Last but not least on my spring break extravaganza, I spent ten lovely days in Paris! The first four days in Paris were part of a trip organized by my school, the London College of Fashion. In those four days, we toured around the city, visited alternative fashion stores, and of course, ate delicious food! Here are some of the highlights...
We visited the flagship store for Makeup Forever, a French cosmetics brand. The store treated us to 40% off of our purchases, which was so generous! It was so fun trying on different shades of lipstick and eyeshadow, and I ended up purchasing a new foundation that I'm in love with!
You can't visit Paris without making a trip to the Louvre, the city's most famous art museum and home to the Mona Lisa. I toured the whole museum the last time I was in Paris, and as much as I love a good piece of art, I'm not much of a fan of crazy crowds. So this time around, I instead chose to admire another famous work at the Louvre: the Pyramid by I.M. Pei (fun fact: Pei also designed the Johnson Art Museum on Cornell's campus!!).
We stopped at Pierre Hermé, a bakery famous for its macarons. It's been said that these are even tastier than Laudrée, which I think is a bit of a stretch. But, they do have a very tasty salted caramel apple macaron!
Of course, one cannot travel to Paris as a fashion student without running into CHANEL! We made a quick trip to Gabrielle Chanel's first boutique on the Rue Cambon, and afterword we visited the Place Vendôme, a famous plaza in Paris where all of the most prestigious jewelers have their shops. The shape of this plaza is octagonal, and it served as Gabrielle's inspiration when she designed the cap of the famous Chanel No. 5 bottle.
Colette is a popular concept store in Paris that showcases extremely trendy (and high priced) garments. It is rare to see people actually dressed in these crazy silhouettes and patterns, but stores like Colette are a great place to see trends before they reach their peak and to get inspired!
Love these hats at Colette! It's kind of crazy that the whole "Make ___ Great Again" movement has extended beyond the US!
Another must-see in Paris: the famous Notre Dame cathedral! This building has the most unbelievable stained glass windows!
For dinner one evening, we went to Le Refuge des Fondus in Montmartre, a fun fondue restaurant where wine is served out of a baby bottle!
We also visited Musée de l'Orangerie, home to Monet's water lilies, as well as large collection of works by famous artists including Picasso, Matisse, and Cézanne.
Another concept store we visited was called Merci. Unlike Colette, where everything was high-end and high-priced, Merci had a wider range of accessibly priced items. While a little less trendy, this store is full of fun little knick knacks, home goods, books, and more! Each season, the store changes its theme. Right now, it's focused on feminine spring!
I spent the rest of my time in Paris with my wonderful family. My cousin Caitlin and her fiancee Jake live in Paris, so my brother, cousin Bailey, aunt Abby, and uncle Scott came to Paris for a fun family vacation! We stayed right near the famous Sacré-Couer Cathedral, which is as magnificent on the inside as it is on the outside!
This was Sammy's first time in Paris, so we spent his first full day there hitting all the important tourist spots, including the Eiffel Tower!
We met up with Caitlin, Jake, and Bailey to tour the Catacombs, which is essentially an underground series of tunnels and alleyways that hold the remains of more than six million people. The entire Catacombs span for about 200 miles, and it is located deep within the ground, below the city's subway system! The whole experience was so creepy! Lots of weird stuff has gone on in the Catacombs over the years, and if you're traveling to Paris soon, you should totally check it out. Just make sure to book a ticket in advance because the lines can get very long!
Paris's Jewish Quarter is home to some of the best Israeli food in Europe. We happened to go to L'As du Fallafel for lunch on Purim (a Jewish holiday that is quite similar to Halloween), and not only was the food delicious, but the restaurant and the entire street were so lively! There was music playing, people running around in sill costumes, and old rabbis trying to wrap my brother and Jake with tefillin.
Afterwards, we visited the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an art museum commissioned by the fashion brand. There were no exhibitions currently taking place inside, so we got to enjoy the scenic views around the building!
Since all the galleries were empty, we were allowed to go in and "be the art."
Upon leaving the Fondation, Bailey, Sammy, and I discovered a mini theme park nearby. It was definitely geared toward young kids, but a few of the rides we went on felt seriously not safe (but still fun!)
That evening, we had an amazing meal at Sacrée Fleur, which including escargot, frog legs (so good!), and the best steak I've ever had!
On our last full day in Paris, we went to Versailles to tour the famous palace! While the building is magnificent, the highlight of the day for me was the four cheese crepe I had for lunch (sorry, I ate it too quickly to capture a photo!).
Spring break was like a dream come true! It's crazy to think that my time abroad is almost over (I will be home in less than a month!!). I can't wait to spend the rest of my time abroad making more amazing memories (and maybe doing a little bit of homework.)