Serena, Sara and I got 45 minutes of sleep our last night in London and had to wake up at 4am to catch the train to Paris. Oh la la, Paris! La vie de mes reves! (accents are missing in that phrase) We got to the gorgeous ville and after settling in our hotel (which means throwing our luggage inside our rooms and getting our room keys) we got a lovely lunch across the street at a cafe where they tricked us into buying the bread and cheese plate yet not letting us know that it was 15 euros. Classic Frenchies. Anyways, it was delicious and at least we got our cheese in France! Plus, you really can’t beat the bread and butter here as well. I got a delish salad featured here:
as well as a panoramic view of the lunch table and me and my parisian swag as I casually hold my vin blanc
Anyways, it is not my first rodeo in Paris as it was in London and I have already experienced the magic and wonder that consumes a first-timer as they walk around amazed by the bazillion carts offering you nutella crepes, the ridiculously large Abercrombie and Fitch on Champs Elysees and the simple chic beauty that is Paris and its gorgeous architecture and neatly-trimmed tall hedges (I don’t know why I have such a love for their nicely groomed shrubbery but it truly is quite evident if you take the time to observe). Even so, I enjoy the city just as much because I find a love for trying to truly immerse myself in Parisian culture and embody the qualities of a true Parisian. I find that I fit in to European culture quite easily with my fashion style and overall “pura vida” “yolo” outlook on life, as well as my love for indulging and taking the time to slowly and thoroughly explore cities in a non-traditional, non-touristy way. I also love to use my French wherever I can and it gets immensely better with every visit.
After our lunch, we went with Buzz to see le tour Eiffel, swiftly parade through the Champs Elysees and stop for some delicious macarons at Laduree, because what truly is a visit to Paris without a stop to Laduree? French friends of mine have told me it’s not the place to get the best macaron in Paris as many claim, but there’s something about the adorable mint green box and golden letters and classy decor of the store/restaurant that makes it so irresistible and adorable.
is there ever a limit for how many selfies with le tour eiffel is considered appropriate? no, never.
After our busy day, Serena Taylor and I went to Carrefour (a big food market chain in France) (and I only know that because I went there constantly when I was living with my home stay in Biarritz two years ago) and picked up some cheap macarons and wine and quinoa salads for a lovely picnic by le tour eiffel out on the grass. We got our little blanket and set up a mini photoshoot for the macarons and wine (obviously my idea, which came out to be an adorable instagram photo) and enjoyed sipping on our rose and laughing and chatting. We quickly learned from that picnic that you should never buy macarons from a grocery store because they are NOT good and that if you are going to drink wine, DON’T and I repeat DON’T drink cheap wine, ESPECIALLY cheap rose. It tastes terrible and is truly not very easy to get down. Take it from a gal who knows. But you do what you gotta do I guess. After singing and relaxing we headed back home and slept in, gaining energy for our next adventures.
The next day we began our day trying to go to a place my friend Angela recommended called Cafe Lomi for breakfast, but of course we go on the one day they do not do their special breakfast, so we drank their house tea and had a scone and then hopped on over to another restaurant for a quick lunch (clearly we eat often) and then caught up with the rest of the group at le Sacre Couer and walked around the area admiring the street artists, watching our bags for pick picketers who I’d say are the worst in that particular area, and enjoying awesome gelati as we watched gypsy run away with somebody’s wallet (poor, naive tourist). There was also an awesome french man playing his accordion on the steps of the church. He is featured here:
After exploring that area we headed over to le Notre Dame and the Love Lock Bridges (which will be gone by the next time I or any other visitors head over to Paris because they are taking them down due to their heavy weight on the decrepit bridges and lots of scamming with street vendors selling locks and ripping tourists off and etc) ! So sad :( We walked the streets and headed to Le Louvre to glance at Mona Lisa, make some jokes about her and search for some wifi because what else do white, American teenage girls do in Europe #spoiled. We ate dinner at a quaint yet fancy local restaurant and indulged. We spent 115 euros, which was the most we’d spent on a meal all trip so far (I wish I could say on the entire trip but clearly me and Serena are not good money managers). It was Taylor, Serena and I and I might have never laughed so hard as I did at that dinner table. We ate escargots (or at least I did), duck pate, steak a size bigger than our three heads combined, the local catch of the day, and some other dish I don’t recall. And obviously we had their delicious chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Oh and wine. Who do you think we are???
the original Moulin Rouge on a crazy sex street in Paris ( as in the fact that it’s filled with live strip bars, clubs, shops and even a museum of sex (no, we are not in Amsterdam yet)
another Paris mini cooper!!!! <3
my literal life motto
After our busy adventures and filling dinner, we got ready for a night out in Paris which was definitely an all-night-out. We ran into a group of 20-ish French peeps on the metro who took us to a club. We got drinks and danced with them but they were kinda odd so we made up an excuse to leave and ran into somebody we knew on the street who introduced us to her friend who had gone to high school at Agoura and now lived in Paris and had his own restaurant. He took us back to his restaurant fro drinks and chat and then we went back to the club. We love mojitos. I danced with some French black guys while the song N****s in Paris played and one of them whispered in my ear that he was, “The REAL N*** of Paris”. Figures. Long story short, we ended up walking back to our hotel at 7 in the morning looking like hookers walking in our heels and dresses. Basically, I named a goldfish Ciel (which means Sky inFrench), I made friends with a 26 year-old French friend who kept calling me Lady Gaga and such, we took a picture on his friend’s Vespa, we unexpectedly made great friends with tons of Jewish, French boys in a country so many people think is anti-semitic, and we had one of the craziest nights ever. The details are of course solely for our memory :)
this was at 7 in the morning ^^^ :)
After our morning return from the all-nighter, Serena and I slept in until 2pm the next day. We woke up sick as dogs with dirty kleenexes covering our floors, vix jars all around and clothing EVERYWHERE. We aren’t the cleanest of roommates. Serena felt worse than I, so me and Taylor went to get her medicine from a pharmacy and pick her up food to eat while we began our day independently. We went to an area called Le Marais to shop with Sara and two guy friends she met on the trip. It happened to be Gay Pride day and there was a HUGE gay pride parade and rainbow flags were flying EVERYWHERE. I love how liberal Europeans are :) It was such perfect timing since the day before, SCOTUS legalized gay marriage federally!!! I continued to practice my French and speak Franglais (a word I created to mean a mix of French and English) and we walked around and shopped. I picked up a funky, stone ring from a small Hindu shop and we stopped and ate bagels. We also briefly danced on the street by a bar where tons of men in tight little underwear were dancing around celebrating.
the street art around Le Marais is INCREDIBLE: and so is the shopping!!! A must-go-to area if you want to shop in Paris
This trip has not only given me a chance to have the time of my life, but it has also given me the chance to get closer with people whom I wasn’t as close to before like Taylor and Emma, who I LOVE after spending so much time with!!! Our next stop is Cannes, France and I hope there are more cute boys who will like my French accent, because that NEVER gets old. I am also deathly afraid to put a bikini on in Cannes, France (our next stop) after all of the croissants, macarons, bread, butter, wine, pastries, and other incredible carbs I’ve ingested or should I say inhaled in the past couple of days. Oh well, c’est la vie and it’s certainly a life I am enjoying!
just one of the notes Buzz and his team leave for us hanging in our hotel lobbies so we don’t miss the train to our next destination and get the info we need for our next days :)
~ xoxo Ali ~