Monday, August 8, 2016

La Premièr Semaine

"America is my country, but Paris is my hometown."

Le Premièr Jour

Dress: Urban Outfitters
Flannel: Sleepy Poet
Necklace: Aldo
Watch: Michael Kors
Shoes: Nike

     You know the traveling will be smooth when you arrive on the plane and you have a whole row to yourself...

Le Deuxième Jour


Today we will explore!  My mother, grandmother, and I went on an expedition around the city.  We visited my college, Paris American Academy, and we simply wandered.

Le Troisième Jour

Coat: Primark
Shirt and skirt: Express
Hat: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Aldo

This was the day of fun!  I began the day with a trip to Costa for a large chai tea latte and a blueberry muffin.  One thing I knew I would miss greatly after moving would be my chai with one pump of hazelnut from Starbucks, since I am a strong believer in not buying American coffee in a country that is known for their french press and expresso shots.  I will say, however, Costa makes a wonderful replacement of my chai, and it is very convenient that there are two within a ten minute walking distance from my new home.  Shortly after enjoying my breakfast and people watching we began our 30 minute taxi ride to Versailles.  The time passed quickly as I took videos while we drove past the busy streets and my mother, grandmother, and I cracked jokes.
Once we arrived the view was simply captivating.  Since the courtyard outside the palace was filled with people rushing around we decided to first look in the.. you guessed it.. gift shop!  There I bought the first thing for my new home: Four metal replicas of antique plates that can be found in the palace's museum.  We then made our way to the gardens.  I was very excited to finally see the Gardens of Versailles in person.  Flashback to almost a year ago, a friend of mine, Belle Sansone (blog @,) got engaged at the gardens, so ever since then I have dreamed of traveling there.  On a side note- There is quite a funny story to go with that... The morning we left for Versailles I spent forever trying to find the perfect outfit to wear and I finally decided on a thin black crop turtleneck and a full white skirt with my red trench coat on top (since it was drizzling throughout the day.)  I picked this outfit because I knew the colouring would compliment the background of the garden flowers and the palace very well.  Upon my arrival I decided to look back on Belle's Instagram to see her beautiful engagement photos to get posing ideas.  That is when I realised the reason I knew my red trench coat with black trim would compliment the environment so well was because that too was what Belle wore when she got engaged.  I felt quite silly for copying her outfit, but it was even more funny that I didn't even realize that I did so.
Versailles truly was a magical place and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Sadly we were so captivated in the beauties found in the garden by the time we made it over to the entrance of the palace they were already beginning to close.  It was very unfortunate, but it gives me yet another reason to return soon so I can continue to explore the beauties within.
At this point we definitely had done enough walking to work up an appetite, so we found a local creperie and had a light snack.  We did some shopping and then took a taxi back to Paris.
This brings us the photo number two and our delicious Italian cuisine.  We had our taxi driver drop us off at the Pantheon since we are staying in the apartment building behind it and we decided to pick one of the restuarants next to it.  We decided on Il Gigolo, highly recommended Italian restaurant with two locations in Paris.  That night I made my first Parisian friend, Santo, the manager of the restaurant, who moved here from Sicily.  I have never been much of a fan of cantaloup, or as they call it here, melon, but last summer when I was here in France I learned that the French have amazing melon.  I spent the follow year raving over their sweet melon just waiting to return so I could eat more.  So when we arrived at the restaurant and saw a melon and prosciutto appetiser I just had get it.  And I will say it was defintely worth the wait!

Le Quatrieme Jour

Dress: Free People
Jacket: Forever XXII
Shoes and Headband: Alter'd State
Belt: Target
Watch: Michael Kors

Today was a wonderful day.  We did so many things its hard to remember every detail.  The first important thing we did today was visit the Luxembourg Gardens.  It was very beautiful and a perfect location for picnics, people watching, and dates.  I sat by the pond for quite some time and watched the little kids play with the miniature sailboats with the different countrys' flags on them.  Sadly there was not a United States sailboat, but there was a pretty awesome pirate ship, which was my personal favourite.  Next we decided we would just walk around.
We wanted to spend the evening near the Eiffel Tower, but since it was over an hour walk from the garden we thought we would just explore the city and then take a taxi once we got tired.  While exploring we came across an adorable shop called Bread & Rose.  There they brewed fresh teas and had a whole display case of cakes and other delicious pastries.  The restaurant even extended into two other sections- a shop that sold nothing but their desserts and a small art gallery with local artists paintings.  I hope to return there, since I think it is the perfect hang out for me and my girlfriends.  Today I tried their wedding tea with rose petals in it and their carrot cake with real carrot shavings in the shape of a flower on top.  I can't wait to go back to try more things.
After going there for our short break we continued our quest to the Eiffel Tower aka we wandered aimlessly some more then finally got a taxi and took it straight to the Eiffel Tower.  Thankfully we found an available taxi when we did because we got so turned around I am pretty sure we were walking away from the Eiffel Tower!  Anyways eventually we made it and it was simply breathtaking!  Now this is my second time to Paris, so I have seen it many times before, but it is just one of those things that you can see it everyday (which I will be,) but each time it's just like you are seeing it for the first time.  I can imagine this is what true love feels like and I will say Paris is the closest I have gotten to it.
Now yes that was a pretty perfect way to end today's post, but I still have to much to tell!  After arriving to the Tour Eiffel we took our hundreds of photos and selfies and such and then quickly left because the area just kept getting more and more crowded.  I have never really been interested in going inside the Eiffel Tower so we decided to just take pictures below it, but maybe in the future I will finally be able to go inside.  As we began walking away from the Tower we saw a man selling little pug toy dogs (small enough to fit in your hand) that walked around on their own.  Nearby there was a couple walking their pug dog and he came across the toy and was absolutely terrified! He was barking, running away (not going far since he was on a leash,) and hiding behind his owner.  It was hilarious and definitely a highlight of the day.
We began to approach the Seine River at this point, so we went down the stairs to get closer to the water and find a place to eat, since that area was crawling with people.  We found this exclusive looking restaurant located on a boat and I decide to take a peak at the menu.  After making it through the security we were quickly approached by a man working.  We had a very funny conversation with him and then were seating at a table with plush seats that had a clear view of the Eiffel Tower, which was perfect since in just a few hours the Tower twinkles and we had front row seats to watch it.  Dinner at the boat restaurant was to die for and I loved every bite of it!  I started with a chilled mint soup with peas, prosciutto, and cheese on top and even those words do not do it justice over how good it was.
At 10pm or rather 22h we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle and then we took a cab back home.  It was the most perfect end to such a busy day.

