bike riding, biking, Travel

The Bike Ride

A thrilling bike tour with Fat Tire tours in Paris

I’m kind of shocked at how much I stuffed into a four day visit. But when you only have a few days, it makes sense to stuff them full of activities and adventures. Its also about staying up late on the internet, stewing over only having a few days and looking for things to do. I didn’t want to fly all that way just to sit in a hotel room alone. Friday afternoon I went to the Louvre , Saturday morning I went to Porte de Montreuil, and Saturday evening I went on a four hour bike tour in the streets of Paris with Fat Tire Tours.

I don’t have a helmet cam, and I’m too anxious of a rider to film on the bike, but trust me… it was incredible. I would not have covered so much ground just walking, and taking the metro is just burrowing through tunnels. Biking on my own was not going to happen, either. The bike tour was a genius idea.

One little travel tidbit? Google works everywhere. If it weren’t for google maps I would have been SOL finding places. So one ongoing adventure was just following google directions all over Paris. Finding the Rue Edgar Faure successfully, was literally the hardest part of taking this tour. Once there we got outfitted with vests, helmets and big, muscular bike. After a quick instruction, we lined up and headed out after our (AMERICAN!) tour guide into the warm Parisian sunset.

But, for real, it was actually sunset.

We rode through traffic and through crowds, along the streets and along the banks of the Seine. We stopped along the way to learn about French architecture, culture and history. Then we stopped for ice cream.

We stopped at the oldest ice cream maker in Paris, Berthillon, for a quick round of cones while listening to a piano player as the sun left streaks of light across the sky. I had roasted pineapple with basil and it was heaven. Then the lights that city is famous for started coming on.


We were supposed to end the night with a boat cruise but that got canceled and we ended up drinking wine in front of the Eiffel Tower, which was better. I bought a mess of keychains and a lightup tower toy to take home. As if it couldn’t get any better, the whole tower sparkled like champagne for about five minutes. All this magic cost me $55.


adventures, architecture, art, museums, Travel

The Louvre

the actual Louvre, in real life

OK, we’re back in Paris. My first stop, after dropping my stuff off at the hotel, was the Louvre Museum. I’ve wanted to go there for years, and a museum seemed like the perfect place to start my vacation. Not too stressful, lots of art, maybe a little meal. Nothing too crazy. Meanwhile the place is 8 miles long, I had no map and I was late to pick up my audioguide. They were nice and gave me one anyway? But for the life of me I could not figure it out. So I just walked around, headphones around my neck, completely lost. I don’t think was the only one, a lot of people were wandering around with the headphones off.

After getting lost in the Egyptian section, then finding myself in the basement viewing the medieval stones that are the museum’s foundation, I finally found my way to the painting galleries. The walls are filled with landscapes and religious iconography. There are small canvasses tiled on walls and paintings so large that they fully occupy walls that are longer than my studio apartment. It is an onslaught of artistic endeavor. I tried to find the Mona Lisa, but I got turned around and found a hall of Objets d’Art and from there I somehow found Napoleon Bonaparte’s apartments.

the sumptuously appointed Napoleon appartement

Red velvet and gold everywhere. Crystal chandeliers, and paintings of cherubs on the ceiling. It’s garish and unbelievably tacky, but also sumptuous, luxurious and outlandishly royal. What’s wild is now understanding what was in my mom’s head when she decorated. A lot of people are copying this oplulent style unconsciously. I remember going to the homes of relatives and seeing elements of this and now here it was in front of me. The whole thing made me sad about my lack of pillars and corniches and gilded flourishes. Don’t get me started about the dining room.

I got there at about 4pm and they close at six, so it was a sprint. Next time I’m downloading a map and prepping before I get there, but for a first time I feel good with how much I saw. It definitely lived up to the hype. It was also the first time that I used my Nikon dslr since I bought it two years ago, and I got some lovely images. It was my first time going to the little Maxim’s shop in the lower level and my first cannelle. My first day in Paris and I ended up sitting on a bench with the sun beaming down on me just being grateful for being there.

just hanging out and bathing in the French sunshine

Next week we go to the flea market.

bags, beauty, Fashion, hair, haircare, handbags, makeup, personal style, shoes, skincare, Travel

The Trip

On the way to Newark airport in a Lyft because the airport shuttle never came.

I started planning my trip back in July. I booked the airline, hotel and tours then went about my business, praying every day that there wouldn’t be another lockdown. Luckily there was just a travel restriction, but I got vaccinated earlier this year and I have consistently tested negative. I was still nervous that the whole thing would fall through. Once it got down to the last 7 days before the trip, I could get excited. I had a whole plan and now it was coming true.

I decided to pack a capsule wardrobe in black, with a white maxidress to go to the country in. I took my new plaid shacket for cold airports and to use as a blanket. My wardrobe consisted of:

  1. Uniqlo tshirt dress, $20, to travel in. Doubled as nightgown.
  2. Laundry by Shelli Segal tshirt minidress with pockets, on sale for $11.
  3. Banana Republic shirtdress with pockets, $55.
  4. Know One Cares white tiered maxidress, $34
  5. Eleven Paris sheer cotton tshirt, fashion internship perk
  6. Primark leggings, $3
  7. Thrifted black footless tights, $1
  8. RFID money belt, $16.95

I ended up adding the 10 euro floral maxidress on the way to the hotel, so I wore the white dress on an evening excursion.


This was how I did luggage. To travel I packed a Rebecca Minkoff tote bag ($40, sample sale) with a folded L.L. Bean camo duffel bag that I got free from another blogger at an event 6 years ago. The tiny wardrobe was packed in a ziplock bag, and I painted a little Street Level handbag (I think it was $20, I got it from C21) to use for my camera and plug adaptors, hand sanitizer, etc. I don’t like having to check anything. I was only staying four days, and I knew I was going to shop so had an empty bag ready.

Unfortunately the Minkoff bag gave up on the way to the hotel. The strap couldn’t handle the pressure. I swapped it out for a cheap tan faux leather bag that I bought in the metro with the dress. Tbh, I bought five dresses and this bag for 50 euro!

I will admit to a lot of toiletries, though. But I have a two Le Sac pouches from a blogger event at Caravan Style Studio ages ago. I took Herbivore Botanicals bakuchiol and Phoenix face oil. I bought Mario Badescu skincare and deodorant from Nordstrom Rack (I love NR), two amazing Bastide fragrances, and the new MAC items from my makeover. I got all the way there and realized that I’d forgotten toothbrush and toothpaste, do I got this awesome Botot brand at a Parisian pharmacy. I also got some Weleda body wash, which was confiscated on the way home.

I was reckless for buying it, and I only got to use it twice🤷🏿‍♀️

The finishing touch was getting faux locs. I love my hair, but I wanted a completely new, no stress, look. I bought a bonnet to protect them at night, and I admit to using Mario Badescu rosewater facial spray and a few drops of face oil to moisturize my scalp. I got new black and gold framed glasses from Zeelol, with fun costume jewelry from my favorite place (Nordstrom Rack), plus my fave Timex watch.

Oh, and these sweet Converse CX low tops, $70, with clear rubber toe detail and orange rubber soles. It turns out that Converse all stars are pretty popular in Paris. I saw so many different iterations! And they were comfortable for all the stair climbing and walking that I did for my whole trip. I didn’t stop moving from the moment I left my apartment in New York. It was a whole marathon.

Next time, we’ll take a trip to the Louvres.