The Nicodems do Paris

Part 1 of our European Adventure:

Bonjour! A few weeks ago we shared a blog post detailing our time in the Pacific Northwest, and our need for a general "life processing" time. That month launched us into 5 full months of living life as nomads: from friends' houses to our parents' basement to Portland, OR, and finally on to Europe (and many an AirBnB therein). We took what we could fit in a backpacking pack and our camera bags, bought a one way ticket to Paris in early January, and left the U.S. knowing that we had nothing demanding our return before March. Little did we know that France would simply be the beginning of it all.

What more can be said about Paris than has already been said a million times over? It is a magical city, a city where you constantly feel as if you're wandering through the most elaborate movie set ever, a city where even in the cold and the rain of early January there is still something entirely captivating in the air. For us, France will forever be a particularly romantic place, as it has been exactly four years since I (Andrew) proposed to Marianne on the side of a mountain, looking out over the French countryside. And so we spent the first two weeks of our New Year wandering down cobblestoned side streets, reading or playing cards in countless cafes, and exploring parts of Paris previously unknown to us. Quite simply, we adventured. 

Here are a few of our favorite images from our time there, we hope it can momentarily transport you to the City of Lights. And if you should ever find yourself actually transported there, here is a list of some of our "Paris Favorites" for your enjoyment (please note, we're leaving off all of the obvious items, e.g. the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc.):

To rest: Le Jardin du Luxembourg, or the gardens inside the Palais Royal. Becuase there are those days when you just need to sit and feed the birds.

To refresh: This list wouldn't represent Marianne well enough without mentioning Juice It, or Season. Because you're going to need fresh squeezed juices and acai bowls to offset all the crepes you'll be consuming.

To read: "A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway. I did my best to find (and frequent) the caf├ęs he talked about in the book, it's a fantastic way to see and experience Paris.

To imbibe: In the mornings, there is Ten Belles for coffee (tiny atmosphere, but if you're actually in it for the coffee then this is the spot). And in the evenings (or all night for that matter) do yourself a favor and have a cocktail at Bespoke (I did my due diligence and explored a lot of Paris's craft drink scene, this was by far the best).

To explore: the best wandering we did (outside of the obvious areas of Paris) was up near the Canal Saint Martin. Fantastic shops, best food and drink, and way less tourists with fanny packs and huge maps out. But if you want those tourists...there is nothing like bringing a bottle of wine to the steps of Sacre Couer to watch the sunset.

For more ideas, you can check out some of our work (here) that was featured in a Paris city guide for Design Sponge, in collaboration with our dear friend Jonathan Randall Grant

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