Paris Photo Diary // Shopping + Museums + Montmartre

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper outside the Louvre in Paris France
These are the last of my Paris photos. Well, not really - I have hundreds that I DIDN'T share, but no worries, you'll be seeing them pop up at random times on Instagram ;) The following pics were taken during my last three days in France. My parents and I did LOTS of sightseeing, obviously lots of walking, and saw lots of gorgeous art. 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper at the Eiffel Tower at night in Paris
Day 4: Cafes / Musée d'Orsay / Galeries Lafayette
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper outside a cafe in Paris France
After brunch (actually not BRUNCH brunch; apparently "brunch" is mainly just an NYC thing,) and of course some macaroons from Laduree, my mom, dad, and I headed to Musée d'Orsay - aka an art museum located on the left bank of the Seine. In the photo below, the museum is in the background. Fun fact: It's housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, which was a train station built between 1898 & 1900.
While we experienced summertime weather every other day we were in Paris, on this particular day, it was rainy and a bit chilly. So this was the day we decided to visit one of Paris' most famous (and most beautiful) malls - Galeries Lafayette. We went to the flagship store, which was actually not far from our hotel, and we made sure to hit every single level. At the top, the view of the streets below was just amazing! 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's street style in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's street style in Paris France
This photo was taken in Le Sofa, another cafe we had the pleasure of dining in. In the U.S., we think of "cafes" as little sandwich shops or coffee places. In France though, cafes are any restaurant - even some of the fanciest establishments have "cafe" tacked on to the end of their name. 
Day 5: Musée de l'Orangerie / Le Grand Musée du Parfum / Jardin des Tuileries
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper inside the musee de l'orangerie in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper inside the musee de l'orangerie in Paris France
L'Orangerie is, you guessed it, another incredible art museum. This particular one is known for its breathtaking Monet rooms. The museum showcases Claude Monet's water lily paintings in these white circular rooms that have loads of natural lighting. It makes for a truly unique and special viewing experience. 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper inside the musee de l'orangerie in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper looking at Monet's water lilies in Paris France
Before coming to Paris, I had read about a new museum all about scents called Le Grand Musée du Parfum, aka the Grand Museum of Perfume. While all other museums we visited had been about the eyes, this one centered on the nose. Not only was the museum itself gorgeous and bright, but it was fun to learn about how perfume is made, take a blind scent test, and obvi try on wayyy too much perfume! 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper inside the grand museum of perfume in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper inside the grand museum of perfume in Paris France

Back at the park next to our hotel, Jardin des Tuileries, my parents and I relaxed a bit, people watched, and reflected on the day's adventures so far. 

Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's street style in Paris France
It's kind of embarrassing how many times I went to Laduree. But come on, when in Paris...
Day 6: final full day / Montmartre / The Louvre
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper on Montmartre in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper on Montmartre in Paris France
Montmartre is a hill in northern Paris that, once you climb to the top, leads into an adorable and quaint town. Also at the top of Montmartre is Sacré-Cœur, which is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris - aka a gorgeous church. 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's street style in Paris FranceFashion blogger Kathleen Harper on Montmartre in Paris France
My parents and I loved walking around the Montmartre town. It was super picturesque with its narrow cobblestone streets, short white buildings, and colorful storefronts. We passed by this crepe shop that smelled AMAZING, and we almost stayed...but we had to get The Louvre. 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's summer fashion in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper on Montmartre in Paris France
Ahh, the iconic glass pyramid/entrance to The Louvre. It's a must-see landmark for ALL Paris visitors, and it felt unreal to actually be there. Even better, we ended up eating dinner after hours at the super nice restaurant, Le Café Marly, located inside The Louvre. We dined out on the terrace and got to watch the pyramid light up once the sun set. *Sigh*
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper outside the Louvre in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper outside the Louvre in Paris France
But while the outside of The Louvre is definitely a sight to see, the inside is JUST as jaw-dropping...if not more. Directly below, I'm gazing up at the Venus de Milo, and below that, I'm admiring one of Michelangelo's sculptures. We also got to see the Mona Lisa, which quite honestly had me giddy with excitement! 
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper at the Louvre in Paris France
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper at the Louvre in Paris France
To say the least, my trip to Paris was everything I had dreamed of and more. It was perfection. My family and I are hoping to go back as soon as 2018, but we'll see what the next year has in store for us. Until then, au revoir Paris, je t'aime!
Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper at the Louvre in Paris France

Paris Photo Diary // Seine + Notre Dame + Eiffel Tower

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fashion blogger Kathleen Harper in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris France
You guys! I'm back from Paris (as of last week,) and I have SO much to share. I've decided to split up my magical trip into two posts, and while there are definitely more pics here than I normally share per entry - believe it or not - this is a trimmed version of the post I originally wanted to share. 
Day 1: arrive in Paris / explore the area surrounding our hotel / stroll along the Seine River. 
The Seine is a river that runs through Paris. The walkways bordering the Seine are so picturesque, my dad and I couldn't help taking loads of photos while we strolled along. You can take boat tours on the Seine during the day or at night, and there's also cute outdoor restaurants/bars that overlook it. 
The name of this bridge is Pont Alexandre III, and it was a goal of mine to find it and take photos on it. Doing my research before I arrived in France, I knew this landmark was a must-see, and it did not disappoint. Isn't it grand? 
Good news, everyone -- there are hotdogs in Paris! 
My parents and I were so lucky, this gorgeous park, Jardin des Tuileries, was literally right across from our hotel - the Westin Paris-Vendome. We took a walk through it virtually every day, and I kind of fell in love. Can you see the Eiffel Tower in the background? On our second day, I ate macaroons here while I watched the Eiffel Tower light up at night. 
For those who have been to Europe before, you already know this. But insane beauty is everywhere you turn! I have no idea what this building was, but nonetheless it was stunning and just had to be photographed. Structures just like this are literally EVERYWHERE in Paris. I was in awe of how gorgeous everything was. 
Day 2: cafe visits // Notre Dame // tons of walking. 
Ah, cafes. Adorable cafes are one of the best parts of Paris, and anyone who's been will tell you that. Just sit, eat a croissant, and people watch - it's so simple yet one of the coolest things you'll do in Paris. I love how the chairs face the street - ideal for soaking in the beauty that is Paris. 
Visiting Notre Dame was definitely a highlight of my trip. Not only did I have major Hunchback of Notre Dame flashbacks, but the view at the top of the cathedral is the best view you'll get of Paris. The journey to the top, while tiring, was historical and part of the whole experience. It's crazy to think that construction on this masterpiece began in the 1100's! 
While obviously I did actual shopping in Paris, it was super fun to check out these little sidewalk stands. There was a lot of beautiful art to discover! 
Day 3: Shopping / Visit to a hair salon / Eiffel Tower.
I traveled to Paris with my mom and dad - it was just the three of us, which was really special. Since I have two siblings, it's rare that I'm ever alone with my parents. Below is a picture of my mom and I, and below that, it's my dad and me. We clearly had a lot of fun posing in front of the Eiffel Tower - despite the sporadic rain! 
Seeing the Eiffel Tower up close and personal was unbelievable - it has a beauty that cannot be captured in photos. It was on my bucket list to see this iconic landmark in person, but I never thought it would happen so soon. 
Stay tuned...