February 14th seems ages ago now… but that just goes to show that I have been having so much fun that I’ve become about a month behind on my travel posts… *yikes*. Tis the season for final papers and coursework that’s worth 60% of my grade to be completed in a span of two weeks, before my family comes to visit (YAY) and I start traveling a bit more before my wonderful European adventures comes to its end.
My fourth and last day in Paris was truly a whirlwind of everything wonderful in life wrapped up in sweet crepe dough and presented on a platter full of everything that makes my soul happy.
Ben and I started off the morning with crepes from our favorite stand a few blocks from the Notre Dame and then made our way to the Arc de Triomphe. Understandably, the Arc had an uncanny resemblance to the arch in Washington Square Park, one of my favorite spots in the NYC.
Regrettably we opted to not climb (the 300+ steps) to the top of the Arc because we were exhausted and as the rain had finally cleared up that morning and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to go for a walk sans umbrellas.
Across what appeared to be a strange intersection with no crosswalk – we eventually realized the crosswalk was underground, go figure – was the Champs-Élysée which I was excited to walk down. High-end boutique after boutique the street stretched on and reminded me of 5th Ave.
We stopped in Longchamp where I purchased some gifts and in the original Ladurée shop, which made me nostalgic for Gossip Girl (it featured the first product placement for Ladurée and that’s what it made it so popular! Of course Blair would have these delightful macaroons flown out to her from Paris!) and Ben bought me a box of the world’s best macaroons! Happy Valentine’s Day to me! Note: They were consumed so quickly that I did not even have a chance to take some pictures. One of my favorites though was the bright blue “Marie Antoinette.”
Next we went to the Rodin Museum, something that I had been recommended to visit by multiple people, most adamantly my mother. I had already been to the museum in Philly but to see his work in Paris was a whole different story. The museum was half outside in the gardens, which was overlooked by the Tour Eiffel and Les Invalides, the building in which Napoleon is buried and half inside the museum gallery.
I can only imagine how beautiful this must be in the spring and summer when the flowers and trees have blossomed and bloomed but unfortunately visiting in the middle of February on a grey and rainy day did not provide for the most ideal experience.
Of course, Ben and I could not have passed up the opportunity to visit the Love Locks Bridge on the Seine during this trip, and we saved it for our last day, which also happened to be Valentine’s Day. There was something so satisfying and final about clamping the lock down on the bridge and then throwing the key into the River! It is such a cool symbolic experience (and tourist trap) but it also adds another physical portrayal of how romantic the city’s essence truly is. These locks are not just on this specific bridge, but also on the bridges, benches, railings and fences all throughout the city. There is something so special about all of the friends and lovers taking part in this tradition that it adds another element to the Parisian energy.
Our last Parisian dinner was incredibly French and delicious. We had a reservation at the Vagenende Brasserie, a traditional French brasserie with an entirely stunning interior. The restaurant was filled with mirrors, chandeliers, gold leaf paint, dainty artwork, teal tiling and mosaics and an old world luxurious atmosphere.
The menu was rich with options and while deciding we ordered a meat and cheese platter and champagne. Mmmm.
The dinner was wonderful and we were surrounded by happy French couples and very French and comedic waiters. We shared a dessert made of a light fluffy crème and some sort of amazing caramel sauce and another glass of champagne before making our way to a nearby rooftop.
We had known all along that we had access to this roof, yet for some reason did not take advantage of it until our last night. Our last bottle of French wine in hand we went up the elevator to find that we had the entire rooftop to ourselves.
Granted, it was a chilly night, but the view was absolutely astonishing. We were able to see the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tour, Sacre Coeur, Ferris Wheel next to the Tulleries, Les Invalides… it was so wonderful. We figured out how to turn on the heat lamps at the table we were at and reflected on our trip while enjoying the view and the wine.
It was from the roof that I was able to see the last Eiffel Tour hourly nighttime light show and I experienced the purest joy that I had felt in a long time.
Stay Classy! xx