Check out my last post for my itemized packing list for my trip to Paris, where everything I brought fit into my tote bag. This post focuses on outfit coordination and what we did each day.
Ten hours on a plane later, I arrived in Paris on Saturday at 5 PM. After an initial freak out because I couldn’t access my money or use my phone, I used the 20 euros I had brought “just in case” to purchase a bus ticket for 18 euros. I hopped a bus to the first hotel we were staying at, the Hyatt Regency Etoile in the 8th Arrondissement. I walked around for a bit with my boyfriend before getting a light dinner at Le Franc Tireur. The sun doesn’t set until 10:00 PM, so we had plenty of time to wander before heading back to the hotel.
On Sunday morning, we ate the free breakfast at the Hyatt (yay for taking advantage of free food – which was an amazing spread, by the way), my bf went to work, and I took the metro down to the Louvre for a solo date. I didn’t have a chance to see any art museums last time I was in Paris, so that was high-priority. The Louvre was massive, beautiful, and crowded with tourists having their friends snap photos of them standing awkwardly in front of paintings – a trend I can’t seem to wrap my head around. After I said hello to my girl Mona Lisa and had a few hours of walking under my belt, I went back to the hotel for a much-needed nap.
After Joey got back from work that evening, I changed into outfit 2 of the day – my favorite black one-piece that I’ve had since 2007 and a pair of black skinnies. We spoiled our appetite with some macarons before dinner at Malabar, walked to the Eiffel Tower, and went to his work’s after-party event.
Monday morning, we ate breakfast at the Hyatt, got dressed, and walked to the Arc de Triomphe. We ate lunch nearby at Vin Coeur, where I tried to resist the temptation to eat more bread, and opted for some salad instead.
We checked out of the hotel and headed to Montmartre. I fell in love with this neighborhood instantly. After checking into Hotel Basss, we walked around the beautiful cobblestone streets, got coffee at Cullier, visited a local church having choir practice, and grabbed a beer and early dinner at Hue Houdon.
Tuesday morning, we woke up early and got breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien. This was my favorite morning. We sat outside and watched the work commuters and school children walk by while drinking lattes and eating croissants. After breakfast, we walked to the Musée de Montmartre and explored the nearby gardens. We grabbed a drink, and headed over to see the Sacré-Cœur basilica.
Deciding to take a break from carb-heavy food, we ate lunch at Sushi Takasaki and counted how many sex shops there were in our visual field (nine).
After a much-needed nap, we drove through heavy Parisian traffic and rain to get dinner at Mensae. LA traffic is nothing compared to what we experienced that night, but luckily eating dinner at 7:30 PM is the equivalent to eating dinner at 5:30 PM in LA, and we had no issues getting a table. Everything was delicious. We took our last bite of chocolate mousse and grabbed the nearest train to the Eiffel Tower to see the twinkling lights.
On the morning of our last day, we walked to La Bossue for a pastry and coffee. We wandered to the Moulin Rouge, a tourist attraction we hadn’t visited yet, and kept walking until we wound up at the Montmartre Cemetery. This was one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen. There were rows upon rows of archaic gravestones, ranging from monumental statues to simple headstones. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and a few stray black cats were playing nearby. It was incredibly peaceful.
Once we maneuvered our way out of the expansive cemetery, we said farewell to Paris, and headed back to the airport.
Things I learned:
- I packed too much. I definitely didn’t need to bring my sandals, since I only wore them with one outfit. I spent almost every day in my Allbirds. I could have brought two pairs of shoes that were more versatile to wear with multiple outfits.
- I regret packing a comb instead of a brush. What was I thinking? I wanted to chop off all my hair by the end of it. For what it saves in space, it takes up in sanity.
- Bring layers, and plan for a variety of temperatures. No, I didn’t need to bring a sweatshirt AND a cardigan AND a sweater jacket AND a jean jacket. But I wanted to have multiple options, and I wasn’t sure what the weather would require. I figured I could layer the cardigan + sweater jacket to dress up the outfit, or combine the hoodie + jean jacket to keep it more casual. The weather was nicer than I anticipated, but I was prepared either way. I rarely wore the sweater jacket, and spent most of my time carrying it over my shoulder. It did make a nice blanket on the plane, though.
- I’m happy I didn’t feel obligated to bring a dress or heels just because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do in Paris. It’s not me, and I wouldn’t have wanted to wander the cobblestone streets in anything other than my sneakers or dad Birks, anyway.
Would I try to fit everything into a tote for another trip? Absolutely. It required planning and discipline, but it also reminded me that I don’t need as much as I think. Constraints can seem daunting, but they are also liberating. I didn’t have to agonize over what I wanted to wear each day, because the choice was already made.
Have any questions about my packing list, or light travel in general? Any must-sees that I should add to my list for next time? Let me know below.