It's winter right now in Paris so it was important to dress up to par.
We arrived in Paris the next morning, with six extra hours on our side. They are 6 hours ahead of us. More time for wining and dining, I mean this is Paris!
As soon as we arrived we checked into our Airbnb apartment. Now here's the thing with hotels versus airbnbs. In my opinion, with an Airbnb, you get more of the feel of living there. In a hotel it's great and all, room service etc...but renting out a flat feels more like home, like you actually live there. For half of the trip we stayed in a small part of town called Odeon and the other half was spent on the other side of town, Le Marais. Staying on both sides of town made the experience worthwhile.
Our nights were spent at well-known speakeasies, the best in Paris. Our days were full of sightseeing and wine. You can't forget the wine.
On our way to Notre Dame, I decided to throw on a fanny pack (Louis Vuitton, fave!) . I figured it was very Paris fashionista but also I could keep my cash and debit card near me in case I get robbed. Well guess what? I got robbed! By a gypsy haha. I laugh now but, at the time, I was pissed and confused. These European gypsies are skilled in what they do and I fell for the trap. If any of you plan to travel, to Paris especially, keep a close eye on your surroundings and who you choose to give attention to. It can literally happen in the wink of an eye. Have fun with that karma gypsy lady ;)
Besides a little mugging, we entered the beautiful Notre Dame. This medieval Catholic cathedral is amazing inside and out. The gargoyles and the history of the gargoyles have always interested me. These half demon beast, half man looking creatures stand tall and prominent on top of the cathedral. They were made to represent protection, safety and sanctity inside of the cathedral. I grew up Catholic and so this was a special day for me. (nerd alert)
Our first stop was through the Gardens of Versailles. We got to learn more about French royalty and LOVE. I fell in love with the story of Marie Antoinette so the snow globe sitting in my room right now will forever remind me of this woman. She was judged and mocked for not having children when she should have and I can relate to that.
One of the 15 best bartenders in the world was our server at the Little Red Door one night. The Little Red Door is a speakeasy we became regulars at. (By the way, the entrance is NOT through the red door, Kamilla! LOL.) The drinks were awesome if you're willing to wait 40 minutes for one.
We fit in some time for the opera as well. The nosebleeds section was okay for the most part, they were the only tickets available in such short notice, but the theatre was absolutely stunning. I mean, this is where Phantom of the Opera was filmed. Can not get any more stunning than that!
So I pictured the Mona Lisa a lot bigger than what it actually is. I basically ran with anticipation since seeing it live has always been on my bucket list. Whether it is a replica (rumors) or not, I was still in awe!
-You don't need to be fluent in French to get by. They speak English almost everywhere now.
-The French can come forth as sort of rude and unkind. Ego driven is a better description. I've realized this is just the way of culture and life in France. Don't take it personally, especially if you're American (hahaha)
-Tipping waiters is not a huge deal the way it is here, in New York. Leaving tips in change (coins) is not considered rude as we would think it is.
-Food and wine is of the best quality in France. I'm telling you guys, i've never tasted better cheese and wine in my life!
-If you drink red wine in a cafe, before noon, everyone will know you are a tourist!
-No need to be too flashy, fashion forward. Although Paris is considered one of the most fashionable cities in the world, people seem too humble to care to look the part.
-There is no such thing as take out. You either finish your food at the restaurant or you are screwed for later.
-Lastly, from observing the French I have seen that family life is very important in Paris and i'm assuming France, in general. Love and family go hand in hand and that's amazing. We live in a world where that is diminishing and to see that and experience that, so deeply affected me and how I view life from another country's pov.