Paris Panorama
Eiffel Tower
Bonjour! We landed at Charles de Gaulle airport and were greeted with a rather rare site for Paris…it was snowing!
It was beautiful, and added even more charm to a city already oozing with charm. However,  the snow did not last
long and we were left with cold, gray, windy weather for the remainder of our visit. We reserved a studio
apartment that we found on Craigslist has become our faithful go-to-site for just about
everything over the last few years. We have found our apartment in San Francisco, both of my jobs, people to help
us carry furniture up the stairs, and buyers for several pieces of furniture. Thanks Craig! Our apartment in Paris
was in the Montmartre neighborhood, which is the highest point of the city. Imagine narrow, twisting cobblestone
lanes, lined with boulangeries, patisseries, espresso bars, and quaint boutiques. We made our way from the
Anvers subway station to the home of Marlys and Michael—the owners of the studio apartment. Really, it was love
at first sight when the first words out of Marlys’ mouth were “would you care for a latte?”.  After being awake for
30 straight hours (besides a catnap on the flight), I was going to need extreme amounts of caffeine in order to
make it through the day.
We sat down for a brief chat with Marlys and Michael upon arrival.
Marlys is from the Philippines, and Michael is from Northwest
Germany, but both have lived in Montmartre for several years. The
studio apartment was originally bought to be used as an in-law
unit. However, their in-laws rarely come to Paris anymore so they
recently began renting it out. I cannot recommend their studio
enough! Jarrod and I walked by the street it is located on when we
were looking for Michael and Marlys’ home en route from the
subway. Jarrod commented on how cool this one particular street
was. It borders the side of the Sacre Coeur and slopes downhill
slightly. Just at the crook of the street is a small white building that
has a royal blue door with the doorknob in the middle of the door. It
turns out, this was the building our studio was located in! How is
that for luck? The studio had everything we could want-a shower
with hot water, an incredibly comfortable futon, wireless internet
connection, a coffeemaker, and a fridge to store all the wine and
Our apartment building in the Montmartre
neighborhood of Paris
cheese we would soon buy! Rental of the studio also included
breakfast with Marlys and Michael and a tour of the neighborhood
with Michael (more on these two treats later).
After settling in to the studio (let’s be
honest, it doesn’t take long to
unpack a few pairs of pants, a
handful of shirts, and 2 pairs of
shoes) we headed out for our first
day in Paris. We took the metro to
the Louvre. After seeing the Da Vinci
Code, we were on the lookout for
eccentric American professors
leaping out of the museum windows.
None spotted. This was, however,
our first introduction to the stunning
architecture of Europe. The ornate
detail of the exterior of the Louvre
museum is a masterpiece itself, and
is only a precursor to the works of
art housed inside. I have to say, the
pyramid, which was added in 1999,
is a huge departure from the style of
the original building. I guess the
pyramid gives something for modern
art lovers to appreciate, but in my
opinion it is a big disconnect. To each
his own.
Entrance to the Louvre Museum
Snow in Paris
After passing by the Louvre, we strolled along the Siene River (strolled, because no one merely walks along the
Siene in Paris…strolling is required). I can see how this would typically be one of the most romantic things one could
do with their loved one. Unfortunately the frigid gusts of wind and 30 degree weather pretty much chilled any
romantic notions either Jarrod or I could muster up. The only people colder than us were the silly souls that
purchased tickets for an open air boat ride on the river. Suckers!!! The Siene is a beautiful sight, and really gives
Paris a distinct feel. We cut back over the river to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. The gothic architecture is
impressively intimidating…almost chilling in its austereness.
As we were then approaching 40 hours without
sleep, we voted to stop by the local market near
our studio to pick up an impromptu dinner and turn
in early. This was much more exciting than it may
sound, due to the endless selection of French wine
(all under 5 euros) and array of stinky cheeses to
choose from (I managed to find a mild one that
even Jarrod, a non-cheese eater, professed to
enjoy). Together with a jar of olives, some
prosciutto and salami we pulled together a pretty
decent meal. Capped off with a hunk of “chocolat”
for dessert—we couldn’t have been happier with
our meal (or more fiscally conservative for dinner in
Eating at home in Paris ain't so bad!