- Madison Frank
I love France. Like really love France. I love everything about it: the food, the culture, the people, the language, the fashion, everything. But Paris is by far my favorite thing about France. I love it in the sun, in the rain (in the 1920’s with Gil Pender), in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Its hands down my absolute favorite city in the entire world and I am dying to live there once I finish up my Master’s degree. I honestly think my soul would just be so happy there. I get so giddy and giggle like a school girl every time I see the Eiffel Tower. Seriously, every time I see it a stupid grin spreads across my face. Every time. So when I was feeling a little bogged down with school work a few weeks ago, I knew a quick trip to Paris would be just what I needed. My flatmates, Jen and Patsy, agreed and as quickly as we could we hopped on the train to the city of light.
Its not a trip to Paris without grabbing a bite at Café de Flore, so it had to be my first stop for a spot of breakfast. Be sure to order the hot chocolate, I promise you won’t regret it. We were on a mission to find the best hot chocolate in Paris and Café de Flore was at the top of the list for the weekend.
One place I had never visited before in Paris and was really excited to stroll through was the Colonnes de Buren at Palais Royal. The columns are part of an art installation by Daniel Buren and were added to the Cour d’Honneur inner courtyard in 1985-86. And of course, being the francophile that I am, I had to sport black and white stripes which matched the columns in the most french of ways.
We spent the weekend strolling around the city and getting lost in the magic of it all. I’d be lying if I told you that the entire time we were walking Sidney Bechet’s “Si tu vois ma mère” or some version of Edith Piaf’ “La Vie En Rose” wasn’t playing in my head… It was cold and rainy the entire time I was there, but that didn’t crush my excitement. Like I said earlier, I love Paris in the rain, but sometimes a girl needs to duck inside, dry off, and pick up some treats…which only means one thing: macarons and chocolate. And thats exactly what we did.
Determined to find the best macarons in Paris, we conducted a little experiment by getting a variety of different flavors from Maxim’s, La Maison du Chocolat, Ladurée, and Pierre Hermé for a little taste test. Maxim’s won, with Pierre Hermé coming in a close second. Maxim’s poppy flavor won for best overall and prettiest, their pistachio flavor came in second, and Pierre Hermé’s salted caramel came in third. And thats how I packed on several pounds…
To avoid the cold a little longer, we popped on over to Musée d’Orsay, which just happens to be my favorite museum in the entire world and has one of my absolute favorite views in Paris. After the Impressionist galleries on the top floor, you come face to face with one of the museum’s giant clocks where you see Sacré-Cœur in the distance perched perfectly at the top of Montmartre. On a grey day its a little more difficult to see, but still just as beautiful.
I’ve always wanted to put a love lock on the Pont des Arts bridge with my significant other, but unfortunately 1. they removed all the locks on the bridge and made it nearly impossible to add any and 2. I’ve never been to Paris with a boyfriend. Both of my flatmates are living the single life as well, so we figured we would put a love lock on the next closest bridge (Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor) for the three of us and follow tradition by throwing the key into the Seine.
Walking along the Seine is one of my favorite things to do in the city. I could wander the banks all day. When I come back in the spring or summer, I can’t wait to have a picnic with my friends along the water and enjoy the warm weather…and stop at Berthillon on the Île de la Cité for a few scoops of ice cream.
A weekend in Paris is just not enough…already counting down the days until I get to go back. Paris, je t’aime! Bisous!