All of five weeks ago, I received a message from Ann expressing the sentiment that due to work schedules and vacation time and my timetable of returning to the states, she did not think she would be able to come to visit in June as we had planned from before I even arrived in Spain. But she proposed another alternative, would I consider meeting her in Paris in just two and a half weeks? And for anyone who knows me, it does not take much convincing for me to commit to traveling. So with a few clicks on various airline pages, I had had myself a trip to Paris booked.
Fast forward two and a half weeks, many exchanged texts with giddiness and “I can’t believe this is happening!” moments, and Ann greets me in the stairwell of the beautiful flat we were able to so graciously share with her boyfriend’s parents in the heart of Paris. It was one of those can’t stop smiling, “can this really be true, are you really in the same space as me?!” occasions.
As second time returners to Paris for both of us, we were eager to see Paris less as sight-seer’s and more as locals. Mark and Susan had found a lovely flat in the 3rd district of the city, and it could have not been more perfect a way to be able to experience the city together. We racked up miles and miles of walking, shopped in the cute little boutique stores up and down the streets in our neighborhood, and ate more than our fair share of macarons and pastries and baguettes with fromage. We spent time together in a cafe, something we have done continuously when we were both in Michigan, but we also marveled at the lights on the Eiffel Tower and gazed up at the Arc de Triomphe, things we never could possibly do together in our little hometown.
I will admit that I was a bit melancholy when Ann left yesterday. It was so very difficult to see her go after traveling with her in France and then having her return to Mallorca with me for a few more days, I had so easily adjusted back to the norm that was our relationship before I moved to Spain. Friendship in this life season looks very different than it did in the past; and like all things, it shifts and changes over time and as I reflect on how it looked even last summer, I am all the more grateful for the way we had geographical space on our side to be able to sow into our friendship. And I know that even upon my return to the Mitten, it will not look as it did as she is now in Texas so acknowledging that the way we were able to be friends will look different in times to come, but oh so thankful for this trip and the time we shared together.
Also this is easily the longest post I have in regards to pictures; you’ve been forewarned…
My first glimpses of Paris; Bastille. Fontainebleau Palace; where Napoleon vacationed. Our lovely hosts, Susan and Mark, as well as Karen, who was visiting too 🙂The Eiffel Tower in all its’ glory, so sparkly and twinkly. There’s the Notre Dame poking out from around the corner. This time around I did not make the mistake (again) of not going into the infamous cathedral. The line was speedy and the interior was gorgeous. So thankful for the opportunity to redeem my poor decision making from the last time!What a gorgeous cathedral and to think of how long it has stood the test of time. I love to think of how things were built to last so many centuries ago.A quick browsing of this little bookshop brought back a flood of memories when I was here last on my study abroad in 2012. The patisseries around the city made finding fresh bread and pastries a snap.I heart Paris, yes I do ^^Contemplated for a moment about the many pictures of buildings and then I still decided to keep them all because this city is just so beautiful. In front of Palais Garnier, the Opera House. La Madeleine ChurchPlace de la Concorde; where 360 views were just stunning. The blue skies didn’t hurt either.The Arc de Triomphe, such a beauty. Susan was an amazing navigator for us and helped us get around the city a bit easier than we would have on our own. The gorgeous city views from Sacré-Cœur- heart eyes all around.I spy with my little eye, Ann and myself in a crowd of people.The back of Sacré-Cœur, a spot less seen by the many tourists that parked themselves on the steps in the front. Valentine’s Day in the City of Love. Flowers galore and lots of boxes of delicious chocolate. Susan made Ann and I up a sweet little gift bag too, and she was gifted with beautiful flowers from Mark. The Breath Cafe; mmm, mmm, mmm. Located only a few blocks from our flat, it was high on the list of places to stop into because it offers gluten free galettes and crepes. And yummy they were! Below is a ginger crepe with ginger ice cream and ginger sauce. Ginger overload it may sound, but it most definitely was not.Because my best friend was in the same city as me and we hadn’t had a coffee shop date in months and this just felt right, except that we were in Paris(!).The corner building is where we stayed; great place and most definitely was the most lux I had traveled since arriving in Spain.Views of the Eiffel Tower never get old to me.The Pantheon is behind us and with another day of sunshine (and our last day there), we were all smiles. As Susan put it, it was one of those days you just wanted to bottle up and keep in a safe place. Ann and her gluten-free sweet butter caramel sauce crepe. Susan and I got lemon and sugar crepes around the corner because I couldn’t leave without trying a crepe from a little hole-in-the-wall shop. The best of the best!Paris, you were très bon to us! To Susan and Mark- merci many times over for the most magnificent trip. And to Ann- thank you for trekking across the ocean to share in this trip with me. Feeling all the feels tonight as I reflect on this trip!