Any time I start to write a blog, the words just come to me and the storytelling tends to take shape almost immediately. A clever headline pops into my head out of nowhere. Some witty opener to grab the readers attention instantly rolls off of my finger tips onto the screen. I have yet to truly experience writers block thus far in my alleged writing career…until now. To make myself feel better about this little hiccup, I have decided that writing about Paris isn’t the best way to communicate our adventure. Instead, giving you a visual dose of Paris through my lens (literally) is arguably more fun and aspirational.
If you previously read part one of this two-part Parisian series, you will recall my love affair with Paris, despite never having traveled to The City of Lights (until last weekend). Oh and if you didn’t read part one, now would be the time where you open a new window in your browser and visit My Parisian Birthday, Part One and read that before you continue on here. Come on, people. It’s like reading Catching Fire (the second Hunger Games book) before reading the first one.
And so I bring you the validation of my crazy Paris love. The name of the this game is True or False?
True or False? The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world.
True! The Arc de Triomphe was our first stop when we arrived and it had me in awe, snapping pictures from all angles. At some point each day we ended up either walking by or seeing it from afar (it was only about a 10 minute walk from our hotel) and it was truly captivating. And, it’s name is overly warranted, literally and figuratively.
True or False? Marc Jacobs is now the creative director for Chanel.
False! I took this picture of an ad while walking through a metro station (map in hand, camera around my neck, not looking like a tourist at all) and was actually surprised to learn of this exhibit as well as the fact that Marc Jacobs is the creative director for Louis Vuitton. And speaking of LV, yes, it’s very much worth going to the flagship over-the-top Louis Vuitton store on avenue des Champs-Élysées. Boasting a museum on the 7th floor, a library on the 2nd floor and more euros being spent on bags than you can even imagine, it’s really a quintessential Parisian fashion experience. I ended up there for about 60 minutes of which 45 was spent at the library.
True or False? Eating a crepe at Marche des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris dating from the 1600’s, is an absolute must-do.
True! The moment I walked into Marche des Enfants Rouges was the moment I actually fell in love with Paris, the moment my affair was validated and the moment I knew my feelings were real. I have a thing for markets and to experience my first crepe (I chose the sweet version with Nutella as my filling), an espresso and an early morning walk here was heavenly. Check out the below shots for a little Parisian marché inspiration!
True or False? The Eiffel Tower is best to be seen during the day.
True! Of course it is, check out those views!
True or False? The Eiffel Tower is best to be seen at night.
True! Of course it is, check out those views! Though, I will say, the nighttime pictures do not do it any justice and my camera wasn’t being overly cooperative at that moment.
Contradiction? Not quite. Here’s the deal. My recommendation would be to go see the Eiffel Tower both during the day and at night. She’s a real beauty on both accounts. Oh and at night, on the hour, she twinkles like a sparkler which is just truly magical, especially when you are on a boat with your husband and it happens :) Yes, Paris is a romantic city and yes, I leveraged all the romantic moments I could (though Rick and I did not make out in public which on various occasions was very normal at the outdoor cafes, while smoking).
True or False? Koshka Mashka was my favorite boutique located in the posh 3rd district.
True! A bit scared to get my credit card bill. Enough said.
True or False? The champagne in France is better than in the States.
False! Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and oddly really fun to order…until I saw the price. Ouch. For a glass of champagne it was anywhere from 16-28 EUROS. No joke. That is roughly $20 – $35 per glass. Needless to say I stuck with the Sancerre blanc which was half the price and made me equally, if not more, happy :)
True or False? The Louvre is overrated, the lines are too long and it’s not worth it.
False! What is wrong with you? It’s the Louvre for crying out loud. The original Mona Lisa is here. It’s like a million square feet of an art-lovers playground. Overwhelming? Yes. But, it’s The Louvre and it can be overwhelming if it wants to. I will confess to you that I only stayed for two hours (Rick a whopping five) as I wanted to check out the Nissim de Comando, a private French home of a banker from the early twentieth century and it was well worth it. And fine, I did skip out go shopping, too.
True or False? Going to see Moulin Rouge is a must.
Trick question. Rick would say yes, I would say no. My review would be 3 stars out of 5 at best. Yes, the women and their perky boobs were beautiful and they were decent dancers. But I was expecting something more upscale, more dramatic, more romantic and less like an off-broadway cheesy musical. Wow, that was a bit harsh. Fine, go if you must, but I’d say save the 200 euros and go shopping and have a really expensive glass of champagne instead ;)
True or False? These are sketches of Rick and I drawn by a vendor on the street in the St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood.
False! I crack myself up. When my legs look like that and Rick makes those faces, it will be a real treat for the world. Anyways, meet Juliette and Louis, the main characters of The Hugo Boss Love Story. This story is a great advertising campaign and these shots were taken at the front of Hugo Boss on Champs-Elysees. Check out the full Hugo Boss Love Story and share away!
True or False? A day trip to Versailles is a must.
True! Versailles is a beautiful village about 10 miles southwest of Paris and is well worth the 45 minute train ride. The main reason to go is for the Palace of Versailles, home of Louis XIV and the center of political power in France from 1682 to 1789, just after the French Revolution began. Versailles is filled with gardens and breathtaking views, as well as brick streets that are filled with cafes and quaint shops and boutiques.
True or False? The food was great, but not as good as the Indian food from our trip to India last year.
False! Ha, I crack myself up again. There’s no comparison here, the French food overwhelmingly beats the Indian food. Check out some of our meals below.
True or False? The French are rude to Americans.
False! A big, fat False. Honestly, Rick and I both agreed that the locals couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful. They would accommodate our lack of having any French language skills. They would take our picture. They would give us directions. They would smile. They rocked.
And there you have it. My validated love for Paris. The food, the wine, the shopping, the culture, the walking, the people, being with Rick, being challenged in a foreign city, the late-night dinners, the vacation. It doesn’t get much better than Paris!
If you have read this far and have answered all the True or False questions, congratulations! As a little surprise, I am giving away a special gift from Paris (ahem, it MAY be from Louis Vuitton) to the first person to write me a note with the correct answer to this question (and feel free to share with friends…wink wink):
Out of all the Parisian experiences mentioned above, what were my top three favorite? Good luck!