Paris – Comme tu es Belle

15 Sep

Bonjour!!

I know that I said I was going to make a regular effort to blog daily on this vacation, but a combination of crappy hotel wifi and, well… PARIS… has caused me to blog less, and drink wine & walk Paris at midnight instead.

Because if you think Paris is beautiful by day – it’s even prettier by night.

Says the girl who should know because it’s nearly 1am and I’m just getting in.

I mean look.

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In short, Paris is everything I wanted it to be and then some. I said to my friend Jessie tonight (while sitting and admiring the Eiffel Tower lit up in all its glory) that I couldn’t imagine ever getting tired of looking at it. Even if you saw it day after day. And she agreed – there’s just something about it that is so incredible.

Which is likely why on my first day in Paris, the very first thing I did in the morning was wake up and go straight to the Eiffel Tower. No coffee, no breakfast: give me the Eiffel Tower. Since then, I’ve been back three times on my way to other destinations and still find it impossible not to sit and stare.

In addition to the Eiffel Tower (which I could talk about forever) with the help of two of Jessie’s local friends, I got to spend an amazing day walking around the city getting a sneak peek at some of the sights I’ll be checking out later this week: Arc de Triomphe,  Jardins de Luxenbourg, Cathedral de Notre Dame, and more.

Today, I visited Chateau Versailles and realized Marie Antoinette and I should have been BFFs. I’d also very much like to know how she walked around the courtyard in her Louboutin heels because I was having a hard enough time on that cobblestone in flats.

I’ve also had the chance to use my French in every single instance except for the time I referred to the bathroom as “salle de bain” instead of “toilettes.” Oops. So kudos to myself for somehow still knowing how to pull-off my French girl act. I’m quite confident I may need to start using it on the regular when I come back to Canada.

So in no particular order or fashion (and with a limited number due to the wifi situation) here are some glimpses of my favorite places that I’ve visited so far!

IMG_1360 The beautiful Seine River

IMG_1408 Jardin de Luxembourg

IMG_1331 Arc de Triomphes

IMG_1391 Happiest.

IMG_1456The even happier.

IMG_1431Day dreaming on the Seine

IMG_1653Chateau Versailles

IMG_1518 Hall of Mirrors

IMG_1660One small fraction of the gardens

IMG_1541Marie Antoinette’s Chambres

IMG_1565 The very BEST lunch

IMG_1617 Palace Life.

IMG_1720 The best meal of my life: Duck Confit à la Petite Perigourdine

IMG_1721 Crème Brûlée à Paris

And as always, you can follow along on Instagram and Twitter for pictures / tweets throughout the day!

Au revoir!

x C x

 

 

Blue Lagoons & Jet Setting

13 Sep

Yesterday was one of those days where you really stop and think to yourself: “Self – you made some fantastic decisions in life that helped you get to this moment. Keep that shit up!”

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I spent a day in Iceland. A country that not too long ago, wasn’t even registering as a blip on my radar. Now, I can’t wait to go back next Saturday on my way back from Paris.

The Blue Lagoon experience is surely to thank, because what an experience!

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From the awesome team at Reykjavik Excursions (your shuttle team is amazing) to the staff at the Blue Lagoon. This must-stop in Iceland is a class act. Because I like to spend money when it counts, I splurged on the Comfort Package which included a terry-cloth bathrobe, a sampler package of some of the Blue Lagoon spa line (the moisturizer is an awesome travel size that I will use for the rest of the trip), one complimentary drink (of the alcohol or fancy smoothie variety) and your algae face mask.

And then of course, access to this slice of hot thermal heaven.

IMG_1224 IMG_1229Yes, you could all get used to this.

From the steam baths to the swim up bar – one could easily spend a day here if you wanted to get your spa and drink on. In fact, I’m planning to hopefully book a massage on my way back after a week of walking all over Paris and climbing to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

10687063_10100460613045509_6252611253384932262_n Swim up bars are the best bars.

10616107_10100460612930739_1653245237369029918_n Sipping Strawberry Sparkling Wine

And not only are the lagoons absolutely impressive, the landscape on Iceland alone is as though you’ve left earth and landed on a foreign planet. The greenery mixed with volcanic rock is unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere – not even in Hawaii.

IMG_1253Seriously Iceland.

Never stop being sexy.

Of course, after a day at the Blue Lagoon living the life – it was back to the Keflavik Airport to grab one more Kaffitar kaffe latte before it was time to jet set off to Paris.

I may have cried boarding the plane – Audrey Hepburn style no less.

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I do love a good outdoor boarding

And after a wonderful 3 hour flight on IcelandAir (again, my love for these guys is off the charts) a small bottle of champagne (obviously) and a re-read of my favorite books set in Paris – Sweet Filthy Boy (I rave about it and it’s perfect french man here)…

IMG_1282Clearly how you fly to Paris.

The sun went down and the moon rose and at first sight of the city of lights, I went from excited to speechless. The sight of the Eiffel Tower just outside my window twinkling its welcome? Right up there as one of the best moments of my life.

