Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

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Warm weather means touristy adventures in this beautiful city!

Bonjour!

Springtime in Paris has a magical connotation to it: cherry blossoms blooming against rows of Haussmann apartments, afternoon strolls through the perfectly manicured Jardin des Tuileries, balmy bike rides along the Seine. All of these images fed my desire to study abroad here, especially when I compared them to the ever-lastingly dreary weather (I mean, winter wonderland…) of Saratoga this time of year. But I was informed early on that these romantic visions would go unrealized until early April, when Paris typically begins to bloom into something that more closely resembles a fairytale than a mere season. I packed accordingly, and the indistinguishable mass of noir that inhabited my suitcase served me well right up until two weekends ago.

Overnight, the Paris of oversized-scarves and layers that I’d come to know and love transformed into a leafy, green, temperate, practically unrecognizable city. Green buds peeked out from balcony gardens, trees made themselves known above the rues and boulevards, and the sun warmed the smiles on all of our disbelieving faces. Waking up to springtime in Paris is exactly as I would’ve pictured: each morning, I “take a coffee” (as my host brother says) on our balcony, looking out over a view of our apartment parking lot (and some slightly more appealing Parisian rooftops). The first few days of this seventy degree weather have left their mark on me in the form of freckles and a mild sunburn, which my vitamin-D deprived skin eagerly welcomed.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies—accompanying the sunshine was smog, which settled in a thick haze over the city. While pollution levels have long been on the rise in Paris, this choking and visible reminder of it prompted the city to offer free public transportation via the metro and Velib bikes for a full week in March. After a rainstorm finally broke the heat wave last week, we can all breathe a bit easier now.

With newly rosy skin and happy eyes, I’ve spent these lovely days wandering through parks and gardens and indulging in innumerable picnics and outdoor cafe-sessions. I’ve mostly found myself jogging (…or eating ice cream) in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont—which is just down the street from my apartment—or ambling along the Canal Saint Martin with a baguette, bottle of rosé, and good company. Wherever I am, I am pinching myself, because it is Springtime in Paris and life is pretty sweet. 

My balcony view (pas mal)!

My balcony view (pas mal)!

The loveliest way to wake up in the mornings :)

The loveliest way to wake up in the mornings :)

Saturday morning picnic along the Canal, ft. the most delicious organic take-away brunch from Tuck Shop!

Saturday morning picnic along the Canal, ft. the most delicious organic take-away brunch from Tuck Shop!

Sunny days, picnics, and yummy take-away brunches make me the happiest girl :)

Sunny days, picnics, and yummy take-away brunches make me the happiest girl :)

Silly sunshiney-selfies with Samantha and Sophie

Silly sunshiney-selfies with Samantha and Sophie

Exploring along the canal

Exploring along the canal

People watching in the Tuileries

People watching in the Tuileries

Afternoon stroll through the Tuileries

Afternoon stroll through the Tuileries

Loving the sunshine and exploring with new friends

Loving the sunshine and exploring with new friends

Sunny daze & touristy smiles in front of the tower!

Sunny daze & touristy smiles in front of the tower!

Place des Vosges in the sunshine!

Place des Vosges in the sunshine!

Afternoon coffee break in Place des Vosges

Afternoon coffee break in Place des Vosges

Cherry blossoms and blue skies by L'Hôtel de Ville

Cherry blossoms and blue skies by L’Hôtel de Ville

No Friday classes means afternoon coffee (or wine) in St. Paul

No Friday classes means afternoon coffee (or wine) in St. Paul

"Taking a coffee" outside in the Marais

“Taking a coffee” outside in the Marais

Beautiful garden & gallery tucked away on a side street in Le Marais

Beautiful garden & gallery tucked away on a side street in Le Marais

Playing in the garden

Playing in the garden

Beautiful blooms in a secret garden

Paris, or the tropics??

Visiting the Espace des Femmes feminist art gallery

Visiting the Espace des Femmes feminist art gallery

View from atop the Galleries Lafayette! This was at the height of the pollution (see how the Eiffel Tower is so hazy)?

View from atop the Galleries Lafayette! This was at the height of the pollution (see how the Eiffel Tower is so hazy)?

Sunday morning brunch on Kate's terrace

Sunday morning brunch on Kate’s terrace

Sunday morning brunch view from Kate's apartment

Sunday morning brunch view from Kate’s apartment

Homework isn't so bad when you can people watch with some white wine!

Homework isn’t so bad when you can people watch with some white wine!

The lovely Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The lovely Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The crowd of people that come to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to enjoy the great view and even better weather

The crowd of people that come to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to enjoy the great view and even better weather

Picnic in the park with my darlings, Sam and Kate!

Picnic in the park with my darlings, Sam and Kate!

Leisurely soaking up the sun

Leisurely soaking up the sun

Cherry blossoms coloring the park

Cherry blossoms coloring the park

Shade-seekers

Shade-seekers

The "buttes" (hill) of Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The “buttes” (hill) of Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Man-made waterfall in the park (am I still in Paris...?)

Man-made waterfall in the park (am I still in Paris…?)

Enjoying the sunshine under willow trees in the park

Enjoying the sunshine under willow trees in the park

Nature walks through the park

Nature walks through the park

Picnic-ready!

Picnic-ready!

Beautiful views from the top of the hill in the park

Beautiful views from the top of the hill in the park

More views from the park

More views from the park

Kate and Emily in front of the famous Temple de la Sibylle in the park

Kate and Emily in front of the famous Temple de la Sibylle in the park

More nature walks

More nature walks

Romantic views in the park

Romantic views in the park

View of Paris at dusk from the temple in the park

View of Paris at dusk from the temple