beautiful places Paris

Paris 2/5: Around Town.

May 7, 2015

Oh, guys. Christian and I are missing Paris so, so much! In the weeks we’ve been back, I think about every three days one of us will say, “I miss Paris” in a really whiny and pathetic tone haha πŸ˜‰ It was the absolute best trip together, and the most beautiful, magical place.

The month leading up to our trip, I began to reach out to others who had already traveled there in hopes of getting some suggestions for our own itinerary. Since we would only be there for a short amount of time (2 1/2 days!), I wanted to be sure that we saw everything we could possibly see. I even had a few people give me the itineraries they had spent months making (SO nice!) and I kept thinking, we are seriously set!! And then something funny happened… two nights before we left, as I was sitting in bed and feverishly trying to perfect our itinerary, I thought, I don’t want to go by this anymore. I was afraid my head would be stuck in the plans and the directions instead of just taking in everything Paris had to offer. And so, I deleted our itinerary… and I’m so glad I did. We may not have seen everything we wanted to see, but our time there was perfect and I guess that just means we’ll need to go back there someday! πŸ˜‰

My favorite part of our time in Paris was the exploring. I will never forget the moment we walked out  of our hotel and onto the Champs-Γ‰lysΓ©es and I saw, in person, the Arc de Triomphe for the first time.  As far as favorite Paris moments go? This was my #1. It was SO grand, so beautiful, and there was such an energy about it and around it, my eyes immediately welled up with tears. Like, I could not believe I was there… I could not believe where I was standing.

The traffic around this circle was INSANE. It was pretty much a free-for-all as cars just entered and exited as fast and as best as they could without hitting anyone. The craziest ones to me were the ones on bicycles… no wonder everyone in Paris smokes! They’re all stressed out from driving! πŸ˜‰

(If you have trouble viewing this video, click here)

I wish I could explain to you just how much we walked that first day. At one point on the first full day of exploring, I said to Christian, “It’s so funny that everyone made a big deal about all the walking we’d do… I mean, it’s a lot but I don’t feel like I’m dying or anything.” Fast forward exactly one hour later… I felt like I was dying πŸ˜‰ haha. Fortunately, as many places as there were to walk, there were also many places to sit and rest. And with a view like this, you really couldn’t complain….

There was gold all over the city. On the sides of buildings, on the top of buildings, on light posts, on food – EVERYWHERE. In addition to all the gold were statues, again- everywhere. I pretended I was royalty as we continued strolling the streets…

Basically, if you didn’t have gold SOMEWHERE on your building, or if you didn’t have a statue either on your building or somewhere around it, you just weren’t cuttin’ it. I mean, it’s probably best you just get out of France. 

The toilettes (I totally just typed the french spelling automatically) in Paris were SO much better than the ones in Italy, although they were still a bit bizarre. Also, at most of the cafΓ©s we visited, the women’s restroom was in the same room as the men’s… stalls, yes, but it was very Ally McBeal Goes To Paris. (And oddly enough, I kinda liked it. Let’s all pee together, guys!) 

Of course you know I spent a decent amount of time snapping pictures of the windows and doors of Paris (just as I did in Italy). 
This place (below) was my favorite home out of all of the ones we saw. There were most likely multiple apartments in it, but I told Christian that if I were to live in Paris, this is the place I’d want to live… even if it was a single room. It was tucked away on a quiet side street, only a few blocks from the Arc, and had a turquoise umbrella/table/chairs out on the balcony. I stood in front of it for a good 5 minutes, daydreaming about my “past life.” — Christian had mentioned when we first arrived in Paris that he totally thought I’d once lived in Paris in a past life πŸ˜‰ He kept saying to me, “Em, this is your place. You know that, right?” … Perhaps πŸ™‚ It’s fun to dream and I may or may not have pictured myself writing behind one of those windows, but I wouldn’t change my current, real life for anything!

We managed to end our day with some ‘world famous’ crepes. Christian had the Nutella Banana and I had just Nutella. (Because I would hate to ruin something with fruit, you know.) 

On the walk back to the hotel, we hadn’t quite gotten enough to eat so we decided to stop at Laduree’s for a few of their famous macaroons because we hadn’t had any macaroons yet and when in Rome Paris, right? 

Yeah, hi. I’ll have one of everything, please?

Christian and I ended up each getting two macaroons, and shared. He got a Coffee Bean and Caramel. I got the Strawberry Candy (at the recommendation of V!) and Vanilla. Here’s how we rated them, best to good.

Em: Strawberry Candy, Vanilla, Coffee Bean, Caramel
Christian: Vanilla, Coffee Bean, Strawberry Candy, Caramel

On our way out, an American girl in her late twenties stopped me and said, “Oh you have to take your picture coming out of Laduree’s! You know, like stand here and hold the door open and then have your husband take your picture.” She wasn’t going to leave until we took this picture, so we did (and I laughed), and then as we were leaving (for real this time) I said to Christian, “I bet you a million bucks that girl was a blogger.”

One last walk past this beauty as we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner (because we hadn’t eaten enough)…

It was a full (pun intended) day and thank goodness for all of that walking, I think it balanced everything out. We did decide to cab it to a few places the next day, however… our feet begged us to.

Check back soon for Part 3: The Louvre!

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  • I know I've already said it.. but Paris is a dream. The city looks so romantic, charming and just gorgeous. So glad you two had a wonderful time. Photos are beautiful. The Laduree story is funny. It'd be amazing if she somehow found your blog πŸ˜‰

  • Everything is so beautiful. I'm so glad you were able to go and that you had such a great time!

