In March I ventured to fabulous Paris. This was my first trip, and the city did not disappoint. For nearly a month, I carefully selected my wardrobe. The color palette: black, nudes, white and pops of pink. My staples: Black riding boots, trench coat and black blazer. What I didn't anticipate was only wearing a quarter of what I brought, because it would rain the entire time we were there. So all those terrific clothes, yes, they stayed in the suitcase (as did my nice handbags - I didn't want them ruined from the rain. I opted to carry a jcrew crossbody handbag).
Instead I wore jeans, tees and my trench coat the entire trip. Well, that was when our luggage decided to arrive in Paris. Yes we were without our luggage in the most fashion forward city in the world. Luckily, Leslie and I planned for such an occurrence and each packed one outfit in our carry-ons. In addition, our Parisian apartment had a washer, coincidentally no dryer, which had me drying my panties with a hairdryer! Actually obtaining our luggage was a gigantic hassle, which ruined our planned trip to the ballet (I'm still battling Continental Airlines on this one, hands-down the worst customer service I've ever encountered. In a word RUDE). One day in Paris was completely ruined due to an airlines negligence, but I want to keep this post fun, so I am moving on.
By far my favorite views of the city, were not from the Eiffel Tower, but from the very top of Notre Dame. I'm certain others will disagree with me, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This beholder says Notre Dame had breathtaking views. Views which in my opinion were postcard perfect.
We ate at countless cafes. Our favorite place to dine was in the Latin Quarter. Filled with a multitude of restaurants, we would keep going back to the same creperie for a week. Yes, the crepes were THAT good. The Latin Quarter is right next to the city's universities, so this area catered to a younger crowd. The food was affordable and tasty. We also were fortunate to have a pizza cafe just a few steps away from our apartment. I'm here to say, it was the best pizza I've ever had. The margarita pizza was divine! One step from the pizza cafe was a bakery, here we would eat breakfast each morning.
I will say, I was a tad disappointed in the shopping. Yes, we walked up and down the Avenue des Champs d'Elysees (one of the most famous streets in the world). However, I found that our stores in the US have exactly the same items. I went into Louis Vuitton, Chanel (which didn't carry the bag I wanted and had never heard of it - no I'm not kidding, I wish I were), Prada, Gucci, etc. The sales associates were all very kind. I had my heart set on making two major purchases, one being a Chanel, the other being a Mulberry Oversized Alexa handbag. The day before we departed Paris, we finally found the Mulberry store. Oddly enough, it was just a short walk from our apartment, a block from the Louvre. I didn't come home with the Alexa, but instead a Bayswater and I couldn't be more pleased. The style is similar to the Hermes Birkin. Given that I will most likely never own a Birkin, this was a great alternative. I also came home with countless scarves, which I gave away to family and friends.
For all its' splendor, there were a few things that I didn't appreciate about Paris. If you know me, you know that I am a germ freak. A simple cough or sneeze, will put me in tears. Imagine my surprise to find that the vast majority of Parisian did NOT cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing. It was all I could do to not curl up in a fetal position. I don't now if others have noted this while vacationing in France, but this girl was not impressed with the lack of manners. The public restrooms, well they are sparse. If you are lucky enough to find one, you have to pay. Even if you were a patron at a cafe, guess what, you will pay to use the facilities. For the most part the French were very kind. However, some were none to eager to assist, even when they spoke English! Finally, The Mona Lisa. Not impressed. Her legend is larger than life, her actual stature is teeny-tiny. The Mona Lisa, which is housed in the Louvre, is arguably the world's most notorious painting. Behind ropes, special protective glass and heavily guarded by museum staff, this painting did not live up to my expectations.
The trip was one for the books. Great company, spectacular crepes, shopping, art and beautiful architecture. All of which I am quite fond. I couldn't have been more pleased with our choice in location and look forward to our next adventure to Machu Picchu, Peru. A trip that will be far less glamorous (hiking, living on granola bars and acclimating to altitude) but equally rewarding.
Views of and from the Eiffel Tower
(One can never have too many photos of the tower, after all it is synonymous with Paris)
The Food in the Latin Quarter
Arc De Triomphe
(I suffer from vertigo, the staircase was not kind to moi)
(Did you know that Notre Dame is located on an island in the Seine River? The Seine is the river that divides Paris. Notre Dame was by far my favorite photographic subject in Paris)
Goofing off in the Notre Dame Bell Tower
(Why yes, I did do my best Quasimoto)
The Seine River
(Transformed from a Train Station to a Museum. Though photographs were forbidden, I did embrace my inner rebel and snap a photo of a magnificent gilded clock and Whistler's Mother.)
Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
(Hands down the most lovely cemetery I've ever seen. Unfortunately the same can't be say outside of the gates, this part of the city left something to be desired. Buried here are: Oscar Wilde, Chopin, and Jim Morrison)
(What is the significance of this you might ask? Well you see, my friend Leslie trekked around the city in a pair of Jimmy Choo boots, a feat I didn't think possible. I, on the other hand, went for the practical (and hideous) pair of Rockports (purchased specifically for this trip) - alas not even these matronly shoes could spare my feet from pain!)
Finally...no trip with Leslie comes without some comic event. You see, after riding the Metro back from the cemetery we exited and walked right onto a movie set (no exaggeration, we were quickly scooted off the set). But I ask, why would you film at a subway stop? For some reason we were the only people who happened to exit there, making me wonder if perhaps we didn't see a sign. Which, consequently would have prevented us from making fools of ourselves. So if you see two crazy tourist in an upcoming war film, that would be us! Here are a few pics of the movie:
(see where that truck is parked...I think this is where they kindly asked us to move. I was wondering what all the soldiers were doing and why there were vintage vehicles surrounding us)
I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did. Believe me when I say, that though there may be a lot of pictures in this single post, I spared you from 1056 others.