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I just want to first say, if you are looking for a photographer that will travel the world with you! Hi it is me. I would love to be considered and I will work my booty off too. Win win!! Now that that is out of the way, How is it that I get to travel the world now for work. I can’t wait to share these amazing images and our time around Paris. I’ll post a day by day with Tips and Thoughts. First off we were planning this trip in 2019 for May 2020… But then we all know what happened. Then our trip was revived when our favorite event planner ever posted she was setting up an editorial shoot in Paris. We lucked out and got tickets to that then started to plan. I wish I got our tickets right when it opened as they were the lowest they were going to be. We were initially going to bring the kids but the ticket prices and everyone I met were like don’t do that, they are way to young. So they ended up with sparkly Eiffel towers instead and a fun week with Mima and the Uncles. I apparently plan like a maniac and I made a google map list of photo places and other wonderful things. If you want you can see my crazy map. We didn’t hit all these places though but they were places I found. google map list for Francehttps://goo.gl/maps/wKWr31PMS2938kFy5
Day 0-1: Miami to Paris and Sight Seeing the main sights
So we took the risk and flew an airline called FrenchBee. We upgraded our seats to sorta exit rows. We flew out late like 9pm and arrived in Paris Orly at 12:30. Fly was totally chill going there. The seats are hard and squished together. I recommend getting the two exit row seats if possible. I would fly them again. We had a gate leaving miami but not when we arrived in Paris, we had to take a bus from the tarmac to the airport. But it was easy peasy. We had a driver pick us up from Orly which was included with our booking.com hotel. So that was awesome. Things that made me nervous, well they had a planned strike on 6/6 and it was said to interrupt air traffic controllers but we luckily got to town. So I do like red eyes as I feel like I get a free hotel stay out of the trip lol. I guess I sorta slept too, not sure how but Im glad I bought that trtl neck thing I found on Amazon. Then we arrived nice and quickly 30 minutes to Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche. It was in a great location too. We stayed in the superior room with a balcony and we were able to see the Eiffel Tower too!! If we got in early we could leave our luggage with them but our room was ready for us. Also check out was 12pm. It felt safe and was a quaint area. Once we dropped our luggage, quickly showered we hit the ground running. We met up with Maria and Matthew who were there early.
We walked everywhere, as to help beat Jetlag and it worked! We went right to Notre Dame we did the vintage camera thing, we couldn’t go in still due to the fire in 2019 but it was still a lovely sight. We walked over to the Louvre and walked to the Domaine National du Palais-Royal, through the Tuileries Gardens, by the Jardin des Champs-Élysées, After that we made our way to dinner at La Aligot which is a fun little restaurant that has this dish we had to try. Alight is a dish made from cheese blended into mashed potatoes. I’m was delish! And the server was funny!! We then went to the Arc De Triumph before we ended the evening over at the Eiffel Tower where we sat on the lawn and drank wine and relaxed while waiting for the Eiffel Tower to light up and Sparkle. It was exactly how I planned the afternoon to go.
Day 2: Chateau De Champlatreux & Disneyland Paris
We started today with our Work day. And I royally screwed up. I planned on driving to this Chateau as I was worried about the car situation and Idk I live in Orlando and we have horrible drivers so how hard can it be… It’s hard when you forget your drivers license in the hotel and your husband doesn’t wake up. So we ubered back, ran back down to the rental car, it took like 45 minutes when all said and done then we drove the city of Paris to the countryside but some how we made it!!! I felt so bad to make Maria and this other phhotographer late, but her husband was able to drive just her so that was good. But still so stressful. We photographed the most amazing sets with Styled Shoots Across America which was absolutely stunning. I love that we photographed at such a gorgeous wedding venue in France! It made me want to shoot a wedding there every summer. Seriously if you have a destination wedding and want to pay for my travel fees I will be there happier than anyone else ready to do it all for you guys to shoot your wedding day. Okay shameless post done. Then after the shoot we went to Disneyland Paris and I loved it. It had a vibe and passed the check of said vibe. I haven’t been to Disneyland in California but I loved these parks. It wasn’t such a huge monster and wasn’t nearly as busy. I loved it, but I was exhausted from the crazy morning and the fly yesterday. After Disneyland Paris we made our way back into Paris and had ourselves the latest dinner ever at 1:00am. Which was my fault since I was like admit on finding a cafe to eat at in Paris. Lol
Day 3: Paris, France (Visit some sights and Montmartre area)
Our plan was to start the day with a photo session, but due to a late dinner at 1:00 am, exhaustion took over all of us. We knew we needed at least 5 hours of sleep to prepare for the eventful day ahead. That was legit the smartest choice ever too.
