My final morning in Paris, I met up with one of the girls from the bar crawl to go to Musee d’Orsay. Before heading to the museum, we stopped at Café Kitsune for coffee and pastries. We took our drinks to one of the outside tables so we could enjoy the beautiful Jardin du Palais Royal. It was a slightly chilly morning, but the sun was shining bright.
We walked to the museum, and miraculously did not have to wait in line to enter. Musee d’Orsay was beautiful. The building itself was as impressive as the art it displayed. It is a renovated train station full of natural light. We focused on the expansive Impressionist collection, but wandered through a few other rooms. Our hunger level was quickly increasing, so we kept our visit short.
My friend had heard of a nearby bakery that was highly recommended, so we walked there to grab lunch. At Gosselin Boulangerie I ordered a salmon and avocado sandwich and a chocolate éclair. Somehow, that was the first and only chocolate I had in Paris! We took our food to go and returned to the Jardin du Palais Royal to eat outside. We started talking about what had brought us to Paris. We’d both recently been through challenging times, and needed to reset. She said she hoped she could look back on her trip and say that Paris had changed her.
It was nice to connect with someone and have an open and honest conversation. We were both trying to test our limits and exert independence. I was disappointed that I hadn’t met her earlier in my trip, because I would’ve enjoyed spending more time exploring the city with her. Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye, go grab my luggage, and head straight to the airport!
My flight back to New York was smooth and easy. I was staying with a friend overnight, and taking the train home to Virginia the following afternoon. My host and I had danced together in San Francisco, and I have seen her about once a year since she moved to New York in 2010. She and I went to The Malt House to catch up. We had a couple rounds of manhattans and talked about what had happened since we’d last seen each other.
The next morning, her boyfriend joined us for brunch at Shuka. I briefly met him the year before, but was happy to be able to talk with him more. I ordered a Monaco, made with rum, pomegranate, fennel syrup, lemon, vermouth, and prosecco, and a Brunch Bowl, composed of spinach, bulgar, poached egg, apricots, almonds, and pomegranate vinaigrette. We also ordered beet hummus for the table. The meal was delicious, and the company was even better.
I was sad to leave my friend so soon, but was grateful for being able to spend some time with her. During my long train ride home, I reflected on the past two weeks. My time in Berlin and Paris had left me feeling lighter than I had in months. It was definitely a trip to remember!