Nice, France

Ever heard the saying, ‘Nice is nice’? Welp, it’s true.

Last May, Josh and I went on a two-week trip to Iceland, Paris, and Nice. Ending our trip in Nice was the perfect decision because it has a great mix of sight-seeing, yummy food, and beach time. We had been on the go for 9 days and were ready to soak up being engaged [and not having a day-by-day itinerary like we did in Iceland]. We didn’t even go in with anything in mind – no known places to see, restaurants in which to dine, or things to do.

Since this was Josh’s first time to Europe, we decided to take the scenic route and booked 2 first class seats on the TGV, France’s high-speed train. The journey from Gare de Lyon to Nice Ville took us about 6 hours. We were able to check out France’s countryside – something we definitely wouldn’t have been able to do from 30,000 feet up.

For our 3 days in Nice, we stayed in an AirBnb on Rue Paradis, right off of a cute pedestrian-only route, Rue Massena. The apartment was right near le Jardin d’Albert and was a super quick walk to Place Massena, their version of a town square. Our place was so central that we didn’t need to grab a cab for the duration of our stay, which is always clutch.

Here are some of the things we did:

  • Visited the #ILoveNice sign – A must-do in Nice in the age of Instagram. If you don’t get a picture with the sign, were you even in Nice?! How would anyone know?!
  • Walked around Place Massena
  • Checked out the Monument Aux Morts de NiceMonument_Nice
  • Walked along La Promenade des Anglais/Quai des Etats-Unis
    • The best views of the water, lots of restaurants, tons of shops & beach clubs

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  • Spent a half day laying out by the water at Plage Beau Rivage . One thing to note: the beaches in Nice are very pebbly and are uncomfortable to lay on without a beach chair. Since we didn’t bring beach towels, we opted to pay to hang out at Beau Rivage, where we had reserved beach chairs, towels, and had wait service right at our chairs. They even had burlap down as walkways to help with the heat and ouchies from walkingon stones.
    Beach 2_Nice
  • Wandered through the pedestrian streets and popped into the tiny shops. It’s so fun to get lost in the tiny foot-traffic-only alleys in European cities (more on this to come in my Greece notes) and to stumble upon some really great restaurants.

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  • Most importantly, ate a lot of charcuterie and macarons.

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    Have you ever been to Southern France? Which cities did you go to? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a note below or on ATG’s Instagram to share and stay tuned for more itineraries/city guides in the weeks to come!

 

Baked Chickpeas – Sarah Elsea Style

What a lovely surprise it was to have Sarah Elsea walk into my old work a few years ago! From day one, the two of us bonded over our shared love of J.Crew’s tissue turtlenecks, candy, wedding planning, and now blogging. Even though we don’t work together anymore (ICYMI, I moved to Chicago), we still chat several times a week to check in on each other and vent about what’s happening in our lives.

Sarah and I started our blogs around the same time and we’ve been helping each other figure this whole #bloggerlife out. I think together, we have a total of maybe 300 followers, but we’re getting there?!

When Sarah shared her easy baked chickpea recipe, I knew I had to share it with my followers. So… head on over to Sarah’s page, give her a follow, and try out this awesome recipe. I know I will!

Italian Tomato & Garbanzo Bean Soup

I first encountered the recipe for this Italian tomato & garbanzo bean soup through Hello Fresh and I’ll admit that initially, I was skeptical. I didn’t think that chickpeas, or garbanzo beans to you official folks, belonged in a soup. Long story short, I was quickly proven wrong and they’re actually my favorite part of this recipe. I’ve tweaked a few things and made the process even more foolproof, making this one of my favorite go-to meals when the weather turns cooler.

This dump-everything-in-a-pot-and-let-it-simmer recipe is SO easy and the end result is a hearty, makes-your-soul-feel-good, semi-healthy bowl of yumminess. Intrigued yet?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1.5 cups (ish) chicken stock (you can easily swap this for veggie broth to make this vegetarian friendly!)
  • Celery, onions, & carrots (I made it easy and used this mirepoix mix)
  • Garlic (I used 3 cloves, but you go with what your heart tells you on this one)
  • Italian herb seasoning
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish

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Here’s what you do:

  • Mince garlic.
  • In a relatively large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Dump the whole mirepoix mix bag into pan and stir occasionally until veggies are softened, 3-4 minutes. Season with Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Add minced garlic to pan and stir combo for an additional minute or until super fragrant.
  • Pour entire cans of crushed tomatoes & garbanzo beans into pan.
  • Add in 1.5 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, lower heat, and let stand for 20-25 minutes.
  • Divide into bowls & garnish with shredded parm – enjoy!

