Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paris "Our Home Away from Home"

This was my first trip to Paris and it was wonderful seeing the sights, indulging in the cuisine and living like a (pretend) Parisian, at least for a little while… 

The truth is that we didn't really choose Paris as much as Paris chose us.

Why Paris?  Because it’s Paris! But mostly it was because our daughter Cecily was going to be there.

She lives in NYC which is great! The problem is that it puts about 3,000 miles between us, making it difficult to get together as often as we would like.  Phone calls, text and emails are an excellent way to keep in touch but it’s no substitute for an actual hug.

The city offered endless things to do, eat and see.  Yet, there was a sense of calm that allowed us to relax and rejuvenate.  Paris ended up being the perfect place for all of us to break away from our busy lives.  It's hard to believe that we only had a week there, but it was enough time to build beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.  I hope to one day go back and do it the exact same way.

It’s always a mystery when you rent something over the internet.  You hope that the pictures and descriptions as well as the reviews are truthful and accurate, but you never truly know what you will end up with.  

The ride from the airport was typical and uneventful which allowed the jet lag to really set in.  We were up for almost 24 hours by the time we reached our apartment and my husband and I were exhausted.  Thankfully our tiredness started to fade when we moved off the freeway and into the city.  

The buildings and the streets were filled with life and the architecture was  historically beautiful.  Paris (at least in the 16th arrondissement) was quaint and lively.  This was my first time in Paris I had no idea where our apartment was, so when the driver stopped the car in front of this building it took me by surprise.  I couldn't believe my eyes and uttered with astonishment; "Is this our apartment"?  
Then I looked over at my husband and said; "WOW", What a Score!
 After shaking off the disbelief while admiring the location and the building.  I shouted with excitement, “Look that’s our window”!  To our surprise, when we got into the apartment we discovered that we had two huge balcony windows, not just one.  
The apartment was perfectly located in a quiet neighborhood with shops and restaurants scattered around within walking distance.  Luckily we were on the 1st floor which equates to the 2nd floor back in the states, so we only had a short flight of stairs to get to our apartment.
I was grateful for our location because this building was a walk up with five more floors above us.  I couldn't imagine climbing up that narrow winding staircase everyday.  Fortunately we didn't have to.
It never occurred to me to ask when booking the apartment if they had an elevator?

The apartment was quite large, especially for Paris standards.  The living room housed a pull out sofa bed as well as a table with a picturesque view of a tranquil tree lined street.  We spent a lot of time at this table next to this window where we enjoyed many glasses of deliciously inexpensive  2 euro burgundy's.   I'm not complaining but I found it interesting that soda pop cost more than wine in France.
 I do miss that window!

I was delighted to discover how spacious and well-appointed the kitchen was.  It had a large window that opened up to a quiet courtyard like area which made it very private.  
The only real meal that I used the kitchen for was to make a "French Style" roast chicken over baby red skin potatoes with lots of butter.  It was possibly the best roast chicken I have ever made.  I used a "Label Rouge" French chicken and of course French butter which was amazingly flavorful. 
We also indulged in many plates of carpaccio during our stay. 
It was disheartening... 
When I did some research after that wonderful meal and discover that there is nothing available in the states that would compare to a Label Rouge chicken or quality French butter which meant that I would not be able to repeat this meal in the states.  It truly was the ingredients that made the meal more than the technique.  I suppose I will just have to go back to Paris for a repeat.

As a bonus we had a cute cafe right under the apartment where we enjoyed delicious omelettes.
We loved everything about this apartment!  It had great character in an old building that was conveniently located with three grocery stores within walking distance as well as many restaurants.  The bed was extremely comfortable as were the pillows.  There wasn't a dishwasher in the apartment (no big deal) but there was a washer and dryer (big deal).  You can tell that the owners take great pride in their rental and the comfort of their guests.  The apartment was well stocked with many little details such as plug converters, books, movies, cd’s and just about anything that you would need.
If you are dreaming of a vacation in Paris and want more of a local feel.  I highly recommend renting this apartment.  It’s named “Le Grenelle” and is located in the 16th arrondissement (district) near the Eiffel Tower.  The owner Steven was amazing.  He was quick to respond and answer the many questions that I had. My photos don’t show this apartment as well as the ones on the web.  If you are interested in this apartment you can see it here.

This is not a review, it is simply a written memory.  

My next memory will be posted soon...


  1. LET'S GO BACK!! Miss Paris, Miss you guys :) Great post!