Paris Part 4

Ohh gosh guys I’ve missed you!! One post a week is just not acceptable. Work was really intense last week, and as a result my brain feels like a fried egg. I had to work over the weekend, and I know it’s going to be another busy one this week. I love my job and the awesome challenges that advertising presents, but I also miss normal-life things when I work these hectic hours – eating meals at home, going to the gym, blogging, snuggling, and sunlight.

Anyways, it’s 8pm and I’ve snuck out of work ‘early’ for the night, so I wanted to finally share with you my Paris Part 4 post. Where did we leave off? After a late dinner on Friday and an ambitious Saturday sprinting all over the city, B and I decided to relax a bit on Sunday. We started with a lazy stroll to the Eiffel Tower, which was not very far from our flat. IMG_1577Summer has always been my favorite season, but after seeing springtime in Paris, I may have changed my mind. IMG_1568The sky was a brilliant blue, the air was warm, and there was not a cloud in the sky to be seen.IMG_1573IMG_1590I don’t want to spam you with Eiffel Tower photos, but man, it was pretty.IMG_1604Below is the only photo B and I got together in Paris. An old man who didn’t speak a world of English came up and motioned that he wanted to take our photo. I hesitantly handed over my camera, half expecting him to sprint. He then spent ten minutes trying to figure out how to work the automatic focus. B walked over and showed him how to point the camera at us, press the button half way down to focus, and then press fully to snap the shot. The old man did not get it. So B walked over again, and then again. By the third time we were genuinely smiling, as this guy was so cute and helpful and clearly trying his best to take a great photo. And on attempt number three, voilà! IMG_1616I love that every photo has a story. 

Great photography makes you wonder who is behind the lens, what happened moments before, what will happen after, who the subjects are, what they were thinking, etc. Some photos say a lot. Others, my favorite kind, leave you guessing and intrigued. IMG_1638After seeing the Eiffel Tower, we decided to head over to Pierre Hermé. We took a complete gamble, as 90% of shops are closed in Paris on Sunday. But the adventure was in the journey, and if we were lucky, we would be rewarded with delicious macaroons. IMG_1632Lots of people go to Paris and swoon over Ladurée. Taste wise, I love both Ladurée. We all know I have an insatiable sweet tooth ;) IMG_1644But these days, Ladurée is showing up everywhere. You can find Ladurée in almost every European capital, not to mention countless other major cities around the globe. I’m glad their business is booming, but when I go to Paris to eat macaroons, I want to feel like I’m eating something I can’t find in my backyard – something unique to the City of Light.IMG_1662I prefer Pierre Hermé, which is native to Paris. . . . . and Tokyo. Why Tokyo? Way back when, Hermé originally worked for Ladurée in Pairs. When he left Ladurée to start up his own macaroon venture, he was banned from working in Paris, due to a non-compete clause in his contract! So you’ll also find Pierre Hermé in Tokyo, but with good reason.

I’m also glad we chose Pierre Hermé. . . . . IMG_1655. . . as they were actually open on Sunday! Initially the prognosis was not looking good. Every shop we walked by was guarded by barred windows and locked doors.IMG_1656But half way down the street, we saw a small group of people on the sidewalk. And as we got closer, we realized they were eating macaroons! We swooped into Pierre Hermé, the only open door on the street, and started pointing at this and that, debating our fare.IMG_1648IMG_1659We went for a box of macaroons and some random confections – a croissant filled with raspberry jam,  a salted caramel tart, and a sweet, sticky cinnamon roll.IMG_1660IMG_1665IMG_1669^ ^ This was seriously the best croissant I’ve ever had! It tasted like a raspberry danish paired with the softest croissant I’ve ever tasted. Le sigh!IMG_1685We ate our breakfast outside in a big square, listening to church bells and chirping birds. IMG_1679We found a nearby park and strolled through the manicured gardens. If there’s one thing the French do well (other than creating delicious bread, wine, coffee, and macaroons) it’s building beautiful gardens. IMG_1674Despite our sugar feast, B and I were still hungry! So we decided to take a friend’s recommendation and head towards Bonjour Vietnam. My colleague Christy is from Japan, and she swears that Bonjour Vietnam serves the best Vietnamese food in Europe. After two days of rich, buttery French food, we were ready for something slightly different.IMG_1682^ ^ We knew we were close by when we saw this guy!IMG_1695Bonjour Vietnam really is a hole in the wall place. If B and I were walking by, we probably wouldn’t have given it a second look. The restaurant can only seat 12 people, and there are only two employees – a man waiting on the guests in the dinning area and a woman slaving away in the kitchen. We weren’t too sure what to get (I haven’t had Vietnamese food since I was living in the US!) so we pointed to a few things on the menu and left our meal up to chance.IMG_1690I had fried scallops and B had sweet and sour beef. Both were delicious, but I think we both had pho envy when the people sitting next to us were served huge bowls of steaming noodles. IMG_1692We kept out meal short (I only took the above two photos) as we had to go back to our flat, pack, and catch a cab to the train station.IMG_1642 IMG_1703We enjoyed the view from our flat one more time before grabbing our bags and heading to the taxi stand downstairs.IMG_1714IMG_1706After two days in Paris we were exhausted. We had sun burned noses and VERY tired feet. We also had a whole bag of macaroons to demolish :)IMG_1715Falling into the train to relax for a few hour was literally just what we needed. And to top it off, we had sprung for first class, so we were fed snacks and tea and treated to free wifi.IMG_1717Goodbye Paris, you are beautiful and amazing and delicious, and I can’t wait to see you again soon! IMG_1721xo Ali

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