Do you have a go-to cool weather soup? Leave a note here or on Instagram with your favorite winter soup!

Williams-Sonoma’s Spiced Apple Muffins

It seems like we’re in a Williams-Sonoma store once a week these days – returning or exchanging registry gifts that we received for our wedding. Every time I’m in the store, I wander around seeing if anything new sparks my attention. This past weekend, I discovered their gluten-free spiced apple quick bread mix and my eyes lit up.

Instead of following the instructions and making one single loaf of bread, we divided the mix into muffin tins and created individual bread muffins. Besides from that, we didn’t deviate from the instructions and they turned out to be so yummy AND made our apartment smell like Bath and Body Works’ Cider Lane candle (bonus!):

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Melt one stick butter
  • Blend butter, 2 eggs, quick bread mix, and 1 cup of water in a big bowl
  • Divide into pre-buttered/greased muffin tins
  • Cook for 55 minutes or until nice and browned
  • Sit for 10 minutes – or if you’re like me, let them sit for maybe 2 minutes, bite into one, and immediately regret it because it’s too hot and you should have listened and waited 10 minutes.

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For all of my Celiac or gluten-sensitive friends, I definitely recommend this mix come holiday time. They’re the perfect little treat with the best flavoring and are so easy to bake. 10/10.

September and October 2019

After taking a month away from ATGchi to get hitched and travel to Greece (stay tuned for some pretty sweet itineraries), I’m back and have a special treat for you! Since I didn’t make a playlist for September (except an awesome 6.5+ hour playlist of your dreams called “Wedding Day Beats” that can be found on my Spotify profile), I’m giving you a DOUBLE playlist! That’s right – two months’ worth of tunes for your eardrums.

I’m currently jamming to this playlist as I’m staring out the window at the gloomiest of gloomy days and can honestly say that these tunes are getting me through. Check out the perfect blend of mmst-mmst and mmm below:

  • All The Time – Zara Larsson
  • Keep You Mine – NOTD & Shy Martin
  • Kill The Lights (w/ Nile Rodgers) [Audien Remix] – Alex Newell, Jess Glynne & DJ Cassidy
  • Love On Me – Galantis & Hook N Sling
  • Young, Wild & Free – Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa
  • Right Back (feat. A Boogie wit da Hoodie) – Khalid
  • All Around the World (feat. Bryn Christopher) – Matoma
  • What Am I – Why Don’t We
  • RAIN – Ben Platt
  • Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince – Taylor Swift [Anyone else say the Half-Blood Prince? Just me? Cool.]
  • Paper Rings – Taylor Swift [We cut our wedding cake to this song!]
  • London Boy – Taylor Swift
  • Daylight – Taylor Swift
  • Rollercoaster – Jonas Brothers
  • Slow Dance (feat. Ava Max) – AJ Mitchell
  • The Git Up – Blanco Brown [The most addicting song ever]
  • Dance Monkey – Tones and I
  • Thing For You – David Guetta & Martin Solveig
  • Back & Forth – MK, Jonas Blue & Becky Hill
  • Walking On a Dream – Empire of the Sun [Flashbacks to MSU tailgates, anyone?]
  • Proud – Marshmello
  • Don’t Give Up On Me – Andy Grammer
  • if we never met – JOHN.k
  • Torn – Ava Max
  • Motivation – Normani [a JAM]
  • In Your Arms – Illenium & X Ambassadors
  • Dreams (feat. Dakota & T-Pain) – Alex Ross [Reminds me of a song that’d play in A&F circa 2007]
  • Call If You Need Me – Galantis
  • Peanut Butter Jelly – Galantis
  • I’m Not Alright – Loud Luxury & Bryce Vine [Slowly getting okay with this country & dance hybrid thing]
  • Wish You Well – Sigala & Becky Hill
  • Champion (feat. Tia Ray) – Jason Derulo
  • We Were Young (feat. JP Cooper) – Petit Biscuit & DROELOE
  • Look Away – Stephen Puth
  • Sax – Fleur East [If you’re in a bad mood, listen to this.]
  • Wanted – OneRepublic
  • Let It Be Me – Steve Aoki & Backstreet Boys [Backstreet’s back, alright?!]
  • OMG – Gryffin & Carly Rae Jepsen [Carly is having a MOMENT and I’m 100% here for it]
  • Lonely – Diplo & Jonas Brothers
  • Good Thing – Zedd & Kehlani
  • Heartless (feat. Morgan Wallen) – Diplo
  • Imperfections – Celine Dion [Celine!!!!!!!!]
  • Slide Away – Miley Cyrus
  • I Wish – Hayley Kiyoko
  • Love Me Less (feat. Kim Petras) – MAX & Kim Petras
  • Legends – Now United
  • Feelings – Lauv
  • Could Have Been You – Jake Miller
  • Holy Water – Galantis [Galantis can do no wrong, IMO]
  • Me Quedare Contigo (feat. Lenier & El Micha) – Pitbull & Ne-Yo
  • The Power – Duke Dumont & Zak Abel
  • This Is Real – Jax Jones & Ella Henderson [Great combo!]
  • Somebody To Love – OneRepublic
  • Lady – Blake Rose
  • Young And In Love – Ingrid Michaelson
  • Carry Me Away – John Mayer
  • Circles – Post Malone
  • Rooting For You – Alessia Cara
  • Shotgun – George Ezra

