20 August 2013


Our last (full) day in Paris. Bittersweet. Sweet for our budget, bitter for the fact that Paris is totally awesome. We decided that it would be great on our last day to get one last beautiful view of the city, so we took a metro and hiked up to Montmartre.

We took a "secret" staircase up to the basilica, which Owen was convinced was a super awesome shortcut. Well, he was half-correct...it definitely was a quick walk up to the monument, but we're pretty sure it was the sneaky path that people selling water bottles and stuff on the street use as a public restroom. So that was interesting. But at least we didn't have to suffer through the hike up Montmartre that most people complain about!

Awesome looking church, lots of stairs.

View of the Eiffel Tower from the top of the hill! You kind of have to climb up this fence and take a photo through a hole in it, or from above, but it's worth the shot I would say. Photo of that below...

We went inside the church of course (it was free) but you weren't supposed to take photos inside and unlike 90% of the tourists, we actually followed the rules. I'm sure you can google it if you want.

A lovely shot takes a little work! I love that you can see the tower peeking through that hole though :)

Tour from the main part of the basilica. A little hazy, but a little lovely.

Then for lunch we went to a place called Babalou-Sur-Seine, which was recommended by one of my friends from our old ward. I was a little hesitant (pizza in Paris??), but it was so good! I was actually super craving pizza after being away from the states for so long, and this fresh Italian place (which was incredibly conveniently close to Sacre Coeur) totally hit the spot. I got the ricotta pizza which was so delightful and fresh and BIG, and Owen got a spicy sausage one. Do not ask to split pizzas here, just a warning :)

They had this infused chili oil there you could drizzle on your pizza which was totally hot and totally good. We definitely are going to learn how to make this.

And we finished with the chocolate cake, which again, Owen wants me to learn how to make. Yeah it was goooood.

Then we hiked around the Montmartre neighborhood, and decided it would definitely be a cool place to stay if we visited again. It was a lot more laid-back and quieter and green!

Some church, it was cool.

Hopping along the sidewalk posts.

Super pretty ivy growing on all the buildings. I know its a weed and that it kills a lot of other species that would normally be there, but it's so pretty!

Yeah, lots of ivy.

Then we decided to head over to Places des Vosges, which is a cool neighborhood area where apparently Victor Hugo used to live. While we were over there, we went to one last free museum, Musée Carnavalet, which is a museum dedicated to the history of Paris.

We didn't know French and we didn't know much about the history of Paris, but it was still pretty awesome. It was way less populated than most of the museums we visited, and it was so much fun finding this little bit of history along our way!

Then we went to the best place ever, Chocolatier Joséphine Vannier. Not only were the chocolates delicious and the service super nice and friendly, the prices were actually not outrageous! It is probably a good thing we didn't discover this until our last day, or else we would have eaten so much chocolate on this trip!

Enjoying one last picnic at the park at Places des Vosges. This park was awesome because a) you could sit on the grass (though watch out for cigarette butts) and b) it felt like a lot more locals hung out here, and it seemed more like a neighborhood hangout than total tourist site.

And it was pretty, of course. Minus the pigeons (of course).

On our way home, we HAD to stop for gelato at Amorino because of all the rave reviews we'd heard.

I knew the gelato would taste good, but I had no idea that they would scoop it into such lovely little roses! It was awesome! I tried to watch their technique carefully, and if I ever find a flat ice cream scoop, I'd love to learn how to recreate it. I've never eaten such pretty ice cream!

Eating it in a swirling technique was a must.

On our walk home that night, one last photo and one last awesome church. I loved the red doors!

Overall, Paris was incredible. Of course it was. It's one of the greatest and most idealized cities in the world. It was definitely expensive, and definitely worth it in our minds. Do I think everyone should go to Paris? No. You have to be pretty into art and history to enjoy the greatest parts, you have to not mind waiting in huge lines or squirming through huge crowds or having lots of people blocking your views or having people smoking all around you, and having a significant budget definitely doesn't hurt. There were some things about our trip that didn't live up to my great expectations, and there were some things that totally surpassed them. As crazy as some people may think I am, I am totally glad that I planned out such an extensive itinerary because I really felt like we were able to make the most out of our time and see a lot of really amazing things. Most of all, I am so grateful that we had this opportunity together, I'm grateful to Owen for having a kick-butt job and going along with my crazy dream to visit this wonderful city, and grateful that there are such interesting and amazing places on this earth for us to visit!

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