As Vanessa Williams said, save the best for last.
In reality, the task of narrowing down my photos from Paris was a daunting one that I kept putting off, so that’s why I’m sharing them so much later than I planned (I traveled there last summer!) but it was my favorite stop on our Europe trip. (In case you missed it, check out London, Rome, Positono, and our adventures outside of Paris).
When I say we walked everywhere, I mean we walked everywhere. We stayed in this amazing Airbnb in St Germain (the 7th arrondissement) that was in a great part of the city. The building had an adorable courtyard and the apartment was quaint while also fitting four people comfortably!
I can’t even recap all of the things we did so I put together a list of some of my favorite stops and highlights along the way!
- Visiting Saint Chapelle: If you go anywhere in Paris, going to Saint Chapelle should be it. The gothic-styled chapel had the most amazing stained glass I had ever seen, and was breathtaking. My mom and I sat on a bench for a long time inside in awe of the beauty, trying to take in every detail. I stopped by the outside of Notre-Dame Cathedral, but from what I’ve heard, it’s even better than that.
- Shopping in Les Marais: I was on the hunt to do some shopping damage in Paris and wanted to avoid the typical stores you see on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. My friend told me to head to the 1st arrondissement to Les Marais and it did NOT disappoint. The streets were filled with with quaint shops and restaurants, and I picked up a few unique pieces!
- My favorite art piece… and an inspiring stranger: Somewhere around the 9th and 10th arrondissement I stumbled upon a street artist that was hand-drawing his work. It caught my eye because it instantly reminded me of my favorite Shel Silverstein book from when I was a kid. I started talking to the artist and an hour later, we were deep into a conversation about love, dreams, and living life to the fullest. It was one of those things that just happens at the right time you need it (I was a bit anxious on my trip about turning 30 soon). He had a solid corporate job that he traded in to travel the world and sell his work on the street, and I’ve never seen a person more fulfilled and happy. His story was inspiring and I don’t know if I’ve ever been influenced by a stranger like that before (I know, I’m so emo). His art is hanging up in my house – which I promised I would never show on social media, since he believes art should be seen in person – and keep a little french saying on a piece of paper he wrote down in my wallet. When I’m ever anxious or uncertain, I pick it up and look at its details.
- Delicious food: Some of my favorite things we ate was the escargot at Les Flores – it was so good, I came back a second time. They were also so infatuated with my mom’s New York accent, the waiter played Saturday Night Fever the second night we walked in! Obviously street crepes are a must, and stopping by a little coffee shop to grab a cup of tea and people watch. We took a break outside of the Saint-Chapelle at L’Annexe Cafe for tea and beer.
- A memorable moment at the Eiffel Tower: It’s always been on my bucket list to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle, so my mom and I grabbed a bench right next to it and watched the sunset go down. While waiting had a girl-talk session as mothers and daughters usually have, and even though we ended up having to wait for over a long time (it sparkles for only 10 minutes at the beginning of every hour), it flew by. It was so gorgeous to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle against the night, and videos never did it justice. It was such a special moment with my mom I’ll never forget!
There is so much more we got to see and do in Paris, but I’d spend hours recapping everything. There is something about that city that instantly steals your heart – and I also found that they have some of the nicest people I’ve met there. I can’t wait to make my way back there one day!