As the world starts to open up, I find myself missing travel more and more. I’m itching to make use of my passport again!
Where would I go? Lots of places! But right now, I’m thinking about Paris.
The Grill-Meister and I celebrated our 13th anniversary this week. Two years ago, we did that in Paris. I’m reminiscing a bit and getting excited about the trips in my future.
Come with me on that first day. You know, that travel day where you arrive in the morning after flying all night?
On the just-arrived-in-Europe-day, you’re so tired when you get to your hotel that you absolutely have to lie down for a while, but so jazzed up from being at your destination that it doesn’t last long and you shake off your weariness to set out and soak in the the town. It was the first time The Grill-Meister and I had been in the City of Lights together, unless you count a change of planes at De Gaulle Airport on our honeymoon where the connection was too tight and we had to cool our heels for a couple of hours before the next flight to Florence. But that’s a story for another day. On this anniversary trip, just like on our honeymoon, our bags didn’t arrive when we did, but that’s also a story for another day. Today, I’m just thinking of that first romantic look at Paris together and how much we enjoyed it from the first moment we emerged from our hotel after our brief nap.
We Stayed Near the Historic Passage de Panoramas
When I have a choice, I like to stay in a hotel that’s very close to the Passage de Panoramas and the Grands Boulevards Metro stop. I really like the location of the Hotel Paris Opera – it’s easy to get everywhere from there but not right in the middle of the busiest parts of town. It is also small enough for the front desk staff to get to know you, and not super-expensive. But the best part is its proximity to the Passage de Panoramas.
According to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau web site, it is the oldest covered walkway in Paris (1800) and has always had a diverse collection of merchants and restaurants. They say: “Each store window reflects an historical moment of the French capital; from the Bourse district to the Grands Boulevards, sheltered by a magnificent canopy, the ‘commercial artery’ is listed as historical monument. Along its 133 m of intense activity, eateries share the space with craftsmen. They work alongside many postcards, coins, autographs and old stamps collectors.”
In a word: it’s charming. You really feel like you’re in Paris in these passageways. I go there every time I’m in Paris unless it’s a work trip with no open evenings. Below are pics from a trip I took with my son for his 14th birthday in 2011. (Did I say I LOVE this place?)
Lunch at Astair’s in the Passage des Panoramas
So of course, we had to have our first meal in Paris together at a restaurant in this historic passage just steps from our hotel. We picked one that I hadn’t dined at before, Astaire’s. It was a winner! Simple salads, crusty bread, pate, wine and sparkling water – a perfect first day in Paris lunch to set the tone for the whole trip.
It looks like Astaire’s closed temporarily due to the pandemic, but I’m hoping it will come back strong.
A Walk in the Park and Then Coffee
There are lots of parks nearby, and we strolled for a while after lunch.
Then it was time to fortify ourselves with a cappuccino at my favorite little coffee shop just across the street from the hotel, La Porte Montmartre. We still had a lot to do – a first night in Paris is a special time.
I’ve happily spent an hour thinking warm thoughts about Paris, that magical anniversary trip in June of 2019, and how much I’d like to get back there. I think I’ll make a series out of this post and relive Paris for several more days. Will you come with me?
© 2021, Glover Gardens