The perfect trip to Paris

The Paris Basics

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
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Where we stayed

We used Airbnb during our stay. Big pat on the back to Ursula for scoring this amazing place! If this place isn’t for you, any place on Avenue de la Bourdonnais will be just as close! This picture is taken right outside the door of our apartment.

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 

If you are only visiting Paris for a few days some other hotel options that offer specular views & locations are:

Luxury Budget

The Pullman Hotel Elysées Céramic

Shangri-La Hotel Grand Hotel de Balcons

Mecure Paris Centre Hôtel Louvre Sainte Anne

Travel Tip- The Chaos Collective

Museums Visited


The Louvre

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 

The Louvre displays over 380,000 objects & 35,000 works of art that is spread out over 652,000 square feet. You could likely spend 3 full days here & still not see everything. It’s best to plan your trip ahead to make sure you can see what you want to see & peace out. But, do be sure to see the Mona Lisa while you are there! We made 2 separate stops at the Louvre on our trip, one for outside photo opps & the second to actually explore the inside. We went on a Wednesday after 4pm & there were little to no lines.

Bonus

October- March on the first Sunday of every month it’s free to enter the Louvre! However, this does bring in more people than normal since it’s free, so it may be a bit more crowded.

Petit Palais

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

Inside the Petit Palais you will find tons of sculptures & paintings from every era. Of course in true Paris fashion, even the ceilings are adorned with art. They offer different exhibits but, those you will have to pay for. When you enter the Palais, they will instruct you that you can not carry a large bag or purse with you, down the stairs, across from the gift shop area they offer a free coat & bag check. There is also a quaint little cafe & courtyard inside the Palais where you can sit & marvel at the architecture of the building.

Bonus

Petit Palais has a beautiful gold gate that covers the front entrance when they are closed, perfect photo opp!

Muse d'Orsay

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

The Musée d’Orsay is located on the left bank of the Seine river, this museum holds mainly french art from 1848-1914. This building used to be the railway station. Well, that’s some train station, let me tell you. This museum has Monet, Renir, Van Gough, Degas & much more. The large clocks are located all over he building with the biggest ones being in front of the gift shop on the second floor & in the restaurant also, located on the second floor. Normally, I am not a big museum enthusiast however, traveling with Ursula made the experience a lot less painful!

Bonus

The restaurant/cafe in the museum on the second floor is delicious. I legit, had the best pumpkin squash ravioli of my life!


Instagram Spots & Sightseeing


Trocadero

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 

This was one of the first places we went, it was a 10 min walk, if that, from our Airbnb. Be sure to check the weather forecast ahead of time & pick the right day to go. Sunrise & Sunset are the best time to get those Instagram photos, however sunset has triple the amount of people than sunrise. At sunset we took photos on the grassy knoll below Trocadero using the carousel & Eiffel tower as our back drop! These are by far my favorite photos from the trip.

Bonus

Those gates are there to keep people from climbing the ledge. If you go at sunrise there’s not really anyone around to see you break the rules. Pro: you get that dope ass IG photo. Con: those stupid gates are in your photo.

Versailles

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

This technically, can be considered as a day trip, because it WILL take all day & it’s not really with in the city. This was on the top of my list of places to visit, if you love history, you will love this place. This extravagant abode was originally built as a hunting lodge, yes, you read that right…..A HUNTING LODGE for king Louis XIII who eventually remodeled & made it a getaway for the royals. His son, king Louis XIV moved the aristocracy to Versailles in 1682 & made the estate into what it is today & in my opinion, is part of the reason him & Marie Antoinette lost their heads. The hall of mirrors is the most impressive room in all of the house, it only contains 357 mirrors. The estate of Trianon was closed for remodels when I visited & it was so windy that viewing the gardens was painful. Two of the biggest attractions you HAVE to see when visiting. Don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Bonus

The hall of mirrors will likely be packed with people, to get the best photo opp with least amount of people, walk all the way to the end of the hall of mirrors.

Opera Garnier

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
Photo Tip-  The Chaos Collective

The Opéra Garnier is a smaller but, just as fabulous, version of Versailles, except it’s within the city. The backdrop of the 1910 novel Phantom of the Opera, this place is stunning in the grandest of ways. You can literally feel the history in the building. This place is full of photo opps, the grand staircase to start, has the….you guessed it… grandest double staircase that is lined with overhead balconies. Photos on the staircase from the balconies & vice versa make for some great shots. However, the grand foyer is where it’s at, it slightly mimics the hall of mirrors at Versailles & is my personal favorite spot. Don’t forget to visit the auditorium & the outside balconies that over look Boulevard des Capucines, these can be accessed from the grand foyer.

Pont Alexandre lll Bridge

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 

This magnificent bridge connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides & Eiffel Tower. We had a severely overcast day that really brought the mood to the pictures. This bridge will either take you from Petit Palais to the Eiffel or vice versa. It is one of the most ornate bridges in Paris. If you’re going to visit Petit Palais it’s worth a stop for a quick snapshot.