Reminder that you can find this playlist, and all others, by searching “baconama” on Spotify. This month’s playlist is titled “Against The Grain_Sept and Oct 2019“. For my Apple Music followers, search “baconama” and you’ll find the “September 2019” and “October 2019” playlists ready to go!

 

a HERo podcast

When my besties do amazing things, I LOVE LOVE LOVE hyping them up and telling the world how awesome and ridiculously cool they are. Today’s one of those days. Friend of 11 (!!!!) years, author of this post from back in February 2018, token ginger friend (thank goodness there’s finally an emoji for them), co-maid of honor, and lawyer extraordinaire, Kristie has added another achievement to her already long list of really cool things. She and her wicked smart lawyer friend, Meagan, launched a PODCAST!

a HERo podcast, accurately named since they chat about all things HER, touches on subjects like social media, abortion, self care, the ever-evolving (and IMO, toxic) diet culture, and my favorite one yet: how.to.be.a.good.wedding.guest. This one hits home since we’re less than 25 days out from our big day (!!!!!!!!!!!!). More on that in a bit.

First, let’s chat about Meagan and Kristie.

  • Meagan is a lawyer by trade and has a passion for good conversation and learning. She got the idea to start their podcast when she realized that she has a lot to say about issues that affect women (who doesn’t these days?!) and wanted to have fun along the way. Kristie agreed to be her co-host and they got to work! When she’s not at work or working on the podcast, she likes to play golf, travel the globe and hang out with her fur babies.
  • Kristie’s the other half of a HERo podcast. She’s also a lawyer, but most importantly, she loves podcasts and is a major public radio nerd.  She’s super thankful for the opportunities podcasting has provided her and feels so lucky to share the HERo journey with their listeners.  Other things she likes include running, exploring the city of Detroit and spending time with her family and friends.

Now, back to their wedding podcast episode. After a brief intro conversation, the ladies dive deeply into the topic of wedding rules and etiquette. Wedding rules that they chat about that I 100% relate to:

  • Check your invite – is it addressed to just YOU? Welp, that means just YOU and not a random human being you just met last month are invited. We decided to have our RSVPs be submitted via The Knot, which thankfully doesn’t allow guests to enter in names of non-invited humans. This saves us that awkward conversation of having to say “No, I don’t know this girl you met yesterday, she’s actually not invited but thank you for asking.”
  • RSVP! Our invites are due on Saturday and I’m already dreading having to follow up with people, so this is a good call out – RSVP and do it on time (please).
  • Dress appropriately! One of my favorite call outs in their conversation is to not.wear.white! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women wearing white at weddings and while it’s obvious they’re not the bride, it’s still weird. Of all colors, of all days? Just don’t do it and save yourself the judgment from everyone else, because sadly, it’ll happen.
  • Do NOT bring colored drinks onto the dance floor – I repeat – do NOT bring red wine onto the dance floor.
  • To the brides – communicate expectations with your bridesmaids far enough in advance. As a bride, I’ve been trying to keep my maids updated (but not too updated?! ahh!), and remind them that certain things aren’t mandatory because I realize that everyone has lives and can’t do everything. It’s tough!

