6.02.2014

Our trip to Paris ::: Part 1

It's so bittersweet to be writing this recap for our trip, because it means that it really is over. Thankfully the memories we made will last - and hopefully I'll be able to relive our amazing trip through these recaps whenever I start to feel heartache for my new favorite city in all of the land; Paris. 

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We left on a Thursday afternoon for an overnight flight to Paris. I wanted to be very strategic about my plane outfit for multiple reasons. First of all, we were going to be on a flight for 10+ hours, so I wanted it to be comfortable. Second of all, we were going to Paris - the capitol for fashion, and I refused to look the part of an American tourist. Also - considering the fact that I brought a carry-on for our ten day trip, all of my pieces had to have the ability to be worn multiple times.

Once we got on the plane, I added my scarf and the outfit was perfect. We got to the airport with just enough time to grab a beer and some chips and guac - our last bite of American food!



We flew coach on AirFrance, and they did a really nice job of making it as comfortable as possible (read=unlimited, free booze).


I watched a few movies and was able to catch about 5 hours of sleep on the ride over. Besides the plane being uncomfortably hot - the ride was smooth and we landed right on time at Charles de Gaulle.

We took a cab from the airport to our apartment in St. Germain - about a 45 minute (50 Euro) drive. We stayed for 4 nights at an AirBnB rental, and couldn't have been more impressed. The apartment was literally on one of the best streets in St. Germain (Rue du Four) and was spotless, beautiful, and comfortable. I honestly could not recommend using AirBnB more.




The white building was our "home"
Once we unpacked and freshened up - I learned that even with an outlet converter, you can't use American hair straighteners. Which meant we were on to our first adventure.

After a very necessary stop for an espresso - we found a cheap, and actually awesome straightener at a Dartry for 10 Euro - and we were on our way for a day of exploring. 


It was probably about 2 or 3pm by this time in Paris, but neither one of us were feeling the sting of jet lag, which was awesome. 

Thanks to our tour guide and Parisian expert Laura, she put together a nearly flawless itinerary for us. We actually would have been completely loss without her guidance, so I pretty much owe her my firstborn. 

Our tour guide had advised to hit the road right away - and she was spot on. Our first stop on the trip was Notre Dame which was a fifteen minute walk from our place. 


The church - and all of Paris - is spectacular and perfect. Paris was really easy for us to navigate, because the river splits the entire city in two banks. Even on our first walk, I felt like it was a very do-able city. 

We spent about an hour at Notre Dame. There was an initial line to get in, but it was free to walk around the church and tour the property. There were a lot of tourists - but if you can look beyond them, the church is just majestic. Everything is so intricate and beautiful, and the church manages to feel serene despite all of the chaos. 




After our visit, we walked to Ile Saint Louis - a tiny island right off of Notre Dame. We stopped in at Paris' famous ice cream shop Berthillion, and took the advice of Aspiring Kennedy for a dark chocolate & coconut combo. The dark chocolate was mind blowing.



Another must-do item for me was a trip to the scarf shop Bayman. I had read about MaryJane's - from Skinny Vanilla - experience here and Laura confirmed it - so we found the little shop and got me a shiny new scarf.



The madam of the store helped me pick out the right colors for my tones - and you'll see the scarf pop up a lot over my trip.

After our stop on Ile Saint Louis, we wanted to check out the Pont de l'Archevêché - the famous bridge where lovers throw the key away of their lock into the Sein.


It's pretty funny, because the lock bridge has gotten so over-crowded that their happen to be lock bridges all over the dang city.

The weather started to turn fast - so we popped into a cafe with a large awning and tried to study the map with a little more knowledge under our belt.







The weather for us in France - for the most part - was cold, gray, and rainy. It was unseasonable for the time we were there, but I wish I would have packed a few more "outerwear" options - but, we survived.

The downpour only lasted for twenty minutes, so we were able to walk to Chez Fernand, our dinner location, to make sure they could fit us in for dinner later that night at 8pm.



We did not make any reservations for places in advance. I didn't want to the pressure of having to race to meals if we were running late, and I didn't really know what we were going to be in the mood for. What we did do, was in the morning, we planned out the day and tried to sneak into the restaurant early to hold our place. Every restaurant - even on Friday and Saturday night - had room for us and was able to accommodate.

Our first meal at Chez Fernand turned out to be my favorite of the entire trip. The restaurant was tiny and perfect - and just so Parisian. I loved every little thing about it, and would highly recommend visiting it if you ever find yourself in Paris.



The couple next to us recommended that we start with their house wine which was spot on. House wine in the States, if it's even offered, would concern me, but in Europe it's a no-brainer. 



We started with an avocado and shrimp tartare which was phenomenal and for dinner Joel had duck confit and I had the best pasta I've ever had. It was a mushroom gnocchi/ravioli sort of thing that was literally perfection.





Our first day in Paris was absolutely perfect.

13 comments:

  1. Your trip looks perfect! So glad you fell in love with the city! How could you not?! You're making me want to go back ASAP!

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  2. Yall look like you had SO much fun and its only part 1! Can't wait to read more and hope yall have a great week!

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  3. This recap is amazing, I can't wait for the rest! I'm going to Paris with my husband this summer and your pictures have made me even more excited. If/when I have questions, I'm coming to you, your trip looks like perfection!

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  4. Your hat is adorable! I have to know where you got it!

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  5. Looks like a fabulous start! Glad you had a smooth and turbulence free ride too :)

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  6. Yay! I can't believe all you brought was a carry on???!?

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  7. I can't wait to see the rest. So far you have looked absolutely adorable and so "Parisian." I love the black with the pop of Burbury and then that adorable black hat. Tres chic my dear!

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  8. I know I liked SO many of these photos on FB already but YAYYYY I can't wait to read about all of it too!

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  9. So glad you had such an amazing time!

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  10. My friend just got back from Paris a little over a week ago and she told me the same thing about the house wine! :)

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  11. Amazing!!! You look like you fit right in, in Paris!! I cannot wait to see the rest of the trip because it looks phenomemal so far.

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  12. Absolutely perfect! I guess the house wine in FRANCE would be much better. ;)

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  13. This recap makes me want to hop on a plane... and I'm so impressed you packed everything in a carry-on. Just WOW!

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