One of the best things about living in Europe is that you get to say things like, I’m going to Paris for the weekend!; and that being hardly a big deal, since you can literally hop on a train or bus and be there in a matter of hours.
So in the spirit of taking advantage of life opportunities, that’s exactly what I did last weekend (oops that was a year ago!). I got on a bus, and soon enough I found myself walking the streets of Paris, once again. The weather was fantastic and the city was alive with people walking around everywhere and motorcycles almost running me over. So thrilling and exciting! But the best part is that I was there for a very special reason: one of my best friends is doing some travelling around Europe and I knew I had to see her. Then I quickly figured out that if you put your best friend and Paris together, you pretty much get the perfect deal. For years we talked about being in Paris together and trying all the sweets and pastries we could possibly find, and suddenly there we were, doing exactly that: walking the streets of Paris, laughing uncontrollably, attempting to navigate the unfamiliar blocks of the city and stopping to marvel at every single delicious storefront along the way. We successfully accomplished all of our goals.
We started off the trip by having breakfast at Angelina‘s, and it was amazing. We had reservations – which I highly recommend doing, considering there’s always a waiting line – and we had no time to lose. We were very looking forward to this part of the trip and were not disappointed. Primarily known for its almost pudding-like hot chocolate, Angelina is all fancy and sophisticated. The building is absolutely gorgeous and it’s like having breakfast inside a museum. I had croque madame, and when the waitress bought it over I was mesmerised. It looked nothing like I expected and nothing like any other sandwich I’ve ever had. It was a crisp, buttery wonder and absolutely scrumptious. To this day, that is the best lettuce I have ever had and the tomato tasted so light and soft and fresh. I could eat that for the rest of my life.
The hotel was by Galeries Lafayette, and this department store is worth visiting manly because it looks more like an opera house or a wedding venue than anything else. It then it occurred to me that Paris really does an impeccable job of being fancy, and I do a decent job of pretending to fit in.
To wrap up a weekend of extravaganza, we went to Versailles to check out Marie Antoinette’s old crib. If you ever consider visiting Palace of Versailles, make sure you plan it well – we didn’t – so you don’t waste half of your day waiting in line – we did. Plan ahead, get there early and try getting tickets online. There’s an endless stream of tourists arriving all the time, and once you’re inside the palace, which is absolutely massive, get ready to be bumped into and elbowed nonstop on your way across it. It can be quite annoying and a bit claustrophobic, but in the end it’s worth it. The Hall of Mirrors looks quite impressive and when you get to the exorbitant garden, the view is quite stunning. You can’t help but wonder what it must’ve been like to live in such an extravagant place.
Now that I’m back I can’t decide what I miss more: my friend, or Paris, or the food or the overwhelmingly romantic atmosphere of the city. It’s all of that combined. Then I think of the stinky and hot subway cars and I feel a tiny bit better.
I can’t wait to be back. Until then, I’ll relish the memories.