There has always been something alluring about France to me, particularly Paris. I am certain I am not alone in this sentiment but can’t help but feel a kinship with the infamous city. Travel has always been a big part of my life and before I settled in my current city of San Diego, I had lived in 5 states before the age of 23. Traveling is one of my absolute favorite things to do for so many reasons and going to Paris had always been a dream of mine.
As a fashion major in college, I longed to go to cities around the world known for their place in the fashion industry; Milan, Paris, Tokyo, New York, I wanted to frequent them all. The appeal of Paris for me was different than the others and I can’t explain why. Either way, I was given the opportunity to do an internship there during my junior year in college and I didn’t take it.
If I believed in regrets, this may have been one of them. But I don’t and instead I look at the decision I made to be the one I needed to make at the time. I was finally back home on the east coast after living in Hawaii for some time, and I missed my family terribly and was going to be an auntie for the first time. I couldn’t rationalize missing the birth of my first niece or nephew (it was a beautiful baby boy!) and that summer turned out to be one of the best of my life.
The fact still remained that I didn’t go to Paris and I continued on my journey with this intrigue for the city of light. I knew I would go someday and it would be the exact time I was meant to.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was planning a romantic getaway with my boyfriend who I was living with in southern California. A lot had changed since that summer on the east coast, but the draw to go see Paris was just as strong.
Little did I know my boyfriend had more planned for the trip than I could have imagined and my life would never be the same after Paris.
Well, lets get to it. What made me ultimately fall for Paris?
5 Things That Made Me Fall In love With the City of Light
- Trocadero-the ultimate place to “pop a picnic”. This could possibly be the most sentimental for me because it is where my husband proposed to me. He timed it perfectly as the sun was going down and the Eiffel tower began to do it’s sparkle dance in the background. Seriously, romantic. We had a dinner picnic, which is our favorite way to eat, of champagne, a fresh baguette, brie and blackberries. I will never forget the sounds, tastes or smells of that moment, and it is the first thing that made me fall in love with Paris.
- Arc de Triomphe looking over the Champs Elysees-as I mentioned before, fashion has always been an interest of mine, especially in college when I was studying it. There aren’t many streets more famous then the Champs Elysees in Paris. Fashion moguls and legends alike have stores that line the streets and the shopping is incredible. My favorite part about it is not walking down the street shopping, while this is quite amazing, but instead above it perched on top of the Arc di Triumph while the sun is setting and the lights of the city are beginning to twinkle. There is something magical about this particular time at night and this is arguably one of the best views in Paris. Sitting up there struck a chord for me, watching the cars rush by and seeing the iconic view of the Champs Elysees is pure magic.
- Laduree-You can’t visit Paris and not partake in the local cuisine. Especially the pastry. If I had my way I would have existed on champagne and macaroons the entire time. You are not able to get the same taste anywhere in the world, I can equate it to having a Napa wine in Napa Valley, it just tastes different. Before our trip I had heard of the famous macaroons from Laduree, but wasn’t sold on all the hype. Walking into the store for the first time was it for me though. The store is elegant, classic and precise, a lot like the macaroons themselves. I felt like a kid entering Disney World for the first time and shaking hands with Mickey himself. The iconic brand, perfectly crafted macaroon, in the heart of Paris, there’s nothing like it.
- Sacre-Coeur-I must have a thing for views, but this one is unlike the others. You are taken out of the city to take in the city from a perspective you can’t get anywhere else. The trip up the majestic stairs of this church alone is an experience. Looking up at the incredible architecture and bright white domes against the bluest sky, you lose yourself for a second and wonder where you are. Once you get to the top, you see everywhere in Paris, literally. It is the highest point in the city and it feels like it. Not many places make you feel at peace and insignificant at the same time. The view up there makes you pause and take it all in. If they could bottle that feeling and sell it, I would be the first to invest.
- Versailles-Visiting Versailles is like being sent back in time to a land that could only have been created in your dreams. The ornate rooms, sprawling landscapes, and creative design put into every square inch is nothing of this world. I spent hours staring at every room, garden and fountain and still felt I didn’t get to experience all the magic Versailles has to offer. There will never be a place in the world quite like it.
There are many reasons this city holds a special place in my heart, but these 5 that come to mind do a pretty good job of summing it up. Life is about moments, sometimes only minutes, and finding time to enjoy those minutes is the ticket to a healthy spirit.
Where have you fallen in love? Any places in Paris that are musts in your book?