Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pennywise in Paris 2: la fin de l'été

 With the warm days of summer coming to an end far too soon, my husband and I, rather impulsively, decided to make the most of the last of the fair weather (and the last of our saved travel points!) to return to one of our very favorite cities. 
We had visited Paris last Fall and were completely enchanted by its history, art, and architecture: not to mention it's magnifique macarons(!) and although many feel August isn't an optimal time to visit, (many Parisians leave for the countryside and some businesses close) we found summer in this most magical of cities a true delight!
Of course we enjoyed many of the same classic, and "pennywise" summer pleasures we might at home: overindulging in ice cream, spending afternoons in the park and browsing flea markets, but all with a charming, and decidedly french twist. 
With no budget for a vintage Chanel bag or silk Hermes scarf, I returned home instead with happy memories, a handful of postcards and my camera brimming with photos as my souvenirs. Armed with advice and tips from far more seasoned Paris travelers we thoroughly enjoyed navigating the ins and outs of this fascinating city and thought I'd share a few highlights as a relative newbie to this marvelous city.     
*For more of my PennyWise Parisian favorites from a previous trip, visit 
Pennywise in Paris

Afternoon in the Park
Delights for young and old at the Jardin des Tuileries
Being such a densely populated city, Paris wisely offers relief from the crowds with many beautifully manicured open public (and child friendly) spaces, including the famed Jardin des Tuileries.
carousel:Fontainebleu square

Ice Cream and Sweet Treats

Site seeing can be hard work and of course ice cream and sweets become necessary to keep energy levels high. Shop windows laden with artful eats, all impeccably displayed, are almost impossible to resist. One afternoon, I popped into the wildly popular Laduree, and although I could easily have spent a small fortune on their exquisite creations, for just few euros, I was able to sample a few delectable macarons and get a glimpse of this gilded confectioner heaven.
ice cream stand Laduree Champs Elysees, A serious sweet shop: Laduree interior
yummy souvenirs

Browsing the Markets


Paris boasts some of the worlds oldest and most established flea markets....

 but we also discovered smaller, yet just as delightful versions which pop up about the city and neighboring towns

trinkets & treasures

A Drive in the Country

Visiting Fontainebleau

While there are endless things to do in the city, we decided to venture out one day to visit the lovely Fontainebleau in the Barbizon forest. A manageable hour or so drive outside Paris, we found the small town and it's namesake chateau enchanting. 
Even better, the cost of admission to the castle was included in our must-have museum pass.
playful monkeys, detail wall ornamentation, Throne room, Library

Home to centuries of royalty and celebs of the day (Josephine Bonaparte and Leonardo's Mona Lisa resided here at one time) the castle reflects a fascinating mix of eras and varying design and architectural styles.
the "more is more" approach to decorating 
fewer crowds than Versailles makes for a relaxing visit
lovely grounds to stroll

a quick bite at a cafe and back to Paris
sunflowers at full speed

Bon Nuit!

Merci for visiting!