The pharmacy we went to was located near the Marais. I had mapped out some creative shops I wanted to visit in that area. I had lost sleep over how excited I was to see the ribbon shop, the whimsical antique shop, and the wallpaper store. Well…we got lost. I got us lost. It really isn’t the worst thing in the world to get lost in the Marais, I mean look at what we saw along the way.
The start of day two was the Porte de Vanves flea market. MY FAVORITE. The moment I had been waiting for. We enjoyed ourselves so much. The treasures are so special and the booth owners are wonderful.
Every interaction we had people were so kind. We always attempted to speak a little French, but often they would speak English to us, and if not we could negotiate transactions by writing numbers on a piece of paper, hand gestures and smiles.
I didn’t find tons of booths with linen, but enough. I purchased a pile of heavy French linen vintage nightgowns to use for their fabric. The fabric is remarkable, and I even tried one on hoping it would fit, but no. That’s okay, I still appreciate them so much. I also bought some vintage cotton red/pink fabric that is perfect for Christmas, I have already started sewing with it, and I am love it so much.
Mon amie, Jenn, purchasing paintings for her shop.
My favorite most unique find, were these sketches/watercolors that were done by a French decorator from the 1940s. The detail with them is mindblowing. It is just like everything else the France, beauty and detail are the focus. Its like things would be beautiful even if they stopped 5 steps before, but they just keep adding detail after detail to their buildings, to their pastries, to their gardens, and in this case sketches of furniture. Tres belle. This is defintiely the find that surprised me. I never once thought such a thing existed, but now they are my treasure. I did pick up enough for me and enough for my shop.
I planned out a gallery wall in my hotel.
I happily hung some up in my home.
The detail is incredible, this is just a 5 by 6 inch sketch add look at the decor that is drawn on the shade.
these ones will be for sale on my shop site on October 14 at 7pm CST.
a quick bit of styling in my hotel room
The man who sold me the sketches was so kind, and he threw in a couple as “presents.” This was our first time in France that we got freebies, but it turned into a routine. When I bought linen the shop owner threw in an extra tea towel as “present.” Even at a gift shop where I bought my son a Mbappe PSG jersey (if you don’t know what or who that is, its a soccer thing) and the owner gave me a PSG bag to pass on to my soccer fan. Everyone seemed happy to see visitors from America, I am guessing we were a bit of a sign that things might be getting back to normal.
What I regret with our flea market trip is not looking into taking an Uber back to the hotel. Riding the metro with our bags was something and climbing the metro stairs with our haul was an entirely bigger something. But we made it. It was a labor of love for my treasures that I did happily, but there might have been an easier solution.
After our finds were safely back in our hotel rooms we finally made it to the fancy candle store. We used an Uber to cut down on the chance of getting lost. The Cire Trudon store was Jenn suggestion. This special candle maker has been in business since the 1600s, and the scents are exceptional. I was totally there for it. It was really fun to look and smell, smell and look. Now these candles are quite a splurge. But if you need to treat youreslf to something, this is a good one. We really enjoyed speaking to the young woman who helped and she loaded us up of freebies. Those freebies were very welcome to travel home with me. Lucky for me Jenn did gift me a cire trudon candle in my favorite scent. I had used awards to cover our hotel stay and she wanted to do something special. I mean I told her she didn’t need to, but she didn’t have to twist my arm too hard. The candle makes me very happy, I allow myself to burn it for a special two hours a week, it smells so good and even adds a good amount of scent to the room when it isn’t burning. It reminds me of Paris. And sits in my sewing corner. I will report back on how long I can make it last.
Then we walked to the Tuileries soaking in all the sights we passed, the Opera House, and the Place Vendome for a few.
It was perfect weather and I enjoyed one of our favorite meals sitting in the gardens eating a croque monsieur and crepe for lunch.
Our last must see destintion for our time in Paris was Montmartre. My love for this area goes deep. Its beyond charming, all the shops and cafes nestled into the incline of the hill. Also this is where the artists of Paris have lived since the mid 1800s, so there is a unique artisitic vibe (all of Paris is artistic, but you will feel it being a bit different here).
It is such a treat to wander through Place du Tertre. In this square there are several cafes and artisits set up booths to sell their work, and often times there are painting while there. I have purchased a couple of my favorite art pieces here, they are lovely and I love having the reminder of the special place.
Do you spy what I brought home to my dining room?
We took time to walk through the Sacre-Couer. This is a must do in my opinion, the view of Paris from its steps is breathtaking. Also I love the feeling of peace and awe that I get inside a cathedral. I am not of the catholic faith, but there is so much history seeped into those walls its hard not to feel something emotional when there.
Our wonderful day in Paris came to end with eating two desserts in two different cafes in Place du Tertre. I was full and very happy.
In case you are wondering, we stayed in the Hyatt Etoile. It is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Arc Du Triomphe and just a block from the main metro line that goes to the center of Paris. It is very easy to get around from there. I like riding the metro. I also like the hotel, it is nice and clean with good service and the best part is that it was free for us. As a family we don’t use a lot of credit cards, but we did sign up for a Hyatt credit card years ago when they were offering two free nights at ANY of their hotels worldwide. My husband and I used those nights to stay in Paris in the Hyatt Vendome, now that experience would be another whole long blog post. It was very, very fancy and romantic too :). We have kept the credit cards because we get free award nights every year at their category 4 or less hotels. We have had some great trips because of them. Using them for the Hyatt Etoile is a great value, its not a budget hotel. Since we had not been traveling much we had 4 nights to use, so Jenn and I each got our own room. This was a good decision because the rooms are very small and even with two twin beds I think the beds would have been touching. I love Jenn, but with jet lag and waking up at weird times I think we were both very grateful for our space.
The view from my hotel room, notice the Sacre-Couer in the distance.
I am beyond grateful I got to experience this city again and with a friend that had all the same interests as I did. Next we were headed to Provence…