Twenty-Nine

It’s weird to even say it aloud that I’m 29. I know, big eye roll. We all get old. So I’ll move on.

Thanks to the help of an awesome guide created by X days in Y and a little bit of research of my own, the 29th anniversary of me was perfection.  We spent it exploring Montmartre, an adorable part of Paris with stunning views, secret alley ways that lead to more stunning views and a little gem of a restaurant that the locals would love to keep to themselves.

My birthday started out simple enough with my favorite meal of the day, breakfast!  I was truly craving bacon and eggs with a side of French toast, so I found Breakfast In America. It’s a sweet yet inaccurate play on a New York diner. Both the pancakes and French toast were boss and I can definitively conclude that the café au lait was absolutely dreamy. And to add to my pleasure, they played my favorites- Ella, Frank and Tony.

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We made a brief pit stop at Place Vosages since it was so close.

After, it was time for our romantic tour around Montmartre. Like champs, we navigated the metro and in no time we were climbing the stairs up from the Abbesses station to begin at Le Mur de Je T’aime.

From there we wandered through the cozy streets as the guide suggested, stopping here and there to capture the beauty and appreciate the scenery.  We passed the Moulin Rouge and the café from Amélie Poulain.

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We caught views of the Eiffel Tower and the beautiful Parisian rooftops.

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Until we finally made it to the main event, the Sacré Coeur.  It was breathtaking, both figuratively and literally. We climbed all the way to the top of the dome and enjoyed the full panoramic view of the city.

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By the end of it, our booties were on fire from the steps and our fingers were frozen from the 40 degree weather, but it was well worth it. And we rewarded ourselves with one of the most delicious lunches from a restaurant called Soul Kitchen. We had a gourd soup, a salad and a rhubarb, apple crisp with hot tea to warm up. It was heaven. We made conversation with the locals who were playing the restaurants daily challenge. That day’s was to name 10 countries with the letter “z” in them. In English, the challenge is very easy but in French it’s a different story.   This place is definitely secret for the locals; they even asked us how we found it.

As we made our way to the metro to our last destination, it had turned cold and windy and began to hail. At our next stop, it was if it the cold never existed and we were greeted by the sun. It couldn’t have been better timed because we were able to have a beautiful, practically uninterrupted view of the Sacré Coeur.

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By the end of our day, everything was hurting. Those shoes that started off as insanely cushy and comfortable were now being cursed. Calves, booties, shoulders, fingers and toes, were all either sore or frozen. The sun was overpowered by the changing weather and disappeared behind thick gray clouds. And by the time we reached our hotel for a little wine before dinner, there were snow flurries. It was some of the strangest weather I’ve ever experienced in one day. But it really didn’t bother me.  I had a whole day doing exactly what I love to do, eating well and exploring a new place. What more could I have asked for. The day ended with dinner and small adventure, but more on that later…

If you ever want to take the self-guided tour of Montmartre go here.  *Note that Le Mur des Je T’aime and the secret view of the Sacre Coeur are not a part of it.

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