A day-by-day account follows, as well as locations of the photos, so you know where to go if you want to replicate similar photos on your own trip, but first this deep thought. You know what I love about traveling? Not packing, no. But returning home and knowing exactly what I didn’t wear. I’m a learner, that’s what I am. So, next time I won’t take the black trench coat without a hood. Why exactly would I own a fashionable trench without a hood, should it rain? Instead, I’ll take something new that I’ll schlep around with me and repack several times and won’t wear the entirety of my vacation.
On this past vacation to Paris, I realized one crucial thing: I need comfortable red flats. They can’t be suede because it always rains, and ideally they’re pointy-ish. They look good with everything, and you can walk all day, race up steps, run for connecting trains, then cross your legs under a bar, point your toes and feel like a person who planned to be at a bar, as opposed to someone who ended up at one.
Highlights from our trip to Paris:
DAY ONE: The past three times I’ve stayed in Paris, I’ve stayed in the St. Germain de pres area. This time was no different. I love the area most, away from the Champs Elysees. Though Montmartre is stunning, I prefer it at night. Here are our highlights from day one: Alain Ducasse, Cafe Varenne, St. Germain area stoll and shopping, Angelina, Polane, Bon Marche, La Grande Epicerie, Luxembourg Gardens, St. Sulpice, Notre Dame, Chez Fernand Escargot, Sorbonne. La Grande Epicerie is outstanding, in the most overwhelming way. Imagine New York’s “Eataly” but on French Crack. The cheese case was extraordinary, with a story about each cheese from each region of France, you can make a whole day of it.
DAY TWO: Trocadero (this is where you go to get photos in front of the Eiffel Tower), Tour Eiffel, Pont. Alex III, walked along the Seine, Strawberries from Rue Saint-Dominique (love this street), Rue Mouffetard (our favorite, a definite must), Panthéon, Montmartre, Basilique du Sacré Coeur, Rue de l’Abreuvoir, Le Consulat, ate at Le Sancerre, took uber past The Louvre just so the kids could see it. I knew we’d be on museum overload in The Netherlands. I wanted more for us to just enjoy cafes and shops, eating pastries and admiring architecture, smelling berries and roaming the cobblestone streets, popping into shops, tasting local cheeses and exploring the gourmet food markets. Before sunset, we took a taxi to Sacre Coeur and relaxed on the steps, people-watching and exploring. To take the photos of the Tour Eiffel at night, we simply walked past the Sacre Coeur and stuck our camera lenses through the bars down the street that keep passersby from falling onto the rooftops below.
DAY THREE: Clothes shopping and French Pharmacie shopping, Cafe du Nord hot chocolates and cheese omelets, Train to Amsterdam, getting to our home, walking around the area (we stayed in the Jordaan section of Amsterdam, right around the corner from the Anne Frank House), eating local Dutch foods, then hitting up the supermarket, using Google Translate app to find heavy cream for my coffee (slagroom).