The Redemption of France

And with perfect synchronicity, Paris made a seamless come back for France.

Starting strong with a slow, peaceful morning – we arrive around 8am with a few hours to spare before we are able to check into our Airbnb. We walk around our area to get a good sense of what’s around, and then find ourselves cozy at a cafe right across from the Place de Bastille. The food and the coffee was just as delicious as the view.

After keeping our welcome warm as I read and Carson knit, we decide to migrate towards the monument as the sun began to poke through the city buildings. There’s nothing better than sun kisses in the morning.

We find the perfect spot to continue our self motivated therapy (reading and knitting haha), while also having the best seat in the house for people watching. The little kids practicing skating tricks that make my ankles tremble just to watch. The cute dad sitting next to us with his camera trying to be sneaky about taking pics of his two kids. THE FASHION ICONS THAT PASS BY.

LISTEN. The outfits? I love.

Paris has a sense of style and character that is unique, yet subtle. While the city is (what’s a less aggressive word for pristine?) I don’t want to say pristine, because I know every city has it’s parts… but from what I saw in the short period of time I was there – the city seemed put together and clean. It had an aesthetic to it that is one of its own. But most importantly, it had it’s flavor spread throughout. It wasn’t overkill, but it wasn’t unnoticeable. It was a very well balanced flavor of clean aesthetic and subtle wild behavior that keeps it interesting. And I liked that. A lot.

Our Airbnb was of the same realm. You enter through this giant, beautiful blue door and through a little courtyard that greets you to the door. Inside you’re immediately greeted with a bold photo of a lion – I mean, come on now? How stinkin’ cute.

Our Airbnb

Up top was a bed and fun lil space to hangout, it was super cute. Below was a living room area. The kitchen was small and quaint and reminded me a lot of my kitchen at my very first place in LA (the studio in Cypress Park when I was interning). So I was like, “aw!” And one major perk was that the toilet was separate from the shower, so when Carson was taking care of business from the hours of 9-5 it didn’t leave the whole bathroom out of service. It was actually hilarious though because the toilet was definitely installed in the utilities closet, haha – I wish I had a photo to show you!!

After we got ourselves settled in the Airbnb we rushed to see the city because rain was in the forecast for the rest of the trip starting that evening. We head out on foot and just wander, as we do.

The first major site we run into is a DJ on the corner. I thought the whole intersection was about to become a club at 2pm on a Sunday, haha.

About a block or two away from corner DJ was a BEAUTIFUL bridge. Carson and I had some fun taking pics and videos here, (which you can see in the movie memory: https://youtu.be/RyC-SnOQh_c) As we continued our journey the sun only continued to shine through the buildings harder, it was beautiful.

At some point we decide we needed a snack, so we start heading towards an area on the map that looked promising. Along the way there were cute little book nooks implemented into the sidewalk, there were random characters painted on the buildings throughout the city, and there was a passionate protest for the freedom of Iran, which we stayed at for awhile until a family next to us started feeding the birds and it became a pigeon-pocolyps.

We ended up finding some Lebanese food, which I had never had before. It had powerful flavor and I grew to savor every bite as I approached the end. This was when we made the decision to attempt to make it to the Louve before dark. The sun had already began to sat (thanks, time change), so we had to hustle.

The moment we stepped foot into the large courtyard in the Louve… oh. my. goodness. What a magical feeling. What a magnificent view. What a moment. And I didn’t even know that wasn’t the destination. Carson’s yelling at me, “come on Mal, just wait,” as I’m in total awe and pausing to take it in. I finally snap out of it and catch up to him. We talk through a large path to the next courtyard area and WOW. My jaw literally dropped. Not only was the space, the building, the art itself absolutely remarkable, BUT THE SUNSET!!

The sunset went off like no other – and to be there in that moment, with my best friend, in freaking PARIS!!!? I was overwhelmed with gratitude in every way. My soul was at peace. In that moment there was absolutely nothing other than love flooding my being. Everything that day was better than expected and to reach the Louve at the very moment of a pink and orange sky sent me soaring.

The universe was flirting with me. Hard.

Then as we’re walking through the courtyard, soaking in the sunset – Puss and Pa call me – and to share that moment with them? Especially considering how unfriendly France’s first impression was?
Everything was poifect.

After being showered in glorious sunset magic we start heading towards a restaurant that was calling our name for dinner – which just happened to be a Michelin star. *smirks*

(I’d like to note that it didn’t start raining until we were close to our dinner destination… gotta love the synchronicity.)

