Monday, November 30, 2015

TRAVEL | paris

I'm no stranger in Paris, having been there more than a few times in the past four years. I count myself lucky for having been able to return to such an amazing city again and again, and the thing is, if the opportunity arises I'll still choose to come back on my next Eurotrip. It seems like the oldest cliche in the book but Paris IS always a good idea. There's always something new to discover, whether it be another "most charming boulangerie I've ever seen" or another beautifully curated concept shop selling all the right things.

Every time I visit Paris I'm in awe at how gorgeous the city can be in the sunlight. It's funny because I'm surprised that I forget. I never believe that a city can look that good, that my mental image of the place must've been filtered through years of romanticizing. 

But no, it actually looks that good.

I remember that first afternoon, stepping off of the bus from Brussels. It was drizzling in Paris and I had to meet my mum (who flew in from Hong Kong, and hadn't been to Paris since she my age) at Gare Du Nord. At that point the skies were grey and it was still raining. When we finally met up we were both exhausted from lack of sleep so we took a cab over to one of my favorite cafes. We ordered coffee and a sandwich to split, and as we tucked into our first decent meal in 24 hours the clouds cleared (no bullsh*t!!!!) and sunlight streamed through the trees. At that moment we both had to take a moment to appreciate how wonderful everything was.

I would also like to take this time to say that Airbnb is a godsend! I booked my first apartment in Paris and had the most wonderful stay. We were situated in my usual Montmartre and was close to every thing we'd ever need: grocery stores, patisserie, boulangerie, cafes, sacre coeur etc. 

My favorite part of the apartment was the *surprise* dining room and kitchen *surprise*. It was so comforting to eat something home cooked (& by my mum) after a month of traveling. To book this apartment, check out the link { here } and if you do please say hi to Marcello for me :)

What set this trip apart from the rest is addition of family. My mum and my sister joined me in Paris and we enjoyed 9 adventure-filled days in the city. I took them on a tour of my favorite neighborhoods and showed them many of my favorite shops. It's always been my mum's dream to return to Paris one day and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to ask her to join us. My mum, sister, and I have lived apart for a long timeat one point Kelly was based in the Bay area, mum in Hong Kong, and finally me in Irvine. Money was tight sometimes, so we haven't had a family vacation since 2006. 2015 was really a year of good fortune and I'm grateful we were all able to be in Paris together.

It was a very unusual but memorable reunion. As I mentioned previously, I was coming from Belgium. I arrived in Paris the same morning my mum flew in from Hong Kong. We spent one afternoon together just us and waited for Kelly to fly in from Los Angeles (she arrived the next day).

Reuniting with family is always a good feeling; at that point we hadn't seen Kelly in over 9 months. It was so fun to open the door of our Paris apartment and see her standing outside with her suitcase. Our first meal together was a medley of salads and cheese, which we washed down with a glass of cheap red wine from local grocery store. This one goes into the books for sure.

Oh man, we ate so much in Paris. Looking back, it was just a blur of coffeeshops, pastries, and lots and lots of bread. It's difficult to pinpoint where we had the best meal but I think the pancakes at { Holybelly } deserves a mention. I'm not normally a big fan of pancakes (or cakes in generalit's that fluffy texture..don't like it) but Holybelly's pancakes is making me reconsider my life choices. 

And I didn't even order the pancakes!!! Kelly didI had eggs with mushroom, which was still delicious by the way! But I knew the moment I took a bite of Kelly's pancakes that I had made a terrible terrible mistake. Just look at it! Is that not the most gorgeous plate of breakfast you've ever seen? 

Although I've never actually lived in the city, Paris is beginning to feel like home. I love how the streets began to feel familiar, and I love that I had cafes I could visit over and over again. I know I will be returning soon.. I can feel it in my bones.


  1. Hey dear, your Paris trip looks terrific. I am so pleased that you enjoyed this trip. I am also looking for the best venues in Los Angeles for our honeymoon trip. I want to explore all beautiful places over there. So if you have any list then please share!

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment :)
      And I do happen to have a Los Angeles travel guide here (