  • I literally just drooled all over my keyboard while swooning over these pictures. Like, can I go?!?! I love that it was so much more wonderful than you imagined πŸ™‚

  • I'm so happy you did Paris YOUR way without the weight of an itinerary. (I don't know if I could do that! Kudos!) My strongest memory of the Arc is all the crazy traffic, too! I can't wait to read more about your adventures! Do you speak French?

  • Ahhh, it takes me right back! So glad you had a good time and Paris lived up to the dream. Sometimes, the best plan is no plan at all. Really difficult for a type-a personality so bravo!

    And yay! You went to LadurΓ©e! Mmmm strawberry candy macaron….

  • I'll admit… during our taxi ride from the airport to the hotel I may or may not have practically had an anxiety attack thinking, "WHY DID I GET RID OF THAT ITINERARY?!" haha… #TypeAprobs … Some wine fixed that πŸ˜‰

  • I think because we'd been on such a tight schedule in Italy, it felt really nice to just kind of do our own thing in Paris… so it was good πŸ™‚ I do speak French! Not a ton, but enough to communicate the basics while we were there.

  • I WANT YOU TO GO!! Seriously, one of these days… you and Hunter have to go. Christian and I decided we'd go back at some point.. even if we are old and gray πŸ˜‰

  • I can't explain it.. I just KNEW she was a blogger. So funny!

  • What great pictures! I just dream of the day I finally make it to Paris!

  • I have this thing with bridges. So whenever I'm in a new city I tend to spend a lot of time on the riverbanks, taking photos of the bridges and the water and the shoreline. That's probably the vast majority of my photos from Paris with a few doors and sights mixed in.
    Exploring without a solid itinerary makes me nervous but M flies by the seat of his pants always, and our trips have been the most fun ones of my life, so there must be something to it! πŸ˜‰ I'm glad you took a risk and just dove in to see what you felt like exploring as you were going. The Arc is amazing, right up there with the Eiffel tower ? and Notre Dame cathedral!

  • Katie @ A Beautiful Little Adv

    Loved all the pictures!!

  • Absolutely beautiful. I can totally see you in that apartment with that little umbrella on the terrace. It is so you. Thanks for including the doors pics….I was hoping you would share some!

  • Oh my goodness. Paris was gorgeous for you!! It was snowy/rainy for me. And the doors. Ah Laduree!

  • Yes we do! πŸ™‚

  • Aww Paris. That traffic is SO intense and it took me while to realize we wouldn't have to actually cross the street! haha. And yes, the bathroom situation through me off a bit at first but hey, why not! I'm so happy you had the nutella crepes! The tubs of nutella were crazy huge!

  • So, So fun! We love traveling! What great pictures you took!

  • Your reaction to seeing the Arc du Triomphe the first time was exactly how it was for me when I first laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower. It was the culmination of so many dreams coming true and I almost couldn't handle the emotional overload.

  • Again…beautiful photos! Yes, walking so much…you don't realize how much your feet are going to hurt :-p Glad you got crepes! You really got to see a lot. I wonder if that girl was a blogger…so fun that she suggested the photo!

  • Your pictures are as always gorgeous. One day, I'll make it to Paris myself. πŸ™‚

  • What beautiful pics.. It looks like you managed to pack a lot into 2.5 days! My boyfriend has been living in Italy the past 1.5 years and driving there is very similar to what I imagine driving around the Arc de Triomphe is like… naturally, Italians are always smoking too! πŸ˜‰

  • Such wonderful pictures!

  • Jae

    Again, all of the doors, Em, ALL OF THE DOORS! I agree with X that you're made for Paris. I mean, you so effortlessly blend with its natural beauty!

  • Lady, I hope you get to go one day!!!

  • I was bummed we didn't get to see Notre Dame but you know… we'll have to go back soon πŸ˜‰

  • thanks, Katie! πŸ™‚

  • Can't you, though?! πŸ™‚ I wish you could just be teleported there, Anne!

  • Snowy and rainy?! ew, girl! Well you'll just have to go back someday! πŸ˜‰

  • haha! I think we stood there for a good 15 minutes just watching everyone trying to make it safely across (ONLY 1 fender bender!)

  • Have you been to Paris, Caroline?!

  • So cool when you get to check something off of your bucket list! πŸ™‚

  • Even down to the way she was dressed, I don't know- I just KNEW she was a blogger, haha! We saw a lot more! I'll be continuing the recaps in the near future πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Kelli!

  • Thanks, Tami! I hope you do too!!!!

  • hahaha Oh, Jae! You *always* bring a smile to my face!


  • I have been wanting to ask you about your bf! We were in Italy right before we flew to Paris – so pretty and yes- literally everyone was smoking haha πŸ˜‰

  • Oh I absolutely will! It's more of a question of "WHEN!?"

  • Jae

    COME ON. ALL OF THE DOORS. Is there a specific term for people who has a strange affinity for WINDOWS and DOORS??

  • OH MY GOSH TAKE ME BACK RIGHT NOW! I really loved all the photos of the doors. This should be a theme every place you travel!

  • So dreamy!! I went to Laduree in NYC….totes not the same thing, but the closest my heart has been to Paris! πŸ™‚ Can't wait to explore this amazing city someday….Steve and I both want to go…maybe for our 15 year?!? And I love your door pics…perfection!

  • If you're going back, take me with you!!! πŸ˜‰

    The doors thing has kind of become a theme, for sure! I'm hoping to do some kind of collage or DIY with all of the pictures πŸ™‚

  • YES. You guys MUST go – so romantic!!!