Bonjour mes amis!!
It is crazy to think that exactly one year ago today, on Valentine’s Day, my best friend Soph and I were boarding a plane to go visit our other best friend, Jess, in Paris!! We spent our Galentine’s Day on a plane heading towards one of the most beautiful places in Europe. With everything going on in the world now, it feels like such a lifetime ago since we’ve been to Paris and everyday, at least once a day, we talk about how much we miss it. France is such a beautiful place I would go back in a heartbeat! From the architecture, to the scenery and the life in the streets…it is amazing! When travelling is safe to do so and becomes normal once again, my goal is to go back to France and visit Marseille, Nice and Bordeaux!!! I have learned a lot about those places in high school taking French immersion, and they have always been on my never ending bucket list.
In this blog post specifically, I will be talking about the first few days in Paris, with my best friends. There is so much to say about that week-long trip I decided to write two different parts!! Continue reading and travel back to Paris, the “city of love” with my friends and I.
One of the best parts about planning this trip wasn’t only what we were going to do everyday but planning the outfits we would wear going to different places. A couple weeks before we left, Soph and I spent one whole day putting outfits together along with what shoes we would bring, accessories, jackets…we were too prepared for this. We might have brought a lot (in the words of the airport that weighs your luggage) but hey…you never know what you are going to need being in a different country. Let’s face it we love fashion and we are girls we pack…A LOT.
The flight to Paris was around 6-7 hours if I remember correctly. The last time I had been on a flight that long was on my way to Greece with my family, three years ago. I was excited but dreading the long flight because on one hand I got to watch 6 hours of different movies and was in great company of course and on the other…I just wanted to land in Paris already!! Of course sleeping was not something my brain wanted to do. I remember I fell asleep for maybe 30-40 minutes but then woke up with a jump and might have scared Soph a little bit. I even scared myself, it was like I had forgotten I was on a plane. I don’t know what I was dreaming but waking up startled on a plane…not fun but also super funny in the moment.
Around 3 movies and 2 meals of disgusting airplane food later, we FINALLY landed in Paris. We had landed in the morning. I probably looked too much like a tourist with my “À Paris” crewneck on…but hey its not everyday you get to go to the prettiest city in France. The only thing we had to get used to was the 7 hour time difference between Paris and Canada. It was crazy because whenever we talked to family and friends back home, as we were starting our day, they were just winding down. We arrived in Paris hours before our check-in at the hotel. After we dropped off our luggage, we decided to roam the streets and meet up with our friend Jess!!
Walking the streets of Paris was an amazing way to start the trip. We passed by some of the prettiest scenery and huge elegant luxury stores. Honestly in that moment if someone had asked me to move there, I would say yes in a heartbeat.
Here are some of the pictures I took walking to go meet Jess!! We were so excited to see her since it had been one month since she left for the exchange program! After some exciting hellos and catching up, it was time to check in to the hotel. We stayed at Hotel Duquesne and it was beautiful. Our balcony view was all you could ask for, when you’re visiting Paris for the first time.
After we got settled in our hotel room and relaxed a bit, we started getting ready for Jess’ birthday dinner!! We were going to eat at an Italian restaurant called Libertino. It was amazing. In Paris most dining restaurants close mid-day and don’t open till 7:00-7:30 and you usually have to line up at least one hour before and wait for the restaurant to open. This restaurant was really cool and the food was delicious. As you can tell in the picture below we were truffle obsessed. We ordered a truffle pizza and truffle pasta along with some pretty Parisienne drinks.
I would definitely recommend going here if you are ever in Paris! In a separate article I will create a Paris day-to-day travel guide with all the restaurants we visited, attractions you need to visit and scenic places that are definitely a must-go!!
Before the most crazy and magical day commenced, we took the metro to a cute and elegant breakfast, tea room called Angelina. It is one of the most talked about places in Paris and it is a restaurant MUST when visiting Paris for the first time!! There is a location in New York City as well. In 1903, confectioner Anton Rumpelmayer founded Angelina with his son René, a beautiful and exquisite tea room, in Paris. The interior of this restaurant is considered “Art Nouveau” with the paintings and details of the structure, which was extremely popular in the 1900s. The interior, designed by the famous Belle Epoque architect Edouard-Jean Niermans, combines elegance and charm. This was where writers, painters and politicians would congregate in the old days. One of the most talked about hot beverages on their savoury menu is their famous hot chocolate! It is so rich, creamy and definitely a must have to split amongst three people.
