An American in Paris: Je Suis Arrivée! 

What I Wore: ShoesKarl Lagerfeld (Similar) , CapeBlazerDiamonds Unleashed x Project Gravitas, SunglassesForever21, PurseBeBrilliant Bags, JeansForever21, Blouse-Forever21, BraceletsHipanema, Dara Senders

On October 21st 2016, I packed my bags and headed to JFK for what would be one of the best trips ever! Paris, Je Suis Arrivée! (Paris, here I come!) As I left for the airport a rainbow appeared in the sky letting me know this trip was going to be even more amazing than I had hoped for.

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For me packing was the most difficult part of prepping for this trip. Not knowing what the weather was going to be like (for the most part) and not know exactly what was being planned made it very daunting. I tried to create multiple outfits out of the clothes and accessories I had, but there was always that devil on my shoulder saying “Dara, what if you do this, or what if you need this garment or accessory for that day or evening!” As you can see I have two large suite cases, one carry on and a tote that I use as my purse! (LINK TO THE BEST TRAVEL ACCESSORY HERE). Okay, Okay! Yes, this looks like a lot for only two weeks, but guys…it was getting cold, the clothes are heavier and so are the shoes! I also had a 40 pound weight limit per bag and honestly, that is not a lot for a fashion enthusiast like myself traveling to the most chic city of all! As I arrived to the airport (JFK) butterflies started swarming my stomach. I was so excited to go to Paris for the first time, visit my beau,  and reunite with old friends from college who now live there and who are also natives. Not to mention a rather inconvenient baggage problem that cost me over $160.00 USD at check in due to the airlines negligence. (When the fine print states your carry on should weigh 10 kilos, that does not include your purse! They insisted on weighing my purse which caused everything to weigh 15kilos. My suitecases were already taken and put through to securety so I had no way of lessening the weight of my carryon into my checked bags! So I had to get a shopping bag to put items from my carry on into it to travel! Not the most safe way of traveling either. Plus it was a pain in the tush to schlep around JFK till I found my unlisted gate number! Nightmare! On the way home the airline told me to take my purse off of the scale since it does not count as my carry on luggage! Heading to Paris, I was not the only person this happened to after speaking with many on my flight! Thanks, Norwegian Air!! ) After all of this unessecery frustration, the one hour delay wasn’t the most fun but I made the best of it by befriending a very sweet couple from New Jersey who shared the same flight and who coincidentally were seated in the same row as me, but a few seats away. It was now almost 1AM and all I wanted to go was get situated on my flight, take off, and go to sleep. But, I was honestly a bit nervous about the flight. It was my very first time traveling overseas by myself and while I felt confident knowing I would be completely okay, the ghost of doubt made a few cameos on my mind. This happens to me even when I travel alone within the U.S. but I think the whole, “Hey Dara, you’re going over an ocean!”, thoughts were irking me a bit, but again, I made the best of it and told my extremely broad imagination to, “SHUT UP!” (giggles) 

With all of this said, the flight was really nice and smooth with really fantastic on flight service that somewhat made up for the airport frustration! There was a selection of movies and television shows on the flight so I absolutely took advantage of that. I watched the movie “Me Before You”, cried my eyes out, then watched a documentary on French culture to regain my excitement. After dinner was served at 2AM, I fell asleep for about three hours and woke up a little more than an hour before landing. I kept on switching the flight information screen on so see how many more minutes till landing because I was just too excited to land in Paris! When I woke up and turned my window from dark to light (electric dimmers for the windows instead of a pull down shade), the view of the sunrise with a crystallized window from the coldtemperature  was the most beautiful thing I have seen. As we arrived closer I turned my head to look out the window at exactly the right time! Why? Well, I had the most spectacular aerial view of Paris (Tour Eiffel included). It was a very foggy day in Paris so capturing it on my phone wasn’t the easiest, but seeing it was utterly beautiful! I booked my seat on the right side of the plane x2! Haha.

As the plane landed I became so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself. All I wanted to do was run off the jet, grab my luggage and meet my beau at the gate…then go eat an enormous mound of French cheeses! (haha) Going through customs and having my passport stamped was pretty cool, arriving to the baggage carousel and having all of my bags arrive together within two minutes of me waiting for them was amazing, but being greeting with a “BIENVENUE A PARIS, DARA” sign as I arrived at pickup was the sweetest welcome to Paris gesture ever!! It was the best way to start my trip! The car ride to from the airport to the city of lights was really interesting. The highway looked exactly like the highways in New Jersey! That shocked me a bit. I tried not to fall asleep in the car as my body started to get a bit tired from traveling. Arriving to my beau’s apartment seeing a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a fancy pastry and very sweet birthday present waiting for me completely woke me up while warming and tickling my heart so much that I completely forgot to take a picture of the display!

After taking the day to rest, we went wanted to go out for dinner so we took to the metro to take us to our destination. This destination was a surprise and a true pinch me moment for the theater girl I am. As we arrived at our metro stop I was told to look down and keep my eyes closed as we took our last few steps out of the platform. I had no idea where we were. Opening my eyes and seeing the famous opera house Palais Garnier (now known as Opera National De Paris) was extremely exciting & overwhelming. For one of the first times in my life I was speechless and couldn’t find the words other than “OH MY GOSH, WOW!! With lots of giggles after being silent for a bit!” to express my excitement! None of it seamed like a reality and I felt as if I was standing there in my own imagination! Such a surreal moment! I really wanted to go inside the opera house but at this time the doors were locked since the theater was closed. But, little did I know this is where we would be eating dinner. L’Opera is such a chic restaurant with delicious food that on certain nights of the week turns into a disco. It was so incredible to be dining in such a historic building with both old and modern architecture. After dinner we walked around the city for maybe one minute to take in all of its beauty but I was so sleepy we quickly hailed a taxi around midnight and off to sleep we went. It was truly the most perfect first day and evening in Paris! 

xoxo Dara Senders – The Style Senders

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