This week is just full of big news, isn’t it? Well, I’m not sure why I’ve been keeping this a secret for so long, but…
We’re going to Paris!
We’re headed there for a week in July! To say I’m excited would be a little bit of an understatement.
Neal has been working crazy hard over the past year, and in his recent performance review, his boss told him it was mandatory that he take a week off of work this summer. (I believe his words were, “You’re required to take a vacation. So take Jess somewhere cool”–he’s the best.)
So naturally, when Neal asked where I wanted to go, I jokingly threw out “PARIS!” and he was like, “OKAY!” (Really!?)
So we booked tickets and an Air BnB, and we’ll also happen to be there over my birthday. (Best birthday ever?) Also–I feel the need to mention that while our Air BnB looks…interesting…it has has a ladder that leads up to a hatch to get onto the roof. So that means, yes, we will be drinking rosé and watching the sun set over the rooftops of Paris. Every. Night. (I mean, could you possibly want anything else?)
I’ve been to Paris twice, once right after high school and once when I was studying abroad in Italy, but they’ve both been quick trips filled with touristy activities–I’ve never actually experienced Paris–much less experienced Paris with the love of my life! Neal also hasn’t ever been, so we’re so excited to just live there for the week.
When we travel, we’re pretty big on just flying by the seat (seats?) of our pants, but there are a couple things on our list so far…
1. Jim Hayne’s Supper Club
Way back when, I remember listening to this article on NPR. Fast forward years later, I’m doing research for Paris, and stumble upon an article on Parisian supper clubs–and there it is again!
For the last 30 years, Jim Haynes, a local journalist, has been opening his doors every Sunday to invite about 50 people from all over the world over for dinner. A different friend cooks each time, and everyone is asked to contribute around 30 euro. He memorizes the guest list beforehand, so he can easily make introductions–connecting everyone from locals to tourists–students, truck drivers, artists, retirees, and pretty much everyone else under the sun. “If I had my way,” he says, “I would introduce everyone in the whole world to each other.”
I email immediately to see if we can get on the guest list, adding that I stumbled upon the article in Time Out Paris, which is funny, because I happen to write for Time Out Chicago. He responded within hours, letting us know he’d love to have us join, and added, “small world–I helped launch Time Out London in the sixties!”
(Seriously, how cool is this? Totally geeking out.)
2. Musée d’Orsay
I’m really excited to finally see the Musee de Orsay. I’ve done the Louvre and it was fantastic (although, let’s be honest–the Mona Lisa is a total snoozefest. You can only get within about 10 feet of it and you have to squint to see it, it’s so small.) So I’m really excited to check out the Musée d’Orsay’s, particularly the top floor, which I’ve heard is devoted to Impressionism. (Monet is my favorite!)
3. Food Markets
We wanted to get an Air BnB specifically so we could do some cooking while we were there! Being a total Julia Child and Ina Garten fanatic, obviously visiting the Parisian food markets was at the top of my list. I’ll probably make a couple stops at Marche Bastille, as we’re staying not far from there! Saxe-Breteuil is also on my list, it’s right in front of the Eiffel Tower! (Of course, leave it to me to be most excited about grocery shopping in Paris.)
Located off of the banks of the Seine, I’m dying to stop at this famed book market. (Ernest Hemingway and his “lost generation” pals used to peruse this place.) The book nerd in me says this is a must.
5. Eat and Drink
Part of me is so looking forward to just walking down the street aimlessly until we happen along the perfect cafe for dinner, but obviously it’s good to have a few pre-researched ideas in store, right? On the list is Café Babel for drinks and great music, Le Bistrot des Dames and La Sardine for dining al fresco, and we have to stop at the famed Harry’s New York bar for at least one cocktail.
Have you been to Paris? What are your recommendations? I would LOVE to hear them all!