ettible ettible

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Katie Ett  Photographing families, weddings, events, travel, and everything else in NYC, Ohio, and the world.

After dinner, we walked out into the quiet streets of the 7th arrondissement and saw a light from the top of the Eiffel Tower beckoning us to re-visit it at night. We walked about halfway back the Champ de Mars to set up our tripod, and just as I was turning the camera on, the Tower started sparkling from top to bottom with glittery white lights! Apparently this happens every hour on the hour after sunset, but we hadn't expected it at all, and I literally gasped as how beautiful it was. Here's a long-exposure shot showing all of the lights lit up.

Dinner that night was a complete accident and for sure the luckiest moment of our trip. I wanted something to eat near the Eiffel Tower, hoping we'd be in the area for sunset, and I came across Pottoka, a restaurant by @sebayonne21. We took the last two seats in the restaurant and had the most exciting yet homey, high-end yet not at all stuffy dishes. I started with baked camembert to scoop up with big crunchy/buttery breadsticks, and Jack got goat cheese ravioli with buckwheat cream. For our mains, I got pork cheeks and trotters with corn risotto (polenta!) covered in lard, and Jack got duck with asparagus and morels. For dessert, we shared peanut ice cream with chocolate crumbs and chocolate mousse and hazelnut praline with almond ice cream and espresso mousse, and everything was AMAZING. Like, on par in terms of deliciousness with the 3-Michelin-star restaurant we went to later in the week.

And then we went and actually saw the Eiffel Tower! It's exactly as beautiful as you think it is. And also weirdly accessible? With iconic NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building or the World Trade towers, you can be right underneath them, and they look like any other building. And then you have to keep moving, anyway, because you're on a New York City street. But people were picnicking in front of the Eiffel Tower, enjoying the park around it, pouring wine and taking selfies without mean New Yorkers telling them to move along. (Still love you, NYC!)

Walking through the Esplanade des Invalides park, we looked off to our right and saw our first hint of the Eiffel Tower. Imagine having that in your backyard.

Pont Alexandre III, leading to the gorgeous Grand Palais with its glass roof.

Jack and I walked to the Musée d'Orsay, which everyone back in the U.S. told me we HAD to see. So we looked at the cool animal sculptures out in the entrance area and then promptly didn't go into the museum. We had a really good reason, though! I had forgotten my allergy pills at home, and we needed to find a pharmacy. A lovely pharmacist who spoke perfect English knew what loratadine was and helped me out with a French version of Claritin. I also saw the French hair conditioner I buy there for, like, $1. 😭

The view across the Pont Royal, the third-oldest bridge in Paris. (Quite the distinction, am I right?)

View from the Pont du Carrousel bridge, looking into the gardens of the Louvre.

Next, we walked across the Pont des Arts bridge, which links the Louvre to the Institut de France across the Seine. This is the bridge that tourist couples attached over a million padlocks to from 2008 to 2015 and tossed the key into the river as a symbol of their love, but the city had to finally cut them off when the bridge, you know, started falling apart under the weight of them. Now there are glass panels blocking the sides of the bridge from having anything attached to them. Mwahahahaha.

The next morning, we went for a walk and decided just to choose a place for breakfast when we happened upon it. We ran into Café Benjamin, and it was just the embodiment of a Paris brasserie for me. And it had a croque madame on the menu, which is what I happened to be craving at that moment. So we sat outside and sipped coffee and watched people battle the rain and dealt with people smoking all around us, and it was so perfect despite all of that. The food was just okay, and Jack and I admitted that to each other, but we decided not to check the Google rating until we left. 2.7!! Haha. I guess the take away, though, is that even 2.7/5 food in Paris is still good food.

That night, we met up with my fiancé's cousin, who lives in Paris, to have dinner at Juveniles Wine Bar, which I'd read amazing things about. Of course we couldn't get in.
So instead we took a long walk along the Seine with her and her French boyfriend, decided to take a bus down to a restaurant in the 14th arrondissement, figured out that the bus wasn't coming for 15 minutes, went to a bar to have a glass of wine, and then finally made it to Le Plomb du Cantal. It's food from the Auvergne region of France, and every dish is served with endless potatoes that waiters come around with saucepans of to ladle onto your dish if it's empty. This was duck confit with truffade, potatoes cooked in goose fat and blended with cheese.

The cousin's boyfriend was just sooooo French, with his country home with an underground wine cellar and his city apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower. He was so friendly with every server and person on the street we ran into that I couldn't tell who he actually knew and who was a total stranger. And I would never just pop into a bar for a glass while I was waiting on the bus! What if I missed it?! Paris made me realize how uptight I am. 😀

Our Airbnb in Paris was this lovely little studio with a loft and a terrace, right by the Châtelet-les-Halles Station in Le Marais. I chose the neighborhood because people said it was like Greenwich Village in NYC, and it was a short walk to places like Notre-Dame, the Louvre, and the Champs-Élysées. We could not be happier with where we stayed; just tons of restaurants and little shops everywhere, including a huge pedestrian area without any cars.

Our first order of business was to walk across the Pont Neuf bridge to Île de la Cité, the island where Notre-Dame and Sainte Chapelle are, to have crème brûlée at THE Frenchest cafe, @brasserielesdeuxpalais. Here, we got our first taste of indifferent French service and fantastic coffee!

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