The Fresh Exchange Blog

Paris Day Sixteen

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I don’t know what you do on your last full day in Paris. Do you go to the top of the Eiffel Tower? Do you sit at a cafe for hours? Do you shop in the tiny boutiques around the city? I have no answer and this may of been why I did a little mix of it all. This last day felt good, it felt right and it felt complete. I walked away feeling Paris had not just met it’s expectation but blown me away. It showed me a side of myself in I never expected to find on those cobble stone streets. This day ended watching the sunset down the street at a cafe, eating macarons and making a final dinner with our team in Versailles.

This town has filled me in a way I cannot really explain well and I don’t know if I am ready to yet. Being away now in Italy I feel a hole in my heart for what Paris offered. The attention to detail and the purpose of life brought me such happiness. We forget this importance in life in America and as a designer I know the that the experience from beginning to end for a brand is everything.

I am sure you all know Laduree Macarons, if not check it out, and yes I had my share of these lovely treats, but I have to say the macarons are great almost everywhere in the city and they are a perfect example of the Parisian desire for perfection, style, and attention to detail.

Lemoine was an amazing example of how this is true. We thought we should grab some macarons before hopping the train back to Versailles to have with coffee after dinner. This little spot was right by Rue Clare and couldn’t have been more adorable. I fell in love (well like I do with every macaron store of course).

These little ones were some of my favorites I saw in the city. The colors were great and oh yeah the flavors were perfectly unexpected. I was in heaven.

So what will I miss most? Everything honestly…Yes even the dogs peeing on the street or the homeless man trying to steal my groceries. I will miss it. This city is the greatest city in the world, hands down. It will forever hold a very special place in my heart and if you ever come to France take the time for this place, you will not regret it. I never expected to fall for it like I have. I am no city girl, but this place will forever be my favorite.

The day before we left my mom told me my grandfather was here fighting during World War II at that time all the monuments were boarded. The walls were empty in the Louvre and all of Paris was a desolate and lonely place. He supposedly always wanted to come back and to see the Eiffel Tower in al it’s glory the way he imagined it would look. It kind of broke my heart to know he never came back, but I hope in some existential way I fullfilled that for him. That while I was here I was able to see what he always had hoped to. He never came back to Europe and in fact very rarely left his home in Northern Michigan after returning from war. In some way how ever it is even possible I hope he saw all I saw while wandering the streets of Paris. I hope he saw the Paris he always knew was under all the devastation.

Do me a favor. If you come to Paris spend more time wandering the streets and seeing the shops, interracting with the people, and learning the history than seeing the sights. Your heart will be stolen by the culture and the expectation of beauty from the architecture to the fashion. Yes the Eiffel Tower is beautiful and the Seine is quite the site, but the people that live here and preserve all this beauty are the true treasures of this city.

Cheers my friends…Next I still have a few specific shoots to share from Paris (including tacos and yes more macarons), but then it is on to Italy.

 

16 Comments

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  1. I want ALL the macarons in my mouth. At the same time.

    These posts have been really beautiful, Megan. Thanks for sharing. XO

  2. Kate

    Stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago, and oddly enough at just the right time. Leaving New York on Saturday to head to Paris for my honeymoon!

    I am taking all your advice to heart. From your stunning photos to your beautiful words–I can’t wait to explore this magical city!

    Thanks for sharing.
    love + light

  3. I have absolutely loved these posts! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful pictures 🙂 I’ve never been to Paris, but I’m dying to go. Posts like these make it hard to resist just jumping on a plane this afternoon. xoxo! eliza

  4. I feel that way about NY. And I agree wholeheartedly about skipping the sights and wandering the city streets. My ‘last night in NY’ tradition is a 30 or so block pilgrimage up broadway to my old neighborhood. Lovely post.

  5. Brooke

    i loved the story about your grandfather’s time in paris, when all the good parts were tucked away during the war. kind of felt full circle–sad but poignant and hopeful. beautiful post.

  6. Oh thank you! I really felt I needed to share it. I don’t normally open up about my family like that, but it was so critical in the story especially the last days I was there. I was seeing things with a little different eye. Thank you for reading!!

  7. There is just something about the city isn’t there?

  8. I really really hope you get here some day. When you do take it slow. Spend a week or two if possible. Don’t get overwhelmed because it is a place that needs to be soaked up.

  9. Kate I hope you have a wonderful time and it is ever so romantic in every way! Eat lots of Macarons…and a tip…don’t buy alcohol out if you don’t have to…buy it at the grocery store…especially champagne you will save TONS!

    Anyways travel safe and hope the wedding is everything you dreamed.

  10. Thank you!!! Maybe we need to buy some in SLC huh? Oh wait it is a blogger conference they will be all over right?! 😉

  11. Aunt Pam

    Beautiful Megan and thanks for remembering grandpa. He was an armchair traveler. He would buy maps and pour over them. He never went back cause Grandma was afraid to travel and fly so he stayed home. I know if he had out lived her he would have tagged along on your trip. I always wished that for him , that he could see the things he wanted to see. You at least are fulfilling that dream. So glad you were able to do this.

  12. I will always love Paris!

  13. Hi, this bar looks great: I’m off to paris again and looking for new places. Where was if?

  14. Ísis

    Lovely blog!

  15. Ísis

    Wonderful experience you just shared. Thank you, thank you. Me and my mom loved to see the pictures and also you story full of feelings about this beautiful amazing country. Paris!
    Greetings from Brazil.

  16. […] of all, credit and kudos goes to Megan Gilger of The Fresh Exchange for this beautifully candid shot of a place that truly embodies the casual elegance of parisian […]

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