From France, with Love.
For years I dreamt of going to Paris, France to see the Eiffel Tower and take photos of all the things Paris had to offer. Everyone I knew had been, and had nothing but wonderful things to say. So, I couldn’t wait for my chance to go. Two and a half years into our relationship HB and I decided we should go for my annual birthday trip. I jumped at the opportunity! There is nothing more fun than traveling with your best friend/boyfriend to the city of love. Little did I know, of course, that I was going to become a fiancé the day after we arrived.
After all of HB’s stressors of having to plan a proposal, keep the ring safe, hire a photographer and actually propose subsided, we were more than ready to begin our adventures around Paris. Lets get started, the hotel we stayed at while in Paris was Le Cinq Codet and it was absolutely wonderful! My favorite part was their breakfast every morning. Most hotels that we’ve stayed at that have breakfast included don’t normally have a super fancy breakfast, but Le Cinq Codet puts in 100% effort at all times. They have anything you could possibly want for breakfast and if they don’t they have a chef there in the kitchen to make your specific omelet or crepe the way you’d like it. Everyday I enjoyed fresh fruit, omelet, sweet waffle and a latte or cappuccino made fresh. Our room was a Parisian loft that had an amazing bath tub and window views. I wish I could tell you we got so much sleep but our jet lag was so bad we would be up at 4am every single day.
We visited the Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Le Bon Marche, Goyard and a beautiful café called Café Del Homme. The Trocadero will forever hold a very special place in my heart as that is where my HB asked me to be his forever. The Fontaines de Chaillot and Eiffel Tower are seen from the Place du Trocadéro and it is the most beautiful view one could ask for. Providing this same view was Café Del Homme, shout out to my bosses for setting up the most gorgeous dinner for HB and I to congratulate us on our engagement. I seriously have the best bosses one could ask for. Side note, my boss was one of the few people HB told he was going to propose! I was so shocked… how could she keep the secret for so long?! The dinner was delicious with a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.
You know I wasn’t going to leave Paris without checking out the shopping, right? So, I had to go to Le Bon Marche, which is hands down the coolest store there is. It has every high-end designer you could ever ask for. It’s the one stop shop to grab your Gucci, Fendi, Celine, Dior… you name it! After browsing around Le Bon Marche we headed over to Goyard Paris, who make one of my all time favorite totes. For those who don’t know, Goyard is the ultimate in understated luxury among the in-the-know. Goyard got its start as a trunk-making outfit. They quickly established themselves as the leader in the field, it became the go-to for the French aristocracy, and the fashion set was soon to follow. Goyard compared to other internationally renowned luxury brands, Goyard is decidedly under the radar. Now that you know a little about the brand let me tell you which one I decided to get. I chose the St. Louis GM tote in one of their special colors, Bordeaux (burgundy). It took a lot of time to decide on a color because I was torn between grey, black and burgundy but ultimately I chose burgundy because I already have bags in the other colors and the burgundy isn’t seen as often in the states according to Goyard.
The weather in Paris in August was wonderful it wasn’t too hot or too cold it was so perfect we walked to almost every location and would pack a very light jacket. Walking around was so nice because we could see so many different things that we would normally not even notice had we Ubered to every location. The detail on the buildings, the different museums, stores and gardens. Meanwhile we were getting so much exercise in, in one day I walked over 6 miles! By walking we were able to stop a little coffee shops and stores and one thing I never asked but really wanted to know is why the French seat all of their chairs facing the street instead of one another? At one café, I moved our chairs to face one another and the waiter came and moved them back facing outward. I was thinking, well I must have broken an unspoken rule? If you know why this is, clue me in. I loved all the coffee shops and indulged on more chocolate croissants than I can count along with lattes and cappuccinos.
Then we jetted off to the South of France, a quick one hour flight, where we stayed in a little town near Nice called Villafranche-sur-Mer at the Hotel Welcome. Although Paris was nice, the south of France was my absolute favorite. It was so beautiful, the air was fresh, the water was warm and turquoise blue. If you’ve never been to Paris let me tell you a little something… everyone smokes and they smoke inside, outside, everywhere! Your nice dinner on the patio is all fun and beautiful until you get smoke blown in your face by the person next to you. The South of France had smokers, too, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly as bad as in Paris. While we stayed in Villafranche-sur-mer it was super easy to travel to the neighboring towns via the train. We went to Monaco twice and OH MY GOD it was quite the sight to see with so many houses on cliffs and hills painted in the most beautiful colors with so much detail. We had some sushi while in Monaco and it was surprisingly pretty delicious. We were shocked, because if I’m honest, the food in France wasn’t really all that good. Everything was pretty bland and tasteless with the exception of our breakfast at our previous hotel, but the sushi in Monaco was scrumptious.
We also visited Cannes and of course I had to do some shopping while we were there, too. Cannes had so many stores to look at. They have several streets set up like an outdoor mall. First stop, Chanel! I’ve been eyeing espadrilles for quite awhile now and was originally torn between Gucci and YSL. Then, one day I tried on some Chanel lambskin espadrilles just ‘for fun’ big mistake… no other espadrille felt the same. So, once we were in France I knew I wanted to buy them there. Sure enough it was meant to be because the sales associate only had one pair left in all black (the exact ones I wanted) and the last pair happen to be in my size, it was fate.
Where we stayed in the south of France was wonderful because the beach was a short walk, we could go every day, which we did. The train was another short walk, inexpensive to ride and the possibilities on where to go were endless. The atmosphere was so relaxing and felt more safe than Paris. Cobble stone streets, homes on cliffs, friendly people, and delicious seafood what’s there not to like?
France was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on mainly because of the incredible memories HB and I made there with our engagement. When we go back someday I will definitely skip the Paris scene and head straight for the south. Everyone was very nice to us in both locations and we didn’t experience any rude people, which was a bonus. Sure their driving style is a little nuts and riding in an Uber to any location is quite the adventure of not knowing if you will survive but overall the experience as a whole was out of this world