Passport to Paris

I read somewhere that Paris was one of those places you had to visit by the time you turned 30, as some sort of rite of passage. Yet I hadn't ever put much effort in to getting myself there. I've always gotten such mixed reviews from people who have travelled there, I wasn't convinced that Paris was where I wanted to spend my highly valued sky miles. But somehow I found myself sitting at Laguardia airport with a boarding pass to Charles de Gaulle airport. Two missed flights and a lost bag later, my friend Lindsey and I found ourselves sitting on the stoop of one of Champs Elysees' sweetest Parisian apartments. Cobblestone Paris Rentals provided us with the perfect little nook to call home for the week, complete with big open windows, plentiful amounts of natural light, and the prettiest wallpaper I've ever seen. Our host David met us upon arrival and provided us with endless dinner recommendations, suggestions on navigating the city, and shared a few secret spots that only locals were familiar with.  

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Slow mornings and bottomless cups of coffee brought afternoon adventures to museums, local boutiques, and bustling neighborhoods. Here are a few of my favorites, highly recommended during your next visit!! 

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- The Louvre, because you can't go to Paris and not say hello to Mona Lisa. Plus the architecture of the building itself is worth the visit! 

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-Montmartre; may have been my favorite spot in the city, located in the 18th arrondissement. The energy of the square is contagious and the view from Sacre Coeur is incredible. 

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-Notre Dame: just a short walk from the Luxembourg gardens, this pair makes for a perfect afternoon on foot. 

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Paris, you took me by surprise. Your beauty, energy, and rich history has me wishing for more and I can't wait to visit again soon! Au revoir sweet city!! 

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Being that we were in Paris, our first stop was to Laduree patisserie for sweets. Per David's suggestion, we bypassed the long line of customers waiting for macarons and snuck to the bar in the back room for lemon tart and tea instead. No wait with a lot more options, so I would highly recommend taking this route! After some shopping and a stroll passed the Arch de Triomphe, we made our way to Glorias on Rue Saint Dominique. Sampled some wine, decided on the Collina Serragrilli and feasted on olives, cheeses, prosciutto, and bowls of truffle pasta. To walk off the food coma, we made our way to the bottom of the Eiffel Tower just as it began to sparkle. I have seen countless photos of the Eiffel Tower, but there isn't anything like experiencing it in person. Completely breathtaking. We would spend most of the following evenings sitting at Le Dome, a restaurant just down the street, for Vin Chaud a la cannelle (mulled wine) and french onion soup before walking to the foot of the tower at the top of whatever hour we happened to be there. 

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-A day trip to Versailles; I would definitely suggest getting advance tickets and doing a guided tour around the palace. The grounds, gardens, and history behind the place is worth the 30 minute train ride from Paris, and don't forget your camera! 

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-Jardin Luxembourg; it was sprinkling the day we went, but I would've sat in the pouring rain just watching the kiddos pushing their toy sailboats around the pond. 

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-Champagne in Champ de Mars; we spent our last night in Paris sipping champagne and watching the Eiffel Tower light up from our picnic blanket in Champ de Mars. Quite possibly my favorite part of the trip, simply savoring every moment (and bubble). 

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Stephanie Zillmer