Time flies in France – I can’t believe how quickly the days change as our week in Paris slips through our fingers. But we’ve been making the most of each day, seeing the sights, eating the food, drinking the wine, and ultimately remembering that this trip is about restfully enjoying where we are.

After a morning visit to Du Pain et Des Idees on Wednesday morning for chocolate-pistachio pastries and ham-and-chevre breakfast buns, we took a walk down Canal St. Martin and then hopped on the Metro to spend a couple of hours walking through Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise. It might sound strange that one of my favorite places in this city is a cemetery, but truly, you haven’t seen the best of Paris until you’ve walked down the winding, tree-lined cobblestone streets on a sunny Fall day. We shuffled through the leaves, noting of the old, crumbling gravestones with dates from the 1800′s, and shiny new granite ones with dates from only a couple of years ago. There is so much character and history in this place.

After leaving Pere Lachaise, we did a little more walking around Belleville and then caught a train back to the Marais to grab a sandwich and rest our feet at a bench in a little plaza near the bakery. Shane headed back to the apartment after that, but I had a one-track mind and hopped back on the Metro with a mission:

Yes, eight brightly-colored, light and crispy, pretty little macaroons from Laduree. Macaroons are one of those foods I love to look at as much I as I love to eat (well, almost). We’re still working our way through all the flavors, but right now the front runner is the black currant violet. Or the salted caramel. Or the orange blossom. Ah, well, why play favorites?

Seeing as how Wednesday was Shane’s birthday (yes, we’ve both aged in style on this trip), we made plans at a nice bistrot in Montparnasse for dinner that night. And from the escargot to the tender fish to the chocolate tart and cheese plate for dessert, the evening was perfect. We left the restaurant and were surprised to turn a corner and see the Eiffel Tower just down the street, so rather than heading back to the Metro, we wound our way through the quiet streets and arrived at the tower just in time to catch it’s hourly sparkle.

We stood there for awhile and watched it shine, fitting right in with all the other cheesy couples that hug while gazing at Paris’s most famous monument, but I didn’t care – I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the birthday of my most favorite person.

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