Montréal, Canada | Travel Diary

Hello all!!!

At the end of February, I was lucky enough to attend the Golden Key International Honours Society Leadership Summit in Montréal, the largest city in the Canadian province of Québec. While the summit itself went from the 23rd to the 25th, I arrived on the 21st and stayed until the 26th so I would have time to adventure around the city.

This trip was extra special in that it was the first time I had travelled completely by myself and arrived in a place where I didn’t know anyone. I arrived in Montréal late on the 21st, got checked into the Marriott Château Champlain where the conference was to be held, and then headed to the hotel restaurant for some dinner. I decided on poutine, a classic French-Canadian dish of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy.

I don’t know whether it was the time difference, exhaustion from travelling, or mental fatigue from recent life stress, but I slept for most of the 22nd before venturing outside with a peppermint mocha from Starbucks in hand to wander the city.

What I wasn’t smart enough to clue into was that -4 degrees is really cold, especially for a West Coaster like me who is always cold. After wandering for about two hours without a hat or a scarf, I returned to the hotel and indulged in some ravioli and wine to warm me up.

Friday morning I set my alarm, got up early, and embarked on a mission to find the Notre-Dame Basilica in the heart of Vieux-Montréal. It was absolutely gorgeous inside and I arrived just in time for the hourly English tour of the Gothic Revival structure.

By the time I got back to the hotel, I had just enough time to freshen up before heading down to the lobby to check in for the summit.

At check-in, we received swag bags and then were randomly grouped with student representatives from other universities to embark on a city-wide scavenger hunt. I ended up in a group with two people from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, and they were both so nice. That night was a scheduled networking night so all the people registered for the summit went out to Thursday’s Pub for drinks and appetizers.

Now, this is where things got interesting. One of the two people from Mount Royal University with whom I did the scavenger hunt was a boy, and not just any boy, but a really nice one. He walked back to the hotel with me so I wouldn’t be walking alone in the dark in a strange city, and we ended up talking basically all night about anything and everything.

Saturday was filled with interesting keynote speakers and workshops delivered by professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. That night, everyone went out for dinner at Weinstein & Gavino’s, where I had one of the best chicken dishes I have ever eaten.

Sunday morning I headed out to wander Vieux-Montréal and the Old Port, but about 8 minutes in, freezing rain started pelting down. Most people probably would have turned back, but not me; I just kept walking, letting the rain hit me in the face, determined to see Vieux-Montréal and the Old Port. There definitely wasn’t much to see in the pouring rain, but the city was still beautiful to be in. When I arrived back at the hotel, I got changed, hung my drenched clothes to dry, and met up with Scavenger Hunt Boy to visit the Musée Des Beaux-Arts. The museum has these really neat red heart statues out front, which were one of the scavenger hunt items that our group didn’t find but I wanted to see. Plus I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could.

For dinner, he and I found an Italian restaurant called Monza, which offers family-size portions at the individual portion prices on Sundays, so we feasted on a massive bowl of mushroom pasta.

After dinner, we found the hotel pool and went for a nice swim to work off some of the pasta. And then at around midnight I got hungry again so we heated up the leftover pasta and realized too late that we didn’t have any forks so we ate it with coffee stir sticks from the coffee set-up in my hotel room.

Monday was bittersweet as I packed up all my things. I was looking forward to being back at home, but it meant I had to leave Scavenger Hunt Boy behind. It may sound silly that in three days I grew so attached to someone, but I did. He and I have talked every day since we met, and I am planning to head out to Calgary to visit him soon.

I know this travel diary is extremely late, but I still wanted to share this trip on my blog and to showcase some of the amazing sights in Montreal, as well as share how I met the most incredible person.

The only upsetting part of the trip was that it didn’t snow once!!! I was all excited to play in the snow and all I got was freezing rain. Not only that, but apparently it snowed back home the day I flew out. Clearly me and the snow just weren’t meant to be.

San Francisco, California | Travel Diary

Hello lovely readers!!!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed a lot of San Francisco pictures, since I was there a few weeks back. I started up at work again so my days have been pretty packed, but I had an incredible time and I wanted to share some of the highlights of my trip here on the blog. 

