This post is part of the ‘Go with Oh’ series. I choose to use their writing prompts to kick off this blog because their goal is so in line with my own constant travel mission: to experience local life at a grass-roots level. As I sift through past experiences in some of Europe’s greatest cities to put together my own European bucket list, I’m uncovering much about I’ve changed as a traveller and a person over the years.
In all of my many, many, many trips to Europe, I have actually only been to Paris once. Well, twice if you count the fact that I went away to Bordeaux for a few days and then came back.
The weather was truly dismal, abolishing all plans I had of leisurely Parisian strolls in chic neighbourhoods. And my jet lag would not leave me alone, making me sleep through the few times it was nice enough to take a walk.
Regardless, even the few bits of the city I managed to make my way around need a second visit, not even counting all of the places I haven’t come across yet. Here’s five things I’d love to do when I make it back:
1. Eat My Way Through the City Following David Lebovitz’ Pastry Guide
I tried this on my last visit to Paris with a different author’s pastry book, and I was generally delighted with the results, though a good portion of the entries were just okay. After following David Lebovitz’ sage advice for home cooks on any number of desserts, I trust him 100% to steer me towards the best places to eat in Paris.
2. Snap a Photo of the Eiffel Tower from a Unique Viewpoint
Every once in a great while I see a guidebook with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the cover that really surprises me. Maybe it’s a strange angle that captures the whole structure in one, tight shot from below. Maybe it’s a crazy vantage point across the river where a statue looks like it’s holding up the tower. Whatever magic these photographers found to put a new twist of these eternally photographer monument, I want some for myself.
3. Buy an Antique at the Infamous Flea Market
This is probably the most wish list of any item on any of these lists. I’ve visited the famous Parisian flea market . . . and picked up a t-shirt and a copy of Harry Potter in French. But a few years back Anthropologie (yes, the clothing store), made a TV show about how their shoppers source products and they took the Paris flea market by storm. Apparently there is a system where you just put a sticker on whatever massive piece of furniture your heart desires, and some magic elves (I mean men) get it packaged and delivered to you on another continent in one piece.
4. Hold a Blind Taste with Parisians to Crown to King Macaroon
My husband and I do this with cupcakes, the new (and old) great American sweet. While the French would probably argue that they have many other sweets that could merit the title as the national desert, macaroon fever is so intense in the state right now that I have to know the proper Parisian take on these things.
5. Learn to Dress Like a Parisian
Notice that I don’t say “shop” like a Parisian. I’m not looking to drop four figures on new duds as much as study how French women put themselves together. My first trip, I brought my Italian wardrobe, expecting to encounter extreme fashionistas, but found something more akin to Upper East Side New York mothers.
‘Go with Oh’ is offering one lucky blogger 4 weeks of free apartment rentals in 4 of their 10 European locations, but you don’t have to be a blogger to cash in on their generocity.