There is far too much to say about our time spent in Paris. From dining at local cafés and strolling along the Seine River, to wandering through Parisian streets and experiencing the magic of Disneyland Paris, every single moment was enchanting. The train ride into Paris alone was far greater than I imagined, with gorgeous glimpses of French outskirts that included rolling hills painted with charming cottages and shades of green I never even knew existed.
Once we got into the city, and experienced the hustle and bustle of the famous Arc De Triomphe roundabout (cue crazy Parisian drivers), I felt like we had stepped straight into a fairytale. We were spoiled with the most stunning view from our hotel room (we stayed at the Hotel Elysees Union – highly recommend if you’re ever in Paris and want dreamy views at an affordable price. Ask for a street facing room on the top floor to get a view like ours; I guarantee nothing beats watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle from your room window every night. DREAM. COME. TRUE.) and I couldn’t help but imagine all of the great poets and writers who had been inspired in years past with the same exact view. What a moment.
I’ve heard so many times that Paris does not escape its enchanting past, and that could not be any truer. Every street, every building, every café, told a story, all the way up the Iron Lady herself, who stood with a type of elegance I could never even try to preserve in words or capture in pictures.
We were lucky enough to snag a reservation in one of the restaurants on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower (58 Tour Eiffel), where we both concluded that genuine Parisian food is not our forte and hence resorted to eating our go-to comfort food for almost every meal: ITALIAN FOOD. In fact, we ate some of the BEST Italian food over there. There was a small elegant restaurant next to our hotel (Ristorante Il Toscano) that was so delicious, we actually ate there twice! (and it is one of the things I miss most about our trip).
Near famous landmarks, it becomes crowded with beggars and scammers, trying to get you to sign petitions, purchase phony trinkets, or to get you distracted enough for pickpocketing to happen (there are actually quite a few signs around warning you to watch out for pickpockets).
This took away some of the magic that I had expected, but once away from those busy spots, Paris has an undeniable amount of charm that I won’t ever forget. Some of our best times were when we strolled off the beaten path, through beautiful side-streets, listening to locals’ conversations and watching children play in the park. And of course, we couldn’t help but find ourselves in awe at the majestic Seine River, which borders the entire city.
We visited the Musee D’Orsay one afternoon in Paris and admired some of the great art works we’ve only ever seen in textbooks. The building itself was a piece of art, having once been a train station. Its original layout is preserved in a way that makes the entire experience far greater than any original museum visit. During that same afternoon, after “locking our love” on the love bridge at Pont des Arts, we visited Jardin De Luxembourg which is home to one of Paris’ most grand palaces, nestled in the middle of a beautiful garden.
We also couldn’t help but make it to Disneyland Paris while over there, and at $45 a ticket, it only made sense! While we had the time of our lives experiencing the magic of Disney the Parisian way, we both agreed that our Disneyland here in California is much better. There is a special kind of magic that the original Disneyland holds that I don’t think any other place can capture. We did, however, enjoy the lack of crowds and non-existent wait times for all rides. We finished everything in the park hours before close, giving us time to enjoy their “Downtown Disney” which eludes greatly to those dreaming of Los Angeles (they had a “Planet Hollywood” restaurant that was the definite hot spot!) We ended the evening watching the Eiffel tower sparkle from our hotel room (something we did every single night, because does it really get any better than that?!).
During our last morning in Paris, we had a photoshoot arranged with a Parisian photographer, Sasha Lannier. This was honestly one of our favorite parts of the entire trip. She made us feel like we were the only two people in the entire world, despite the sea of people that surrounded us. And her photos (some of which I am sharing below) have given me heart eyes for days. These photos were to act as tribute to the wonderful two years of marriage (almost, eep!) that God has so graciously given to James and I. We wanted to preserve one of the most romantic memories of our lifetime with photos that capture a bit of our story, a glimpse of our love.
To sum it all up, our time in London & Paris left me awestruck (catch up on our time in London, here). Every moment of every day, I found myself giddy with wander. I couldn’t believe it was real. The very places I had dreamed about since I was a little girl were finally right at my fingertips. I was living & breathing all of it, and it was pure magic.