After a delicious breakfast we headed back onto the metro and went to the most magical place ever…Disneyland!!! Fun fact, I actually did not know this until I searched it up myself, but every castle at every Disneyland park belongs to a different princess, hence the different colours of the castle’s. The castle in Paris is Sleeping Beauty’s castle and it was so pretty!! After exploring the park we went on many rides!! From the Peter Pan Flight ride, to Snow White’s ride to my favourite and thrilling, Pirates of The Caribbean ride…it was definitely a memorable experience. I may have screamed too much with all the jump scares and fast tracks on that ride…but all our reactions is what made it super fun and hilarious. Another memorable part of that day was standing in line, waiting to meet the one and only Mickey Mouse!!! I felt like I was 11 again meeting Mickey for the third time! Honestly being at Disney no matter what age you are is such a fun and special experience, its a rush of nostalgia that floods back the minute you step into the gates.
At the end of the day at Disney they usually have a show with their live cast-mates but depending on weather they sometimes have to switch it up. The weather was really windy that day and there ended up being a crazy rainstorm…which I will get to later. This specific night they decided to do an amazing light show displayed on the castle and let me tell you…it was so heartwarming and amazing, I am pretty sure all three of us had shed a tear at least once during the presentation. They had pulled scenes from almost every Disney movie and played the most popular songs in the background to create one big and memorable masterpiece. It was a perfect way to end off the night.
NOW onto the crazy part of the night. As we were watching the night show it slowly started raining. It started off with a light rain shower and then all the sudden out of nowhere buckets on buckets of rain started pouring down from the sky. We started running to the metro station and by the time we reached the bathroom (that you had to pay 10 cents to get into) we were soaked from head to toe. It looked like we had taken a shower with our clothes on. It was a crazy and funny memorable night and always a good story to tell…minus the cold we felt after being wet for so long on the ride home. Not only were we soaking wet…we were also starving. We picked up some burgers on our walk home from the metro and then went back to the hotel. I remember the vibes in that restaurant/take-out place being so fun and the guys working there being so funny. Everywhere we went in Paris, everyone gave off such a fun vibe and everyone was so nice!
Going back to the first day we arrived in Paris, on our way to the hotel, our Uber driver told us that there was a surprise that happens in Paris, with the Eiffel Tower around 11pm, every night. He would not tell us what it was, since it was our first time in Paris. Soon we came to found out this was one of the most special parts of the trip!! Starting at 11pm on the hour the Eiffel Tower would sparkle for five minutes straight! We had the best view of the Eiffel Tower sparkling from our hotel balcony and that was always an amazing way to end a fun day.
Day 3 was tourist day!! We walked all over Paris (yes this time I wore comfortable shoes…learned from my New York City trip) and let me just say AGAIN…there is no place like this one. We started our morning off stopping by a cute little cafe for a croissant and coffee and then headed off to go see the Eiffel Tower!! Seeing the Eiffel Tower up close did not even feel real. It felt like a dream…I’ve only ever seen it in movies and TV shows, that actually physically being there felt breathtaking!! The views from the Eiffel Tower were also stunning. I can’t imagine how pretty it would like if we were able to see the sunset with that view. After spending some time at the Eiffel Tower, we walked some more, hopped on the metro to go see some other historical landmarks. We passed by the Cathedral Notre-Dame which was beautiful yet so sad. They were in the middle of reconstruction due to the fire that broke out one year before on April 19th 2019. I had learned a lot about this Cathedral in school and it was super interesting for me to see it in person, no matter what the circumstance.
A really fun part of the trip for me was being able to practice my French and communicate with some waiters and people in stores. Call me cheesy, but knowing the French language made me feel at home, when in Paris. After exploring the city, we made our way to one of the most popular museums, The Louvre which not only had the prettiest exterior but was also the home to the famous painting the Mona Lisa. Now, you would think that the Mona Lisa is a huge painting but in real life it’s incredibly small! Getting to see The Mona Lisa was a scratch of my travel bucket list. The Louvre is the worlds largest art museum and historic monument in France. Fun fact: there are many hypotheses and a lot of history behind the origin of the museum’s name. One hypothesis originates from the French, and dates from the origins of the current Louvre, when Philippe-Auguste decided to build a fortress around the capital in 1190. The dungeon located along the Seine, later transformed into a royal residence, is a gigantic work, from the verb ouvrer. The work, or the work as they say today, would have given its name to the castle. Another hypothesis comes from Latin, that before the museum was named The Louvre it was named, Lupara which means wolf. Before the museum there was a forest and it used to be named “land of the wolves”. After The Louvre we stopped at a cute restaurant near out hotel for dinner, grabbed some snacks from the grocery store and headed back for a chill night in our room. Ending the night of course with the beautiful sparkling Eiffel Tower.
I have to say, I am glad we had gone to Paris when we did because one week later the museums and many other places were starting to close due to COVID-19. Before all the chaos erupted I like to say that we at least got to have one last memorable vacation before not travelling anywhere for a while again.
Here we come to the end of part 1 of my Paris Diaries! Stay tuned for a part 2 talking about the rest of the trip!!! Also, stay tuned for a Paris Travel Guide that you can use, in the future!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!! Xoxo