IMG_1279Paris by night. Eiffel Tower to the right of engine jet when I first spotted it.

Which is why on that note, it’s time for me to hit publish on this post and set out for my first day in Paris.

First on the list? Seeing that majestic Parisian staple up close.

With Love from Paris!

x C x

And off she went!

12 Sep

Note: This is the first of many Parisian Adventure posts to come. While I still handwrite my adventures in a journal, there’s just something equally exciting about sharing it with those of you who have shared in my excitement leading up to this trip! So please enjoy! And feel free to follow along on Instagram and Twitter too! 

If you had told me a year ago that I would blogging from an airport in Iceland – I would have laughed in your face and thought you were crazy.

But then I turned 30 and got this wild idea that I would go to Paris for my 30th birthday present to myself and for the heck of it – fly IcelandAir out of Halifax and book a 12 hour layover in Iceland, because why not.

Well. Let me tell you.

I have been here for an hour and I’m digging the Iceland (and I haven’t even left the airport.)

IMG_1202The face of a girl totally digging Iceland at 6:00am.

For starters, I was in love with Iceland before I even left Canada. IcelandAir is by far one of the nicest airlines I’ve ever flown. From a cold bottle of icelandic water handed to you the minute you step onboard – to the complimentary pillow (with cute icelandic lullaby) and cozy large blanket – I was sold. Then I realized the leg room was fantastic and woke up to fresh orange juice prior to landing, which let’s be honest – is even more refreshing than water when you’ve been snoozing on a red-eye.

The staff were the sweetest. There was a USB port for charging my iPhone. And their safety video is AWESOME. Kudos to the marketing team behind that gem. I’d much rather watch an attractive Icelandic couple jump into a waterfall to demonstrate how someone jumps onto an emergency inflatable exit slide.

This airline is just the greatest. And I swear they in no way endorsed this post. Though if they’d like, I’d be happy to sing their praises again and again for a longer trip to Iceland at a later date.

IMG_1188Good job IcelandAir, good job.

Landing in Iceland at 5am – there wasn’t much to see but I spotted a beautiful lighthouse when we first saw land and wishfully thinking wanted to see the erupting volcano. Because it’s totally realistic that a person could see lava from 200kms away.

This is my first European adventure so I LOVED that the passport control stamped my passport. Because I feel like America NEVER stamps passports anymore.

Again, good job Iceland.

The next stop at 6am was obviously coffee, so I was thrilled when I spotted a Kaffitár in the airport. After seeing iJustine rave about it during her Icelandic adventures earlier this year, it was on my must-try list for my time in Iceland.

It did not disappoint.

IMG_1201I have no idea what I ordered. Only that it was called a Caramel Bouquet and was loaded with coffee and whip cream and tasted like heaven.

Thank you for the delicious treat Kaffitár!

IMG_1199And that’s it from this leg. At 9:30am I’m off to the famous Blue Lagoon (the excitement in my body is unreal folks) and will be spending the day there before returning to the airport and catching a flight to Paris. Because that’s real life right now.

I hope you all enjoy the posts to come as much as I enjoy writing them, looking like a weirdo taking selfies in various tourist spots, and continuously thinking – man, that would make a great photo op for the blog.

With love from Iceland – see you in Paris!

x C x

Scenes from the Weekend

7 Sep

With only one weekend left before I leave for Paris, I did what any girl in my position would do.

Spent the weekend doing everything other than getting ready for Paris by leaving the province.

That’s right. While I should have been doing laundry, making my list and checking it twice, or even dare I say it – relaxing – I had a simply amazing weekend doing all things but travel prep.

Instead, it was off to Prince Edward Island for a fifth time this summer (because at this point, why not?) to see Anne & Gilbert the musical, eat like East Coast royalty, and take way too many photos of goats and beaches.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

IMG_1008 driving along this bridge – never gets old

IMG_1012 bbq shrimp tacos 

IMG_1025 confederates – telling me all their secrets

IMG_1022 show time! 

IMG_1040 these cuties @ the Goat Soap Company (a must stop AND you can order online!)

IMG_1028 leave a girl alone, she’ll befriend a goat…

IMG_1049 another must stop – the Dunes at Brackley Beach

IMG_1056clearly I’m moving in…

IMG_1058 spiralling staircases with views…

IMG_1067 sandy beacons…

IMG_1076those beaches 
 IMG_1090caesars and fish burgers (the best I’ve ever had) at Blue Mussel Cafe in North Rustico

IMG_1089 homing beacon 

Seriously.

Do yourself a favour – when in North Rustico, GO to Blue Mussel Cafe 

And make sure to say hi to Cooper the dog outside.

So – how was your weekend?!

x C x

A/N: Next week’s Scenes from the Weekend will be LIVE from Paris, France. I just needed to write that in a sentence, because I’m still pinching myself! x 

Paris is Always a Good Idea

5 Sep

If you were expecting the C List – you’re about to be a pinch disappointed.

