(view from the top of the ferris wheel)
recently i was contacted by
a chicago based mom of 3
and travel advocate and spokeswoman.
kendra asked if i'd collaborate with
her on a project she's doing..
sharing information about my home city..
after living here for a year and a half
i'm certainly no expert
but i will share what i have learned
about living here so far
as well as some of my favorite
things to do!
if you're coming to paris
for a weekend
or a month..
i would try to balance both
acting like a tourist
acting like a parisian!
cross off the museums and
monuments on your bucket list
pack your umbrella and
your most stylish
and comfortable pair of shoes
and walk this beautiful city.
pop into a boulangerie for une baguette,
or sit at a cafe with your journal
for a rest and to people watch.
(my favorite thing to do here in paris!)
some people have asked me when is the best
time to visit paris.
i don't think there is a bad time to visit paris..but,
august is crowded and hot
and most parisians flee the city for their
november is comparatively quiet,
but the weather can be iffy.
paris is lit up in december
for the holidays and
april in paris is always a good idea
if someone tells me they're
getting ready to travel to paris,
i tell them to pack a suitcase inside
now you can shop!
you have to bring something
home from paris..
whether it's a chanel bag
from rue montaigne
or an eiffel tower souvenir
from one of the gazillion sellers
around the tower itself.
personally, i love shopping the
get the image of the pharmacy
in the back of CVS or Target
right out of your head..
many of the pharmacies here
are gorgeous! with beautiful window
displays and helpful pharmacists.
another inexpensive and sentimental
souvenir is having your (or your children's)
in the warmer months the artists
are lined up along trocadero and
the eiffel tower.
i cherish those we had done
of our kids.
shopping the markets in paris,
flea or food
is a must in my book.
i feel my most parisian when
shopping for dinner at my local
open air market.
and not only have i learned so much
about buying the freshest food possible,
but my french improves every time i go.
where to start?
well, if i had to choose
one restaurant i'd go to
La Closerie des Lilas.
have a drink at hemingway's
seat at the bar before dinner.
honestly, i don't think i've had
a bad meal here in paris yet.
our new favorite..
Bistro Saint Dominique
in the 7th.
great food..good price
and lovely location.
the spiral staircase is made
from scraps from the eiffel tower.
yes you can stay in
paris without remortgaging
but if you can afford to stay
at the Four Seasons George V..
go for it!
it's drop dead gorgeous inside.
steve and i like to go to le bar
for a martini..hoping to
run in to oprah.
i would highly suggest
that if you're in paris for more than
a week..look into renting an apartment.
you'll save money having a kitchen
and not eating out 3 meals a day
and think of how parisian you'll feel!
visiting another country and experiencing its
culture is an education in itself.
hiring a tour guide
or joining a walking tour group
is fun and the few that we've
been on have been fantastic!
we've met many great people
through them as well.
as a family we love
visiting the many museums
paris has to offer.
our favorite is the
natural history museum.
the first sunday of every
month, many museums offer
and if you're pushing a stroller..
bypass the queue and walk right in!
another inexpensive, fun and educational
thing to do is to take a one hour cruise
along the seine.
TOURISM DONE RIGHT
we recently moved into
a new apartment here in paris.
we have an amazing view of
the eiffel tower.
every day i can see
the people lining up to go to the top.
yes, it's a thrill to go to the top of
the eiffel tower, however,
in my opinion the best view of
paris is from the top of the ferris wheel!
another one of my favorite things to do
here in paris is to have a picnic under the
eiffel tower in the evening.
stay long enough to watch the sparkles!
head to a boucherie for a rotisserie chicken
and potatoes, the boulangerie for a baguette,
and fromagerie for cheese and wine.
"if you are lucky enough to have lived in paris
as a young man, than wherever you go for the rest
of your life, it stays with you, for paris is a
moveable feast" ~ Ernest Hemingway
And if you're headed to Chicago...here are Kendra's
An Insider's Guide to the Best of Chicago
It's no secret that cities in general, and particularly the country's truly dense midsize
to large urban centers, are social, cultural, and recreational magnets. It seems as if
every large, well-known metropolis has its own niche, its own character, and its own
soul. Case in point: Chicago is the blues infused; Prohibition-era gangster tinged
New York of the Midwest. While some people may snub it in favor of the Big Apple
or other places, Chicago is a great place to be.
Everyone, no matter his or her background or state in life, loves a good deal. When
in Chicago, the fashionistas flock not the Magnificent Mile, but to Oak Street. While
the tourists are ooh-ing and ahh-ing a few streets over, the locals and tourists
in the know come to Oak Street (which is just a few blocks over from The Mile,
anyway) to get their fashion fix. Interestingly, while the fashion is as avant-garde
as it gets, many of the shops that sell it are based in historic converted houses, not
Chicago is a great place to get a bite to eat. One of the best overall experiences in
the whole of Chicago has to be Lou Mitchells diner. It isn't just the homey, cheap,
filling food that makes this place special - it's the charm that comes along with it.
For instance, "Uncle Lou", as the proprietor is affectionately known, will happily
dole out Milk Duds to any women and children that happen to cross the restaurant's
threshold. Why? Well, if you believe the legend, he and the creator of Milk Duds
(which, by the way, are a Chicago original), are old friends.
Nothing caps off a great day in the city like a great night's sleep. The hotels in
Chicago are so numerous and so varied that to try and list the absolute best one
here is simply impossible. I do however; recommend choosing one within the city limits. It makes it easier to explore the city and stumble upon some really cool sites.
One of the most whimsical and just plain fun things to do in Chicago is the chartering
of a voyage on an actual tall ship - you know, the kind pirates (and just about
everyone else) used before the advent of steam and other modern sources of power.
A voyage on "The Windy" blends a great day of sailing on Lake Michigan with a dose
of education, making it a great trip for all ages, and especially for families.
TOURISM DONE RIGHT
For anyone who absolutely must do the tourist route, the Willis Tower - which loyal
natives still call the Sears Tower - is something that's actually worth seeing. Or, more
specifically, the view from the top is what's magnificent. The Sears / Willis Tower
used to be the world's tallest building, and its Sky Deck is a stunning reminder of
what that means. Guests will marvel at the views afforded by their 103-story vantage
point, which is actually a glass pod. This gives viewers the impression that they're
flying, and is as close to skydiving as you can get without leaping from an airplane.
And there you have it. Now that you know the best places to go in Chicago, it's time
for the fun to begin! Just be careful - one taste of the Windy City has hooked many a
tourist for life. Enjoy!
It was great working with you!