Visiting Paris has always been on my bucket list and my two best friends and I have been talking about planning a trip for what seems like forever. Finally, one day while perusing flight deals we decided to just go for it. The plan was to travel to Paris first, London second and take the train back and forth. In hindsight, flying into Paris would've been much easier, especially after a long flight and jet lag. But easy doesn't make great memories! The train was actually quite convenient and a great way to relax after a long flight. You can buy snacks (and WINE) for your 2 hour trip without even leaving the station.
We chose to stay in an Airbnb as opposed to a hotel, which I love because you feel more like a local coming and going from your pied-à-terre. Le Marais was the perfect location to immerse ourselves in the best restaurants and most amazing little shops and architecture. There are so many fantastic restaurants within walking distance that it was hard to choose where to eat each meal.
A favorite breakfast spot was Ob la Di. The goat cheese and fig tartine was next level. An amazing spot for dinner is Cafe Constant. The French onion soup was, hands down, the best thing that I've ever eaten. It is a super short walk to the Eiffel Tower so it’s smart to stay for a leisurely Parisienne dinner and then head over to sit on the grass and watch the tower light up.
I have to say the food was by far my favourite thing about staying in Paris (it could have something to do with the fact that I was newly pregnant at the time). Every time we stopped for a cafe creme and pastry I grabbed a backup pastry to carry in my purse for later on. The pain au chocolat and the croissants aux amandes are a pregnant lady's dream come true!
Paris is not your city if you don't enjoy walking! Walking is the easiest and most convenient way to get around. Although, once you figure out how to navigate the Metro you can give your weary feet a rest. We tried to stay away from the stereotypical touristy places and make our own tour, while still seeing all of the important sights. We opted to hit a couple of the smaller museums instead. Musee D'Orsay was spectacular and a photographers dream inside. The light streaming in through the glass ceiling was so beautiful. We stumbled upon the quirky, little museum Musee De La Chasse et Del La Nature. Its filled with weird and unique taxidermy animals and some amazing photo ops. Every neighbourhood of Paris has its own unique charm and it’s so fun just wandering around taking in (and photographing) all of the sights that each area has to offer.
Everyone warned us about the bad service and classic French sneer. While the service wasn’t generally “great” by North American standards, we found that everyone was actually pretty friendly and even tolerated us testing out our terrible high school French. Autumn was the perfect time to visit, without crowds and the weather was amazing. The most relaxing afternoon was spent lounging in the chairs around the pond in the Tuileries Gardens, enjoying a baguette and watching all of the very public displays of affection. It was hard not to stare, but the lovers in Paris really take the term French kiss to another level! The tiny wine bars throughout the gardens are a great spot to stop for an afternoon break with a bottle of rose (just be prepared to fight off the pigeons). We noticed that everyone was comfortable at a slower pace and aren't afraid to just sit and relax. It’s refreshing to look around a bistro and not see anyone glued to their phone.
Trying to balance wedding season with being a mom is pretty full time for me. I spend every weekend shooting and often end up editing late into the night when my family is asleep and the house is quiet. As busy as things get during those summer months, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Its pretty fantastic being able to work hard doing what I love for a few months and then have the financial freedom to take a much needed break and see the world. There's nothing more inspiring than seeing new sights and absorbing new cultures. I find that I return home feeling refreshed and ready to prepare my business for the next year!
Bonjour! My name is Lisa and I am the woman behind Mint Photography. I live near the mountains in North Vancouver, British Columbia with my growing family. Photography is my passion and I love capturing adventurous couples and families and the beauty of the West Coast. You can follow along with my adventures on Instagram @mintphoto.co