Monmarte

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

Monmarte is impressionisms home. This is where many famous artist would sit & paint for hours on end. This area is cute & also has two hidden cafes & a sinking house. It is also home to Sacré-Cœur Basilica that sits on the highest point in Paris. The insta-cafes you can’t miss are Le consult & Le Maison Rose. (both pictured here) There is a lot to see in this little town, with its cobblestone streets & weathered buildings its a must see on any Paris trip.

Bonus

The sinking house is right next to Sacré-Cœur Basilica, you’ll look for a sinking house, but its actually just an optical illusion.

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Arc de Triomphe

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 

This monument at the end of the Champs Elyesées needs no introduction. It’s one of the more popular structures in Paris. But, make no mistake, if you step foot off that curb you will die. As I’m sure you can imagine the driving in a round about of that size is a little bit…well…terrifying. So when getting your gram photos be sure to take extra caution.

Bonus

Twice a year the sun sets directly in the center of the Arc. Sometime around May 10th & August 1st were the dates for 2019. Of course everyone comes out & the streets are filled with people holding phones & cameras.

Notre Dame

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

Notre Dame is almost surreal to enter. While it is free to enter & they do allow photos, please be mindful of the people who are there to pray. From the rose windows to the medieval, arched ceilings this place is definitely something you don’t want to miss. This building has history that dates back to the 1100’s.

Update: A week after I arrived home, Notre Dame caught fire, as I’m sure you saw on the news. They were able to save a lot of it, however, I’m not sure how much of it will be open to the public in the future months. I feel lucky to have gotten to see it before this catastrophe happened.

Bonus

If you are able to enter, be sure to go later in the day, the light gives an amazing color display inside the building as it shines through the rose windows.

Rapp Street Secret Garden

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 

Bonus Instagram spot

This secret garden is really not so secret anymore. It’s all over Instagram & was fairly easy to find. Turns out it was only a block & a half behind our Airbnb. This small space offers a beautiful view of the Eiffel nestled between two buildings.

This spot is within a gate & part of some apartments, therefore entering the gate is considered trespassing so enter at your own risk.


Day trip


Normandy

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
 
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

Normandy is a cool little town, with not much action happening. But, this small town is full of history & beautiful architecture. This is one of those places where you are going to need some Euros, the cafe we ate in didn’t accept cards. We rented a car & drove to Omaha Beach which was about 30 mins away. Now, being from a beach town it was super rad to me, to be able to visit a beach in a European country. Especially a beach with so much history.

Omaha Beach is where US & other allied forces invaded German occupied France in 1944 during World War II. Theres a small museum just up the hill from the beach that plays a short film every 15 minutes that is totally worth watching. While inside the museum, I found multiple news paper clippings talking about a town only 1 hour away from where I live…..so that was pretty cool. I will say parts of the museum & film were a little depressing but, if you love history, especially the WWII era, then this place is worth the trip.


What to Pack


The time of year you are planning to visit will dictate what you should pack. We visited in early March & experienced a bit of rain, strong gust of winds & lower 50 degree weather. So I was sure to take a warm rain coat, boots, & of course anything I needed for photos. My leather jacket did the trick most days with a t-shirt but, I was still cold. I could’ve gone with another layer, especially on the days with strong wind gust.

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Have you been to Paris? What were some things that you would totally do again if you went back? Drop me a comment!

The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective
The perfect trip to Paris- The Chaos Collective

Charleston, South Carolina: a 48 hour itinerary

Due to my boyfriends work schedule & the fact that anything cool is 7+ hours drive time, it’s hard for us to really get away without him having to take vacation time. However, Memorial Day weekend was a 3 day weekend for him & the perfect time to get away, we choose Charleston, SC!

This was definitely one of the more chill vacations we’ve taken. I got to nap BOTH days!


Travel Day:

Friday after bae got off work we hit the road for our 6.5 hour road trip. We left Virginia Beach around 5pm & arrived at our hotel in Mount Pleasant around 12:30am.

Where we stayed:

The Cambria Hotel in Mount Pleasant: this is just a short 15 min drive over the bridge into Charleston & is a cute little area all on it’s own! This hotel is BEAUTIFUL! The bed was a literal cloud from heaven, the mirror in the bathroom had bluetooth with a speaker inside it….um yeahhhhh!!! And…our room had the best natural lighting ever! This caused the 4 year old in me to come out & jump on the bed…..of course getting some photos while I was at it!

(Don’t mind the fan on the nightstand it goes everywhere with me)

Cambria Hotel- Mount Pleasant- The Chaos Collective
Cambria Hotel Charleston- The Chaos Collective

Day 1- May 25th

We had planned to start our day with Breakfast at Vicious Biscuit because the menu looked delicious! However there was a line out the door & I wasn’t prepared to stand in the sweltering heat. Oh yeah, did I forget to tell you they had record breaking temperatures the weekend we were there? 95-100 degrees the whole weekend.

So instead, we went across the street to a cute little coffee shop called Metto Coffee & Tea ($). Bae enjoyed a delicious cold brew coffee, which he raved about, & a breakfast wrap while I had the housemade yogurt parfait & a iced honey latte.

