Yes, that's right. I went to France for 2 weeks. No husband. No kids. Just me and my mom exploring France and visiting family. The trip was amazing and went beyond any expectation that I had. It was a dream come true for me and I will be forever grateful for the experience. So here you go. I hope my trip inspires you to visit France for yourself.
Day 1. Part: Montmarte
I had a few hours to myself this afternoon, so I decided to explore this little part of Paris. Sacre Couer is one of the most popular landmarks in the city and sits on top of a hill in Montmartre. This Roman Catholic Church is indescribable and pictures do nothing to capture it. I wanted to climb to the top of the dome, but there was a bit of an altercation. The best part of the afternoon was walking through the charming, cobblestone streets of Montmartre. I sampled some macarons, sat at a little cafe and people watched. It was absolute perfection. I can’t wait to meet up with my mom for some more fun!
😂😂😂 COMMENTS FROM MY MOM - Day 3, Part: Palace of Versailles
First pic: Hey, I’m taking a picture can you try and look pretty?
Second pic: Prettier... you don’t look like you belong with the background.
Third pic: Smile or something. Pose. I see you do it all the time. Forget it, just stand there.
Thanks for being the most honest photographer out there. I’m going to leave you with the crazy Asian tourist groups 😂
Day 4. Part: Paris - just me
This afternoon was by far my favorite. There is something about walking through a busy, crowded city on a perfectly cool day that invigorates me. I still enjoy wandering around Sacramento even though I’ve lived there for more than 20 years.
But, this is Paris. I’ve never been here before. Everything was an exciting discovery. Norte-Dame Cathedral was my starting point and after marveling at the Catholic Church, I made my way out exploring. I spent hours walking through charming alleyways and huge, tree-lined streets enjoying both of them equally. I visited little boutique shops with quirky Paris souvenirs. I even popped my head into a Gap just because. I stopped at a brasserie and watched people rush around me while I quietly enjoyed a glass of red wine. I became much more competent at navigating the Metro system and even helped a few tourist find their bus route back to their hotel.
Today was one of the most memorable and satisfying days I’ve ever experienced. The best part was getting a selfie of my #alvesboys heading to school as I was resting from my adventurous day.
Day 6, Part: Le Castellet
I really can’t enough of these quaint little towns. Le Castellet is a medieval village where tourist flock when the weather is nice like it is today. The old buildings sit on top of a hill, and if you have the right angle, you can see a beautiful view of the sea. There just happened to a merchants fair of some sort today with wine tastings and vendors with cute little Knick knacks to browse. We walked up and down the twisty, brick paved streets to window shop. It was another lovely afternoon to add to my journal of French adventures
Day 8, Part: Monaco
I couldn’t believe it when my cousin asked if I wanted to go to Monaco. Ummmm... yeah of course I do! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I fell in love with this place. It has the feel of a busy city, but the quiet charm of a small town. Monaco is its own independent city-state and the second smallest (to the Vatican). I learned that on the “Le Petit Train” tour. Everything is immaculate and well-maintained. The port is full of ultra fancy yachts in the most beautiful blue-green water. Funny story, there are the most luxurious brands available in Monaco’s shopping area... Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Cartier. I got asked twice who made my shirt. It’s from Target 😜😂
After stuffing my face with an Italian lunch and washing it down with a glass of white wine, I wandered through a peaceful garden that led to views of the Mediterranean Sea. I kept looking up at the little windows in the buildings imagining that I could live there. I’d have to come up with a few million dollars, but hey, I can dream.
Day 8. Part: Nice
It was so hard to leave Monaco, but Nice was such a refreshing contrast. The city is livelier and louder. The main market square has a distinct black and white tiled ground and 7 figures of men sitting crisscross applesauce on tall poles. You will have to look at my pictures for reference because I sound like a crazy person. The little shops here are so cute and inviting. We visited a perfume shop, sampled (and bought) some nougat, ate Socca (chickpea pancakes), and tried some gelato before taking a stroll along the beach at sunset. As we made our way back to the main square, everything was lit up and so lovely. The 7 men figures were all in different colors and the fountains that I walked around in the day, were lit up to make a wonderful light show.
Day 10. Part: Cassis
Another day, another port city to explore. Cassis is very small compared to Marseille, but it is just as entertaining. One of the first stops was a biscuit and candy shop where we got to sample some of the most popular flavors of biscuits. Of course we had to purchase a variety for our morning coffee tomorrow. As if we didn’t have enough treats, we had to indulge with what my cousin calls the best gelato. It was beautiful and decadent. After walking the around the port, we took a quick break and I learned of a drink called a “Monaco”... beer with grenadine. I’ll have to give it a try someday.
Day 11. Part: Aix en Provence
This city sounds like a made up French name to me. Aix en Provence is home to art schools and a few universities, so it has a the feel of a college town. My cousin from Southern California and her husband Boris happened to be visiting the south of France, so we all met up. One of the first things we came across was a gathering square with an old fountain. My cousin told me that the surrounding building used to be a brothel, and the balconies were adorned with phallic designs. And yep, there they are (swipe!). My mom didn’t quite see it right away😜
Aix en Provence has many narrow, twisty roads lined with the cutest boutiques. This town is known for its “calisson” which is a candy made with almonds. Some people don’t have a taste for them, but I thought they were quite good. We built up quite an appetite walking around and ended the night with a hamburgers and fries for dinner.
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