There’s not a magazine, newspaper or travel blog out there without a definitive summary of every chic spot everyone who’s anyone should hit while they’re in town. Doesn’t matter what town you’re in, perhaps Pittsburg maybe Paris, your rundown of daily must-dos will be exhausting. If you’re up for a whirlwind pound-the-pavement kind of trip, go for it! But if you want to be mellower, do not be afraid to shirk the one-size-fits-all travel tips, go at your pace, and create a one-of-a-kind travelogue in the process.
My recent quick trip was three days in Paris that included a delirious twelve hours during which our internal clocks were inside out and upside down. If our trip were a croque-monsieur, it would be easy to see why we’d have to pace ourselves. Paris was the two pieces of bread flanking the jamon et queso inside (which just so happened to be a major cycling trip through the Bordeaux region) and the fried egg permeating the whole thing was the general exhaustion that any parents of small children feel going into any trip at all, even if it’s down the street.
Having been to Paris before, we had the luxury to just do whatever we wanted to do without any pressure at all to check off major monuments and destinations. There were certainly things I would have liked to have done had I been feeling more ambitious, but I had two goals and I intended to keep them in focus. Number one: I wanted to be in Paris as an observer. I wanted to sit and watch and notice and take it all in. I also wanted to wander and get lost and allow a little serendipity to do its thing. Number two: I wanted to have fun with my husband—to really absorb the rarity of uninterrupted time together in a wonderfully inspiring place.
It was really that simple: un, deux. So I spent my time snapping photos of everything we ate in Paris, shop windows and interiors that inspired me, city scenes that caught my eye, examples of fabulous street fashion, and boulangerie and patisserie offerings that were arranged just so.
Itinerary be damned! We were in Paris and it seemed a shame to race around like greedy Americans collecting ticket stubs and crossing off monuments. And we were rewarded when serendipity changed our course, like our last night in France when we rolled into Paris an hour late thus making our planned trip to the Grand Palais impossible.
We puffed our cheeks in that adorable way the French do, shrugged our shoulders and went to grab one last dinner in Paris before we crashed. Just as we flagged down our check, we learned that tonight was Nuit Blanche, the one day of the year when most museums are open all night. Our guidebooks couldn’t have told us that! So we strolled down the Champs Élyseés and made our way to the Grand Palais at midnight.
Our photo book about our three days in Paris won’t look much like anyone else’s, but I prefer it that way. Plus, Mixbook has plenty of stickers of all the major Paris monuments to round out our album. I used the Vintage Travel template to show off my experience in the City of Light. I love how the retro feel of the design matches our approach to our time in Paris: that is, with a pace hardly recognizable from within the break-neck speed of our actual lives. I pulled in some fun stickers from other Mixbook templates using the sticker search box. While a trip to Paris without a visit to the Eiffel Tower was fine with me, a photo book without an Eiffel Tower just seemed wrong. Bon Mixbooking!