my first impression of paris: winter is not the time for color. i don't mean the sky or bare trees--- i mean me. i brought two coats with me on our trip, including the pink dreamgirl that i never get to wear in south florida. in a sea of black coats, hats, and boots, you would think i had LOOK AT ME scrawled across my forehead in neon lights! (i mean obviously, i loved it.) the city's stone architecture is as colorless as it is gorgeous, but predictably, i gravitated toward and photographed colors where i found them. i fell in love with all the papeteries, and stopped at every brightly lit treat shop window to oooh and aaah.
noted next: eating was not the challenge i expected, but it was full of pleasant surprises. as a vegetarian who stays miles away from heavy creams, i figured i'd happily sustain on baguettes and cheeses, but possibly face limited options otherwise. i tried my first-ever crêpe and macaron while in paris, and we had one proper fancy french meal, on christmas night. but we also had mind-blowing margaritas and guacamole at a hole in the wall we are sure to return to next time, and a falafel recommended by a friend which has ruined all other falafel for me. and mcdonald's (in every country! it's a must, they're all so different)! lots of tomato and cheese crusty sandwiches in paris (and barcelona), and to each of them- yum.
friends are surprised by how little me shopping i did in paris. though i was elated to window shop, the cheapie in me was hyper aware of the euro conversion and i saw very little that i couldn't find online later. i did all of my christmas shopping for my siblings and parents while in europe which was so so fun, and bought myself a little bracelet at colette. this trip was absolutely about the tourist stuff for us (you better believe i made a pilgrimage to amélie's cafe), and that kept us super busy. mark said it best here.
i loved paris. a lot. paris at christmas is as lovely and romantic as you imagine. while i know i'll see it in the busy, blooming spring someday, it was nice how empty and "ours" the city was. oh and the lights! everywhere, the lights. we loved walking through all the outdoor christmas markets, and sitting inside notre dame on christmas eve was the sort of once-in-a-lifetime experience that still hasn't sunk in yet. 2012's christmas will never get lumped in with the rest.
this week i'll share a ton of uncaptioned photos, because that's really how we experienced it ourselves. while we had one or two solid plans for each day, we allowed ourselves to wander and get lost, see see see, and land where we landed. below, our christmas eve.