On a cold, rainy day in Shanghai – how do 3 girls cheer up…?? By booking tickets to Paris for Spring Break! This was my first time traveling to Europe and I can tell you, I INSTANTLY fell in love. I see myself going back again… and again.. and again 🙂
Le Marais – 4th District
Caitlyn’s sister used to live in Paris while studying abroad and had some great insight into where we should stay in order to make the most out of our 1 week in Paris. We ended up booking an AirBandB along a beautiful road called Rue de Turenne.
Every day walking around this area, I felt like I was living like a Parisian. The markets, the cafes, the little shops, and the restaurants – it was the most addicting atmosphere I’d ever been in.
This loft apartment on Rue de Turenne was directly between many cafe/restaurants, as well as little shops. Although active during the day, the street quieted down in the evening hours and was never a problem for sleeping at night. Staying in the Marais was such a great option for us.
After punching in a code, you would walk down a long hallway, unlock another door, walk through the open air area, through another door, up the tiniest elevator I’ve ever been inside in my life, dropped off on the 3rd floor, walk up 1 more flight of stairs to the only apartment and door on the 4th floor – and VOILA home for the week 🙂
The place had great lighting, enough space, the bathroom was only OK, but everything else was fine. One thing I learned while in Paris – you MUST have baking soda or a special drawer for all of your favorite, unique cheeses. Our fridge smelled like a fridge at a boy’s college rental house….. ugh.
Beautiful church. The amount of detail put into all the entire structure is mind-boggling. It didn’t seem too busy with tourists, and this is definitely a must see when in Paris.
Best Breakfast Ever
Each morning could not begin with a more difficult thing as making a decision on where to have breakfast?! There were so many cute little cafes!!
This morning proved to be the BEST and prompted a return visit later in the trip. Just a couple blocks down from our AirBnB was a Jewish area that housed incredible falafel restaurants, bakeries, and paper goods (ex. books, cards, paintings, etc.).
Just around the corner from that was this amazing place. I don’t remember the name, but what a way to start the morning! 🙂
Walking Day Tour
When you have a beautiful spring day in Paris – get some great walking shoes on, get outside and explore!
This particular day, the weather proved to be perfect while walking around and looking at all of the stunning structures of Paris.
Very busy area! It’s in the center of a roundabout. Of course there were crazy tourists running in front of cars and standing in the intersection just to take a picture. We weren’t that stupid….
A staple of what Americans think of, when they think of Paris. We enjoyed ourselves 🙂
Although it seems a bit far from things, and the neighbor in front of the cathedral is strange….. The area behind the cathedral was much more inviting with little cafes, local artists selling their work, and musicians playing happy music.
I’m sure we had some set plans each day, but I always enjoyed our ability to be spontaneous with picnics. Since the weather was great once again, we decided to have a picnic at the Luxembourg Garden.
I think it was around 1PM, but after we found some chairs and uncorked the red wine – this sweet, old, Parisian man was walking by. He saw our picnic, smiled and said “Bon Appetit”. It melted my heart!
This impromptu picnic is such a great memory for me 🙂
Eiffel Tower Sunset
One afternoon, we decided to stop by the bakery, meat, cheese, and wine store (because Parisians specialize in one thing, but all shops are within feet of each other. It’s brilliant and delicious!) so we could have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower.
We can laugh later, but we first tried to go to Versailles on a Monday. Turns out it’s a “holiday” for Parisians. Some museums and tourist spots are closed, so make sure you check before you go! Thankfully, we were only on the first metro of our journey. Not too far yet.
This whole day I felt like my jaw was scraping across the crowd. I feel like I can’t describe the size of things or the amount of detail in order to accurately portray this place completely.
3 words could begin – Grand… Magnificent… Expensive…. are some of the first that come to mind for me.
I highly recommend visiting this city. The back, palace gardens are so beautiful. Since they are free to the public, many locals will use the space for exercise. I would LOVE to take walks here whenever I wanted.
Entrance and back garden
It was almost TOO MUCH at times. There were too many tourists crammed in the areas together. Plus, the grand scale of the room decorations was enough to make you queasy at times. It’s hard to believe that this was “normal” to some people…
Behind the palace
Peaceful paths that led to a couple restaurants, food truck, and a little shop in one area of the garden. We purchased some souvenirs from the shop, grabbed a fresh meat and cheese sandwich and continued our exploration.
This was a separate home for King Louis XIV for him and his wife at some point…
I didn’t pay attention to the history as much. I was just trying to take it all in!
Hameau of Chateau de Versailles
This was a little village built by the request of Marie Antoinette. She wanted to flee the court at times and found the charm in country life.
This was one of my favorite things we did! The area was so peaceful. The flowers were stunning. All of it provided such a great experience.
Once the bus dropped us off near Monet’s home, we saw that there were two areas. The first we visited was on one side of the street. In order to get to this side, you had to walk in a tunnel under the street.
Monet’s Home and Garden
The garden is incredible. Some gardeners were tending the flowers. What a great summer or spring job to have!
The charm throughout the home can be seen in the colors chosen for each room and the detail of the furniture and decor. I loved it!
I enjoyed everything about my first taste of Europe- the culture, the food, and the vibe.
I could easily see myself living somewhere in this area…
Until next time Europe.. I WILL BE BACK!