I had ten days to turn myself into a Parisian tour guide before William came to visit me. Last summer, he intended to travel to France after his internship in London but plans changed and he never made it across the channel.
So, it was my pleasure to show a fresh set of eyes all that France has to offer--fine wines, sidewalk cafés and flower boxes gracing the sides of buildings.
Our overall goal was to pack the most of Paris we could into five days, so together, we sketched out a rough itinerary. That way, we'd always have options, but we were open to switching, changing and rearranging as we went along. The first afternoon went just according to plan.
Caroline's food guide (mentioned here) matches up with lots of Paris by Mouth's recommendations, who led me to our first lunch spot, bread&roses.
I'll admit it might have been a little more up my alley than his, but it was able to afford him true French fare (he got his first quiche) and feel with sidewalk dining.
A boulangerie sits next to the café, so it came as no surprise that their complimentary loaf at the start of lunch was one of the best I've had so far.
And in this city, good cheese is never far from good bread, a principle that inspired me to get the goat cheese toasts.
He had mentioned me he enjoyed the parks in London last summer, so I decided a trip to the Luxembourg gardens would be a good post trans-Atlantic travel activity to shake off the jet lag.
He must have packed a supply of sunshine in his suitcase because just 24 hours before his arrival I was touring Notre Dame for my class in a torrential downpour. Don't be fooled by that grin; I was miz.
Low and behold, upon his arrival, the sun was flirting with the city after being a stranger for most of my stay, making our stroll through the gardens even more gorgeous.
I had never seen these "jardins" myself and we both couldn't blame all the young folk for soaking up the sun with a sketch pad or light read in hand.
Paris is truly one of those places that looks exactly like what you picture. And I love that about it.
We made it just in time to tour the Catacombs, an underground tunnel with roughly 6 million skeletons--the largest in of its kind in the world.
I don't really do haunted houses, and as eerie as this was, I really liked it. We both did.
For me, it was a nice departure from the similar kinds of art and architecture I had seen in churches and museums the first weeks.
Two sights in one afternoon and before we knew it we each had a spoon in hand digging into the quintessential European summer snack--gelato! Paris by Mouth had also listed a beer bar, La Marina, just a block over from his hotel, and we liked it so much we made a second trip by the trip's end. You could call us regulars.
His hotel, Le Littre, being in the lively Saint-Germain-des-Prés made picking a dinner spot in walking distance from our hotel easy, something he understandably suggested after a long day. Italian food has unintentionally become our go-to and it even found us in France for our first night. We spent our first night sharing two pies in Paris from Pizza Chic. I chose the artichoke from the white menu while he picked from the red variety with a classic margherita topped with buffalo mozzarella and devoured both sur la terrace.
I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many fun Thursday nights we've had in Austin, but this one was hard to top. And it just keeps gettin' better as the weekend went on. I'll steal the words from his mom's mouth: the trip certainly proved to be providential. More soon!