semana santa !!! aka holy week … aka 11 days off school!!!!! (aka this post might be really long because it covers 2 of the best places in the WORLD) !!!
my mom decided to come visit after being in europe exactly 2 months earlier to the day for 2 weeks with me (not sure how i got so lucky to have her as my mama) …we decided to split the trip between paris and london, and in a very late fashion… flights were booked!
when in PARIS …
carmine café and the eiffel tower… ok really any café, but we like this one A LOT and their chicken pizza (lost count of the number of times we’ve visited)… REALLY close to the eiffel tower (and even closer to our hotel !!!!) …we walked by after dinner to catch a glimpse of the twinkly lights ! pretty pretty pretty… i love it SO much…
the river seine, sunshine, and the roue de paris… january in paris was FREEZING, but warm sunshine greeted us at the end of march (thankfully)… we walked the river seine starting from the eiffel tower to the roue de paris… INCREDIBLE view of the city and so so fun and parisian !!!
VERSAILLES… dreamy dreamy dreamy… never-ending dreamy. visiting versailles was actually our main reason for wanting to visit paris again so soon. we had planned to go on our last trip… but there is so much to see and do and never enough time… my friend’s dad recently sent her a guide of european cities and a recommended amount of time to see them… for paris it was a lifetime, and i think that describes it perfectly.
when we got there the line was a literal maze… tons and tons of people… rather than waiting for general admission tickets… we got a guided tour of the private apartments, skipped the line, and wandered around the (enormous) gardens before.
the most surprising part was how big and grand every aspect is… you could spend a couple days at versailles… or weeks… or years… i know, i know… the whole point is that it is HUGE, but it’s really hard to grasp it without being there.
being the nerd that i am… i have discovered my love for european (political) history here. the french revolution founding the principles of egalite, liberte, and fraternite… fascinate me and consequently versailles doesn’t have much remaining furniture… LET THEM EAT CAKE !!!!!!
you’ll be exhausted and probably want some more chicken pizza and a strawberry and nutella crepe after a day there, but you won’t even see half and you’ll be in love. Promise.
Le Marais… if you’re american… or basically anything other than french do not try to say it. this neighborhood is the old jewish quarter and ultra TRENDY.
my mom and i tried our first falafel here at l’as du falafel… you have to go at least once. so so so good. there are no words. then just wander around. i read before going to “peak around corners”… seriously do it. there are so many hidden gems… courtyard parks, cafés, flower shops (always my favorite), etc.
Galeries Lafayette… perfect way to end a trip to paris? SHOP. this place is a shopping experience like no other… everything you dream of buying galeries lafayette has… don’t miss it.
ps… they also have a rooftop terrace with the most incredible view of paris that not many people know about… we stumbled upon it by accident on our first trip and had to come back. seriously… don’t miss it.
EXTRAS !!! i really enjoyed this trip to paris more than my first… i think the warm weather and sunshine had a lot to do with it… also, with not knowing what to expect from the next 4.5 months of being abroad the first time around… i was generally more relaxed… my biggest piece of advice for paris or really any city is to take it easy… i have a tendency to feel like i need to do everything in a day… first off, that’s not possible. also, better memories are made when you actually get to experience one thing rather than cram 20… just my opinion.
stop and spend time at the flower shops… bakeries… chocolate shops. wander and take time to rest… eat as many strawberry and nutella crepes as you can too !
PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA.
moving on to… LONDON
…and welcome to my favorite city i’ve ever ever ever visited (thus far) !!!!
i’m not sure what it is about this place, but i’m so in love (lol read my last post)… being there 2 weeks prior to this visit with some friends… i was so so so excited to get to go back and spend more time there with my mama.
the ivy chelsea garden, harrods, and wicked… ha just writing that (that is why i love this city so damn much) !!! we started our first day off with a late lunch (2:45, but 20 min late) at the ivy chelsea garden… it is beautiful and the food is yummy (i ate fish n chips)! we wandered around the garden after and ugh… just perfection.
harrods is a wonderfully chaotic experience like no other… they have everything, and it goes on for ages. we wandered through the market portion (everything from chocolates to fresh sushi and flowers (are you surprised i was obsessed with the flowers))… spotted a classic £200,000 piece of baccarat (an absolute necessity for everyone’s home??)… the enormous gift shop where you can buy literally anything with “HARROD’S” on it… and my favorite, evening gowns worth more than my undergraduate tuition. there are 6 floors and we only did a small bit of 2…
then we grabbed a quick uber to wicked ! i bought our tickets for scary cheap skeptically thinking… ehh too cheap to pass up and it would be ok to lose the money… turns out i was completely amazed once again by london… at the apollo victoria theater (next to hamilton)…. our seats were sooo great, and the show was INCREDIBLE. my mom and i have both seen a lot on broadway and wicked was comparable/better than some we have seen… one of our favorite parts, if not our favorite of the entire trip.
kensington palace… another palace! rainy day in london we toured the palace and there’s an extra portion dedicated to the fashion of princess diana. it is to die for. seriously. fish n chips after at the oldest pub in kensington… little bit of shopping lots of wandering… london, ily forever.
westminster abbey, trafalgar square, buckingham palace, peggy porschen… sounds like a lot, but it is easier with these all being fairly close together. really really perfect… i’m so biased because i LOVE london… if you can’t tell… we toured westminster abbey (really really interesting)… lunch near trafalgar square… then walked to buckingham palace (i should’ve married harry)… and peggy porschen from there… don’t really recommend this place… £7.95 for a cupcake and it wasn’t that special in my opinion… you pay for the atmosphere and cute pink pics… which sometimes is worth it lol !!!
london tower bridge, tower of london area… and happy easter !!!! i didn’t think much about the bridge before going, but it was so so impressive. from there my mom and i wandered around the area soaking up our last little bit of the u.k. before eating our last fish n chips at a pub in paddington !
EXTRAS !!! i love the beignets (anywhere) but they’re really good at Paul (and you can find a Paul on literally every street corner (also in paris)… walk down what i would assume our alleys… i found houses painted in pastels that changed my life. prepare to lose an umbrella or 2 or 6.
soak up every moment with your mama!!! try new things ! enjoy!