I Feel Pretty | in Paris

Le sigh…

It’s hard to believe that our magical week in Paris is already over.  My daughter Aubrey and I had the time of our lives. It was everything we ever dreamed of and a whole lot more.  We fell hard for the City of Love and have tucked a little piece of it in our hearts.  We will forever be changed by our experience!

Where do I start.  I don’t even know.  We did and saw so much, it didn’t really all sink in until after we got back home.  In addition to our action packed days in Paris, we took a day trip to London on the high speed train.

Passports in hand, heading out on our adventure.

The best part was our view of Paris’ most famous landmark from our hotel window.  I mean, wow.  We couldn’t have gotten much closer to the Eiffel Tower if we tried.  Every night, we were enthralled with the sparkling display of lights at the top of each hour.  It actually woke me up a few nights.  I just couldn’t bear to sleep with the blinds closed!

As you can probably tell, I was obsessed with taking pictures of it.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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The People

Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, we found Parisians to be nothing less than warm, friendly, helpful and accommodating.  Maybe it was the time of year (their high tourist season hasn’t started yet) or maybe it was because there weren’t many Americans there (we only ran into two other sets of Americans the whole time, both from Texas!)  But whatever it was, I really appreciated it.  I don’t speak much French but they didn’t seem to mind and everyone spoke English.  I was pleasantly surprised and delighted.

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The Culture

Perhaps this is what struck me more than anything and the one thing I wanted to bottle up and bring home.  The French know how to live intentionally.  They linger over meals, are engaged in conversations and most importantly of all, they aren’t on their phones all the time.  I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to see people actually talking to each other in cafes and on the trains.  We rarely saw anyone on their cell phones.  Aubrey and I loved lingering over dinner and really enjoying each bite and talking to each other.  We stayed off social media and kept our phones tucked away until we got back to the hotel each night.  It felt so freeing and allowed us to truly enjoy the moment.  This was something we decided to bring home with us and have been doing really great with so far.

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Having lunch at a street cafe.  The weather was perfect!

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Market near our hotel.

The Food

My goal was to eat so many croissants that I wouldn’t want to see one when I got home.  Mission accomplished.  Each morning, we started our day with a traditional French breakfast – cafe au lait, croissants and bread with butter and jam.  We had lunches and dinners in traditional French restaurants and enjoyed every bite.  By day three though, we were craving something else and had pizza.  Traveling to London was a welcome palate change, we had lunch at a soup and sandwich place that felt more American.  We also had afternoon tea which was quite an experience.

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Our daily breakfast.

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Cafe where we had breakfast a few days.

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Afternoon tea in London.

The Sites

Oh, the sites.  What a feast for the eyes.  Nothing in Paris is plain and simple.  It’s just extravagance and opulence at every turn.  Even the shopping centers, as evidenced by the interior of the Galleries Lafayette. Wow!

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Of course, we visited the Louvre and checked out Mona Lisa.  She’s possibly one of the most unimpressive things in Paris.  The painting is very small and dark.

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The ceilings in the Louvre rival many of the paintings.

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Venus de Milo

Notre Dame was pretty impressive.  The history and architecture are awe-inspiring.

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Window at Notre Dame.

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Inside the cathedral.

Although the Louvre gets all of the attention, I enjoyed the Musee d’Orsay with it’s extensive impressionist collection so much more.  It’s in an old railway station.  The see-through clocks give you a view of the city.

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We took a trip to Versailles to check out the chateau once occupied by Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI.  Wow, these two knew how to decorate with gold.

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Hall of Mirrors.

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One of my favorite buildings we saw in Paris was the Opera Garnier, where Phantom of the Opera is set.  There is actually a lake under the opera.

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Opera Garnier’s grand hall.

In London, we hit all of the major attractions we could see in one day – the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Harrod’s, Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus, Chinatown and a few museums.  It was fun hanging out in Trafalgar Square and watching the street performers.  We arrived just in time to see the changing of the guard.

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London calling!

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The Fashion

I expected to be wowed by fashion in Paris.  And I was.  But not for the reason you might think.  I thought it would be full of effortlessly styled French women drenched in Chanel No. 5.  It was not.  When I say anything goes fashion-wise in Paris, I mean anything.  Yes, there were a few of those perfectly put together French women but the overwhelming majority of Paris style I just did not get.  London, on the other hand, was great.  The Brits dress more traditionally and wear more color.  I loved their classic style.

