Paris: Day Two

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Day two in Paris was one of my favorites. We started the morning at the best neighborhood bakery, Petite Marquise, for cafe cremes and croque monsieurs. Up first on the agenda was the Arc de Triomphe. Living in Washington, D.C. with monuments at every turn, I didn't expect to be so enamored with this Parisian landmark. But it was fascinating, stunning and perfectly set the stage for our walk down the Champs-Elysées.

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paris-arc

The Champs-Elysées in all its grandeur is arguably one of the world's most famous streets—and most touristy. While it's certainly a must see, it also felt very familiar—with name brand stores lining the street. We walked the length of the avenue ending at the Place de la Concorde, and were surprised to stumble upon an adorable holiday market. After stocking up on French lavender it was on to Montemartre and the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.

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I found it so interesting the differences of each neighborhood we visited. The moment we came up from the metro in Montemartre it was clear we were worlds away from the business of the Champs-Elysées. Montemartre, was one of my favorites. It felt authentic, peaceful and distinctly Parisian. We wandered the streets for a while before making our way to the highest point in Paris. I'm not sure if the panoramic views of the city, or the Basilica itself was more captivating—both were stunning.

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Cold and a little tried from walking all afternoon, we stopped at a small cafe for something warm to drink and some much needed wi-fi before continuing to explore the neighborhood. I realized what must have been an hour later that I had left my purse (credit cards, ID and all) at the restaurant! Having heard Montemartre wasn't the safest area in Paris, I wasn't hopeful. When we walk in our waiter smiled (he didn't speak English) and pranced out wearing my purse. I was shocked, amused, and so very thankful. Paris certainly has a bad reputation for being less than hospitable to tourists—but for us that notion couldn't have been further from the truth. Everyone we met treated us with such kindness and patience.

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After the purse debacle, I was so excited to take my mom and Adam to what is now my favorite restaurant in Paris, Le Refuge des Fondues. Tucked away in the winding streets of Montmartre—it comes highly recommended by DesignLoveFest's Bri Emery.

The menu: minimal (but delicious). The space: tight (you literally have to climb over the table to get to your seat). Dinner includes the choice of cheese or meat fondue and red or white wine, served in baby bottles (how fun!). A tip: come early, as the place fills up quickly!

The day couldn’t have been any more perfect (minus forgetting my purse). And to spend it seeing the sights with my two favorite people—a true blessing. next up // day three

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paris-fondue-1