Paris, I love thee SO!!! Another day in Paris, how perfect. And today--- we have a free day! What do I love to do with my free time?? Eat, drink and be merry!

Today we scheduled a food and wine tour through Montmartre. Our guide showed up with some kind of puff pastry that was delish. We actually ate them right in front of this photo op...

"I love you" in every language. 
 So the tour started off with history of the area and Paris in general. We walked through Montmartre and stopped at a local cheese shops, meat markets, bakeries... OMG. It was all so amazing.

Our guide explained to us that most of the people who live in the city live in such small homes/apartments they don't have room to keep many things-- so they only buy what they need. So they shop more often, which these little shops everywhere come in handy for. I love the idea that is everything is so fresh each day. I wish we had that in Little Rock. Less cars-- more small meat and cheese shops. 

Everything was so beautiful. I love food! So we made all of these stops, picked up so many amazing things and then walked back to the company office. They had this really cool wine cellar in the basement of the office. 

Our guide served us wine and then broke into all the good from the day. 

Our first cheese of the day. I don't remember what it was called but i loved it!
As our guide served the food, she gave us history and taught us things to pair with it. We had plenty of bread... this bread is like nothing I've ever had before. It's. So. Good. 

Our first cheese was a creamy, almost goat cheese.. it was to die for. Of course we paired it with bread and homemade salted butter.... YUM. I am now so very obsessed with French butter. Wonder if I could find this at my local Kroger? 

The local salamis were my favorite. A few of the cheeses were amazing. I tried everything and so many new things. Pate.. which I still can't love. It was a blast. Brian was happy, happy.. he even got to finish off the pate. 

We wrapped up with one dessert in the cellar-- an eclair. It was OK but I was a little sad that was the dessert choice. I mean we are in PARIS! Mine was coffee flavored. Which I only like coffee flavored coffee. Nothing else! Then... surprise! We're headed out for more food-- eh, dessert! 

So I thought I was full before we left the cellar. Now I know I'm full. TWO dessert stops. TWO of my very favorite things. Homemade chocolates and macaroons. HOLY MOLY. I can't even explain how amazingly smooth the chocolate was. AND that macaroon was quite possibly the best thing I've ever had. I even have to share this redic picture of us enjoying heaven. 

But get this-- we're still not finished. We walk down this beautiful Paris street to our next stop... 


My #(I probably shouldn't admit this) nutella crepe of the trip. (!!!) SO delish. So perfect. Have I mentioned that I love Paris? Brian got a grand marnier and brown sugar crepe that was pretty awesome too! We left so stuffed. I swore to never eat again. HA. 

After that much food, we needed a break and then a long walk. So we stopped at a bistro, grabbed some coffee and water so took a short rest. 

At the beginning of the day, we had these grand plans of eating all day and going back to all the places we stopped and learned about and trying more. We had no idea how full we would be. So scratch that. So we walked instead, figured it would be good for us to walk off some of the food we just ate. 

We jumped on the metro and rode the Jacques stop. Our goal was to talk along the canal and do some shopping. We got off the metro and there were homeless people everywhere. About a mile down or so-- the pretty canal took over! We stopped at a pub for some drinks- our waitress was amazing. After we paid she sent us with to go beers for our walk. 

We sat and drank by the canal. People were everywhere-- chilling, leisurely sitting and drinking. It was so great! 

We did some shopping after, walked the streets and then grabbed a cab to Notre Dame to stop at the Shakespeare and Co bookstore for Brian to do a little shopping. 

While he was in the bookstore, Holly and I did some art looking. She bought a pretty painting from a local artist. And then it was time for-- you guessed it-- another bistro, another drink! That is the cool thing about Paris-- everywhere a cool alleyway lined with food and people. I love it here. 

We talked about canceling our reservation for dinner tonight and eating at a bistro but decided (in the end) to keep it. Because really-- after this AM, I thought I would never eat again. But like our local guide said, "People don't come to Paris to watch what they eat."

We ate dinner at Au Passage and I'm definitely, 100% positive that we would have regretted canceling that reservation. I guess technically we wouldn't have know. BUT it was featured by Anthony Bourdain and my new goal is to track down every amazing place he eats. SO.. I'm on my way. 

Everything we ate was amazing. Bite after bite. The wine- delish. Au Passage has a sharing concept-- so we ordered 8 plates. Starters, sides, main dish inspired plates and shared between the 4 of us. The tuna- amazing. My favorite ever. They accidentally brought us the Mackerel-- it was quite possibly the best thing we had all night! The carrots, green beans-- they sound so boring but man.. so good! And I think I even got pictures of some of the courses. 

We didn't order dessert because I had ONE thing on my list that I wanted to do while in Paris. Only one. I wanted to go back to my favorite spot that we frequented while I studied in Paris in 2008. And when I say frequented, I mean we went every single day. 

I feel silly saying this because it's a chain and I actually saw a few in Belgium and England. But somehow we found this gelato spot in a small alley way at the Denfert metro stop, way back when. We tried all the combinations of gelato, we had a whole month! No matter what we had going on during that trip, we always stopped here! 

Here's one of my combos from 2008. I love the strawberry!
Pure happiness on a cone. And crazy side fact-- Brian actually told me this morning that this is his favorite picture of me. AWEE.... 

I had the perfect combo-- strawberry, stracciatella and chocolate. I was so happy to intoduce Brian to these memories from my summer abroad. 

So we walked back to our hotel.. which was strangely close to where we stayed when I studied abroad. Same metro stop! How cool is that? This felt like a perfect last night to me. I am sad to leave this beautiful city we love so much. Not ready! But excited to explore London tomorrow. 

But before I go.. remember me talking about all that laundry and the picture I have... hehe. Here you go!