TRAVEL DIARY: Paris in July

Paris round four was a whirlwind of a weekend to say the least.

 Encapsulated within the span of two short days, I experienced both Bastille Day and France's winning of the World Cup in Paris, phenomenal food and great company, and to top it all off, the most stressful flight situation I've faced to the day. I'm planning to touch on this topic further in a future blog post, but if there's one thing a summer of living abroad solo and traveling has taught me, it is how to take the stress in stride and stay calm within the storm. 

I took the train from Milan to Rome the evening of Thursday, July 12th, with my fellow interns to visit the eternal city. However, it was only for the night, as I had already planned to meet my sweet Sacramento friend Sarah, in Paris for the weekend. So, the next day, I hopped on a flight into Charles de Gaulle and packed every touristy and instagrammy thing possible into the next two days. Here are a couple highlights:

Location 1: Season

Season is anything but a secret to Paris's tourists. It's an adorable little restaurant nestled in La Marais and decked out in neon, light and airy tile, and vegetative decor. The menu could have beem straight out of an L.A. cafe - complete with smoothies, avo toast, and Buddha bowls. Sarah and I had both heard rave reviews about the place from countless bloggers, so we decided to give it a try on out first night. It definitely lived up to its reputation! 

Location 2: Carette

Sarah and I woke up around sunrise on Saturday to beat the crowd (and, of course, get the best light for photos), and made our way to the Trocadero for the perfect Eiffel Tower view. After oohing and aahing at the crowdless view of the iconic tower, we stumbled upon Carette - an adorable little cafe for a quick breakfast of cappuccinos and croissants. The ambiance was lovely - I'm a sucker for mosaic-y tile floors! 

Location 3: Pont Alexandre III

A very iconic bridge for good reason. On our morning walk along the Seine, we were pleasantly surprised to see it completely crowdless and blocked off due to Bastille Day festivities. The morning light radiated the water beneath it - definitely one of my favorite moments in Paris to the date! 

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Location 4: Palais Royal

Even though this was my fourth trip to Paris, I hadn't visited the Palais Royal before this time. It was at the top of Sarah's Paris bucket list, and I'm so glad we checked the box! Because we went in the mid morning of Bastille Day, we didn't have much of a crowd to compete with. It was peaceful and just as lovely as Instagram makes it out to be! ;) 

Location 5: Jardin de Luxenbourg

Yet another place I had yet to visit! We went to the gardens early Sunday morning (before the insanity of the World Cup), and were wholly charmed by it - between the trees, the statues, and the locals doing yoga on the lawn, it was truly a gem. 

Location 6: Sezane Apartment

A huge bucket list check-off for both Sarah and me. The place was perfect - every bit as lovely as I had suspected it would be. If I had had endless space in my suitcase (and, ahem, money), I would have bought out the entire store. The Sezane brand radiated throughout the entirety of the little "apartment," and I honestly wish I could've just moved in. 

Location 7: Our Airbnb

Okay, easily the prettiest/most aesthetic/coolest/best/most awesome/most artsy bnb I've ever ever ever stayed in. Sarah was an angel and found the place through various social media avenues, and thank God it was available during our chosen travel weekend! The wood-paneled floors and typical Parisian walls housed ceiling high bookshelves, records, and plants galore. We couldn't help photographing the entire thing (including the kitchen - with a view of Sacre Coeur!). 

Even though my travels have come to an end, I hope to return to Paris soon! I can never seem to stay away.  

As a notorious playlist-maker, I have a Parisian playlist that has been in the making since my first visit to Paris two years ago. I took the liberty of attaching it below - I tend to turn it on when I'm missing the city whilst back home in the States (like now, for instance ;) ). 

Marquel Plavan