My mother and I landed in San Francisco in the late afternoon, so we spent the evening exploring the hotel and I got some amazing pictures of the lobby. We were also upgraded to a suite, compliments of the hotel, so we had way more space to move in and there was a makeup table. I cannot express how excited I was that I could do my makeup at an actual vanity. 

San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Plaque
San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Lobby 1
San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Lobby 2
San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Rivoli Suite 1
San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Rivoli Suite 2
San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Rivoli Suite 3
Sunday was almost entirely dominated by a baseball game at AT&T Park between the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres (Obviously I am a Giants fan). The game went a whopping 12 INNINGS and in the blistering hot sun I was so grateful the elderly woman a few seats over shared her sunscreen with me. Otherwise I would have been a radish for the rest of the trip. The Giants lost 5:2, but it was still an incredible game. As an added bonus, the first 20000 fans into the park received a plush window cling of Hunter Pence, the San Francisco Giants’ right fielder. For dinner, we headed to the hotel’s famed Tonga Lounge and Hurricane Bar, which actually has a floating barge in the centre of it upon which live music is played. There are even sheets of rain” coming down around the barge sporadically. 

San Francisco 2017 AT&T Park
San Francisco 2017 AT&T Park Pence Plush
San Francisco 2017 Fairmont Hotel Tonga Lounge
Monday was the über busy sightseeing day of the trip. We started out by getting a little lost in Chinatown thanks to me turning the wrong way down Mason Street when we left the hotel. Luckily we corrected our path soon enough and still got to see some of the neat features of Chinatown. We then hopped on a cable car to Union Square, home to a massive Macy’s store. After exploring the square, we boarded another cable car and got off at Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world with 8 hairpin turns!!! From there, we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf and wandered through all the shops and eateries. Despite all the fresh seafood we could have had for lunch, I convinced my mother to try an American institution with me: In-N-Out Burger. The burgers are actually so good!!! After refuelling, we headed over to Pier 39, and finished off the day with ice cream in the famous Ghirardelli Square. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were exhausted so we didn’t go into Grace Cathedral, but it was so beautiful that I had to snap a photo of it. 

San Francisco 2017 Powell and Hyde Cable Car
San Francisco 2017 Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco 2017 In-N-Out Burger
San Francisco 2017 Pier 39
San Francisco 2017 Ghirardelli Square
San Francisco 2017 Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream
San Francisco 2017 Ghirardelli Square Landscape
San Francisco 2017 Grace Cathedral
On Tuesday, my mother and I went over to Alcatraz Island, which served as a Federal prison from 1934 to 1969. This prison was home to some of the most infamous criminals like Al Capone, Alvin “Creepy” Kari’s, Robert Franklin “Birdman” Stroud, and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Interestingly, because the prison staff lived and worked on the island, many children called Alcatraz Island home and seldom ever knew prisoners were nearby. While several escape attempts were made, it is believed that no prisoner successfully escaped. 

San Francisco 2017 Alcatraz Island
San Francisco 2017 Alcatraz Island B Block
San Francisco 2017 Alcatraz Island D Block
San Francisco 2017 Alcatraz Island Standard Cell
San Francisco 2017 Alcatraz Island Seagull

San Francisco 2017 Alcatraz Island William Baker Book Signing
Wednesday and Thursday were dominated by shopping around Union Square and Westfield Centre, and I scored some incredible deals on dresses and shoes (even with the terrible exchange rate of the Canadian dollar). We also had some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate sundaes for lunch (healthy, I know). 

San Francisco 2017 Union Square Macy's Store
San Francisco 2017 Westfield Center
San Francisco 2017 Westfield Center Ghirardelli Sundaes

I was sad to say goodbye to San Francisco and it’s beautiful weather on Friday morning, but I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again and, of course, seeing my fur baby. 

I know this travel diary is extremely late, but I still wanted to share this trip on my blog and to showcase some of the incredible sights in San Franscico.

Have you ever been to San Francisco??? What were your favourite things to see and do???

Seattle, Washington | Travel Diary

Hello there all!!!