It sounds like the ladies are going to touch on even more wedding related festivities in future podcast episodes, so stay tuned for even more coming your way. The two of them provide a refreshingly honest take on all things women and the world, which makes a HERo podcast so easy to listen to – whether it’s during your morning commute, mid-day workout, or while whipping up dinner in the evening.

Like what you saw above and want to check out a HERo podcast? Head to wherever you listen to podcasts: Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher, etc. Give them a listen, subscribe, follow them on insta @aheropodcast, and let them know how much you love them!

My Go-To Weeknight Meal: Taco Bowls

Cooking is hard – especially when you’re cooking for two and one of you has Celiac. It gets even harder when you’re tired after a long day of work and all you want to do is plop in bed and never move again.

Anyone who knows me knows that I could live off of tacos – We’re having a taco truck at our wedding, so CLEARLY I love them a lot. I’d say we have some form of taco (bowl, salad, or tortilla-formed) at least once a week. Sometimes, we get lazy and order in from UberEats or Postmates, but we do like to whip something up every now and again and it’s usually taco bowls since they’re so easy to make.

Everyone has those few things that are always in their fridge, freezer, and cabinets. For us, it’s ground turkey, taco seasoning (GF, of course), and Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice. Most of the time we’ll have sour cream, shredded cheese, and tomatillo salsa on hand, so fixing up taco bowl can take 10 minutes or less.

 

 

Here’s what we use:

  • Trader Joe’s lean ground turkey
  • Gluten-free taco seasoning
  • Trader Joe’s microwavable brown rice
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tomatillo salsa
  • Guacamole (I really like Trader Joe’s yogurt-based guac, but had Whole Foods’ guac in our fridge the other day)
  • Sour cream (mixed with lime juice, a splash of water, and a dash of salt & pepper)

I don’t even think I need to go through the creation steps with you because it’s as simple as brown the turkey, add the seasoning and some water; microwave the rice; mix your crema (sour cream, water, lime juice, salt, & pepper); then compile everything in a bowl and EAT. So quick, so good, so easy.

Bon appétit! 

What’s your go-to weeknight meal? Comment below or on instagram (againstthegrainchi) and maybe we can share one of your recipes in the future! 

 

August 2019

It’s time for the clichéd question: “HoW iS iT aLrEaDy AuGuSt?!” I’ve asked it. You’ve asked it. Heck, you probably used it as an icebreaker this morning when you found yourself alone at the coffee machine with Karen from accounting (Sorry to all the Karens out there, but it just fits, you know?)

In my mind, we still have plenty of summer left. Maybe it’s the realist in me *cough global-warming-is-real-and-imminent-and-we-need-to-do-something-now cough*, but I know we’ll still be able to go to the North Ave beach way into September – I’m not stressing about Chiberian temperatures just yet. Plenty of summer left means plenty of time to enjoy some #summertimechi tunes, so here you go!

