When we were landing in Paris, night had just fallen and our plane cruised down toward the runway just as the Eiffel Tower lights were flickering on. After over a month in the Middle East and Asia, the sight of this city almost felt like coming home.
Porter and I both are fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time in Paris (this was my ninth trip here), so we have favorite areas and restaurants and places to shoot that we’re still getting a handle on in just about every other city in Europe (except Dublin!). In Paris, there’s no “what are we going to do?” or “what do you want to see?” We know the general distance between things, what areas we love and don’t love, and just go with the flow.
We grabbed our bags, jumped in a cab in that kind of half-awake state only 14 hours of flying can induce, and tried to patiently wait to reach Le Marais, one of our favorite sections of the city and where our first hotel stay (at a quaint, oh-so-Paris boutique hotel, Fabric) would be. The piles of snow everywhere were, admittedly, kind of bizarre to take in, but Paris, more so than any other city we’ve ever been to, has this way of making even the most bizarre weather circumstances suddenly seem romantic (I swear there could be a hurricane and everyone would be all like, “wow, how stunning!”).
Hotel Fabric is one that I would really suggest to other twenty-something travelers because it’s affordable, right in the middle of a really desirable, less-touristy section of the city, and has that old-world Paris charm while not being outdated or stuffy or unclean. There was an older man at the front desk when we got in around ten pm (and were starving – we hadn’t eaten in about eleven hours) and he pulled all kinds of menus and was ready to draw us a map to just about anywhere…
Typically our posts are driven by sharing some kind of big outing or an element of sustainability, but this one I really just wanted to share the feel of our first night, because it was, for some reason, unusually special. When we walked out of Fabric to go hunt down this vegan burger joint we decided we wanted dinner from, it was almost eleven pm and the snow was just starting to fall again. It was a week night and that section of the city is surprisingly quiet then, so we were the only ones wandering around that area and then the only ones eating some memorably delicious French fries, watching the snow get harder and harder outside. The walk there and back was slippery and the kind of cold where you can see every single breath, but somewhere along the way Porter looked at me and said, “this is the kind of night we wanted to do this for,” and I was feeling the exact same way. You think you travel or want to “see the world” for these big ah-hah moments, but, in reality, it ends up being all these little ones mixed in that, for some odd reason, you cling to as your most prized possessions. Maybe it’s corny, but this night was one of those…
Anna Lisa & Porter
*Thank you to Hotel Fabric for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.