I still have to pinch myself when I think about my trip to Paris this November.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit the City of Love. The art, culture, food, rich history and Eiffel Tower lights were calling my name. My favorite art history lessons were when my professors discussed painters like Claude Monet working in France. When I chose to spend a semester solely photographing architecture, I pictured one day photographing the intricate buildings of Paris. I have more Eiffel Tower and Paris-themed home decor than one person should probably own. 🙈
I thought about going to France while in college, but I wanted to experience it all with Michael. So we would wait until after we were married. We had the amazing opportunity to travel to South Africa for our honeymoon so we would make our next big trip to France. Earlier this year in May we were talking about future trips and thought, "Ok, we've been married for almost 4 years. We don't have kids. We don't even have a pet. We can both get off work for a week. Let's book it!" I researched hotels like CRAZY. We finally made a decision and confirmed our hotel (La Comtesse Paris) and flights. We got a good deal on Expedia. It was an even better deal than usual because the hotel just opened this summer. Boo-yah! 🙌 My talented hair and makeup stylist friend Michele Taylor is also a travel agent, so she helped booked all of our day trips and activities so we didn't have to stress about anything when we got to Paris. ✌️
We absolutely loved our hotel. The view was AMAZING. (Photos via La Comtesse Paris Hotel).
The first time I glimpsed the Eiffel Tower, it literally took my breath away.
Once we arrived, we hit the ground running. We explored on foot and hopped on a city tour bus.
As the sun went down, we headed to the Eiffle Tower for dinner.
After dinner we thought we could ride the elevator up to the top of the tower. Nope. There is an elevator. And we saw people on it. But they wouldn't let us on. Sooo, we went up a lot of stairs. Like a ton. I was wearing heels. Chocolate and wine was sloshing around in my belly. I lost an earring. But by the grace of God, and Michael's pep talks, we made it to the top! 😜
On DAY 2 we were up dark and early to head to Normandy. We left our hotel before they were serving breakfast but we had to get on a bus near a Starbucks so I could easily get coffee and breakfast there, right? Nope. Instead we soon realized Paris is NOT a 24/7 city. Starbucks wasn't open. McDonalds wasn't open. How do Parisians pick up a quick coffee and breakfast before 8am?? I guess they don't. Oh well. Lesson learned. More importantly, we spent the day seeing the French countryside as we made our way to Normandy. We visited bunkers, Omaha beach and Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
On DAY 3 we visited the Lourve. Of course we said hi to Mona first thing.
We wandered around and did some shopping. I was a little excited to find the Colette store.
We rushed to our hotel to change clothes and then head to the Moulin Rouge! Moulin Rouge is my all-time favorite movie so I was in dream-land.
DAY 4 was another early morning. I met photographer Alice via Sue Bryce's Photography Education Facebook page. Alice also does hair and make-up, so she got her twin sister all ready for me to photograph in front of the Eiffle Tower in two gorgeous EmilyHart Bridal dresses! (Marie's photo shoot will be on the blog soon)!
Michael did great with the behind the scenes snaps.
Here is one of my favorite photos from the shoot! 😍 Thank you SO MUCH to Alice, Marie and Michael for helping make this shoot possible. ❤️❤️❤️
We celebrated a successful shoot with a 3 course lunch because the French don't mess around when it comes to food. 😳
Alice suggested we visit the Montparnasse Tower and we are so glad we did! It had gorgeous views and a cute cafe. We didn't want to leave.
Afterward we walked around and visited the catacombs.
On DAY 5 we decided to sleep in before heading to a cafe near our hotel for a quick bite before going to Versailles. Oddly enough all of the cafes around us were closed. We didn't get the memo that a lot of places are closed at noon on Saturdays. We saw one place just opening and we rushed in. The waiter did not like us, to put it mildly. This was our only experience with someone being rude to us so it was startling. Oh well. We ate, asked for our check (several times) and made it back to our hotel just in time for our ride.
The Palace & Gardens of Versailles were breathtaking.
Back in Paris, I was so happy there were Christmas decorations up everywhere and even a Christmas village with little shops and food. (Yay!)
Carousels were a reoccurring theme in the city. As were shared gender bathrooms . . . #cultureshock
We took a ride on the huge Ferris Wheel and went on an evening cruise on the Seine River.
On our last full day, we started with a sunrise photo shoot with photographer Becca Gerbino. It was rainy and cold, but we shot through it and made it work!! Scroll to the bottom to see some of the photos from the shoot. 😊😊
After warming up, we strolled the cobblestone streets, shopped and enjoyed some more cafes. (We noticed people eat outside of cafes in ANY weather).
Random iPhone pics~
Our last dinner was one of our favorites~
You can never have too many photos of the iron lady. 😁
On our last morning, we looked out our window one more time, and we knew we would always remember our time in Paris.
And those croissants. Omg. How I miss thee.
Some of our favorite things we brought home~
Thank you so much Becca for the following photos!! ❤️❤️
Thank you for following me along on my dream trip. Let me know if you've ever been to Paris, or if you haven't, what would you want to see the most??