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Paris Recap

Highlights from our trip abroad.
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G and I got back from Paris on Saturday night and despite some pretty serious jet lag, this vacation was one of my all-time favorites. Here's a little more about what made it so special.

Leading up to our trip, my schedule was nutty, so it wasn't until a few days before we left that I let myself get truly excited. I had a packing list that I periodically added things to, so by the time I actually pulled out my suitcase, I felt good about my game plan. Since my parents arrived the day before we left, it was such a treat to pack with my mom, trying things on while she lay on the bed. It also gave us time for Sloan to get comfortable with her grandma (Fifi) and grandpa (Gaga) so when we left, I wouldn't be worried about her being shy. Our plan was to have my parents take her out on a walk shortly before we were scheduled to leave, to try and eliminate any fearful and tearful goodbyes. Of course I was still a sobbing mess, but she apparently was great and by the time I boarded the plane, I was excited to leave.

We arrived in Paris in the early evening, which was nice since we still had quite a bit of daylight left before the sun set at around 10 p.m. We got to our hotel, shared some champagne and french macarons (it felt dorkily cliché, but right), changed our clothes and headed out. The weather the entire time was hot, but fairly manageable, and it was lovely not having to bringing along a sweater anywhere we went. We walked straight to Trocadéro, a place we'd been told was a good spot to see the Eiffel Tower from across the Seine. It was more impressive than I'd imagined and even though it was packed with tourists, G and I hung out for a bit, taking photographs and marveling at the entire scene before going to dinner.

As far as our schedule for the trip, we had a pretty lengthy list of things we wanted to do. The one thing we didn't anticipate was how late we'd get up in the morning (around 10:30 a.m. vs. our usual 6 a.m.), which cut into how much time we had each day. But we set out to cram as much in as possible, grabbing lunch at spots we'd read about, going to museums, walking everywhere (about eight miles a day), and then quickly showering at the hotel before rushing out to dinner. I love how much we were able to do those first few days, but it wasn't until Wednesday that we realized how lovely it would also be to ignore our aggressive to-do list and just chill.

That day we ordered room service breakfast and stayed in our robes until mid afternoon. G watched The Tour de France in bed and I left to go shopping. Most of the things I brought back were for Sloan: wooden "pastries" to go with her beloved coffee set, pretty dresses, hair bows made of tulle, and a Paris pop-up book to show her where we'd been. I brought back a few things for friends and family - candles from a beautiful little rose shop, french macarons, steak knives, and some beauty products. After seeing so many girls in espadrilles, I decided on this pair for myself, that's both comfortable and cute (and cobblestone-friendly). I also squeezed in some vintage shopping, most successfully at a store called Rose Market Vintage. I spent so much time in there perusing the tiny space with the owner that when I left, I was almost emotional to say goodbye to her. That evening, after a great casual meal, G and I came back to watch 'The Bachelorette' and broke into my newly accumulated stash of Haribo gummies (the selection there was insane). It was far and away my favorite day.

Ironically enough, one of the best memories I had was during our worst (and truly only bad) meal in Paris. Up until that dinner, every place we'd been to had been meticulously researched, so I thought it would be fun to spontaneously stumble upon a busy bistro. Though there were a lot of people outside, we later learned they were there for the cheap booze and that no one else was eating. The tables were tiny and when our three troughs of food came out, we had to pull up an additional table to hold it all. Everything was bland and greasy and G likened the charcuterie plate to what you'd get from 'French Costco,' with slimy meats and unidentifiable spreads. We were engulfed in cigarette smoke, which permeated our nearly inedible food, but after a couple of glasses of rosé, the night took on such a comical tone that we left in hysterics.

By our last day, both of us were ready to get home. It was such an indulgent, beautiful trip and I came home with a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm. It was my favorite city I've visited, but nothing was as sweet as coming home.

P.S. Stay tuned for my Paris food diary next week, including my favorite restaurants.

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