I started writing this post at the beginning of the summer and then I got distracted, but I’m sharing it with you now!
Once school was over for the summer I was essentially working for myself. When I’m not working in the schools, I have this freedom to schedule vacation whenever I want, which is terrifying. Don’t get me wrong… it’s amazing, but also dangerous. The temptation to ignore my to-do list, close off my online teaching schedule and go on perma-holiday is so real. This desire is only worsened by the fact that Paris is miserably hot and humid over the summer.
In the first few weeks of summer, Parisians were at each other’s throats. I actually watched a fight over a stroller break out on a bus. The bus driver had to get up out of his seat to yell at an entire bus full of adults. I have never seen that before. Shortly after, a man stole my cell phone out of my hands on the metro and then ran away as the doors slammed shut.
It was time to get out of Paris.
Montpellier is a city that I have wanted to visit for a long time. First of all, I had never been to the South of France and of course, it is a bucket list location where many of my friends have visited, leaving me to scroll through their Instagrams feeling left out and uncultured. Second, one of my first Parisian friends and her husband lived there for a year and the way they spoke about it always made it seem like a perfect vacation destination. A bright beach-adjacent student town where it’s warm but not too hot and people are friendly. That’s my ideal city.
After several days of whining about the heat, boyfriend agreed and said we could go on a mini vacation Monday through Wednesday, his next days off. He then reluctantly agreed to Montpellier over several other sea-side destinations that he suggested. I’d like to say it’s because he realized I was correct about it being a perfect destination, but I really think it was more to stop me asking if we could go to Montpellier every 4 minutes, which I had been doing for the last 2 hours since he said we could go on vacation. He’s a lucky guy.
I then followed up the relentless begging for a trip with a follow-up barrage of pleas to stay in a specific Bed and Breakfast that I found on the internet, La Merci Chambres d’hôtes . I had my heart set and no other location would do. He sighed as he clicked “book now.”
With the Bed and Breakfast booked and the train tickets booked, the only thing left to do was figure out what do we do once we got there. We looked up a couple of things, but ultimately just decided that the only thing we HAD to do was get to the sea. The rest we could figure out when we got there.
The train was a quick 3 hours from Paris, easy enough for a quick weekend get away.
We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast and I’m not kidding when I tell you that it is, without doubt, my favorite place I have ever stayed. If you go to Montpellier, you MUST stay there. We stayed in the junior suite which could accommodate three people and had an absolutely stunning view of the downstairs garden.
We checked in and immediately took a nap because our train was rather early and we are not morning people. We got up around 6 and decided to venture out for dinner. We looked up some restaurant reviews on Yelp, my go-to app, and went to L’Alchimiste where we were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful night and delicious French food with modern culinary twists.
The following day was a dedicated beach day. We got up early (ish) and went down to the garden for breakfast.
During our super instagrammable breakfast, we planned our trip to the beach – we were going to bike, but upon hearing that it was going to be around 95 degrees, we decided to take the tram. Seemed easier. A 30-minute tram ride later, full of a loud group of “youths” and a very kind elderly woman who offered to drive us the rest of the way (we politely declined), we made it to the beach. And we forgot towels.
After a full day of sunburn, swimming and relaxing at the beach, we headed back to get ready for dinner. Again, thanks to Yelp, we ended up at le Pré Vert which was delicious and exciting as we got stuck in an outdoor storm. We got to enjoy our dinner underneath a massive umbrella. See instagram footage below.
After dinner, we took shelter in a local pub, you know, because of the rain. It was our only option, sue us. When the rain let up, we had a beautiful nighttime stroll near some of the monuments and then headed back to the bed and breakfast because we had to catch our train the next morning.
We enjoyed one final gorgeous courtyard breakfast with an unexpected guest and then were on our way back to Paris.
Overall, a wonderful two and a half days, and a weekend trip that I would definitely recommend! I would go back to Montpellier just to stay at the B&B one more time.