Our first stop was the remarkable Sainte Chappell Cathedral, constructed in 1242. This Medieval Gothic-style cathedral boasted two levels: the upper level reserved for the king and his guests to worship, and the lower level for the palace residents and workers. The cathedral’s floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows were absolutely breathtaking.
Following that, we paid a visit to Shakespeare & Co Bookstore and treated ourselves to delicious gelato from Amorino. (Yes for Breakfast lol) For lunch, we dined at Le Precope, the oldest restaurant in Paris, established in 1686. It was at this historic place where Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin worked on drafting the US Constitution. The venue was amazing looking but I didn’t like some of it. I also didn’t enjoy the aperol spritz, now I am scared of them lol.
After lunch, we went to the stunning Musée de l’Orangerie to see once of my favorite artists Monet. I can not believe I saw his waterlily Paintings on display. Words cannot do justice to their beauty. After that we walked back to stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens and found a beautiful spot to sit at for a bit. (While our friends went to poop).
In the evening, we headed towards Montmartre, an enchanting area of Paris filled with charming brick and cobblestone streets, picturesque homes, and rolling hills. Atop Montmartre sits the magnificent Sacre Coeur, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. This spot easily became one of my favorites in all of Paris. We took our time exploring the square, admiring the local artists, and even purchased several paintings.
Tomorrow, we bid farewell to Paris and embark on our journey to the Normandy region, where we will visit the awe-inspiring Mont St. Michel!
Day 4: Paris Sunrise Photoshoot & Mont Saint Michel
We woke up rather early (Sunrise is 5:30am) to do a sunrise session at the Eiffel Tower. We had an uber drive us to the Trocadéro to start the photoshoot. It wasn’t busy but it was getting there quickly. Then we walked and did some one the steps to the right, you need to move quickly due to the amount of photoshoots. Then we walked quickly to 4 Av. de Camoens, 75116 Paris, France for the other cute spot for the Eiffel Tower. After that we Ubered again too the outside of the Louvre Museum where we saw one of our friends from the shoot crawl. I had a ton of spots but we needed to move quickly to get to our rental car. But then we had another krfulle and didn’t have the right credit card lol. Also just so everyone knows get the bigger car. I had the worst trip ever sharing a seat and a quarter with Mark for 9+hours in the car all around the French Countryside. After our morning sessions in Paris, we embarked on a four-hour horrible drive to the enchanting Normandy region, where our destination awaited—Mont St. Michel!
Tips: If you are staying overnight pack light as the trip up is very steep and full of stairs.We only had two backpacks at least. Rolling suitcase aren’t going to work.
Let’s chat about this amazing location. A thousand years ago, the construction of the Abbey began, earning it the reputation as the medieval wonder of the west. The island’s strategic location, surrounded by the powerful high tide, made it incredibly challenging to attack. As a result, King Louis XI transformed it into a prison.
Words cannot express the sheer magnificence of this place. Even though we have only scratched the surface of its exploration, I am utterly mesmerized. Mont St. Michel has occupied a prominent position on my Pinterest list for as long as I can remember, and to witness it in person is nothing short of surreal. I worked my butt off in planning the trip and this part really took some time. I read all the reviews everywhere, It took me forever to find a place and make sure it was perfect. I love this hotel and the charm. We stayed at Auberge Saint Pierre. Check in was interesting you walk through the restaurant from a medieval street. Then you check in and follow your hotel check in lady into the town, up and around buildings and you need to mind your head and enter this little nook of an area. (Sorta like a free standing house turned into two hotel rooms). We were in the village just below the castle! It feels like I’m living out my time period dreams. Our room offers the most breathtaking view, loud ass seagulls and overlooking the picturesque village and the Bay. Maria and Matthew were upgraded to an amazing room which is good since we were stuck in the back of the car lol. I was really saddened by the rain that we had on and off. We had dinner at the famous La Mere Poulard, which they are known for their famous fluffy omelettes cooked over a wood fire. Mark had the best steak of his life, which was also the smallest. I was drinking my rain sadness away and then after dinner the sky opened up and I probably had one of the tipsiest photoshoots ever. But everything was in focus and I was a giant pain in the ass. We drank a smidge more at a tavern then brought a bottle to Maria and Matthews ridiculously amazing room (not jealous at all, yes I am, I’m very jealous) and we enjoyed the night.
