It is about time! Let's get it started. Officially, I'm writing my first travel blog!
I hope you guys like to read because I am not about to keep it short.
However it is not that cold outside today; I decided to stay in and pamper myself with some home-made hair and body moisturizer. I ordered myself a poke bowl and ready to spread the word.
I've been traveling a lot for a long time now and however writing a blog has been in my mind over 5 years, I finally feel inspired to do so.
Last week I was in Paris! This was my forth time and every time is a new experience. I am falling in love with the city more and more. I have this thing that it really takes me some time to get to like a city because I have high expectations if traveling to big cities (that people are dying to go for and can't stop talking about it..) So yeah! First time I was really busy with going to Disneyland and it was so cold that I couldn't enjoy the city much. Second time I went with my mom and dad and it was more touristic. Third time was short and sweet with couple of friends, we only spent time in vintage shops and I was still confused about the city. I was not sure If I really like Paris, or not.
This time was an easy decision. I love this city! Besides it's cold / chilly weather ; I can see myself living in Paris. I also think that now I am 26, I appreciate things more than I was appreciating before. Take notes while reading this post because I will give you great tips since I practice this city more than once :)
- First thing first! If you travel to Europe from USA, and older than 21, you will be jet-lagged. So please give an extra day to yourself to recover and adapt the time difference. However you are not a heavy sleeper ; your biological time will catch you off-guard.
- Pack a Jacket always! Even in summer Paris is cold at nights, maybe it's just me.
- Bring a fanny pack, or a cross body that you can keep your passport / money etc that on a place that you can see. Find yourself a great bag for "traveling" There are so many pickpockets, it's not even a joke.
- Download the Lime.S app. for your own good. Yes the Cali scooters in the city! This is not a paid advertisement, this is my personal opinion and experience. I didn't use Lime until Paris (However I have seen them in LA and Denver ) it's a must in this city. It's easy to walk everywhere if you love walking but if you are not staying for a month, this is a good handy way to get to places. Taking Taxi / Uber is fine too but you will see a spot that you want to stop by and you won't be able to. Lime is still fast and gets you everywhere quicker than walk.
- Decide where you want to stay! Paris have couple areas that are poppin! ( Young areas, bars, restaurants ) But some other areas are prettier to stay. ( Tour Eiffel view )
If you don't mind changing hotels, go stay in different areas! we stayed in 3 different hotels in 6 days. We didn't do it on purpose but it ended up being fun. It was just because we decided to stay an extra day every day and each hotel was sold out so we had to move. It was so dope that these 3 hotels were in different areas of Paris so we actually enjoyed each area on their own terms.
We stayed in,
- 7TH ARR. Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel $$$$
this area is a must see in Paris, if you go to Paris of-course you have to see Tour Eiffel and the area around it. Everything is pretty touristic so restaurants are just whatever and pricey. It is walking distance to Avenue des Champs-Élysées ( Where is the mainstream shopping area full of shops ) and Arc De Triomphe! ( See in the photo ) We stayed here for 3 days and it felt long of a stay. You don't have to stay this area if you won't going to get a Tour Eiffel view room because you can always come in day time from anywhere else to just to see the area and leave.
- 6TH ARR. Hotel Madison $$$$
this area was unexpectedly was our favorite. It's a local area, you don't see much tourist at all. It's full of restaurants and pretty streets. Not surprised that it was actually the oldest area of Paris. It was a different experience, it made us feel like home. It is really close to Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle.
- 12TH ARR. Citizen M Hotel $$
this area is a little walking distance from where we were hanging everyday. We spent so much time in Bastille! Bastille is totally popping day and night but be careful with your restaurant choices here because it's mostly bar food and you don't want to come to Paris and waste your meals with mediocre food. One or two restaurants we had to leave without eating the food. That's when we figured you can't just sit and eat everywhere in Paris however they look really nice and crowded.
Each area has a number in Paris, just pull up the maps app and you will understand what I am talking about above. The hotels are on the pretty expensive side in the city, same as New York City prices maybe even more. Sometimes the same hotel can be 200$ a night and next day it's 800$, so you never know, mostly depending on the day and availability... If you leisure traveling you should adjust your dates depending on the price of the hotels on the dates. it will save you couple of bucks. In our case, we didn't know until last minute that if we are going or how long we are staying so we paid our dues.
ILY IN PARIS FASHION
If you know me or if you see my instagram; I like to dress comfy rather than being dressy in my daily life. I really like being able to walk around and experience my environment rather than being in painful heels and go car to car.
So, for this travel we shared a small carry on luggage with hubby because we thought we would only stay for 3 days but oh well! we ended up staying 3 more days.
However it was my first time fitting in half of a carry on: I am glad I kept it that way because I am known for over packing and this was an accomplishment for me :)
To me, the key of carry on packing is being loyal to a color scheme. It is so much easier bringing options around the colors that are rhyme together. It called playing safe gurl, google it! ;P
so I bring some greens, sand color, tan, white and black.
a belt that goes with all my looks.
2 pairs of shoes - a vans and a pair of black high heels.
2 bags - 1 bumbag (to carry my precious) and a shoulder bag (to have something for dinner out )
and i would say I still didn't wear everything that I bring with me :)
Here are some of my Paris looks
Our list of
MUST-GO RESTAURANTS IN PARIS
that we fall in love,
La Garde Robe
it's a must go place for home-made wines, cheese&meat plates. The ambiance is so warm and you feel like you are eating at a family dinner. Let the owner of the restaurant chose the wine for you and suggest you what you eat. He knows what he is doing, very well!
Les Fines Gueules
is the mouth watering restaurant that we went for Hubby's birthday. We found about this place by a foodie local suggestion while we were eating at La Garde Robe. The food is exceptional and the service too. I literally have zero photos from this restaurant because we were too busy enjoying the ambiance and the food.
We ordered a bottle of Côte-Rôtie *Cordeloux* , Pastis ( a must try french drink I will def buy one for the house, it tastes and built like Turkish Raki ) cheese and meat plate, the steak and fries and I can't remember what I had but overall it was drop dead delicious.
is another amazing place to eat around the area that we found randomly. The onion soup is delicious here, the burger and gnocchi was amazing too! It's a great place to sit and people watch while sipping on your sparkling rose or wine!
Au Vieux Comptoir
is out of this world. We found this little restaurant while starving, wondering around for 2 hours on the same street, couldn't decide where to eat. We knew better to not to eat our last meal on these easy access restaurants at Bastille so we walked a little further and randomly found the best restaurant of them all. I am sharing the greatness below. My mouth is watering thinking how good was this restaurant and the staff was amazing too. Definitely going back literally on the first day we are back to Paris! We had escargot, poached egg with wild mushrooms, roasted eggplant and truffle Ravioli, steak and truffle mashed potatoes and delicious chocolate brownie bites pudding.
POACHED EGGS WITH WILD MUSHROOMS
STEAK AND TRUFFLE MASHED POTATOES
ROASTED EGGPLANT TRUFFLE RAVIOLI
ROASTED ALMOND CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BITES PUDDING