naturally our hopes and expectations for the second go-around were pretty high (at least mine were).  I wanted the experience to be the same as the last — picnics in front of the Eiffel Tower, nutella banana crepes everyday, and experiencing new sites together. But this time it was different.  And that’s okay, but it takes a while or a little bit of effort for it to be okay even though it’s different.

Our first afternoon in Paris was like reacquainting with a friend that talks nonstop.  It was busy and noisy and we needed to adjust.  We’d just been in quiet, introverted San Sebastian and now we were hanging out with loud mouthed, extroverted Paris.  Needless to say, as two introverts ourselves, we were a bit overwhelmed.  We found our groove eventually and saw new sights, ate delicious food (mostly brunch and pastries), and enjoyed the days we had in the city of light. But… oh I hate that there is a but!… we didn’t love it like we loved it last time. I almost hate to admit that because my heart for Paris was on par with my 14 year old heart for Josiah (ie, majorly enchanted by those good looks).

But, despite the difference between this visit and the last we had some great experiences that will be highlights of our trip in their own right.  First, and most important, was the brunch we had (twice) at Holybelly.  Holy it was – probably the best brunch we’ve ever had (and we’ve had a lot).  When you see the photos below you might think, “this is the best you’ve ever had?” and YES it was.  The food was simple and perfect; creamy eggs, crispy bacon, crunchy on the outside and tender in the middle hash browns.  I think there are a lot of places that make really good eggs, bacon, and hash browns, but Holybelly stands above them all with both fists pumping in the air and rays of sunlight shining down upon it (whoa, I went a little overboard there but I think you get the point now).  Besides the food, everyone working were incredibly welcoming and made us feel at home.  I wish we could transplant this place to Portland.

The most unique experience we had in Paris was funneling ourselves into the fan zone, set up right behind the Eiffel Tower, for the first game in this years Eurocup between France and Romania.  France is the host country this year so everyone was pumped.  There were so many people, lots of yelling, lots of chanting, and lots of beer getting thrown on us.  It was almost as exciting as eating the hash browns at Holybelly!  We also walked a ridiculous amount (two 15 mile days in a row followed by a 13er), ate passionfruit macaroons, had a picnic in the park, and sat in the Jardin de Tuileries staring into the fountains and watching the baby ducks.

You know, all in all, Paris is still pretty magical.

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View from our room in the 15th Arrondissement.

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Les Invalides

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HOLYBELLY

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I love that water spout.

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I could wax poetic all day about those eggs and hash browns…

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JoJo B at Notre Dame.

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Best cream puffs in Paris.  Pistachio, Salted Caramel, Chocolate, and Pistachio.

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The Louvre!

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Jardin de Tuileries

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Arc de Triomphe – the first time I went to Paris this was the first monument I saw.  We drove past it and I was in awe.  Time two and three have been just as enchanting for me.

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Espressoooooo

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Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich at Frenchie-To-Go.

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Pont Alexandre III

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Eurocup/Eiffel Tower – everyone was still waiting for France to score.

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All lit up instead.

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I’ll take two of each. 🙂

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Picnic at Parc de Sceaux.

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This only about 1/4 of the park!

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Macaroons at Lauduree.

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Macaroons from Pierre Herme.  My favorites were the ones with passion-fruit.  Jos loved the very top, which was olive oil vanilla.

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Another view from Jardine de Tuileries.

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Monmarte, 18th Arrondissement.

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Goobs.

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Sacre Cour.

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View from Sacre Cour.

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Bubblegum building in Montmarte.

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Paris Brest – named after the cycling race from Paris to Brest because the cyclists ate this pastry for it’s high caloric intake.  I ate one after a long day of walking so I felt pretty good about life.