Here at the shop, its no secret we love all things French and Parisian. We spend our days looking for new products made in France and over all just day dreaming about drinking a glass of rosé along a cute cafe. Most recently, the youngest member of the Peach team just got back from a school exchange trip to Paris, and we all started dreaming and reminiscing about our first trips to the city of lights…
KAREN’S FIRST TRIP TO PARIS:
For the great majority of my life I had dreamt of going to Paris, and I finally did when I was 42, to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.
Months of ogling different web sites and hotel suggestions; I couldn’t afford the George V, but did find Hotel de Tourville in the 7th arrondissement, which turned out to be the perfect place for a week. (Yes, I WOULD stay there again!)
- A tour of Saint Chappell, followed by an evening concert in the chapel with the sun setting through the stained glass.
- Eating in an outdoor cafe on the Isle St. Louis.
- A FULL day trip to Versailles, and even though the hall of mirrors was closed for restoration, Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet made up for it, followed by dinner in the town of Versailles.
- The Rue St. Claire was close to our hotel, and everyday I found some new little shop, or fromagerie, or boulangerie. My favorite was an olive oil boutique.
- People watching in the Jardin des Tuileries
- Strolling on the quay along the Seine at night.
MILISSA’S FIRST TRIP TO PARIS:
My first trip to Paris coincided with my 18th birthday. Paris was at the height of political upheaval when my school group arrived and the losing side was releasing tear gas bombs in Metro stations. On my birthday morning, we walked right into a cloud of gas that sent us running, crying and gasping, to street level. Two asthma attacks later I returned to my hotel room and threw myself on the bed, sobbing. “Worst birthday ever” I thought to myself between sniffles. A quiet knock at the door revealed my French teacher, single red rose in hand, “Mademoiselle, may I escort you to the café?” Well, (sniffle) why not? We sat at a tiny table near the sidewalk, each with a glass of wine. And as a newly minted adult, we watched the lovely panorama of Paris unfold before us, while twilight fell. Best birthday ever!
MICHELLE’S FIRST TRIP TO PARIS:
I went on my first (and only…so far!) trip to Paris on a month long backpacking trip through Europe just a few years ago when I was 23. I traveled with my best friend from high school, and while it took us months to plan the trip, we had talked about it for years! I stayed in a teeny tiny 7 floor walk up “studette” near the Louvre and later in a verrrrry cheap little hostel in the Latin Quarter. While normally I am against doing ‘Touristy’ things (I’ve still never been to the Sears tower!) I went HAM on it in Paris. I was so excited to see the Louvre, go to Versailles, shop along the Champs-Élysées, and put a lock on the love bridge (you can see me totally embarrassing my friend by putting a lock on the bridge in the bottom right photo).
My favorite memory? One of days I was traveling was just flat out terrible. I got stuck in the rain sans umbrella and got puddled by a bus ala Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex & The City credits. Eventually I found an abandoned phone booth to dry off in (remember those?) I was freezing and everything just sucked. I wanted to cry, but didn’t want to waste an afternoon being a brat. So, once the rain stopped I bought a bottle of wine and a box of macarons and sat along the Seine. All of the sudden, everything went from terrible to magical. I felt like I was in the epicenter of this dreamland, and in that moment everything was beautiful and peaceful.
GABI’S FIRST TRIP TO PARIS:
I went to Paris for the first time a few months ago, just before my 18th birthday, on an exchange trip with OPRF.
It was just approaching dusk on my first night in Paris when my host brother, Luis, and I headed to Montmartre to meet up with friends. People covered every inch of the streets and sidewalks that they began to blur together until I couldn’t tell the difference. Luis walked behind me with his hands on my shoulders guiding me through the streets while making sure not to lose me. As we continued walking we came to the Sacre-Coeur, something I had only seen in pictures the French students sent me. It was, and still is, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Luis noticed me staring up in amazement and offered to take me to the top where I would get the “most amazing view of Paris”. I stared bewildered at the amount of stairs required to reach the church, but which really only made getting to the top that much more gratifying. He walked me over to the edge of the hill where, once more, people crowded every inch of the space. As I looked out at the view before me, it suddenly became very real that I was in Paris. I began to tear up at the sheer beauty of where I was and how lucky I felt in that moment. Just when I thought the night had gotten as perfect as it possibly could, Luis takes me down this quieter street around the church where a man sat playing “La Vie en Rose” on the accordion. At the time I did not know the name of the song, only that it sparked a heartwarming recognition of what little music I associated with Paris. By now, the tears were flowing down my cheeks and I twirled around Luis while he playfully teased me for crying. We came back to the Sacre-Coeur several times that week and though each time was breath-taking, nothing could ever compare to that very first night.
Have you been to Paris? Tell us about your first trip!