Le Cinquième et Le Sixième Jour


Dress: Constance's closet
Necklace: World Market
Shoes: Alter'd State

My reunion with Constance!
Now for you who do not know:  My junior year of high school I hosted an exchange student from France named Constance.  Constance and I were like long lost soul sisters and we hit it off instantly!  After her school year in the United States I returned to France with her and stayed with her family in Lyon for three weeks.  It was a blast and I enjoyed every minute of being able to see the country from a family that actually lives there.  
Ok so now a year has gone by since the last time I saw Constance and we had been counting down the days till we would meet again.  Due to some health issues Constance has been facing this summer, her plan of surprising me at the airport upon my arrival fell through, but thankfully with Lyon only being a hop, skip, and a jump away from Paris we quickly rearranged our plans so my mom, grandma, and I would come to Lyon to see and and her family.  That day we enjoyed our morning in Paris then hopped on the 2 o'clock train to Lyon and arrived at 4.  The moment we arrived we hit the ground running!  Constance and her dad were waiting for us when we took our first steps off the train and the crying party started instantly (I know it's just a dramatic girl thing!)  After our hellos we went to check into our hotel and then went to visit the oldest church in Lyon.  It was absolutely beautiful!  Mini geography lesson-  Lyon is in the mountains of France and is, as I said before, a two hour train ride south of Paris, so that pretty much makes it in the center of France.  Lyon has two rivers running through the city, which make for a great transportation method.  Last summer when I visited we took a boat to the mall, how cool is that?!
So though my visit with Constance only lasted 26 hours this time we definitely made the best of it!  We visited the oldest church in the city.  We went to the top of a mountain that over looked all of Lyon.  We visited her mother's apartment in the heart of the city.  We had a traditional french meal with her whole family (all 9 of us!) We walked around the city square that evening.  We had drinks on at the rooftop bar at our hotel.  We stayed up till all hours of the night gossiping.  We went to the mall and ate more amazing food.  We went to tons of little boutiques around the city and I shopped for things for my apartment back in Paris.  And finally after our full day of fun we got back on the 6 o'clock train and returned home to Paris.
Though our reunion was short I enjoyed every moment of it.  My mom plans to return to France for the holidays and then she and I will go back to Lyon to spend more time with Constance.
Constance and I have also planned for many "study sessions" during the school year where she can spend the weekend with me in Paris and we will spend the days working on homework in cafes and during the night I will show her the city.
Since we have so many future occasions already planned we kept our goodbyes that day short and sweet and much more in the spirit of a "until next time."

Le Septième Jour



Dress: Zara
Shoes: Tory Birch
Hat: Gardening boutique in Raleigh, North Carolina


The day of so many photos!
So went I went shopping yesterday with Constance I found this amazing little dress at Zara that is made from the same fabric as a men's button down shirt but instead it is an off the shoulders simple dress with slits on the side and these beautiful rose flower appliqué.  I fell in love with the dress and I thought it was the perfect Parisian style I have been trying to acquire.  I got so many compliments on the dress today and many head nods (haha!)
So today our big adventure was the Musee de Louvre! Everyone's must when traveling to Paris (well that is after the Eiffel Tower of course.)  To prefix I absolutely love museums.  I think they are the perfect way to get to know the place you are visiting and a great way to understand and appreciate how things came to be in the environment.  They can involve as little and as much energy as you desire and you can go at your own pace.  Therefore if you are feeling a little lazy you can simply wander around and look at the pieces of art, skim over the description, sit down when you get tired, and just do whatever you want.  Now if you are really there to learn then it's a perfect place to follow your map, visit the different pieces, read about the history of them, do your own interpretation of the piece, and then reward yourself with book from the gift shop when you are done.
So for any of you who did not know this the Louvre is HUGE.  It literally never ends.  The palace used to belong to King Philip II, but when his reign ended, so did the need for his palace.  So the palace is now the home of the Louvre (the world's largest museum,) Carousel (a shopping mall,) and Musee des Art Decoratifs (which is currently the home of the Barbie and H&M Fashion Forward exhibits.)
Today was simply amazing.  I finally saw the 2.5 foot tall Mona Lisa (yes, really the painting is that tiny.)  My favourite thing was the Barbie exhibit.  I have always felt great love for Barbie and what the company stands for.  In current time I have been very displeased with how society tears apart the character of Barbara Millicent, but it was truly life changing to travel back in time and see where she started and how much her style, careers, and persona has changed since 1959.

French word of the week: Pamplemousse (grapefruit)
It's fun to say, perfect in summertime desserts, and makes an adorable Webkinz's name (if you ask my best friend Erica!)

Kaylee Catherine

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