Be My Valentine…in Paris

I never take it for granted whenever I get the chance to go to Paris for a long weekend. A certain feeling of happiness like I’m a little kid always comes into my mind when I know my next trip to Paris is coming up. No visit is ever the same and I always discover something new every time. Thankfully with each trip my sense of direction and navigation around certain places, especially the metro, is gradually improving. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you all of my combined favorite memories and moments from my long weekends away in the one and only…(cue French accent) Paris!

beautiful-view-of-eiffel-tower
My first full-view of the Eiffel Tower entering from Trocadero, during my second trip to Paris. My recommendation to start your walking tour is by passing through Trocadero’s grand plaza and admiring the architecture of the Palais de Chaillot before coming to the top of a double staircase and take in this same exact gorgeous view. After taking all the photos at your heart’s desire, you have a choice of taking the stairs on the left or the right, and decide if you’d like to take a walk by the beautiful fountain featured in the photo above or through the gardens, which you can find on the right of the fountain. I’m attracted to water so I’ve always opted for the fountain, but the next time I go in March I will finally go through the gardens.
Marcela & I - Paris.jpg
I had a lot of fun taking this picture with my good friend Marcela last May. She and her fiance came to visit during their Eurotrip and we ventured to Amsterdam after our stay in Paris. No matter rain or shine, with an umbrella in tow touring any city can still be fun!

The best way to see Paris is by foot. I feel that if you are constantly taking buses, the metro or taxis to get around a city, you are potentially missing some great things, such as the beautiful architecture, window shopping and people watching. By observing your surroundings you can take in a sense of everyday life, people’s behavior and mannerisms, etc. which can help you to understand more about the culture. The next time you find a park bench, have a seat and absorb what you see around you for even just a couple minutes. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised with what you see.

eiffel-tower-close-up
After walking around Trocadero and up towards the Eiffel Tower, head up closer to walk directly under the tower or get a side view from Champs de Mars, as this photo shows, of this magnifique monument.

I don’t know what it is about the Eiffel Tower, but every time I visit Paris I cannot leave without getting a little glimpse of it, up close or in the distance, it doesn’t matter to me. I can remember the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower very clearly: it was my second time in Paris (the first time being when I first arrived to France but had no time to visit the city) when my love had planned it all out to have me see my first take of the Eiffel Tower via the metro. I was as awe-struck as you think and everything I had imagined when seeing the top portion of the structure beaming up into the sky, peering out from the tops of apartment buildings and businesses that hide the bottom half.

Eiffel Tower Up Close.jpg
You’ll be able to watch the elevator cars ascend and return from the top, always full of passengers from dawn to dusk. I’ve never actually gone up the Eiffel Tower before but I might get the chance in March. I found some good package deals on http://www.getyourguide.com for exclusive guided tours and options for different experiences, including a river cruise tour and entrance to the Louvre. Not a bad deal at all! There are many options for every budget. 

Another favorite memory was celebrating my 30th birthday in Paris last November. It was probably my favorite birthday celebration yet, as it involved my first boat tour along the Seine, lunch and live music included, making eye contact with French actor Omar Sy at an exclusive art exhibit, and ending the festivities with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

bateau mouche.jpg
This photo pretty much sums up my 30th birthday weekend: boat tour on the Seine, beautiful weather, and of course, celebrating with a glass of wine.
Statue of Liberty-Paris.jpg
Did you know there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris? I knew there was a model located somewhere in Paris, but I had no idea it’s placed right along the Seine! Lady Liberty sure looks nice with the Eiffel Tower as her backdrop.

When my sister came to visit last summer we had a guided midnight tour by my love’s brother who lives in Paris and is a pro at giving special tours and showing places that are typically not on the tourists must-see list. It was my sister’s first visit to France and she loved seeing the different vibes of Paris during the day and seeing how it transforms at night. It was a perfect summer evening, going across bridges and getting a view of the Seine river with boats passing by and the Eiffel Tower lit up and beaming in the distance. We ended the tour with a drink at a rooftop bar called Le Perchoir Marais and we were in a spot to see the Eiffel Tower glimmer in the distance with its glittering lights for the last time of the evening and it was magical.

Seine view at night.jpg
Walks across the many diverse bridges over the Seine, staring at the shimmering water and boats passing by in the City of Lights at night. I don’t know about you, but in my eyes a city has two faces and styles – a daytime look and a night on the town – just like an outfit.
BNP bar bldg.jpg
A different view of Paris at night, this beautiful building houses a hotel and rooftop bar. I 100% approve and a visit needs to be had especially on a warm summer night like I experienced it. At the top you have views of the sophisticated town hall and mayor’s office, as well as the Eiffel Tower full of glitz and glamour at the top of every evening hour until 1am.
grand-palais-paris
The entrance to the Grand Palais. Be sure to order tickets directly from its website to choose your entry time and have peace of mind that you will be able to enter. However, even with a ticket, be prepared to wait at least 20 minutes in line before everyone with the same scheduled entry time can go inside. I’ve been told that there’s always a line here so booking ahead is highly encouraged.

My last trip to Paris was to celebrate my love’s brother’s 25th birthday. Before his big birthday bash I managed to go see an exhibition at the Grand Palais featuring the pioneers of Mexican art, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera – two of my all-time favorite artists. I couldn’t wait to feast my eyes on some of their pieces and wasn’t at all disappointed. It took a good 2 hours to complete the entire exhibit including listening to the audio guide. I probably stood close to 5 minutes at a few works, principally because I couldn’t believe my eyes that I was actually staring at a work completed by artists I have been admiring since I first discovered them in middle school. What an amazing sensation!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite moments in the most romantic city in the world! I’d love to hear from you. Have you been to or dream of going to Paris? What was your favorite thing to do or see?

Glitter Eiffel Tower.jpg
View from the rooftop bar Le Perchoir Marais. On the left is the town hall and in the distance the Eiffel Tower giving one last glimmering show for the evening.

♥ Useful websites when planning your trip:

Until next time: Go.Get.Inspired!

Inspired By…Song lyrics:   La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf

French Original:                                       English Translation:
Quand il me prend dans ses bras        When he takes me into his arms
Il me parle tout bas                                  He speaks to me softly
Je vois la vie en rose                                 And I see life in pink
 
Il me dit des mots d’amour                   He speaks words of love to me
Des mots de tous les jours                     They are every day words
Et ça me fait quelque chose                   And they do something to me
 
Il est entré dans mon cœur                    He has entered into my heart
Une part de bonheur                                 A bit of happiness
Dont je connais la cause                          That I know the cause of
 
C’est lui pour moi                                       It’s only him for me
Moi pour lui dans la vie                             And me for him, for life
Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie              He told me, he swore to me, for life
 
Et dès que je l’aperçois                             As soon as I notice him
Alors je sens en moi                                   I feel inside me
Mon cœur qui bat                                       My heart beating
Disclaimer: ALL pictures are taken by myself and are not to be reproduced without my knowledge and permission.

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