PARIS!

Bonjour!

This may be a bit of a lengthy post, but rightfully so. Paris is an incredible city that deserves lots of love, so here goes:

(1) Luxembourg Garden:

This is a gorgeous park you MUST take a stroll in. There’s a pond where kids have sailboat competitions, families play bocce ball, the list goes on. It’s a large park, so you can spend quite a bit of time there.

(2) Crepes at Au P’tit Grec:

This is a street stand where you grab a crepe and go. Both times I went, there was quite a long line, but well worth the wait.

My first one was a “Savoyarde,” which had potatoes, Raclette (Savoy cheese), country ham, lettuce, tomatoes and onion.

Savoyarde Crepe

My second one was the “Crepe du Chef,” which had coppa (Italian ham) mozzarella, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and I requested to add potatoes (great idea).

Crepe du Chef (with added potatoes)

(3) The Pantheon:

All along I thought the rave about the Pantheon was about the one in Rome, but turns out there’s a Pantheon in Paris, too.

Pantheon in Paris

(4) Notre Dame

It was quite popular on a Saturday night, but still had to get a picture in front!

Notre Dame + Me

(5) Starbucks:

I know what you’re thinking- “Why Starbucks in Paris?”

Honestly, I have been missing my go-to order back home: a blueberry scone and a flat white. Except this time, it was just a coffee with milk and nutmeg, and a blueberry muffin. Still a VERY happy me!

A blueberry muffin and a coffee with milk and nutmeg.

(6) Tuileries Garden:

Paris knows how to do parks. Tuileries Garden is another stunning place for a stroll and time with family and friends!

Ferris wheel at the Tuileries Garden

(7) Eiffel Tower:

The Tuileries Garden is very close to the Eiffel Tower, so if you visit one or the other, be sure to go ahead and visit both!

Eiffel Tower + Me

The night before my friends and I left, we went to the Eiffel Tower to watch it twinkle for a proper goodbye to Paris. The tower begins sparkling at 10 p.m. and sparkles on the hour for 5 minutes!

I suggest stopping for a savory crepe somewhere around the Eiffel Tower- I got a nutella and banana crepe!

Nutella & Banana Crepe at the Eiffel Tower

(8) Avenue of Champs Elysees:

This is a mile long strip of all of the most incredible things you can think of- Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Perfumeries and Macaroons, you name it!

I had Pierre Herme macaroons and they were so good because you had the option to have two flavors instead of one! I had raspberry with pistachio (“Montebello”), then Madagascar chocolate with dark chocolate (“Ultime”).

They also came in the cutest little origami boxes!

Pierre Herme origami boxes

The “Montebello” flavor was my favorite!

“Montebello”- Raspberry & Pistachio

(9) Arc de Triomphe:

Once you finish walking the strip of Champs Elysees, be sure to check out this monument!

(10) Le “Relais de l’Entrecote”:

Bottomless steak and fries, anyone?

This restaurant is a total tourist spot, but so SO worth it!

Bottomless steak + fries!!

(11) Midore:

If you have the chance, you must go to this bakery! While I was there, I got a baguette and the most incredible slice of chocolate chip flan. Wish I had some right now!

Midore Chocolate Chip Flan

(12) Fromagerie Cheese Shop:

This is a small cheese shop that was located right next to our airbnb, and it had the prettiest selection of cheeses! I got goat and gouda cheese, peach and blackberry yogurt, and rice pudding. Isn’t it the cutest?

Fromagerie Cheese Shop

(13) Louvre Museum:

I had no idea how massive this museum is! This is my favorite thing I have EVER DONE!

I love the organization of the museum. I saw the sections of Islamic art, Spanish, Italian, Grecian, Egyptian and Mediterranean. And yes, I did see the Mona Lisa. And yes, it is way smaller than I had hoped for!

(14) Shakespeare & Company Bookstore:

This is a beautiful, two-story bookstore with all English books.

(15) Museum d’Orsay:

Head here to see Picasso’s art, Degas’, Monet’s and Van Gogh’s.

(16) Centre Pompidou:

This is such a fun, modern museum. You can’t miss it by its looks on the outside- a bunch of HUGE tubes!

(17) Rodin House:

Besides the Louvre, the Rodin House was my second favorite thing to visit in Paris. Rodin completed lots of sculptures during his time and this museum houses all of them. While you’re there, be sure to take a walk around the garden, too, and enjoy a cappuccino!

(18) The Palace of Versailles:

You can take a train from Paris to Versailles and back for under $10! The Palace is absolutely stunning, as is the courtyard. Be sure to check out Marie Antoinette’s estate as well!

Don’t forget to treat yourself to Laduree Macaroons!

Raspberry, Pistachio, Vanilla, Caramel, Rose, Dark Chocolate and Lavender Laduree Macaroons

Thanks for following along,

-Rach

 

 

 

Florence, a.k.a Firenze

Italy has so much to offer and I’ve made it a goal to travel around this country as much as possible. I’ve been wanting to go to Tuscany, and Florence was the perfect start.

I took a train from Rome to Florence and it was only an hour and a half. You could easily make a day trip out of Florence, but we stayed one night at the cutest Airbnb. When I walked out of our door, this is what I saw!

We started at Palazzo Vecchio, where you can see many beautiful, historic statues and lots of fun places to shop.

Palazzo Vecchio
Statue of David

The more I explore Italy, I realize every well-known town has a famous dome. This one by far is my FAVORITE! The detail of this building is absolutely incredible.

Florence Cathedral
Florence Cathedral Pt. 2
Isn’t this detail stunning?

The city of Florence is easy to navigate and all of the major things to see seem to be fairly close together.

Next, we went to the beautiful bridge, Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio

As much as I want to live in Venice one day, I wouldn’t be opposed to living in one of these colorful apartments along the river.

Apartments along Ponte Vecchio
Look at all of the eye-catching colors!

My roommates and I stopped at a cute little cafe, known as Corona’s Cafe, for hot chocolate and a snack. I had fruit tarts and they were so cute and yummy!

Fruit tarts from Corona’s Cafe

For dinner, we ate at Al Acqua 2, which I highly recommend. Our waitress was so friendly and so sweet to make suggestions (in English!).

I had maccheroni alla vodka e mozzarella. (The closest thing I’ve had to mac n cheese since I’ve been in Italy). It was so good and I loved the vodka sauce!

Dinner at Al Acqua 2

I have a hard time saying no to dessert (and luckily so does my roomie), so we opted to split the dessert sampler. It had tiramisu, dark chocolate cake, lemon tart and strawberry cheesecake. It was the perfect way to end a dinner!

Dessert Sampler at Al Acqua 2

Saturday morning, we went on a food tasting tour with “Italy On A Budget Tour.” (Linked below) They do everything from olive oils (you would be shocked how many kinds there are) food (such as cheese, bruschetta and salami) and wines. It was a fun way to meet other people who are traveling and experience a little more of Italy!

Can you tell I might’ve snacked prior to taking this picture?

https://www.italyonabudgettours.com/en_GB

Lastly, if you miss home, I highly recommend going to the American Diner. It has a 1950s theme and all of the waiters are wearing roller skates. It’s so cute and you must go!

Thank you for reading,

Rach