Oui oui mon ami, je m’appelle Alexa… used to be all the French I knew!
#Hamilton Until this summer when I finally made my way to the City of Love. Expectations were high, and expectations were exceeded. What struck me most about Paris is how unique it is. I consider myself a fairly seasoned traveler, and Paris is the first place I’ve been that I can’t compare to anywhere else. It’s special. Hard as it was, I was able to pinpoint the places and things that I found most special.
- Musee d’Orsay
Musée d’Orsay or Musée du Louvre… that is the question. How does one choose between two world renown displays of the best works of art in human history? For me… one sign made the decision. “Beyond the Stars. The Mystical Landscape. From Monet to Kandinsky”. Not to mention their vast and beautiful collection of Impressionist works from Degas, Manet, and Renoir. In fact, fellow Gilmore Girls fans out there will understand why me and my friend got particularly teary-eyed when we found a certain Renoir painting! However, for me the best part of
my entire life the trip was getting up close and personal with Vincent Van Gogh. “Church at Auvers” has always been my favorite. For years I’ve studied the history behind this iconic work. The instability of the composition and brushstrokes, the deeply vibrant colors, and how this all stems from the complicated story of a man from Zundert. And suddenly, “Church at Auvers” was right in front of me. I was the definition of speechless.
- Latin Quarter
Where Boulevard Saint-Germain meets Boulevard Saint-Michel is the endlessly amazing Latin Quarter! There was no end to the fun and history and beauty to be found, and this is definitely my favorite area of Paris. The famous Shakespeare and Co. bookshop was a bibliophilic wonderland, and I had to be pried out with the jaws of life. Enjoying Notre Dame at sunset against the backdrop of the scenic River Seine makes it hard to imagine anything else at commanding and breathtaking. But my favorite Parisian experience came in the form of Latin Quarter nightlife. A tiny hole-in-the-wall bar, live piano and jazz music, an overturned wooden barrel as a table, and a glass of champagne. Honestly… does life get any better than that???
- Sacré-Cœur @ Montmartre
What a beautiful day this was! The cathedral is absolutely gorgeous, and worthy of the title Sacred Heart of Paris. We spent an entire afternoon just wandering around Montmartre taking in the ambience. The views are Paris unparalleled, and it’s such a lovely district that feels quite authentic. Sightseeing can be great, but sometimes you need to take the time to just be. Get off the beaten track, forget your schedules and checkpoints, and fully immerse yourself. We found beautiful little courtyards, wonderful food, and spent the day feeling like true Parisians.
- Luxembourg Gardens
I’m sorry, Hyde Park. Please forgive me, Kensington Gardens, I do still love you. But Luxembourg Gardens is a haven like no other. This is my biggest complaint about where I live- there is nowhere like this. At least, no where free. It’s all development apartment buildings and strip malls. Luxembourg Garden offers a retreat from the bustling city that surpasses any such park I’ve ever been to. Strolling through the greenery, sitting in the grass soaking up the sun, enjoying the flowers and architecture… it was a very fitting last day in Paris.