The Shopping

Due to my observations on fashion, we didn’t shop much in Paris.  That combined with the fact that most of the stores are ultra high end.  The Champs Elysses was fun but disappointingly overrun with American brands.  I found London fashion to be much more mainstream and affordable.  Aubrey and I visited Topshop and H&M for her and Harrod’s, Burberry and Joules for me.  The British brands won hands-down in my opinion.

Getting Around

The one thing that surprised me is that Aubrey and I bonded more over finding our way around than anything else.  It was truly an adventure for both of us to use the metro, buses, cabs and trains to make our way all over both cities.  We also logged an average of 7 miles of walking each day (10 miles the day we went to London!)

Security

The thing I was most apprehensive about was traveling to a foreign country with a sixteen year-old girl but we felt really safe the entire time.  Paris’ security was definitely heightened.  There are armed military personnel at every turn, especially near the major attractions and at the airport.  The only time we felt a little threatened was when we were approached by two men in an alleyway.  We tried ignoring them but they got more and more aggressive.  I pulled my pepper spray out of my back pocket and pointed it at them.  They wisely decided to turn away and leave us alone.  Don’t mess with Texas.

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The Lock Bridge (Pont des Artes).

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Au revoir, Paris!  Thanks for the memories.  We will be back one day.

I FEEL PRETTY

It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell us what made you feel pretty this week in the comments!I Feel Pretty Logo

There are just a few simple rules:
1. Follow GYPO. (Bloglovin‘, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to my blog (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretties. That’s it, now go have some fun!


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102 Comments

  1. Natalia

    I love it! Paris never disappoints!! SO much fun that you had that experience with your daughter, something both of you will never forget! I’m sitting here reading like “yep, sounds about right!” So glad you had such a wonderful experience!!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Such a beautiful experience with her.

      Reply
  2. Rachelle

    what an awesome post, so happy you gals had so much fun!

    xo
    PinkSole

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Rachelle!

      Reply
    • Alison

      You’re going to have so much fun. I can’t wait to see your pictures.

      Reply
  3. Susan Jeffries

    What a wonderful adventure with your lovely daughter Alison!! We have never been to Paris, but we have traveled to France. I agree that they live much more intentionally than we do! What a fabulous memory filled trip! Susan

    Reply
    • Alison

      You’ll have to put Paris on your bucket list Susan. So beautiful.

      Reply
  4. Sheaffer

    What an AMAZING trip Alison! It was so fun reading about it and seeing all of the pics! Thanks for sharing it with all of us! xoxo

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks for reading Sheaffer. Any fun trips planned? 😉

      Reply
  5. Audrey

    What an amazing trip, Alison! One that you and your daughter will never forget. Love all the pictures, but it’s refreshing that you mention them living “intentionally.” I love that word! Getting off the phone and living is crucial. Thanks for sharing:)

    Audrey
    http://www.audreysalutes.com

    Reply
    • Alison

      Memories that’ll last a lifetime 🙂

      Reply
  6. Tracy

    Your recap is perfect! I went to Paris many years ago with some friends from work before having kids. I can’t wait to go back with my daughter. What a special trip to share with Aubrey. That’s something she (and you) will cherish forever.

    Reply
    • Alison

      You’ll have so much fun when you take your daughter. It was a beautiful week with her!

      Reply
  7. Susan

    WOW!!! Looks amazing! I need to come back to this and stare at the photos again. Just amazing.

    Reply
    • Alison

      I find myself doing the same Susan. 🙂 🙂

      Reply
  8. Kishina

    Paris looks like it was loads of fun! I hope to visit someday, it’s on my bucket list 🙂

    Reply
    • Alison

      You will love it!

      Reply
  9. Cynthia @ My Rose Colored Shades

    It sounds like you had an amazing time with your daughter. But how could you not, right? Your descriptions bring back memories. I hope to go back there someday, this time with my husband and not with a friend as a poor college student. I’d love to try an authentic French restaurant and linger over the food! ~Cynthia

    Reply
    • Alison

      It’ll be worth seeing again with your husband. SO beautiful!

      Reply
  10. Marta C

    Wow what an amazing trip to have with your daughter & these pics are stunning I especially love the Opera Garnier ones what a majestic place! Thanks for sharing these Alison.
    Marta
    http://www.sweatersstripesandsweets.com

    Reply
    • Alison

      So glad you enjoyed them Marta!

      Reply
  11. kathy

    I’m so happy for you two! It sounds magical!

    Reply
    • Alison

      I can say it definitely was a magical trip. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Sallie

    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and adventures with us! It looked like a fabulous, memory-making trip, one that you will both keep in your heart forever. I have always wanted to go to Paris and this confirms it even more. That view of the Eiffel Tower…I think would burst into tears when on first glance!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Plan it Sallie. It’s SO worth it!

