Paris Journals / A little neighborhood tour

Hello again from Paris!

Today we tried to start the day out right by making a short list of things to accomplish:

  1. Write a song
  2. Have lunch at Marche des Enfants Rouges (The covered market in Le Marais)
  3. Buy butter, eggs, bread, cheese & flowers
  4. Go for a long walk to take pictures in the neighborhood
  5. Read & have a glass of wine at a bistro
  6. Sit and chat in Place des Vosges (neighborhood park)
  7. Stop by for dinner at Cafe Hugo (we discovered it last night when passing by)
  8. Try not to nap for 4 hours again...

And believe it or not, this may have been the first entire To Do list that I've ever checked off. The list made for a lovely day with good food and inspiration. I can't remember my last Sunday that was this relaxing for us.

Here's somewhat of a walking tour of our apartment/street:







The market today was quite a surprise. We went expecting a grocery market sort of place, and it was really a bunch of food trucks. The individual vendors also had wholesale booths behind their retail booths where you could buy the cheese, cream, pasta etc. for the ravioli you just ate. But we went expecting to buy groceries for the evening, and wound up eating lunch there. 

It was really such a pleasant surprise though, I think we'll go again and try a few other vendors. We ended up leaving with some beautiful butter, cheese and eggs, but had to go elsewhere for the bread & flowers. 

Ended up finding an open bakery on the way home, and a sweet little flower shop selling these beautiful peonies. I can't wait to see them open all the way up this week.

Our evening at the park was lovely. We brought our books and our journal, and made a little list of our Paris to-do's. I'm hoping the days start moving slower so we can get it all done--somehow these first 3.5 days have FLOWN by.

The Place des Vosges doesn't seem like it will ever get old. Only a 3 minute walk from our apartment, I'm hoping it becomes our little spot to rest and dream and chat. Today we sat by this beautiful fountain:

After we had been sitting for awhile and the sun was beginning to sink behind the buildings, we got up and wandered to Cafe Hugo around the corner. It was our first French cafe experience -- sitting in woven chairs at a marble round-top table, sipping wine and people watching. I love how the French always have both chairs facing the street, even when they're eating with someone. But I particularly love seeing people sitting alone, having a tea or a cigarette with the newspaper. They don't stare at their phones, they sit and enjoy.

I'm hoping to learn something about that while I'm here.

P.S. I've been so embarrassed at my rusty French that I downloaded an app and I've been doing French exercises every night. I'm really hoping that by the time we leave here I'll be a little closer to that old dream of speaking the language well.




I love Georgia

I was born and raised here, and for my whole life I've lived here. In fact, I lived in Griffin, GA for 18 years, and then I moved 70 miles up the road to Athens, GA where I've lived for 8 years, which brings us up to date.

I was always such a homebody, never wanted to be too far from home. So sometimes it blows my mind that I ended up as a touring musician, spending most of my life away from home. And even though the tours and the traveling have been exciting and even life-changing, they've always reinforced the idea that Georgia is home.

But Michael and I were talking the other day about our Bucket Lists. Both of ours are pretty simple -- we want kids, we want to buy a house, I want chickens (I know it's weird but I do!), he wants to do a big building project, we both want to see the first sunrise of the country at Acadia National Park in Maine, maybe eat some lobster while we're there (hoping to check that one off next year). 

There was one list-item that I couldn't get off my brain. As much as I love Georgia,

I want to live somewhere else.

Not for long, not forever. Just to be able to say I lived outside of this (beautiful, adorable, homey) 70-mile radius for awhile. 

So we started brainstorming together -- where could we move? What is long enough to be considered living in another place? When could we realistically do this?? And we landed on a plan.

1 month // May 2017 // Paris

It's my favorite city in the world, the one place that I would truly love to say I have lived, and a time that happens to perfectly work with our schedules. So we're moving to France for a month.

We're renting a furnished apartment and while we're there we'll be writing our next album from our tiny Paris residence. 

So in honor of our plan (which I'm calling moving to Paris because it's more fun)...

10 things you must do in Paris //

1) Eat Berthillon ice cream

The best. Hands down. You have to try their Salted Butter Caramel and sit in the tea room.

2) Try Snails at Au Pere Louis

This sweet restaurant was walking distance from our hotel, and it was our instant favorite. They cut fresh charcuterie in the front, they have delicious cheese, a spectacular wine menu, risotto that will kill you dead because it is so amazing, and of course, snails (don't worry, the green is pesto). 

3) See the view from Sacre Coeur

The highest point in the city, and a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower and all of Paris' architectural glory. We went all the way to the top for the view, and we were so glad we did. Out in front of the church there are famous street performers, and on some weekends they will hold a market there.

4) Go to a Marche 

You absolutely must find one of the open air markets and go shopping. Buy a fresh baguette, several delicious cheeses, a bottle of wine, some fresh berries, and some salami and take yourself to a park for lunch. This is my favorite Parisian experience.

5) take wine to the Eiffel Tower at Night

It's so beautiful. Bring a bottle of wine from your marche finds and soak in the sights. Beware of all the other people doing the same thing, but even if you hate crowds it's SO WORTH IT.

6) Ride the river cruise to see the city

There are several different river cruise companies that will take you around the city on the Seine. Although you can find really nice ones that include dinner and drinks, I'd suggest the basic boats that are somewhat like a taxi. The boats are mostly windows so that you can take in the sights as you ride. Michael and I brought our bottle of wine and a few snacks, caught the last boat of the night, and rode our way around to the Eiffel Tower and got off in time to see it just as it lit up. 

7) Go to Shakespeare & Co.

The most amazing, inspiring book store. If you've ever watched "You've Got Mail" and thought to yourself that you'd love to own a bookstore or explore a magical little book shop, then simply walking into Shakespeare and Co. will actually blow your mind. There are shelves full of special editions, multiple different covers of each book. There's a section of rare books, where no pictures are allowed and you can just cozy up and read. I think anyone would love this store, and it's walking distance to Notre Dame.

8) Eat all the sweets

Crepes, Chocolate Croissants, Eclairs, truffles, YOU JUST CAN'T GO WRONG. Try the chocolate croissant at Boulangerie Jocteur, it was my absolute favorite. And if you stop at a crepe stand, order it with speculoos inside.

9) Relax in Luxembourg Gardens

Truly breathtaking gardens. Michael and I stayed next door and spent every morning taking a stroll through the gardens before we went anywhere else. My favorite place in Paris.

10) Smoke a Cigarette

Now this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but there is almost nothing that is more typical French than smoking a cigarette while standing next to the french floor-length gorgeous windows (or in our case, by the Eiffel Tower). I've never felt more chic, honestly. You should try it if you're ever in Paris, just to say you did.

Paris, I love you. Can't wait to see you in a few months.

xo, Em