Breakfast in Paris

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been saying that I wanted to fly to Paris for breakfast and fly home.  Just like that.  Fly.  Paris.  Breakfast.  Fly.  Home.

So a few years ago, I decided it was time to go.  This is the short version of the story.

I pulled up kayak.com on my computer, located a cheap flight… and bought the ticket.

A couple weeks later, I asked my son to take me to the airport in Eiffel TowerPortland, Oregon (my flight out was about 10 AM on a Friday morning in January), and then come back and get me two days later on Sunday morning.  I didn’t even tell him where I was going –  I said I’d send a pic from my phone of something he would recognize once I got where I was going, and he could figure it out.

The flight from Portland to Paris, including a lay-over and the time-difference, landed me in Paris early on Saturday morning.

If you’ve ever been to Europe, you know they don’t really eat what we consider to be breakfast here in the US, so my breakfast in Paris was going to have to be lunch instead, but what the hay, it was a meal. Breakfast. Lunch. Who’s counting?

I took the airport shuttle bus over to the RER train station and rode into town, exiting near Notre Dame where I started my 33-hour adventure in Paris (24 hours + 9-hour time difference).

I’d never really wanted to go to Paris, or even France, so I had had to do some research to figure outVenus de Milo what I was going to fill up my time with while I was there for the day. I planned out a route that included stops at Notre Dame Cathedral (twice – I was there for morning bells and back again for evening bells), The Louvre (to see the Mona Lisa, the Winged Mercury, the Code of Hammurabi, the Venus de Milo), the Sainte Chappelle (amazingly beautiful stained glass windows), the Eiffel Tower, the open street markets on rue Cler, Arc de Triomphe with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Eternal Flame, Champs-Elysées (in January, Paris shops are all having les soldes or sales), and roaming through the Left Bank; walking along the Seine; standing on Point Zero, the Center of Paris.

When I was ready to stop for lunch (after all, it was the whole reason I was there), I was on my way to the Eiffel Tower.  As I crossed the street, I saw this cute little cafe, looking very French, whatever that is, called Le Champs de Mars Bistrot.  I had the coq au vin (chicken cooked in wine), which was the special of the day, followed up with crème brûlée and a double espresso.  Oh, I how love crème brûlée!  Yum!  Double yum!  (A large Irish Setter dog sat next to me for the entire time, with his head on my lap; Crème brûlée & espressowell, that is, until a little girl came in with her parents and then the dog was gone – he loved that little girl!)  Contrary to what I’d heard about French waiters, mine was polite and gracious, and although I’m sure I butchered the little bit of French I knew, I got what I ordered, and it was all really tasty!

In addition to lunch, as I wandered through Paris, I found some other delicious Parisian foods: pain au chocolat (chocolate-filled croissant) fresh from the oven, Madeleines (little sweet sponge cakes in the shape of a shell), crêpe jambon fromage (ham and cheese crepes) made at a little crêperie sidewalk stand located on a street in the Left Bank.

I made my way back to the airport very early Sunday morning, or very late Saturday night, depends on what you want to call it. Top of my head at the Arc de Triomphe (I missed my train connection and ended up way the heck out on the edge of Paris somewhere; a young couple heading home from a long, late night on the town helped me figure out how to get back to where I was supposed to be, even though they didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak French.  Amazing what a little game of charades in the middle of a deserted train station in the middle of the night will get you!)  Arriving several hours before my plane was to depart gave me time for a little cat-nap on a bench, and after the snooze, I flew back to Portland with a crazy story to tell about my breakfast in Paris.

What a hoot!  I’d do it all again in a heartbeat… and maybe I will!  Who wants to go with me?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Want to see all my pics from that trip? CLICK HERE for the camera pics (the pain au chocolat, the dog in the restaurant, the Winged Mercury, Notre Dame Cathedral, me at Point Zero, and more!) and CLICK HERE for the four pics I took with my cell phone to send to my son so he could see where I was (he figured it out before he got the first pic!).

Today’s post is Prompt #25 from Bootsnall 30 Days of Indie Art Project: Show your photos!

At the Seine

My favorite pic: me at the Seine in Paris, France

 

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13 Responses to Breakfast in Paris

  1. Linda says:

    Great story! Loved the pics, too. xoxoxo

  2. Nancy Senn says:

    I remember when you did that Lois. I was very impressed that you were able to see and do as much as you did in the short time frame. I’ve been to Paris 3x but my journeys always began on the East Coast; so without adding the extra 3,000 miles to get to the East Coast to begin with, I don’t know if I could have mustered up all that stamina. You did your homework and you were able to figure out what you could do. Again, I’m still impressed.

    • Lois says:

      It was a hoot, Nancy! I loved it! So easy to do when you travel alone – and very cost-effective when you don’t spend the night :D

  3. Heather says:

    I AM SO HONORED I got to hear this story in person! You rock BEYOND words!

    • Lois says:

      Hi Heather! I had such a great time at lunch yesterday – meeting you, and telling and listening to stories is the best thing of all, don’t you think? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  5. Paul says:

    Great story, Lois! You always hear people talk about doing that, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard the story of someone actually doing it. I’m glad you spent a few hours and got a little more than breakfast: that’s a lot of hours in the air for just a croissant and a café creme.

    • Lois says:

      Hi Paul! Yes, it was a lot of hours in the air, but I have a great story to tell and I love to fly so it was a win-win all the way around! Paris turned out to be a great city after all and I’d do it again in a heartbeat :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment… Happy travels!

  6. Myddy says:

    This was a fun read, and I’m very happy for you that you got to go on such an adventure! Beautiful pictures and a lovely story! I hope to do something similar in Germany soon, in the town my father grew up in.

    • Lois says:

      Thanks, Myddy! Have fun in Germany – I’d love to do the same thing in Poland where my grandparents are from. Well, maybe not the one-day thing but it would be great to see where they came from :D Happy trails!

  7. That was such a fun read! So great to read stories about people actually doing things they dream of. And I can relate, the second time we chose to go to Paris- the main reason was to have a day eating pastries!

    • Lois says:

      Paris has awesome food! I would go back just for the crème brûlée :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!