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!


  1. What a fun trip! My husband and I visited Paris a couple years ago, and we loved it. We went to Versailles, but I'd love to visit Fontainebleau next time:)

    1. Versailles really can't be beat but Fontainebleu was really lovely- My husband called it Versailles Jr. - also if you go, in the town of Fontainebleau is a boulangerie with the best bread we've ever had! :)

  2. I love the park and that old fashioned sailor styled window. We all got blisters at Versailles walking through the gardens but I wish I had gone in to see La Petite Trianon. Our holiday was very low budget too but we have photos and memories and that is what matters in the end!

    1. I loved that sailor too- so charming
      - Isn't Versailles just huge?- and that's funny - I've been twice and still haven't seen La Petite Trianon- which I'm dying to visit- (hope there is a next time sigh- lol) - the crowds were massive this time because they were running the water shows that evening- It seems there is never enough time- I think working with a tight budget really makes you get creative and seek out off the beaten path things to so and see :)

  3. Christina,
    How wonderful that you went to France! I loved having a virtual tour via your beautiful photos. My sister and I were just talking yesterday about hoping to get back to France. We had just seen the latest Woody Allen film, Magic in Moonlight, that is set in the Cote d'Azur. The cinematography was stunning. I could watch the film with no sound so I could soak in all the gorgeous French countryside.



    1. Thanks so much Judith -
      We really had a grand time-but of course time flew by far too fast- we tried to see as much as we could
      I'd love to go to the cote d'Azure one day- I will have to put that movie on my must watch list!
      So glad you enjoyed the photos and I hope you and your sister get back to France soon! :)

  4. i love the sunflowers picture. we were in paris in april, and we drove out to normandy for a week to travel throughout the area. i took pictures like yours, and i called it my own impressionist paintings! what a wonderful trip you took.

    1. Impressionist paintings! That's perfect! I was supposed to be helping navigate the drive but was too busy taking photos out the window! lol-
      I'd love to got o Normandy one day- must have been a fabulous trip! :)


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