  • Chasing Colours (Plastic Plates Remix) – All the Lights
  • Don’t Let Them – Young Bombs
  • I Love You Always Forever – Betty Who [Such a good cover of the Donna Lewis bop]
  • Get What You Give – Felix Cartal
  • Cruise – Clément Leroux
  • Post Malone (feat. RANI) – Sam Feldt
  • Takeaway (feat. Lennon Stella) – The Chainsmokers & Illenium [Yes, this is the girl from the TV show, Nashville!]
  • Lying (feat. Lil Tjay) – PRETTYMUCH
  • MOOD 4 EVA (feat. Oumou Sangaré) – Beyonce, Jay-Z & Childish Gambino
  • The Archer – Taylor Swift
  • Moments Passed – Dermot Kennedy
  • How Do You Sleep? – Sam Smith [Loving the new and proud Sam!]
  • Chasing Fire – Lauv [so catchy]
  • Riva (Restart the Game) (feat. Broken Back) [Radio Edit] – Klingande
  • Jubel – Klingande
  • Perm – Bruno Mars [throwback!]
  • Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake
  • Say My Name – Destiny’s Child [Can you tell I was into throwbacks at the time?]
  • Better Luck Next Time – Kelsea Ballerini [From the show Songland]
  • BLOW – Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars [LOVING Ed’s newest album!!]
  • Cross Me (feat. Chance the Rapper) – Ed Sheeran
  • I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber (Have requested this song several times at the past couple of weddings/events we’ve been at)
  • Great One – Jessie Reyez
  • Karaoke (feat. Lizzo) – Big Freedia [LIZZOOO!]
  • Electricity (feat. Diplo & Mark Ronson) – Silk City, Dua Lipa
  • OCEAN AWAY – Jake Miller
  • We Were Young (feat. JP Cooper) – Petit Biscuit & DROELOE
  • Champion (feat. Tia Ray) – Jason Derulo
  • Wish You Well – Sigala & Becky Hill [Haven’t heard a Sigala song I haven’t loved]
  • I’m Not Alright – Loud Luxury & Bryce Vine

 

Alrighty, that’s it folks! Another playlist made just for YOU! Reminder that you can find this playlist, and all others, by searching “baconama” on Spotify. This month’s playlist is titled “Against The Grain_August 2019“. For my Apple Music followers (shout out to my brother and SIL), search “baconama” and you’ll find the “August 2019” playlist ready to go!

Paris

As I mentioned in my Iceland post, I LOVE planning trips. Last May, Josh and I went on a 13-day trip to Iceland, Paris, and Nice. 

After 6 days in cold, wet, and windy Iceland, we were MORE than ready to get into sunny and warm France. Plus – anyone who knows me knows I’m OBSESSED with Paris and that it’s probably my favorite city in the entire world. Needless to say, I was beaming the second we got off the plane at Charles de Gaulle International Airport. 

I’ve been to Paris quite a few times now, so check out my tips and tricks, by Parisian arrondissement, below. Heads up: it’s another lengthy one so brace yourself.

 

Best places to stay:

  • We stayed all the way out at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile and it wasn’t a problem at all. We would walk toward l’Arc de Triomphe and hop on the metro from there. If you don’t do the hop on-hop off red bus tours, you’ll use the metro a lot.
  • Anywhere near l’Eglise de la Madeleine is going to be really nice and pretty expensive.
  • Stick near la Seine. I’d say 8, 7, 2, 5 ish would be your best bet to be near the most attractions and museums if you’re a first time visitor.

Must-see things to do:

