Paris Is Always A Good Idea

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Ohhh Paris. Where do I even begin? I have always loved this city, but our visit the other week has cemented it as one of my favourite places in the world. I'm going to split our trip into two posts - today's will be all about the time Sam and I spent in the city, and then tomorrow I'll be talking about what we got up to in Disneyland!

thumb_pa302457_1024I'll start by being honest - a part of me was really not looking forward to this trip. Our last holiday was the worst week of my entire life and so I felt anxious and nervous about going away again. I was dreading the stress of the airport, the thought of flying, the whole idea that we would be taking a family trip without Blossom. The little anxiety goblin that lives in the less rational part of my brain was telling me that it was all a very terrible idea.

I couldn't relax as we sat and had a pre-flight drink, couldn't focus on reading my book when we boarded the plane. I was stressing about how we would get to the hotel, kept checking and re-checking our reservation and the route we needed to take. I didn't have that usual holiday excitement, that feeling of possibility and joy when you know you're off to explore somewhere you'll love. I worried that travel, which is such an important contributor to my happiness, might not be the same for me anymore.

thumb_pa302294_1024But as soon as we arrived in Paris, I knew I was wrong. We only had just over 24 hours in the city but those 24 hours were exactly what we needed.

You see, it is impossible not to feel happier when you're in Paris. It probably helped that the weather was just divine - 18 degrees and bright blue skies (which feels like a lifetime ago as I look out of the window at the snow melting in my back garden) - but I know we would have loved it even if it had been cold and grey. Paris is just one of those places for me where I feel more like myself, which was a joy after so many months of feeling a little bit lost.

thumb_pa302350_1024We spent hours wandering around my favourite parts of the city - climbing the cobbled streets of Montmartre to check out the view from the Sacre Coeur, admiring the pretty autumn scenes in the Tuileries Garden, strolling along the Seine and lapping up the sunshine. Every corner we turned was filled with another gorgeous scene and we spent so much of the day squealing at how lucky we were to be spending a sunny Sunday in Paris.

We ate as much delicious French food as we could manage - fillet steak with pepper sauce, freshly baked croissants with jam, the best croque monsieur I've ever eaten. We spent a little while in one of my favourite ever shops, Shakespeare and Co, browsing the books and adding a couple of new ones to our collection. I have always known that food and books are good for the soul, but they're even better when enjoyed in a city that truly embraces them as the gifts they are.thumb_pa302435_1024thumb_pa302478_1024But most of all we just relaxed. Slowed down. Prioritised what we wanted to do instead of what we felt we had to check off the list. Paris is so familiar to us that we didn't feel like we needed to spend loads of time seeing big sights or running around. We could just enjoy what we wanted to enjoy. It was magic.

I honestly believe that Paris was the perfect place for us to begin this trip that felt so huge and important to us. It helped me to remember why I love to travel so much and it reminded me that a change of scene can do you the world of good.thumb_pa302377_1024I have always loved this city and everything that it stands for. But this time around, Paris helped to mend my broken heart a little bit, and for that reason alone, it will always have a very special place in my heart.