      Reply
  13. jenni

    Could you share which hotel you stayed at in Paris? Killer view!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Hi Jenni! We stayed at the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel. The views were stunning and the hotel staff was awesome. I highly recommend it!

      Reply
  14. Amy Ann

    Looks like an amazing trip! So glad you had fun and got to go with your daughter. Memories for a lifetime.

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

    Reply
    • Alison

      It was a great bonding experience and I’m so glad I was able to share it with her.

      Reply
  15. Danielle Omar -- Food Confidence RD

    What a great recap! I’m sure your daughter will remember this trip for years to come. I love the pepper spray story, you go girl!!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Danielle. I hope it covered the beauty of Paris.

      Reply
  16. Christine

    I’ve never been to Paris or London and enjoyed this post so much! The pictures and your thoughts on your experience were just the things I want to see and know about. I’m glad you had such a good time with your daughter.

    Reply
    • Alison

      I hope you get to plan a trip there in the future. It’s a wonderful experience.

      Reply
  17. Mary

    What a special trip for you two! We actually honeymooned in London and Paris, so you brought back a lot of memories for me with your pictures. I am so with you in that I adored London more than Paris. Paris was special, but London was “me.” I’d live there if we got the chance!

    Reply
    • Alison

      I bet honeymooning in London and Paris was great! How long were you there for?

      Reply
      • Mary

        It was about 12 days, not counting the flights. 6 days in each city. I’d go back in a heartbeat! 🙂

        Reply
  18. Kris

    Wow, great recap! You’re quite the photographer!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Aw, thank you Kris.

      Reply
  19. Cathy

    Awesome travel summary! Thank you for letting me enjoy the sights and insights of your trip!!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Glad you liked it Cathy.

      Reply
  20. Madaline

    Your pictures are stunning -it looks like such an amazing trip. People are always surprised when I tell them also here in Italy fashion is… well really it’s normal people clothes. haha. Maybe during fashion week in Milan, but other then that Europeans are just people with jeans, and bad fitting clothes. I can t believe you had to use your pepper spray! That makes me think I should run out and buy some too.

    Reply
    • Alison

      You never know if you’ll need it. 🙂 🙂

      Reply
  21. Happiness at Mid Life

    Looks like you had a fabulous trip! It’s been way too long since I’ve been to these 2 countries and the last time I was in Paris, I was so museum out that I did not even go into the Lourve to see Mona Lisa. Thank you for sharing these pictures!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

    Reply
    • Alison

      You’re welcome Alice. Glad you like them.

      Reply
  22. Amy Johnson

    What fun and exciting moments. So happy for you.

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Amy.

      Reply
    • Alison

      Glad you liked the pictures1

      Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Rebecca 🙂

      Reply
  23. Jaelan @ Making Mrs. M

    I would LOVE to go to Paris. What a great trip. It looks like you and your daughter had a great time.
    Thanks for hosting the linkup!

    Reply
    • Alison

      We had so much fun and can’t wait until next time!

      Reply
  24. Suzanne

    WOW! You sure squeeze a bunch into those days! You must be exhausted! LOL Looks like you had a wonderful time and I’m so happy the weather turned out well.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    Reply
    • Alison

      It went by so fast. 🙂

      Reply
  25. Lana

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip today! What a wonderful experience that you’ll treasure always. Glad you’re home safe and sound!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Lana. I need get back to my routine. 🙂

      Reply
  26. tealady3

    I’t sounds like you and your daughter had a beautiful time.

    this is something I would love to do.And even more so after reading your post..

    Reply
    • Alison

      Plan it! 😉 😉 You will love every moment.

      Reply
  27. Morgan

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Loved reading the recap and seeing your beautiful photos.

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you Morgan.

      Reply
  28. Jill

    My daughter went to Paris last summer with my Mom and I hope I get to go someday! It was fun to see your photos and recap! Sounds like an amazing trip!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    Reply
    • Alison

      It was beautiful Jill. Will you be making a mommy and daughter trip to Paris? 😉

      Reply
  29. Shay Shull

    I’m so happy you girls went! What a trip of a lifetime!!! Gorgeous pictures, gorgeous city and gorgeous ladies. xoxo

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you, thank you sweet friend. 🙂

      Reply
  30. Shaunacey

    looks like you had a blast!!!

    Reply
    • Alison

      It was so fun!

