Travel Series: Stephanie Parsley in Paris, Days 5, 6, + 7
Today we present the final installment of Stephanie Parsley's amazing Paris travelogue. We hope you have enjoyed reading about her travels with her boo, Ryan! If you're just discovering this series, please go back read through days one through four! Day five in Paris was probably one of my favorite days ever. We took a 30-minute train ride to the Palace of Versailles and it was AMAZING. We were there hours and we still didn't get to see all the entire estate. I so wish we would have been able to see it during the spring; the gardens were beautiful during the winter, but I can’t even imagine how they would have looked with everything in bloom. If you're going to visit the Palace, make sure you plan a full day for it. I wish we would have been able to do the actual tour with the headphones so I could have learned more about the history of Versailles, BUT that’s just more of a reason for us to visit again! I won’t talk much about the Palace because I would rather show you all through photos what we experienced. You’ll see the zillion photos I took below. The reason we couldn't stay all day at the Palace was because we had reservations at Gentle Gourmet. We were so excited to finally be able to eat there. When we arrived the owner told us that people traveled all over the world just to eat there and it had been recently deemed as, “The Best Vegan Restaurant in the World.” Well… by the end of our meal, I was convinced. I would DEFINITELY pay to go back there again and again. I have never, in my life, had food THAT good. I can’t even describe how good it was. If you go to Paris, GO TO GENTLE GOURMET. I don’t care if you’re vegan, vegetarian, love meat, etc. It’s so, SO good. You won’t regret it. Day six was a shopping day, so of course I was super excited! Everyone always talks about how the stores in Paris are amazing, and they weren't exaggerating. Ryan and I ate at Panasia for lunch and then made our first shopping trip to Zara. We were in there for two hours and Ryan didn't complain once (he’s a keeper). After shopping, we accidentally stumbled upon the Love Lock bridge! We didn’t put a lock on it because, well, I didn't casually have a lock with me-- but we did take a photo beside it. That counts, right?! Yeah, no it doesn't. Next time I’ll be sure to bring one! Next we went into La Caféothèque, which was recommended to us as one of the best coffee places in Paris. They had coffee from all over the world and Ryan and I had the most intense espresso of our lives! I definitely recommend anyone planning a trip to Paris to go there if they have time. From La Caféothèque we walked to the BHV (a huge mall with everything you could ever need). Since I spent my two hours in Zara, I thought the BHV should be dedicated to finding Ryan a new coat that he had been wanting. Another tip for people planning on going to Paris- basically all the shopping is in La Marais! And if you look at it on a map, you’ll find it’s near a lot of tourist attractions. so definitely put that down as something to do while you’re there because you will love the entire area! We ended our day by eating at our new favorite Thai restaurant, Thai at Home and watching Benjamin Button on Netflix. I’m pretty lame for even telling you guys we watched Netflix while visiting another country, but whatever. Being completely jet-lagged the entire trip had us exhausted, and Netflix is always the most wanted third-wheel in our relationship. Day seven in Paris started off by having a good breakfast and then a long walk along the Seine to the Aquarium de Paris! If you go to Paris, I definitely recommend walking along the Seine if you want to see more culture. It was one of my favorite memories from our trip. Once we left the aquarium we went to the BHV again and this time it was to check out the women's section of the mall. However, I was pretty much done shopping by this point, especially since we needed everything to fit in our luggage. (Oh- another tip! If you’re planning to go to Paris, bring an extra suitcase because you’re going to want to buy things while you’re there and we completely filled ours up with new stuff)! We checked out other boutiques in La Marais in search for some more clothes for Ryan but had no luck. So we went and bought new coffee mugs from La Caféothèque, got more sorbet from Berthillon, ate some pizza at a local restaurant, and then headed back to the hotel and prepared for our flight back the next day. Overall, this was an amazing trip! And here are some unique things we noticed: – A LOT of more people smoke cigarettes over there than I have ever seen. – Everyone was super fashionable. Literally everyone. Even the dogs. – Almost everyone knew English. – Eco-friendly bathrooms. Here are some tips: – Bring a good camera! I regret not bringing mine. – The Louvre is closed on Tuesday, Versailles is closed on Mondays and basically all the shopping is closed on the weekends. – Learn your basic French. Greetings, goodbyes, and thank-you’s go a long way! – Before you leave your hotel every morning, make sure you have your entire day mapped out: meals, metro routes, etc. – Have a list of places you want to see that are touristy, but also have a list of places you want to see that are unique! I would talk to someone that either lives there or has before. – Make sure you get a credit card that doesn't have foreign transaction fees. I got Capital One Venture and it’s been amazing! – I only asked for 400 Euros and since the Euro is at an all time low right now, it only took $436 from my account. We survived off of that and my credit card all week. So don’t think you should pull out a lot of Euro’s at the airport unless you plan on doing cash only and no credit card (which I don’t recommend because it could get stolen). – Wear comfortable shoes and pack pretty light. – If you go to Paris, try to go for longer than a week. The only thing we didn't like was that we felt rushed and felt that we HAD to get up early and see everything when in reality, we also needed to relax too so it could feel like a vacation. – Relax. Don’t stress yourself out by planning too much in a short amount of time. Paris will always be there. Make sure you spend that extra quality time with the person you came with. The trip was amazing and I’m so glad Ryan and I got to go on it together. There’s no one else I would rather travel with. I’m currently planning our next trip and I’m thinking Australia/New Zealand. I’m pretty freaking excited. Stephanie Parsley is a photographer based in Central Arkansas. She loves traveling all over the world to take pictures. We here at Hello Luvvy feel so fortunate to share photos and stories from her first-ever European vacation!