Oui, Oui, Paris. Partie Un.

This past spring we packed our bags and headed to Paris for a week. This was the first time visiting Paris for both Justin and myself, as well as Stone’s first trip out of the country. I had high expectations of Paris and it certainly did not disappoint. But before I jump into more details, a disclaimer of sorts; When we left for Paris Drifting Whites was just a subconscious thought percolating in the back of my mind. For years I’d talked about wanting to venture down the path of doing something in the interior/fashion space but didn’t have a road map to get there. There wasn’t much time between raising Stone and my career to figure it out either. It was while we were in Paris I started to realize there was opportunity for me to seek out the beauty in everyday life and share it. As the week passed by I was able to disconnect from the day-to-day grind back home and tap into a more creative and fearless version of myself.  Maybe it was fueled by the lunchtime carafes of wine, but while overseas I put a mental road map in place that landed me here.

I’m not trying to get all deep and metaphysical on you, no that’s not my scene. The reason I’m sharing all this this is because I don’t want you having too high of expectations for pictures from our trip! Ha! We photographed our trip for us, without any intentions of sharing our snaps outside our circle of family and friends. If we were to spend another week in Paris (which I hope to do sooner than later) we’d put a lot more thought and intention into capturing the spirit of the city. So for my posts on this trip, which I’ll refer to as Paris 1.0, I’ll share some learnings, tips, and highlights from traveling as a family through the City of Lights. I’ll share some of our family photos with you as well, hope you enjoy!

WHAT TO PACK – THINK MINIMAL CHIC

If I were to describe the fashion in Paris, which truly is hard to put into words, I’d say it’s absolutely over-the-top chic, yet not the least bit overdone. The French have a way of dressing that’s all their own. The pieces they wear are perfectly tailored which means even the most basic of outfits (jeans and a tee) look amazingly stylish. They wear their clothes and carry themselves in a way that oozes sophistication. You won’t see a lot of bold colors or big pieces of fashion jewelry. It’s more about pairing well edited pieces with confidence.

So what does that mean if you’re wanting to blend in with the locals? Since we don’t all have a budget for a new travel wardrobe there’s a few key pieces you can grab which will also serve you well back home stateside. I’ve put this widget together with some of my top picks.

TO HOTEL OR NOT TO HOTEL

We wanted to have the most authentic experience possible and live like Parisians for week so for us the choice of an apartment vs. a hotel was a no brainer. We knew we wanted to rent a flat so we’d have more space to spread out, buy our groceries with the locals, and just feel {somewhat} like chic Parisians.

Breakfast with a view

We rented our flat through Paris Copia and had a great experience working with them. They’re a New York based company specializing in short term rentals of luxury apartments in Paris and London. What I loved about working with them is they are based in the States, which made communication easy since there’s not a time zone or language barrier. Also, they have Rik, an on-site concierge in Paris. He’s a former Texan turned Parisian, how’s that for an about face?! As soon as we booked our apartment Rik and I started working on our itinerary. I sent him a list of things we wanted to see and do and he helped with reservations, tickets, tours, car services, baby sitting agencies, and more. Not having to been to Paris before, and especially traveling with a 7 year old, I would have been lost without him.

Our Apartment – equipped with a jet lagged kiddo

Another high-end apartment rental company I’ve heard great things about is Paris Perfect.

If you’re headed to Paris for a quick trip, or are looking for more traditional hotel accommodations there’s more than enough options. Here are my Ultra Luxury, Luxe, and Budget Chic top picks.

Our apartment was centrally located in the 4th Arrondissement, The Marais. We loved walking the lively cobblestone streets which weren’t as packed with traffic as other parts of the city. However, you can’t go wrong staying in the 1st – 8th Arrondissements. I recommend doing a little research on each before narrowing down apartments/hotels.

Well friends, that wraps up part 1 of my Paris recap. Stay tuned for more…

Au Revoir,

James

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