After meeting up with Lauren, we made our way out into the city itself and decided to start wandering toward the Champs Elysees. Given that it had been just over 10 years since I had been in Paris, I felt like I wanted to see Paris with a fresh set of eyes. Seeing this place as an adult verses seeing it as a kid in college makes it very different. When I was in Paris the first time around, I had hardly any money and we were struggling to figure out where we were going to stay while we in Paris. My friends and I were running low on funds after three weeks in Italy and the person we were supposed to stay with in Paris was backing out of letting us stay with him. That trip, we almost booked overnight trains so we could guarantee we had places to sleep for the remainder of our trip.
This time around, I was able to actually focus on the world around me and Paris in general. I didn’t have this lingering dark cloud about where I would be sleeping that night or whether I would be living off of bread and cheese (which is how the last four days of the previous trip had ended).
We took a walk through the Champs Elysees down to the Arc de Triomphe and decided to stop for food at a small cafe. We got a seat by the window and ordered our dinner. I decided for the croque de madame for dinner. I love the croque de madame because that fried egg makes all the world of difference. I’m glad that I had someone with me who could speak French because she was able to help me with the ordering of food and we had a super sassy waiter who was friendly but had a little extra sass. My friend was able to sass him back and it made for a really entertaining experience, plus I think he thought we were entertaining which was great.
After dinner, I got this fancy pistachio cream cake that was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had in my entire life. The pistachio had been whipped into almost a pudding like texture on this super flakey crust and I pretty much scarfed all of it down without talking. It was so good, not too sweet and very light.
I would say that one of the best things about that meal, outside of the delicious food in general, was the fact that it was one of the most relaxing meals ever. People take eating so much more seriously there than they do where I am. I’m so used to eating as quickly as possible without much talking so that I can get back to work. We ended up spending about 2 hours there enjoying some beverages, food and dessert. No one around us was a in rush and it was wonderful.
When we were finally fat and happy, we decided that it was time to go see the Eiffel Tower all lit up.