I have been dragging my feet on writing this last post as it is my last part of The Paris Diaries Series for this trip. The whole time I kept asking myself, “Why didn’t I stay longer?” I found a $500 ticket but 6 full days is never enough. 7 would have better, right? I actually turned down a very lovely invitation to an event that was scheduled for Monday, which made how I felt even worse.
I woke up early to this view of Parisian rooftops down Rue Jacob from my stay at Hôtel des 2 Continents.
I remember standing here first thing in the morning as the sun was rising behind the grey clouds. Tears filled my eyes as I took a deep breath. I know it looks like my life is “picture perfect” which is part of my job as a photographer. Each trip is fully funded by me which always feels like a risk. Will I get good photos? Will be audience like my new work and will I be able bring home enough content for my readers? There is so much pressure that I personally put on myself as solo business owner. I do a lot of research and behind the scenes planning before leaving for Paris. As I stood on the balcony with tears now running down my cheeks, I said out loud how grateful I was for being there and all the hard work that brought me to this exact spot. There are a lot of late nights and early morning work sessions that I don’t always talk about.
It is hard to show you the view that I had from my little balcony but believe me it was pretty Paris perfect.
I had a cup of coffee on the balcony and enjoyed the view until I absolutely had to leave. I wasn’t going far. I had planned for a morning at café de flore. My typical Sunday morning involves the Bastille market but since I was staying on the left bank, I already decided I wasn’t going to stress about going. I had an attempt on Thursday and most of my favorite vendors were gone.
I am going to have to be honest with you. You are about to see more than one croissant in this post. I swear, I did not eat all of these. Part of this was croissant research 😉
So you may think this photo is a little cheesy and yes it is true. I was sitting there enjoying my time. I have a favorite waiter and sadly he was out due to an accident. The waiter that served me asked if I wanted a photo and I couldn’t say no. He did a good job with the café de flore behind me. This café is a little touristy, yes. But I have been coming here since the beginning of my Paris story and it just tradition. I sat here and wrote all of your postcards! This was probably the longest I have ever sat solo at a café. There were a million things I wanted to do on my last day in Paris and here I was not doing any of them. But I do recall saying that I wanted to sit at a café and do “nothing” so maybe I did actually accomplish something on my list.
I decided to take my bags from the hotel which was just around the corner so I didn’t have to return. It was a quiet morning so I had room to leave my bag on the seat next to me. It was fairly cold so I am all bundled up in my coat and scarf and boots. I talk about all these things and I am wearing it all here. This was one of the only photos that was taken this short trip so I am very happy to have this as a memory. If you want to know more about what I packed for Paris you can read here.
I took a little time to start reading the next book club book “A Moveable Feast” and sip at café crème like Hemingway.
I hadn’t planned to get a croissant but for “research purposes” I was curious how the croissants would match up to a local boulangerie. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. It was the perfect combination of butter and pastry.
Total cost for a morning at café de flore with a café crème and a croissant was under 10 euros.
I ended up taking the bus back to île st louis from st germain. It was so convenient as there was a stop right outside my apartment and one just across from the café. It saved me a ton of time and I was able to walk around the island a bit. Time was moving so fast this last day. It was actually warm enough for ice cream and I was so tempted to stop for a scoop at berthillon but I had plans to meet my Paris family and I was running late.
We had plans to go for a walk as soon as I arrived because it got dark pretty fast. The minute I arrived, I was greeted with a huge hug and an invitation to dinner.
We took a long walk around parc monceau where we did spot a few pink blossoms. After the parc, we headed around the neighborhood while dinner cooked.
I hadn’t spent much time in the 8th arrondisement until my Paris family moved here but I am loving it more and more every time I visit.
We ended the evening on rue de levi to pick up desserts. The day with my Paris family was short but sweet and I am so happy that I got the chance to see them.
I headed back towards île st louis to pack up my belongings and get ready for my trip home. I had one last meeting with a friend at Café St Regis. They stay open pretty late which was nice to have the place a little more quiet on a Sunday night.
I had some work to catch up on once I arrived back at the apartment and last minute details to take care of before spending ALL day flying home. There is no direct flight from Chicago to Paris in the winter so I had a connecting flight which made my trip a lot longer than normal. I am not complaining. I had a decent seat and I watched a few movies to pass the time.
The hardest part is always coming home. I honestly feel like the trip was all one big dream. It is so different between Chicago and Paris. If it wasn’t for all the pictures I take each trip I don’t know if it would feel real. Going through all the photos and picking my favorites is such a joy. It is like unwrapping presents one by one. They each carry different memories with them.
As for the most popular question I am getting, “When will I be back in Paris?” I wish I had an exact answer. My hope is to be back in April for my birthday. My apartment is rented so I am having a little trouble finding accommodations. Suggestions are welcome. This will be another short trip as I have some commitments in May. Stay tuned for more details.
I would love to continue the Paris Diaries as a bigger series and take you more into the daily life that is more day to day life in Paris and more about my job(s). Thank you to each and every one of you for reading and making this blog such a joy in my life.