Switching things up over the next three weeks, I’ve decided to write a few shameless Friday posts while travelling. Sure the C List is fun and after a summer of posting on Fridays, I’ve come to love keeping my eyes peeled for great links to share during the week.

But!

Given that I will be in Iceland a week from today and Paris the following Friday – I think I will have MUCH more exciting things to blog about on both days.

And… In honor of my arrival in the city of lights a week from today, I thought I’d have a little fun by sharing a list of some of the sites I cannot wait to explore and having my fellow Paris lovers chime in on their must-see attractions, favorite restaurants, and the best coffee shops to blog or daydream in.

Allons-y! 

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Here are my top 10 spots I can’t wait to experience!

1. Eiffel Tower. This one is a given. And a meal in the restaurant is without a doubt something I can’t wait to experience. You can tell me how touristy it is all you want. I’m likely going to cry like a fool when I first see it.

2. Versailles. Having just watched Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette this past week, I’m beyond excited to explore the castle grounds.

3. The Paris Catacombs. I’ve heard this is a must. Do you agree?

4. Laduree. This is an attraction in itself for me. Just give me all the macarons. Every day. But have any of your Paris travellers splurged on their restaurant? Thoughts on their brunch if one wanted to feel like Blair Waldorf for the day.

5. Notre Dame Cathedral. Calling Quasimodo.

6. The Louvres. Again, a given. But tips on the best exhibits or rooms to see. I realize I’ll only see a tiny fraction so recommendations on must-see art pieces would be much appreciated.

7. Shakespeare and Company. No book lover could resist.

8. Père Lachaise Cemetery. Because cool cemeteries are always a must. Plus, I figure this will seem way less creepy after doing the Catacombs.

9. Cafe du Flore. Another must-stop for me as I’ve heard their hot chocolate is to die for.

10. Arc de Triomphe. Worth going to the top – yes or no?

And in case any of you were worried I’d miss out on Montmartre and Sacre Coeur – I’m staying in that arrondissement so I’ll be sure to experience many strolls and morning runs through Montmartre!

So. What am I missing from my list? What restaurants or cafes must I try! Let me know by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @crystalcrichard!

I should probably get packing!

Bisou Bisou!

x C x

Scenes from Labor Day Weekend

1 Sep

What do good food, good books, Netflix, and naps have in common?

Labor Day Weekend 2014.

I mean, I went into the weekend expecting much of the same. Knowing fully well I’m off to the Island for the night next Saturday and Paris-bound the following weekend – a quiet long weekend of R&R at the cottage was everything I wanted and more.

Here’s just a quick peek at a perfect blissed out weekend on the shore.

IMG_0823million dollar run views 

photo 1 a girl must always have fresh flowers 

photo 1 my kind of treats from the market

photo 2 one of my parents’ cats, too cool for netflix marathons

IMG_0843 saturday night sunsets

photo 4 my father is spoiled. #sundaybrunch

photo 3 afternoon reading in the sun

photo 2 sunday night din din, east coast style

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day! Whether you’re back to work or back to school tomorrow – make this week an awesome one.

x C x

The Book Pile: A Farewell to Arms

31 Aug

Last weekend, I curled up and read the oldest novel from my Summer Beach Bag Books list – A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

As I had mentioned in the above post, though I’ve always been enchanted by Hemingway (and own a Hemingway polydactyl cat) — I’ve never actually read a Hemingway book. After falling in love with an excerpt from A Farewell to Arms on Tumblr, I knew it had to be my first.

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As if it was fate, when I was perusing Paper Hound used bookstore in Vancouver when visiting Kate in May, I found the perfect old copy and it smells divine. If the thought of old book smell just gave you the good kind of shivers, we must be soul mates.

I don’t read many classics, so getting into how Hemingway writes was a bit tricky at first. It was also really interesting to see how some words were written back in the day (to-morrow, to-day, good-by) and what words we frown upon today, were still perfectly acceptable in the 1920’s.

All of this to say, Hemingway writes romance beautifully. He captures how tragic love can really be and how vulnerable we all are when we give our heart to someone. While some of the dialogues were unlike anything I’ve ever read and I loved every word, some didn’t do it for me, which made it a bit harder to read. For example, those with the female lead Catherine weren’t as enjoyable for me – she was stubborn and whiney, but maybe that was the point.

While I enjoyed the book, it was the ending that left me screaming at the book. I’ll keep this spoiler free, but SERIOUSLY?

tumblr_inline_my81uatrhi1qhmakjI didn’t realize until I finished the book that this was the very one Bradley Cooper’s character pitched through a window in Silver Linings Playbook.

And then it made perfect sense.

Because seriously – what the f@ck!? 

But Hemingway clearly did something right, because he still got 4 out of 5 stars from me on GoodReads for beautifully written words and how he wove rain as a metaphor into the story.

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Have you read A Farewell to Arms? A fan of Hemingway? Let me know what you think!

x C x

A/N: Are we friends on GoodReads? If not, follow me today to find out what I’m reading this weekend! x  

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