So about three years ago I fell in love with Paris... all because of a book. Anna and the French Kiss. This book seriously made me OBSESSED. I redecorated my room, I wanted to learn to speak French, and I began to dream of taking a trip to Paris. In my family, on your sixteenth birthday you get to take a trip to pretty much wherever you want. I knew where I wanted to go when I turned sixteen. PARIS. So this summer I finally got to go with my mom and I was lucky enough that my best friend, Megan, got to tag along with us. And my mom also decided to go to London as well! So, basically it was a mix of Etienne St. Clair... French boys and English boys. And the trip was beyond amazing. Better than I even dreamed. So here's what we did... (Be prepared for LOTS of photos. I'm warning you now...)
Where we went was basically planned around ALL of the places in Anna and the French Kiss. And we did go to every single place mentioned. Except for the top of Notre Dame... :( The lines were always insanely long and we never had the time to wait...
We rented an apartment in Paris so we could feel all French and such and THIS was the view from our apartment...
Yeah, that's the Eiffel Tower. Right by our apartment. It was CRAZY.
Here's the inside of our apartment:
These stairs went down to a super creepy, but super cool basement. This was where Megan and I originally thought we were going to sleep but once it was night time we changed our minds. Luckily, there was another room upstairs we used!
We visited the Eiffel Tower (duh!)
(I'm the one in the blue dress, in case you were wondering!)
We also took a tour on the Seine river!
Then we got food from the small food market across from our apartment!
(Fresh baguettes, some Boursin, and then some fancy carbonated drinks that we put in fancy glasses!)
It was seriously so delicious and all it was was bread and cheese. That's France for ya.
The next day we slept in late because we were SO jet lagged. We literally fell asleep at 6:00 the night before and then woke up at 10:00 pm ready for the day... Yeah. Since we slept in late we decided to get a quick brunch!
I got a Croque Monsieur which is a pretty common breakfast/lunch food in France! It's basically just ham and cheese melted with more cheese melted on the bread. It's pretty darn good.
Then we took the metro to Notre Dame!
The inside was absolutely gorgeous. I can't even put into words how amazing it was.
Then, of course I had to go to point zero near Notre Dame since it's such an important part of Anna and the French Kiss.
And I HAD to make a wish on it!
(Note my shoes. Wearing flats? Huge mistake. My feet were KILLING me the rest of the day.)
Then we ate lunch at a nearby cafe and after that we went to Etienne's church: St. Etienne Du Mont! AHHH!
And then off to the Pantheon!
After that we headed towards the Latin Quarter where a lot of students live and go to school. (This is where the school in ANNA took place in! Also where the characters would hang out all the time!) Plus, super cheap shopping! And on our way there was a Creperie! Which I decided was the same one that the characters in ANNA ate at!
I got some kind of caramel crepe. It was probably my favorite dessert I had in Paris.
Then we HAD to get some French macarons! It's a must.
Then we were off to the Luxembourg Gardens!
And thankfully for me, that was the last stop that day. By that time I could barely walk. I was pretty much hobbling behind my Mother and Megan.
The next day we went to the lock bridge where Megan and I put a lock on it and threw the key in the Seine River!
And here's me and my Momma!
Then I had THE best lunch ever at another cute cafe!
I also ate completely French. Which meant using a fork to eat my French fries. ;)
Then we went to the Louvre which, sadly, was somewhat disappointing. I wasn't all that amazed. We mostly went to see the Mona Lisa and it was jam packed in that room so I got a less than decent picture...
Isn't my picture stunning?
And then we went to Pere Lachaise, the cemetery Anna, Etienne, and the rest of the gang go to! This cemetery was insane. Some of the tombs were literally the size of a large shed.
Victor Noir. Known for giving fertility if you rub... well... you get the picture.
After we went to Arc de Triomphe!
At the top of Arc de Triomphe!
Then we headed back to the area of our apartment where we got some dinner before going up in the Eiffel Tower that night!
After we went up we had about ten more minutes before the sparkly lights were supposed to appear on the Eiffel Tower!
On our last day in Paris we went to Versailles!
The next day was my birthday and we were off to London on a train!
Unfortunately, I got a not-so-great birthday lunch on the train...
In London we went and saw all sorts of places:
The Globe Theater
At the Globe Theater I got to be dressed as a tradition Elizabethan woman would dress. It was actually an amazing experience. The clothing was SUPER heavy.
Tower of London
Soldier at the Tower of London
Buckingham Palace! (Sadly, no sign of Kate... Do they KNOW who I am?)
Then the day before we left we went to go see Matilda the Musical. You seriously have no idea how excited I was for this. I had been DYING to see it and we were lucky enough to get tickets!
It was beyond amazing. I pretty much almost cried at the end just because it was so fantastic. I had chills.
So that, my friends, was my WONDERFUL sixteenth birthday trip to Europe. It was most definitely an experience I will never forget. I am extremely lucky that I even got a chance to experience the culture of both of these places. If I had a favorite part it would probably be sitting at the cafes in Paris and experiencing everything. Nothing fancy. But very French. And that's what I wanted.
Hopefully you guys enjoyed looking at all of these pictures. I do realize there are a whole bunch but that was just the short version of the trip. I took over a thousand pictures! Crazy, I know, but I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss one bit.
Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope the rest of your week is filled with *SPARKLES!*