Here’s a fascinating tidbit: Mont St. Michel served as the inspiration for the castle in the movie “Tangled.” This discovery adds an extra layer of enchantment to an already incredible experience
I highly suggest coming here and staying the night to be in the town when all the tourist leave. It is the coolest place I’ve ever stayed.
Day 5 : Mont St. Michel & Loire Valley
This morning, we awakened to the loudest seagulls in the world and they were lucky that they had cute babies with them. I had a slight headache from the Vin and not enough water. Our tiny little window remained open throughout the night so the birds were so loud. The other amazing part of staying on the island we got to be the first to enter the Abbey. We explored this massive place and castle. We marveled at the grand dining halls, the exquisite Abby, and the breathtaking gardens. It was an absolutely astonishing experience, and without a doubt, Mont St. Michel truly stands out. We ate again at the famous La Mere Poulard. We all got the steaks.
Now, we are embarking on our journey to the middle of France, the Loire Valley, where we will spend the next two nights in a Cave house and we will visiting stunning chateaus and gardens. So yes another 3 hours or so in the Car again. My but hurts thinking about it. But once we got to our Airbnb it was all worth it. I love Lottie, the host, she greeted us and showed us the house and She must have known we were stuck in the back of a car with the luggage having more room than us and gave me a bottle of wine. Our airbnb was in the cute town of Amboise. Like dude this town was cute!! Our Airbnb hosts recommended dinner at yummy Chez Bruno. It was my favorite meal of the trip. That goat cheese salad delish!! I wish we got here earlier because there was some amazing little winery in town and leonardo da vinci was buried here.
Day 6: Loire Valley Chateau Chenonceau (my favorite) & Chateau De Chambord (giant, not my speed)
Our morning began with a visit to Chateau Chenonceau, a remarkable castle constructed in the early 1500s. Nestled amidst a tranquil moat, this architectural gem is adorned with two breathtaking gardens on either side. I find myself falling head over heels for these French castles; they hold a special place in my time period movie piece heart. This chateau has a cool history of drama too. Chicks fighting and one upping each other with gardens and some good girl boss moves.
We leisurely strolled through the enchanting gardens, immersing ourselves in their romantic ambiance. I met a nice solo traveler and took his picture and we laughed a bit too. This is also where I did my fun transition video!! To enhance our experience, we indulged in a delightful wine tasting within the castle’s cellar. Afterward, we sat down for a satisfying lunch, with you guest it another bottle of wine to replenishing our energy after exploring the castle’s splendid grounds.
Our next stop in the Loire Valley was the magnificent Chateau De Chambord, a castle that served as the inspiration for the iconic Beauty and the Beast. And let me tell you, it truly lived up to its name as a “beast” of a castle! This colossal structure left me sorta like geez this place is toooo big.
Here’s an interesting fact: The center staircase, located right at the heart of the chateau, was actually designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci himself. It’s incredible to think that such a genius had a hand in creating this architectural masterpiece, he also had a residence in Amboise, another town in the Loire Valley. Which is why he is buried within the Castle in Amboise as well. The rich history and artistic connections in this region are truly captivating.
Day 7: Au revoir
We drove to the airport and had a fun time dealing with seat changes, hugely rude and mad people on the plane. I luckily noticed the error and got two seats which were together but a kind lady moved for us. I wish I slept on the fight but since I was at the exit door I felt the need to guard the door. Yes I just saw the TikTok video of that moron who opened the door and I was ready to throat punch someone if needed. Someone needed to be but not because of the exit. Another story for another time. Our flight also almost didn’t make it in due to weather but we lucked out and landed after circling for an hour. Then we did the 4 hour drive home that almost did me in.
All in all we loved our trip. There were some inconveniences and it was too fast but too long to be away from our babies. I typically am a 5 day max away from the kids before I miss them and my bed. If someone actually reads this high five!!
Sorta just wrote it so I wouldn’t forget incase someone asks me about where we stayed and what we loved.