Want to know what my favorite part of our trip to Paris and Brussels was? The grocery store. I know, I know — there’s the Eiffel Tower in all it’s lacy steel glory and the breathtaking architecture of the Grand Place. We walked the banks of the Seine, wandered the galleries at the Pompidou, and toured a brewery that has been in operation since 1900. Amazing things all– but not my favorite. Nope, my favorite was
the Monoprix around the corner form our Paris apartment and a little local market in Brussels.
What I really crave when I travel, is the experience of living somewhere else for a while. Sure I want to see the sites, but I also want to see what it is like to get up and make breakfast in a very tiny, very old French apartment with a kitchen in a closet. I want to make a pot of coffee in the afternoon in a sunsplashed Brussels home off a quiet square (that becomes less quiet when the club on the corner opens on Friday night). I want to learn the daily rhythm of a place. Which is typically very different from the vacationer’s staccato pace of this landmark, to this museum, to this park and then that other landmark.
So feel free to ask me about the view from Montmartre (spectacular) or the Manneken Pis (far smaller than I imagined), but want to get me really excited? Ask about buying salad greens in Paris or cooking eggs for breakfast in Brussels.
*We used Airbnb to find our home away from home on this trip. If you crave the local experience when you travel, I really believe this is the way to go. On top of the fact that you can book an apartment (with a kitchen, etc.), our hosts’ recommendations for local dining/entertainment were spot on. If you want to give it a try, you can book through this link and get $25 in travel credit.
There are more, non-kitchen related vacation photos on my Facebook page!