Recently I took a trip of a lifetime. I went to Paris, France to visit by brother, sister-in-law, and newborn niece who live there. I have been to Paris a few times before, but for some reason this trip was different than all of the others. There is something about the city that leaves me feeling energized, excited, and inspired. There is nothing like Paris.
Photos by Kristin Freeman, except for the ones I’m in of course:
Here I am sitting on the steps from Midnight In Paris:
The city of Lights!
From my brother and sister-in-law’s flat you can walk anywhere, which is an incredible feeling. No matter what, you can get from point A to B either by walking, renting a bicycle, or taking the metro.
You cannot help but be inspired by the history that is right in front of your eyes. Paris is full of incredibly old, majestic cathedrals, monuments, and museums. There is also plenty of elaborate window shopping, art, fashion, decadent bakeries, cheese shops, and bustling cafes. Small business owners are everywhere.
Artists on La Place Du Tertre in Montmartre:
Inside the awesome Shakespeare & Company bookstore:
Poetry readings in front of the Shakespeare & Company bookstore:
Europeans really know how to relax and enjoy life. Our mornings began with espresso and an assortment of breads, croissants, and at least 5 different cheeses. My family and I would all sit on the floor of their small bright orange living room, packed like sardines around their coffee table, chatting and laughing away. There is nothing better than enjoying a fabulous home cooked meal and great conversation with the people you love.
At Le Refuge des Fondues in Paris:
That’s right – they serve you wine in a baby bottle at Le Refuge des Fondues!
We ended up taking a train to Alsace to visit some close friends of ours. The French countryside is incredibly lush, colorful, and full of wine vineyards, thick forests, and picturesque castles.
Our wonderful friends from Alsace:
Our dear friends were incredible hosts. They cooked us a feast every night that you would not believe. I mean you really wouldn’t, it was that incredible! Every night we began with h’orderves (such as fresh figs or foie gras ) and aperitifs (drinks) before moving to the dinner table where we were served traditional French dishes. Of course there was wine with dinner and after-dinner drinks that were so strong all I needed was a sip or two. Our friend made everything from scratch, even the pastry dough, and of course the amazing deserts. We also took a day trip into the most beautiful forest I have ever seen to have a fondue lunch at their cabin. After lunch, we went on a hike into the drizzly forest and our friends showed us how to collect mushrooms and berries for cooking. This was definitely a day I will never forget. All I need is to be in the middle of nature and I’m a happy girl! Thanks Nico and Geraldine!
The berries found by Geraldine:
When I returned to Texas all I wanted to do was cook! I have been so inspired to have more dinner parties with friends and try out some new recipes. I even took out my fondue pot that had been stuffed away forever to make traditional cheese fondue the other night. Now if only I could have walked downstairs to grab some fresh mirabelles (my favorite fruit!) and to Leonidas for some chocolate truffles!!
A few yummy pics of my favorite treats found in Paris:
Millefeuille au Rhum from Ludaree:
Who’s counting calories with all this walking! My favorite meal. Check out this “salad” from Chez Papa: