Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In My Dreams... Paris!

I've been dreaming nonstop about Europe lately. Sadly, I spent all my travel funds last September backpacking across France, Italy, Monaco, Slovenia, Austria and Germany, so now I'm stuck at home fantasizing that I'm in Paris. :(

I would love to go to Europe sparing no expenses and pay for everything myself. Since I have no hopes of that happening too soon, I figure I might as well start planning (and dreaming) now! So location by location, I'm going to outline my dream vacation, starting with Paris.

Last year I got to spend four days in Paris, but I honestly could've spent a whole month there. Paris is filled with the most beautiful architecture, but what I really noticed were the clothes on all of the beautiful Parisians. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, the reigning style is hiker chic or sweatshirts and jeans.

That's me, in Paris. Someday... Someday I'll go back!

Now, I've always been interested in fashion but I kind of sunk into the casual style of my surroundings as I grew up. Then I traveled to Boston when I was fifteen, and suddenly my eyes were opened to the beautiful chicness of the outside world. There's something magical about dressing how you want to and using different patterns and colors to achieve the aesthetic that is most pleasing to you. I get giddy to a sad degree when browsing clothes or when I see a color scheme I really love.

Let me tell you, the giddy factor was about 1,000,000X when I was in Paris. I think my head was probably spinning around and around trying to take mental notes of everything I was seeing. There were so many people, and they all looked gorgeous! I was trying so hard to figure out the formula that they were using, because they all kind of seemed to match, but everyone was dressed pretty differently.

I quickly realized that color wasn't too popular with Parisians (it was a little bit disconcerting to arrive for the first time in a foreign country in a bright red sweater and realize everyone is wearing black). Most people were in black or maybe gray, but most definitely not reds or neons. French people also know how to dress their bodies. The majority of people I saw were in silhouettes rather than extremely voluminous shapes, and believe me, it works.

Ergo, the first thing I would do on my dream trip is:
1. Dress cutely. I would have about 16 suitcases and wouldn't have to worry about "Will I really wear this? Will it fit into my backpack? Will it get dirty after wearing it 7 times?" I would completely overpack and most importantly, I wouldn't have to carry any of my bags.

Et, voila! Here are six examples of how I would love to dress if I were in Paris. Since one of my top aims during traveling would be to blend in, I would dress mostly in black, dressed up clothes. I would wear heels too, because I wore loafers and sandals and felt kind of dowdy.

2. I would stay wherever I want. During my stay in Paris, I stayed with a friend, which was awesome because it meant four nights of free lodging. But next time, I want to go all the way and stay somewhere that has a true Parisian feel (although the one bedroom apartment I stayed in was probably more "Paris" than the swanky hotels actually are).

My first choice would be the Hotel Mathis Elysées Matignon off of the Champs-Elysées. It's modern, as most luxury hotels in Paris are, but it also has a classical air that I love. I want somewhere that I can pretend I'm Marie Antoinette, as well as be able to see a busy street outside my window. I've lived the hostel life, now I want to experience the Hotel Mathis Elysées Matignon life. 

Because who wouldn't want to stay at the Four Seasons in Paris? The Four Seasons is pretty much synonymous with glamour in my mind, therefore it's also on the top of my list. 

And then at the end of the day, I would settle down at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy a macaroon from Ladurée. YUM.