      Reply
  31. Monica

    What an amazing experience with your daughter! I was so excited to read your post since my hubby and I are going to Paris for our first time end of April!!! I love all of your tips and plan on going to London as well for a day trip!! So exciting, thanks for sharing!
    xo,
    Monica
    http://glamvolution.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Alison

      Awww Monica. You will have so so so much fun with your hubby. Enjoy it!!

      Reply
  32. Elizabeth

    Thanks for sharing your visit! Paris is on my bucket list and you made it look wonderful! Even the Mona Lisa. Everyone I know who has seen it said the same thing, but I’ll go see her anyway!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Sooooo beautiful Elizabeth. A must see in person.

      Reply
  33. Sarah C

    OH my gosh, I just LOVE they way you set up this post! Breaking it down for us ! Looks like you had the best time with your girl! So fun. 🙂

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Sarah. I wanted everyone to walk through the trip with me 🙂

      Reply
  34. Lucretia roletta

    I really enjoyed your pictures and comments. Nicely done!!!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Lucretia.

      Reply
  35. Kara

    I loved loved loved seeing all your pics this past week on social media! Paris looks gorgeous and the Eiffel tower looks magical 🙂 I want to go to Paris now after seeing your pictures!! Glad you guys had so much fun and made memories you will always cherish together!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Isn’t it gorgeous? You’ll have to see it in person Kara. 🙂

      Reply
  36. Laura Wilson

    What an adventure! Your pictures are fabulous! You and your daughter made memories to last a lifetime 🙂 I can’t believe you saw all that in London in ONE DAY! You two were on a mission! And you should be proud of yourself for how you handled your scare in the alley. Seriously, you are BRAVE!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Dont’ mess with Texas. 😉

      Reply
  37. Shannon

    Looks like it was the best trip ever! What a wonderful experience to have together.

    Reply
    • Alison

      It was amazing!

      Reply
  38. Deena

    C’est magnifique! Loved hearing your reviews d’un très beau voyage.

    Reply
  39. Lisa D

    WoW! thank you for sharing so much of your trip. What an awesome experience with your daughter. 😉 sorry you had to bring out the pepper spray…yikes!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked it!

      Reply
  40. DonnaS

    Wow, your pictures are beautiful! What an amazing trip to take with your daughter. My 16 year old loves everything French, I hope someday I can take her to see Paris. I had to laugh at your “Don’t mess with Texas” line!

    Reply
    • Alison

      She will love it Donna. I hope you can make the trip with her 🙂

      Reply
  41. Kristin

    Love it! You’re so right about Parisians living more intentionally. The entire pace of life is different. It isn’t scheduled and frenetic and constantly rushing to the next thing. It’s experienced, not managed.

    Great pictures, and glad you two had such a wonderful time!

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Kristin. Do you visit Paris often?

      Reply
  42. Michael

    Glad you and Aubrey had such a great time. The pictures are absolutely beautiful!

    Reply
  43. Susan

    Thanks for sharing your adventures in Paris and London! The pictures are wonderful. I’m glad your daughter and you enjoyed the trip.

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thanks Susan. It was a beautiful trip!

      Reply
  44. Debe Leone

    Glad you had a wonderful trip. I have been to London & Paris twice and the experience does live in your heart forever. How wonderful that you got to share that with your daughter. I was thrilled to get my husband there and we had an unforgettable time.
    Memories………….

    Reply
    • Alison

      I love creating memories!

      Reply
  45. Elizabeth

    Thanks for sharing, it looks like you had a wonderful time. My husband and I will be visiting London, Paris & Rome in April and we are so excited. I am definitely worried about combining fashion with function because I know we will be walking many miles each day. What types of shoes do you recommend for a trip with that much walking that are still fashionable?

    Reply
    • Alison

      Leopard flats! 🙂

      Reply
  46. Anna Shirley

    Hi. I am stopping by from Trend Spin link up. I like how you enjoyed your trip to Paris. It is something about Paris, isn´t it? For me, it makes me somehow happy.o) If you are feeling down, there is right place to be. o) Speaking about Paris fashion, Chams Elysses is wonderful, no doubt. But If you would like see “real” fashion, go to small boutiqes which have new “not famouse yet” designers There are wonderful clothes and accesories and price are reasonable. You can get pieces which have even after 10 years “WOW efect”o)

    Reply
    • Alison

      Thank you so much for stopping by Anna! Paris is beautiful.

      Reply
  47. debra

    Hi Alison!

    Reply
  48. debra

    Hi Alison!

    Reply

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