  • 1st ARR:
    • The Louvre (La Louvre) – no need to go in and walk around because it would take you weeks (seriously) to see everything good. Take a peek with the pyramid out front and call it a day. Louvre
    • Musee d’Orsay – In my opinion, if you’re going to actually walk around a museum, this is the one to go to. It’s filled with Degas ballet dancers and other famous Frenchie artists. I remember really liking this one but haven’t been since I studied abroad in college.
  • 2nd ARR:
    • Les Halles – I’m pretty sure this is a mall? I’ve never been. Not important enough IMO.
  • 3rd ARR:
    • Skip this area or see it on the hop on-hop off tour
  • 4th ARR:
    • Ile de la Cite & Ile Saint-Louis
      • Ile de la Cite has Notre Dame and Pont Neuf. Really cool to see via boat tour, but definitely worth seeing up close. IF you have time and if you feel like throwing down at least 20 euros a piece, go to the top of the Notre Dame – great view of the city, if not the best. IMG_0159
    • 5th ARR [aka le Quartier Latin]
      • Trendy home of la Sorbonne (bougie college) and has lots of good cafes and shops. Good for people watching too.
    • 6th ARR:
      • Le Jardin du Luxembourg. Lots of walking but lots of benches, too. Ponds, fountains, flowers, etc. Grab yourself a jambon et fromage sandwich and post up on a bench for the afternoon to soak it all in.
      • Le Palais du Luxembourg. I think you have to pay, but it’s pretty cool. If you don’t take a day trip to see the castles, this is your next best thing.
    • 7th ARR:
      • Les Invalides. Pretty sure you drive past this on the hop on hop off. Nothing that you need to get off to see up close.
      • Musee Rodin. I went here but I can’t remember much about it. Apparently The Thinker is here…?
    • 8th ARR:
      • L’arc de Triomphe. Take the time to actually walk under the street to pop up under the arch because the walls have pretty cool pictures engraved in them. Plus, this is the beginning of the Champs Elysee and at the other end of the street (la rue) you can see La Place de la Concorde, which is this tall obelisk thing in the Jardins du Tuileries et Jardin des Champs Elysee. If you feel like walking a lot, you can walk the entire Champs Elysee all the way to the Louvre. I don’t recommend doing it because it’s farther than it looks and most of the paths are gravely. Under Arc de Triomphe
    • 9th/18th (Not sure which one they’re in technically):
      • Take the metro or hop on-hop off up here because it’s far.
      • Moulin Rouge isn’t in the best area and is actually on a street well known for having a bunch of X-rated shops, but it’s cool to see. Go, take a pic of it, then walk north toward the cutesy area of Montmatre.Moulin Rouge
      • Walk around the pedestrian area of Montmatre. Lots of touristy type shops to get some souvenirs. Fun fact: this is where Josh bought me the umbrella before he proposed because he knew I’d be upset if I had wet hair in the proposal pics… He wasn’t wrong.
      • Sacre-Coeur Basilica. My favorite favorite favorite place in Paris and you’ll see why. Breathe before taking the stairs because there are a lot of them. Go all the way up, turn around, and then take it in.  Awesome view of the city and the church is seriously stunning.
        • If you’ve gotten this far, 1) nice work, 2) thank you! and 3) it’s story time. On our second day in Paris (day 7 overall), we woke up to what I was assuming was going to be a normal day. Looking back, there were quite a few things that should have tipped me off, but I hadn’t had coffee yet so cut me some slack. Should-have-been-a-giveaway #1: Josh was the one telling ME to hurry up. Should-have-been-a-giveaway #2: He said he’d help pick out my outfit while I was doing my hair and strategically chose my white Madewell dress. Should-have-been-a-giveaway #3: He kept checking his phone and texting someone, although I just assumed he was texting his friends since he made sure he had cell service while we were abroad. Anywho, I knew we were going to le Sacre Coeur and Montmartre because we had talked about it the night before. After we had gotten to the top of the mountain of stairs, I turned and started left to go toward the entrance of the church. Josh pulled me to the right, toward the other side of the church. I turned and pointed left toward the entrance and by the time I turned back around to check on Josh, he was down on one knee saying, “Yes, this is happening” before asking me to marry him. So, that’s how it happened. Thanks for listening to story time. Back to the rest of Paris…Proposal_Sacre CoeurIMG_0028
    • 10th ARR:
      • Your hop on-hop off bus should take you past la Gare du Nord (North train station) and la Gare de l’Est (train station of the East). They’re right next to each other which is super weird, but your tour guide will tell you all about it.
    • 16th ARR:
      • La Tour Eiffel (basically the only notable thing to see in the 16th)
        • No need to go to the top. First of all, you have to climb stairs to get to the halfway point, which is exhausting. Then, you have to pay an additional fee to take the elevator up to the top. If you’re pressed for time, don’t climb the stairs. If you have more than a couple of days in the city, do it. You’ll have great panoramic views.
        • For an awesome picture of la Tour Eiffel, get dropped off at les Jardins du Trocadero – perfect unobstructed view of the tower from across la Seine.
        • The Champs de Mars is a good place to plop and rest your feet. Also, it’s a good place to sit and watch the tower twinkle at night – it lights up every hour, on the hour starting at sunset.

 

Places to eat:                                                               

  • Le Hide. 2 blocks away from l’arc de Triomphe. It’s super small and you NEED a reservation. They speak English so you can call and make a rez. Can’t recommend more, you guys. The stew is to die for and you MUST get it… I mean look at this and try not to drool.
  • La Duree for macarons because #obviously
  • Brasseries are basically cafes/sandwiches/cheese plates/wine. Stop at these, grab a charcuterie board and a glass of rose and then sit outside facing the streets to people watch.

