Paris, France

Overview- This was my fourth time traveling to Paris. The love that I have for this city is indescribable. My girlfriend had never traveled to Europe before and Paris was a must for both of us. While we arrived super early and our room wasn’t ready, we pushed through our jet lag and made the most of our day. The energy and attitude of Paris is so infectious, it makes you crave it more every time you visit. I am so glad I got to share this city with one of my closest friends.

How we got there:

On our way to the city of lights, I got upgraded to business class. Let me tell you…I will never fly coach again when I travel abroad. Here’s how I did it. I am a Gold Member on American Airlines-I purchased my ticket for about $1,100. To upgrade yourself, you only need 25,000 miles and of course pay the fee of $350. Obviously a way better deal than actually pay for first class (if you can afford it). Visit AA’s website for various other options using points to upgrade. Note that this is not always a guarantee. Airlines only have a limited about of award seats available on each flight. You can check on ExpertFlyer’s website and they will let you know if there are any seats available. It would be wise to check this site prior to purchasing your ticket. You can also see what the configuration of the plane and if they have both business and first class or just business.If the site does not show any award seats available, it doesn’t mean they won’t open up at a later date. So you can set up an alert. You will also need to call AA directly and place yourself on a wait list. Award seats open up first to those with the highest status and then trickles down to us minions. I literally stalked this website for months checking to see how many open seats were left. Lo-and behold! I got upgraded and it was FABULOUS!

Where we stayed:
The Park Hyatt Vendome is where we stayed for two days. I was able to use points (60,000) to cover our stay. We arrived around 7:30am. Our room of course was not ready, so the front desk kindly directed us to the restaurant and offered us complimentary coffee and chocolate croissants.Once we were able to check into our room, what we encountered was incredible! Vaulted ceilings with wood and gold trim, dual sinks, and marble floors. We also had a very nice note from the general manager along with a bottle of wine and cheese. Needless to say, this was an amazing was to kick off our trip. The service was excellent and the ambiance was warm and inviting. Highly recommend! Rating: 5 out of 5


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What we did:

Since our arrived in the early hours, and our room wasn’t ready, we decided to hit the streets early as we knew we had some time to kill. Our hotel is perfectly situated in the Place Vendome area. Surrounded by high-end shops, such as Chanel and Dior. A perfect escape from the zooming mo-peds. Here are some things we did.

Arc de Triumph Right at the end of the Champ Elysee, this structure is a site to see. The hop-on/hop-off bus drops you off right in front. The only way up to the top is by stairs, there are no elevators. So this is something to consider. Cost: €12

Bar Hemingway– This watering hole is where Ernest Hemingway famously drank 51 martini’s to help remove the Germans. The ambiance and decor are stunning.Sometimes there can be a wait, but I promise you it’s worth it. Bartender Collin has been with the establishment for over 23 years and has crafted a mean menu.

Christian Louboutin- for a shoe lover, this is a must. Note that there are several locations, but the one to visit is the original located in Rue de Jacques. This is the flagship store, where Christian himself frequently visits! He’ll even sign your shoes, if you’re lucky.

Eiffel Tower– Duh! My recommendation, visit the tower at night and every hour, it sparkles for five minutes. The French hate it, but I think it’s majestic.

Louvre Museum- In my honest opinion, the Louvre is wonderful, truly it is. It’s a staple to Paris. However, it is such a tourist trap! It’s crowded and extremely hot (no one there believes in air conditioning there). The museum is so massive, it could take you 2-3 days to really comb through all of the exhibits. Mona Lisa of course resides inside the Louvre, so you have every single soul, clambering their way to see this 4×6 painting. It’s cool for all of five seconds, but then you’ll want to sprint out the front door, if you can find it.

Notre Dame- You can climb all the way up to the top for fantastic view of the city

Shopping on Rue de Saint Honoree– If you want high-end shopping, then this is for you! Anything you can get your hands on can be found here. Hermes to Dior, you name it, you got it!

Tuileries Jardin

Where we ate:

Angelina Cafe– Located on Rue de Rivoli- this classic staple is known for their pastries and desserts. Kendall Jenner has been caught leaving this establishment. Cost: $

Cafe Constant– One of my favorite restaurants in Paris. The service and quality of food is always on point. It also helps that it is a Michelin rated restaurant that isn’t overly priced. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Eiffel Tower. Cost: $$

Eric Kayser– I found this gem on Conde Nast website. Fresh bread is a staple here. The whole menu is in french, but they have fresh samples out for you to view, making the selection process easier. Cost: $

Ritz Paris– This iconic hotel just reopened after years of closure for renovations. While I was hoping to enjoy high-tea, we had a quick bite to eat- oysters, caprese salad and french fries, and carried our way on to Bar Hemingway. Cost: $$$

Sourire– This super cute place is in the Latin Quarter District, walking distance from Notre Dame. A great place to people watch and grab a quick bite to eat. The french fries are superb. Cost: $

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