We have about an hour and a half before there will be a table for us so we decide to kill that time at a microbrewery we passed on the way. When I tell you they had one of the yummiest sour beers I’ve ever had… it was delicious! (Not that my opinion has weight considering I’m not the biggest fan of beer haha). But it was delicious, and after a tasting flight and the multiple cups Carson kept ordering us… it was safe to say we were ready for Michelin regardless if it was ready for us or not. We decide to leave and walk around a bit for some fresh air before dinner, but right as we walk out of the brewery they call us! It was fate.

The restaurant was Clamato, and it provided flavors I hadn’t experienced – which I appreciate.

The first tastebud adventure for the table was their seafood plate which included oysters and crab. Though I’ve had better oysters, they were still delicious and the crab was meaty and juicy. The next dish was their marinated leeks. They came in some weird creamy sauce that had me a bit skeptical, but it was actually really good and didn’t taste anything how it looks it would – but I can’t quite describe the flavor. Last but not least, we ordered their trout(?) tartar which immediately had our tastebuds bursting. Whatever sauce they used sent you through a rollercoaster of flavors, you couldn’t tell if it was salty, sweet, or slightly sour – but each flavor was in attendance to this tastebud party. On top of that, they added some sort of onion crunch on top which 100% aces the texture game when paired with the fish. This was by far our favorite part of the meal.

We also had a beer to end the meal with, but it was disgusting lol. It tasted like olives, and I’m not fully on the olive team or the beer team… so it was a no from me. But we left that dinner feeling good – it was a beyond successful day without any effort, and the universe had it all play out extremely beautifully.

We went home and passed out almost immediately.

THE NEXT DAY WAS FLORENCE DAY!!! The entire reason we booked this Paris trip was for the Florence and The Machine concert. This was the one thing Carson wanted to do for his birthday, so we done did it.

We kept things easy this day because it was rainy and we didn’t have much time as we wanted to make sure we got to the concert early to get as close as we could. After a nice little walk we found a cute ramen place called Nouille Shop that looked comforting to the soul, so we stopped and indulged. It was everything we needed, and a nice walk to a park to digest afterwards did the trick.

We then went back to our Airbnb to get ready and prepare for our evening. Carson finished knitting a piece for his outfit that night and we headed out a bit early to get macaroons from this place Carson was living, breathing, dying by. (I’m not the biggest fan of macaroons, so I just kept my expectations non-existent).

We arrive at the macaroon place and we get an assortment of 8. I also get a mocha, which was absolutely delicious. The perfect amount of chocolate and coffee. We pause to try one of the macaroons and oh my goodness is it delectable. In this very moment we devoured all of them instead of taking them along for our walk like we initially planned. 

The concert is beyond amazing. Florence is a performer of the arts and leaves it all on the stage. Her concert was inspiring and heartfelt – I think everyone in that arena felt connected that night. 

The next and final day we head towards the catacombs. Which I didn’t know too much about, but apparently they are underground caves with the skeleton remains of like 6 million people. Don’t ask me, Carson was really embracing the spooky season this year, haha. Unfortunately, the catacombs were closed and we were unable to explore the endless skeletons, but we did have a nice walk around town. We went by the Eiffel Tower, by Arc de Triomphe, and then guess what we ran into? The macaroon place!! And yes indeed did we buy an assortment of 24 just for ourselves. And yes of course did we finish all of them before our flight that afternoon. 

For our last Paris supper, we stopped at a restaurant called Bofinger not far from the Airbnb so we could grab our stuff and head to the airport as soon as we were finished. The food was delicious and comforting. We ordered escargot and oysters for appetizers. Now these oysters? Phenomenal. Definitely better than the ones at Clamato. They are up there with some of the best I’ve had in San Juan, Washington. They were flavorful and full of texture. I’m glad Carson got to experience these as this weekend was his first time exploring oysters to begin with. We also had some really good wine, and both of our entrees were mouthwatering. It was a good last hurrah to our Paris getaway. 

So all in all, I’m glad we gave Paris a go despite not being too excited for it. Maybe our low expectations and go with the flow mentality worked in our favor this trip, or maybe Paris showed off and showed out to redeem itself. Either way, it was majorly enjoyable and I would return.

I’m glad Carson and I got to prance through the city of Paris together. This was one for the books.

Thanks for reading.
xx, Mal

2 thoughts on “The Redemption of France

  1. Very intriguing piece to read and so many similar feelings towards France. I actually started my seafood journey when I first visited Europe, and definitely there are misses but when it hits it HITSSSSSSSS

    Liked by 1 person

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