Where to shop:

  • Galleries Lafayette is basically their Nordstrom on steroids. Printemps is another good one.
  • Naf Naf is kind of a Forever 21.
  • Carrefour is their Wal-Mart and is one of the largest retailers in Europe. I believe there are some city Carrefours if you need something in a pinch.
  • FNACs are like Best Buys sort of? Lots of techie things.
  • Check out the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Elysee. You may have to wait in line to get inside, but it’s part of the experience.

Doable day trip options:

  • Versailles – Pretty sure this is a 45 min (if that) TGV ride from one of the gares in Paris. Big old castle that’s pretty neat. UNESCO World Heritage site. Castle and gardens.
  • Loire Valley. Home of Chambord, Chenonceau, and Amboise castles. This is where I studied abroad. All of these castles are really cool, but my fave was Chenonceau because I’m pretty sure we rented row boats and got to go under the castle’s arches. Also, it has a cool garden.
    • I THINK there are tours where you can hop from castle to castle, but this would take up a solid day of your trip. They’re cool to see, but I wouldn’t make this first priority. This would be a good 2nd trip to Paris option.

Words and phrases to know and their pronunciations:

  • Gare: train station
    • Pronounce like car with a hard G
  • Excusez-moi, mais ou sont les toilets?: Excuse me, where are the toilets?
    • Ex-sku-say-mwah, may ooo sohn lez twa-lets
  • Pont: bridge
    • Poh
  • S’il vous plait: please
    • Sea voo play
  • Bonjour: hello
    • Bohn-zjohr
  • Oui: yes
    • We
  • Non: no
    • Noh
  • Parlez-vous anglais?: Do you speak English?
    • Par-lay voo ah-glay
  • L’addition, s’il vous plait: The check, please
    • La dees-y-ohn sea voo play
  • Merci beaucoup: Thank you very much
    • Mare-see boo-coo
  • Je ne peux pas manger les cacahuetes: I can’t eat peanuts
    • Zje nuh puh pah mah-zjay lay cah-cah-hoo-ettes
    • This one was for my bestie, who traveled to Paris for her babymoon!

 

I know this is a lot, but I hope you find it helpful if and WHEN you visit Paris. If you have any favorite spots, please let me know so I can check them out the next time I’m there. Also, if you’re going to visit Paris soon, let me know!! I’d love to chit chat and tell you more about the best places to go in and around the city. Either way, I want to hear from you! 

July 2019

JULY:  A patriotic month filled with hotter than heck days, bonfire-smelling hair, and some of the best new music of the year. As you’re nomming on your s’mores or trying to consume your bombpops before they melt all over your arm, relax and enjoy this month’s playlist – made especially for you.

Here are your hits for July:

  • Don’t You Worry (feat. Jenny Mayhem) – ayokay
  • Only Human – Jonas Brothers
  • Just Us (feat. SZA) – DJ Khaled
  • Ritual – Tiesto, Jonas Blue & Rita Ora
  • Stay (Don’t Go Away) (feat. Raye) – David Guetta
  • Catch & Release (Deepend Remix) – Matt Simons
  • A Brand New Day – BTS & Zara Larsson
  • Heaven – Avicii
  • Right Where I Belong – Ashley O [AKA Miley Cyrus]
  • Another Place – Bastille
  • Bruised Not Broken (feat. MNEK & Kiana Lede) – Matoma
  • With You – Kaskade & Meghan Trainor [I usually don’t like MT songs, but this one’s good!]
  • Hold The Line (feat. A R I Z O N A) – Avicii
  • Heart Upon My Sleeve – Avicii & Imagine Dragons
  • Senorita – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
  • One Thing Right – Marshmello & Kane Brown
  • Higher (feat. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend) – DJ Khaled
  • bad guy – Billie Eilish
  • Beautiful People (feat. Khalid) – Ed Sheeran
  • Higher Love – Kygo & Whitney Houston [probably the best version of this song, IMO]
  • Room to Fall (feat. Elohim) – Marshmello & Flux Pavilion
  • Stacy – Quinn XCII
  • Shoulda Known Better – MKTO
  • Flying On My Own – Celine Dion [CELINEEEEEEEEEE – need I say more?!]

Another playlist in the books! As always, search “baconama” on Spotify and search for the “Against The Grain_July 2019” playlist. For my Apple Music people, search “baconama” and you’ll find a “July 2019” playlist ready for you to enjoy!