 
Metto Coffee & Tea-The Chaos Collective
 

From there we headed about an hour southwest to Beaufort, SC to visit the Old Sheldon Church Ruins. These were super cool to see & definitely secluded. So, as usual I packed one of my many flowy dresses from VICI & we snapped some photos.

SN:This site is free to visit.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Old Sheldon Church Ruins South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Old Sheldon Church Ruins South Carolina- The Chaos Collective

The driving to & from took up a bit of time so we just headed back to the hotel after the ruins, I took a quick power nap & then we headed out to Boone Hall Plantation. I was trying to get the timing just right for lighting, of course forgetting that people get married at these plantations plus, it being Memorial Day weekend we did run into some wedding photos taking place…..the bride & her 15 bridesmaids….yes 15 ya’ll this is the south after all.

But I did manage to get the photos I wanted in both locations so…..yay!!

SN: There is a fee to visit Boone Hall which is $24 no matter how long you plan to stay.

Hall of Oaks- Boone Hall Plantation- The Chaos Collective
Boone Hall Plantation- The Chaos Collective
Hall of Oaks- Boone Hall Plantation- The Chaos Collective

After we were done sweating to death, we went over to Taco Boy ($$) for some delicious tacos & frozen drinks before heading downtown for sunset. The traffic downtown was definitely not the best, however I found a parking space one block away from Rainbow Row, so all in all, parking downtown wasn’t as much of a pain as I thought it would be. Downtown is full of amazing little alleyways, waterfront park is where you’ll find the Pineapple fountain & rows of beautiful homes.

Downtown Charleston SC- The Chaos Collective
Downtown Charleston SC- The Chaos Collective
Downtown Charleston SC- The Chaos Collective
Downtown Charleston SC- The Chaos Collective
Downtown Charleston SC- The Chaos Collective
Downtown Charleston SC- The Chaos Collective

Day 2- May 26th

We got up pretty early, even though neither of us wanted to, somewhere around 6:30am we were both up & at em’. My plan for the morning was to beat the heat & get some killer morning light at Magnolia Plantation, which we totally did. I liked Magnolia Plantation way more than Boone Hall Plantation. While both of them were beautiful in their own way, Magnolia Plantation has much more extensive grounds.

SN: Magnolia Plantation is about 28mins from Charleston & is $20 to enter.

Magnolia Plantation South Carolina- The Chaos Collective.jpg
Magnolia Plantation South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Magnolia Plantation South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Magnolia Plantation South Carolina- The Chaos Collective.jpg
Magnolia Plantation South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Magnolia Plantation South Carolina- The Chaos Collective

By time we were ready to leave Magnolia Plantation everyone was starting to show up, so we got done just in time & I didn’t feel like I was about to die of heat exhaustion! Success! Next we headed back downtown so I could try to score some Rainbow Row photos with less people. This was also a success! From there we hit up the City Market & part of it was air-conditioned which was a nice surprise! With it being so hot, & me being so high maintenance we drove the few blocks to the market & again, found front row parking….no problem.

Rainbow Row South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Rainbow Row South Carolina- The Chaos Collective

From here we headed to The Vintage ($$) for a late breakfast.This place was already lined with people & they were super busy. We were quickly served with some delicious food & coffee, bae stuck with yet another cold brew & breakfast wrap & I with my iced latte & granola/yogurt parfait. We did try the cider doughnuts which were super hot & fresh.

The Vintage- South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
The Vintage South Carolina- The Chaos Collective

The Vintage is about 6 minutes from the hotel so I went back & took a nap to escape the hottest part of the day. Bae enjoyed the pool while I got my beauty rest. When I woke up we headed to Red’s Icehouse, the menu looked amazing however the wait time & lack of AC inside was NOT awesome. We wanted to try & catch some sunset photos on Isle of Palms beach under the pier, however the area of the beach where the pier is, was jammed packed. So we headed to Poes Tavern to try & grab some dinner under the impression sunset wasn’t happening for us. Well, the line to get into Poes Tavern was out the door so we ended up just driving around exploring a bit. By some miracle, somewhere between Isle of Palms & Sullivans Island we found a parking spot directly in front of a beach access point, on a WEST FACING BEACH.

Now, if you live on the east coast you know what a very rare thing it is to see the sunset over the water. (Sun rises in the east, sets in the west) I live in a beach town & have never seen the sun set over the water on this coast. If you have, tell me your secrets!

Isle of Palms, South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Isle of Palms, South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Isle of Palms, South Carolina- The Chaos Collective
Isle of Palms, South Carolina- The Chaos Collective

This beautiful sunset was the end to a perfect weekend. We found a hole in the wall place to stuff our faces from here, which I don’t even remember the name of because we were so famished. With the exception of the heat, I would say our trip to Charleston was a huge success & would highly recommend it!!

What to pack

I always bring along a couple of my favorite dresses for photos, so that goes without saying. However, if you are visiting Charleston in the summer I highly suggest shorts, tanks, bathing suits & sunscreen.

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Have you been to Charleston? What were some of your favorite things to see & do?? Drop me a comment below!

Cryistal Chaos

48 Hours in Charleston South Carolina- The Chaos Collective