Parisienne down-time

“People say nothing is impossible but i do nothing every day”

Winnie the Pooh-

Montmartre

Montmartre

If you’re looking for a blog that has a list of top 20 things to see while in paris for 3 nights, I’m sorry but you will be disappointed.  My boyfriend and I hate scheduled vacations….what’s the point of a vacation if you’re tied to a schedule? No, not us.  We enjoy cafes, walking, window shopping, more cafes, occasional museum perusing, people watching, people-watching in cafes. And although this may sound boring, let me tell you, action certainly found us…

Ok, so lets start from the beginning.  Seth and I have been using AirBnB to rent out apartments as opposed to hotels.  It’s totally reliable, you save money, and its a cooler, less-touristy way of traveling….Just don’t be an idiot.  I like adventure and all, but I wouldn’t book an apartment on the website if it had NO reviews. Ted Bundy was a charming man…

So we land in Paris, make our way into downtown Paris where our apartment was located, and find the building that it’s in.  Seth had the code to get in, and we entered no problem.  Now Seth says to me, “ok, she said she’d leave the key in the mailbox”, as we both stare at about 36 mailboxes in front of us.  I start to wonder, ‘how are we going to get a key out of a mailbox if we don’t have the key to the mailbox.  Each box had an opening from the top, so I was trying to fit my hand in to feel for a key.  Some of the boxes were completely open, so I started to look around those…nothing.  Then I think I feel a key…I pull and the left corner is off but the rest of the box is locked in…Ok just one more tug…smash. The door flies open as the wood chips from the inside fall lightly onto the ground.  Worst of all, there was no key inside; I broke someone else’s mailbox.

We’re totally freaking out.  Carla is a made-up name, Airbnb is a scam, Paris sucks. At this point in time, a very nice man comes out and says something that sounded very nice in French.  We told him that we only spoke a little French and he asked us if we needed help.  Seth quickly explained the situation, and the man said “Yes, you’re staying in Carla’s place?”

“Yes! yes we are”, Seth and I say with joy. He reaches into the only mailbox we didn’t check, and calmly pulls out a brown paper bag that had been sticking out of the top corner ever-so gently.  Awesome.

Seth and I ran upstairs and entered the apartment.  Mayyybbee 130 square feet, tops.  It was as if we were staying on a cruise ship. Whatever, it’s paris, we’re in the best part of town, and we’re paying $90 a night…Neither one of us were complaining.  We shower quickly, get dressed, and walk around Paris at night…

The Sienne, one block from our apartment

The Sienne, one block from our apartment

We’re outside walking down the street.  It’s about 9:30 pm, about 55 degrees on a Thursday night in Paris, I have my arm locked with his, the locals are spilling out of the cafes, love is in the air…

Then, out of nowhere, we hear loud angry French noises. BOOM! Some guy gets punched in the face so hard it throws him 10 feet out of the cafe and onto the sidewalk.  Then another guy comes out of nowhere and starts strangling someone.  As one guy is on the ground getting strangled, a man who clearly works at the restaurant lifts up an outdoor chair, lines it up with the French strangler’s mid-back, and SLAM! totally brings the chair down right onto his back. A table flips over as a mob of French men wave their arms in a fit of over-exaggerated explanation.  I love Paris.

photo 3 (2)

We checked out Montmartre and went to the Musee d’Orsay. Wow. Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Manet, Me-Oh-My. I fell in love.  To top it off, Seth and I not only enjoyed the same art, but found the same pieces to be boring! This may seem stupid and irrelevant  but believe you me, this is a MAJOR time saver when you’re only in Paris for 3 nights.  Yup, he’s my soul mate : )

We ate street food all day, spending no more than 15 dollars each on a meal…we also ordered two 8 dollar cappuccinos, unbeknownst to us, but i really don’t want to talk about it.

… You know what’s awesome and free? Street Art…

photo 2 (4)

At some point during our second day there we turned the corner as a man was hit by a truck while crossing the street. He was bleeding from his forehead and refused an ambulance; we walked on.

Our last night was perfect.  We had dinner, and then went to a corner cafe at this busy square with beautiful sidewalks filled with people.  It was Paris on a Saturday night, we were seated under heated lamps outside and out of nowhere an  American jazz band sets up shop right across the street.  They had a New Orleans, ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that Swing’ vibe to them, and were jamming all night.  Yes! this is why I came here, this is why people love Paris (and New Orleans, for that matter).

photo 3 (1)

To be honest, Paris can feel a bit overcrowded at times.  The streets are over-crowded with cars and you can feel the effects of pollution on your lungs almost instantaneously.  There’s also a lot of dog poop everywhere. No, like I mean everywhere. And yes, things are pricey.  But if you do Paris right…if you’re not an obnoxious American with unrealistic expectations, then yes, you’ll enjoy your time, at least not the Parisienne way.

What you wil find in Paris that is unique to any other country are the characters. people like that don’t exist outside of Paris, and for a moment, I was thrusted full speed into their everyday lives. That was my favorite part of the whole trip.

Paris 65 degrees

Paris 65 degrees

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3 responses to “Parisienne down-time

  1. Omg an EUR8 coffee?! Was it by the Siene? Did you sit outside en terrace?! Because we paid something like EUR40 for a fried cheese sandwich and a coffee the last time we were in Paris and nearly choked when we got the bill! At least the view was worth it. Great post!

    • Peggy, the apt we rented was in fact right near Sienne, in an amazing location. Had i known the euro was 8 dollars, I would have said “merci, beaucoup” and walked right out 🙂

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