First 24 in Paris
How do I even begin to describe my first 24 hours in Paris? In an effort to paint a picture for you, I'll avoid chalking it up to one word – "perfect" – which is exactly what we'd done between the two of us.
Of course, you might expect that a touchdown in Paris, the City of Love, would render such a magical 24 hour kickoff and series of events, but I can hardly accept this to be the truth. We've decided, quite whole heartedly, that the Universe must be looking out for us.
We landed, safe and sound, after popping a bottle of champagne (courtesy of AirTransat) with grins on our faces despite our total lack of sleep, and then made our way through the airport to collect our bags, another seamless venture, hopped in an Uber and drove to Hotel de Nell, the place where we'd rest our heads for just one night, our first.
We were greeted with a (tout) suite that threatened to raise my lodging standards for life – and immediately fulfilled all of my wishes with the private terrace overlooking that Parisian architecture I can't get enough of.
By this time we couldn't tell whether our suite at Hotel de Nell was a complete dream or not, due to that traveling delirium that sets in after 24+ hours of going without sleep. So naturally we wandered off to the nearest Cafe for a couple of Croque Madame's before allowing our glazed eyes to conquer us... but only for a couple of hours! (This is essential, tired traveler).
Soon we felt more rested than ever, waking with a Parisian spring in our step, albeit partially fuelled by our fear that we'd never wake up if we didn't do so now. Allons-y!
We got ready for dinner, and rode the metro dressed like we thought Parisians should be, towards monuments non-Parisians know, walking with our Google Map in hand until we found what (we hoped) was where we would have dinner – Le Lobby at the Peninsula Hotel. And it was, and oh, did it ever satisfy our growing hunger.
We ate a few of the best courses of our lives while being serenaded by an acoustic guitarist and French vocalist (in English) while chatting about whether the patron across the patio might actually be Warren Buffet and musing as to where the wealth of the other patrons might hail from.
Afterwards, a jaunt up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, albeit my dress and heels, seemed appropriate, the second bottle of champagne tucked away in my purse, yearning to be popped. Though I was reminded of my age as I paid the higher fair in our little duo, I am proud to announce that I made it to the top without any slips or bruises, and just a few short breaths.
The Eiffel Tower sparkled in the distance as we hid on the opposite, less crowded side of the rooftop, huddled into one another to have our champagne – and this moment – in secret.
It's safe to say we both drifted into our slumber with smiles on our faces that night, not even fully knowing the deliciousness of the Parisian lunch that awaited us the next day at a beautiful little place called Champeaux.
The first 24 were all that could have imagined, but I can't wait to share the details of the following 72.
Hint: I'm writing this to you now (don't hate me) from a tub that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. It's 7:21am and I'm up, not because I have to be, but because the sky was turning pink outside and I couldn't sleep through such a wonderful photo opportunity. But then, once I was up, I realized I still had a story to share.
Paris is so much more than the City of Love, but it's certainly a city I love.
One night in the Premier Suite at Hotel de Nell was all it took to make me fall head-over-heels with Paris and little Parisian balconies. In addition to the Japanese-style soaker tub, our incredible private terrace breakfast makes up (what I'm sure will become) one of my favorite memories in Paris.
A restaurant for royalty – possibly quite literally. A meal at Le Lobby does not disappoint. A three-course culinary delight really made our first 24 hours in Paris so special, and is now very likely our benchmark memory for the best meal we've ever experienced.
This modern yet quaint little bistro is located in a new area of Paris, and with its beautiful decor and mouth-watering food, Champeaux is definitely worth a visit. We particularly loved the shrimp and avocado cocktail, and I had the pleasure of turning a non-alcoholic "mocktail" drink into an adult cocktail. Simply delicious.