Advice for Frequent Visitors to Paris

Advice for Frequent Visitors to Paris

In just a couple short weeks, I’ll be heading back to Paris. As someone who’s ventured into Paris probably hundreds of times, you may be wondering what else I can possibly get out of yet another visit to Paris.

I’ve done the main tourist sites so many times that the idea of going up the Eiffel Tower again makes me feel lethargic just thinking about it, and imagining the crowds at the Musée d’Orsay makes me feel instant dread and irritation.

The amazing thing about being a frequent visitor to Paris is that all the tedious stuff is old news. You don’t have to stress about learning the public transportation system because you already know it. You don’t have to meticulously plan an itinerary because you’ve already been everywhere. Once you get all of that initial learning and tourist check-listing out of the way, you’re free to simply soak up the atmosphere.

That’s what I want for this trip, to just exist in Paris. Not try to conquer it, not try to dig deep, not to try and feel edgy or cool. Just to be there completely.

But I think in order for me not to fall back into my old, expected routines, habits and walking paths, I’m changing up a few things that will add just the right amount of newness to my experience.

Read more

The Best Versailles Itinerary | French Californian

The Best Itinerary for Versailles

Remember how I used to live in Versailles, France? I spent over three years walking those streets, exploring the château grounds, and riding the train back and forth to Paris countless times. I think you could say I’m pretty familiar with it! That’s why I finally want to share my perfect day in Versailles.

I’ve gotten messages from travelers asking for advice about how to tackle Versailles in one day. With the main chateau, the massive gardens, two smaller palaces, more gardens, a hamlet, and not to mention the surrounding city itself, planning a successful, efficient day trip to Versailles is completely overwhelming if you’re starting from zero knowledge.

But that’s alright! I got you!

I’m going to lay out everything you ever wanted to know about spending a fantastic day in Versailles. First, I’ll go over some practical information. Then, I’ll give my ideal itinerary, step-by-step, including a walking route on a custom Google map!  You can take or leave whatever you want, but this information is bound to be super helpful.

Here we go!

Read more

Autumn in Paris

If you live in Southern California like me, you might not realize that it’s actually autumn. The trees are barely turning colors and just a couple weeks ago it was 100*F. (rolls eyes).

That’s why I’m extra nostalgic for autumn in Paris, so I’ve thrown together some of my favorite images of Paris covered in leaves.

ALSO, this is a great time to announce that I’ve been officially published in print! A couple months ago I entered an Instagram competition with Lonely Planet Traveller magazine. The theme was Ode to Autumn, so I submitted one of my photos of the autumnal banks of the Seine river, and I was picked! Here’s a peek at the page inside the Postcards section in November issue of the UK version of the magazine. Mine’s the first one at the top left!

lonelyplanetodetoautumn-1

The optimistic part of me hopes that this is just the beginning of my photographic career, and that there are many more moments like this to come, but the pessimistic, critical part of me is saying it’s no big deal, that it means nothing and doesn’t mean I’ll ever “make it” as a photographer. But regardless of my mixed feelings about this 2-by-2-inch square of real estate in a magazine, I gotta admit it’s pretty cool.

Just in case anybody is interested in purchasing this fall image as a print (my grandma has this one framed in her house!), I popped a listing into my Etsy shop, available here.

 

Without further ado, enjoy these fall-tastic photos of Paris that I’ve taken over the years. If there’s a specific photo you’d like to know the location of, just leave me a comment and I’ll reply!

Read more

Christmas in Paris | French Californian

Paris in December, Here I Come!

Guess what?

I booked a trip to Paris this December!!!

It will have been almost exactly one year since I was last in Europe and I’m very excited to go back. I honestly thought I would be content to stay put for at least a full year after moving across the world, but nope! My wanderlust crept back in almost as soon as we settled in and bought furniture.

Read more

Le Musée Rodin, Paris | French Californian

Musée Rodin & Roses

Last summer I spent a beautiful couple of hours photographing the Musée Rodin. The rose garden was in bloom and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. I arrived at mid-day when the sun was at its height, so the lighting wasn’t ideal – or so I thought. I spent most of my time in the garden taking endless photos of the roses, trying to get the perfect angles, and even though direct sunlight can be difficult to work with, it can yield amazing results if you work a little harder. 

Read more

Yamtcha Boutique - Frenco-Chinese Cuisine | French Californian

Bonne Adresse: Yam’Tcha

In French, a bonne adresse is literally translated as: a good address. It’s a place to eat, drink, or hang out, usually a business, that you would recommend to all your friends. Today I want to share one of mine in Paris.

If you’re a fan of Chef’s Table: France on Netflix, you have probably seen the episode featuring the Franco-Chinois cuisine of Adeline Grattard and her husband Chi Wah, who run a Michelin-starred restaurant called Yam’Tcha in Paris. I certainly do not have the budget to go to Michelin starred restaurants, nor the patience to try and get reservations, so thankfully they have a more casual, affordable counterpart in the same neighborhood that they call “Yam’Tcha Boutique,” where you can get fresh food from a sreet-side window, or sit in the tiny dining area sans reservations. My Stepdad, being really into the Nexflix show and a connoissuer of fine tea, made me promise that I would go have a taste of their famous Bao and high quality Asian tea before I left Paris, and I made good on that promise at the last minute, just a few days before moving away, with my friend Daniela.

Read more