When I experience difficult and challenging seasons of life I often daydream about what I hope for in the future. One daydream I have consistently escaped to is walking along the Seine in Paris and dining at a little cafe with a view of the Eiffel Tower. This year we decided to finally make that daydream and plan a vacation to France. We visited this incredible country for 12 days. They were magical and the city certainly lived up to my high expectations. This post includes all the details on the first leg of our trip!
We sleepily made our way from the Charles De Gaulle airport into Paris via Uber, because it seemed like the easiest and fastest way to get to our hotel. Plus, we were weary travelers fresh off a red eye. Once we arrived at Hotel Garden Elysee we changed, I applied a fresh face, and we headed immediately to see the Eiffel Tower. Which, was only a simple ten minute walk with plenty of local flair. We wandered around the Trocadero Garden and then went for lunch at a very chic cafe called Carette, which was so delicious. It was record breaking heat in Paris that day and we simply couldn’t be out in 107 degree weather, so we went back to the hotel to rest and enjoy the air conditioning.
Bright and early the next morning we fancied ourselves up and met our photographer, Brian of French Grey photography. We had the most wonderful experience with him. He made us feel instantly comfortable and we love the images! I highly recommend booking a shoot with him to have photos to cherish forever. Also, I have valuable photographic evidence of the best cup of coffee I’ve ever drank in my ENTIRE life.
I loved this neighborhood! It was my favorite place we stayed in Paris. It was easy to navigate and so near to the Eiffel Tower, yet somehow it wasn’t tourist-y. There was a very nice Franprix, a popular grocery store next door and tons of adorable cafes. We navigated around by scooter and it was so fun! We felt like kids cruising the streets with exhilarated grins on our faces.
Later that day we visited Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. We did some shopping and I discovered the best, super reasonably priced intimates shop called Etam. The quality is outstanding & they ship to the US, so you better believe it won’t be the last time I shop there! That evening we had dinner at a very traditional French restaurant called Aux Cocottes. I had sea bass fillet and Brian had roasted chicken. We both loved our meals and enjoyed chatting with a couple of Americans sitting next to us. On the way back to the hotel we passed the Eiffel Tower, glittering in the evening sky.
Saturday we slept in and enjoyed an over priced breakfast at the Hotel. It was a cool, rainy day, so we went to Musee d’Orsay, which houses many Impressionist works, including my personal favorite Artist Monet and discovered a new favorite Berthe Morisot. We split a pizza for a quick and casual lunch. Then, spent the afternoon walking along the Seine. Dinner that night was at the highly anticipated Laduree where I had had a memorable meal several years prior at the Soho, NY location.
The next day we had planned to visit the botanical gardens only to discover that the Tour De France had come to town! This made the city nearly impossible to navigate through in an Uber. We opted to scooter around the nearby neighborhoods and the gardens directly beneath the Eiffel Tower. In the evening we went to see the finish of the Tour De France at Champs Elysees and then had dinner at a trendy spot called Le Confidentiel.
The next morning journeyed by TGV through the french countryside to Aix-en-Provence. More to come on this leg of our Paris trip in Part Two!