Thursday, February 11, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn
On Thursday, we arrived in Paris from Metz right before the 6:00 pm curfew so we only had time to grab some dinner before rushing to our Airbnb. One thing you should know about me is that I’m a huge Chipotle fan, so my excitement upon learning that there are multiple Chipotle locations in Paris, and that my travel companions and I are very like-minded when it comes to this restaurant chain was unparalleled. Some may judge us for not jumping at the opportunity to try French food in Paris, but to me, there are few things better in life than taking a bite out of a Chipotle chicken burrito.
On Friday we got up early to do a “speed-run” of Paris. It was a rare sunny day, so we had to take advantage of it by seeing all of the sights. We started off by taking the very steep climb up to the Sacré-Cœur where we took in the view of the basilica towering over the city. Of course, we took photos and selfies that included a lovely cut-out of me as a painting, and my friend as a painter that I just had to take a photo with. We continued to walk around the neighborhood of Montmatre, which is best known for once serving as the home of famed artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. To top off exploring Monmartre, we stumbled upon an open crepe shop where mouth-watering scents permeated the air. I never would have thought that something as simple as lemon juice and a crepe could be so delicious, but I was proven wrong. We also visited “The Love Wall”, a mural where the words “I love you” are written in every language.
Our speed run of Paris continued with taking the metro to the Arc de Triomphe, walking down the extremely “boujee” Champs Elysees, then, of course, the Eiffel Tower. While taking goofy photos at the Eiffel Tower, the classic shifted-perspective ones where you make it seem like you’re holding the tower, or leaning up against it, a man selling souvenirs came up to us. He saw us struggling and wanted to help us take some better photos. He had us line up and jump up at the same time, which he recorded in slow motion, and then screenshotted at the exact moment we were all in the air. I was pretty impressed with his photography abilities, and grateful he offered to help us.
We ended the day with the only thing in Paris that might be better than the Eiffel Tower — French Costco. It’s hard to explain how comforting it felt to walk in and feel completely at home with things like the layout of the store and the familiar smell of Costco muffins. To quote my friend, “You know you’re a dedicated patron when you make the pilgrimage to French Costco”.
On Saturday, the weather wasn’t as cooperative as we would have liked, but we made the most of it by exploring the Latin Quarter. We checked out two famous English bookshops: the Abbey Bookshop and Shakespeare & Company. Walking up to these bookshops, with their weather-beaten outdoor bookcases and faded signage felt like entering a different Paris – an older, quieter one. Inside Shakespeare & Co., I wandered to the second floor where I encountered a very disgruntled looking cat. I sat down next to it, and the next thing I knew, she had crawled into my lap. She gave off strong grumpy cat vibes but I loved her for it.
Paris surprised me, and I found myself charmed by the many places to visit a little off the beaten track. When I return, I’ll be sure to do some more exploring around lesser-known neighborhoods, and of course, I’ll make a visit to see my new feline friend.