I have missed blogging these past few weeks but work has been über busy and I have started to prep for back-to-school and seeing friends before they head back to university so free time has been scarce.  However, before school starts back up on September 7th my mother and I wanted to go on a little trip somewhere. I have never been to Seattle but it is home to so many incredible landmarks (The Space Needle, for instance) and hasbeenthe setting of so many well-known and loved movies and TV shows (50 Shades of Grey, Sleepless in Seattle, Grey’s Anatomy, Frasier).  Fairmont Olympic Hotel sign

We left home on Monday, August 22nd, taking a local ferry down to Seattle Pier. I live near Vancouver, BC, and Seattle is so close but strangely enough I have never been there. We arrived and explored the hotel for a good hour or so because it was so gorgeous. We stayed in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel because of my mother’s love of Fairmont Hotels, and because of her amazing internet sleuthing skills when it comes to finding great hotel prices. We then headed into The Terrance, a nice little lounge and bar, for a drink. And this is when I learned, much to both my mother’s and my horror that, at 20, unlike in Canada, I am not of legal drinking age in the US. Thank goodness the server recognized the error and chalked it up to a simple mistake. Just imagine the headline “Tiny Canadian Girl Shuts Down Renowned Lounge and Bar for Serving Alcohol to Underage Minors.” That would have been bad. For dinner, we went to Shuckers, a well-known seafood restaurant attached to the hotel, and I had some of the tastiest fish and chips and THE BEST chocolate cake. Like ever. Ever ever.

On Tuesday, I got us very lost in downtown Seattle when I took a wrong turn. We ended up down near the courthouse but eventually we found our way back to the hotel, and then set out for Pike Place Market. The market was unlike anything I had ever seen, so many stores selling anything you could think of and all the walkways clogged with people. We also checked out the Gum Wall, which was an equally cool and gross sight. The Pike Place Market is also home to the first Starbucks so, of course, we went inside and picked up some drinks and a commemorative mug. For lunch, we stopped into Beecher’s, a local cheese maker, and had the best freshly made macaroni and cheese I have ever tried. I don’t know what import laws say about bringing American cheese across the Canadian border but I didn’t want to test it so I unfortunately did not fill my suitcase with the Beecher’s Flagship cheese. After lunch, we walked to Macy’s and had a quick browse before purchasing some incredibly warm and foldable down coats and heading off to Zara. Tuesday night my mother and I both checked an item off our bucket list: I got to see a National Baseball League game, the Seattle Mariners against the New York Yankees, and my mother got to see the Yankees play. The game started out slow but then the Yankees pulled way ahead of the Mariners, eventually beating them 5-1. A minor item on my bucket list was also checked off: eat a stadium hot dog and scoot by people to get to my seat while holding it. I have seen so many characters in movies do it that I just had to do it once. And I did. The hotdog was pretty tasty too.

We kicked off Wednesday morning with an early trip out to see the Space Needle. Apparently it completes one rotation every 47 minutes and, though I don’t want to sound like one of those people who claim to have superhuman perception, I feel like my sensitivity to motion was enough to feel it actually move so I got a little queasy. It was hands-down the best aerial view of the city and well worth the admission. We then made our way back to the hotel for Afternoon Tea, a lovely tradition we indulge in on our all trips together. The 1907 blend was classic and flavourful, and the first course of berries was divine. There were some strange flavour combinations in items on the tea tier though, such as a beet macaroon. Full of tea and goodies, we headed out to Nordstrom, an American department store I have always wanted to see because luxury brands like Louboutin and Prada are next to Highstreet brands like Guess and Vince Camuto. I fell in love with a $1000 pair of Vêtements platform boots and kept trying them on but there was no way I could afford them (now on the hunt for a dupe). We also visited Barnes & Noble, a bookstore I have heard so much about but never seen. It surpassed all my expectations and I picked up the September issue of Vogue. We then explored Pacific Place which turned out to be less exciting than I had hoped but it had a Kate Spade store and I spent a good hour in there talking to the lovely sales associate about Kate Spade’s retirement and the sale of the company, and how awesome some of the styles are (a cruise ship purse, for instance). To finish off the day we ordered macaroni and cheese, French fries, and cake from room service as a meal bundle. (I ended up keeping the cake in the fridge overnight and eating it at the pier the following morning because I know what a balanced breakfast is).

We left Seattle Thursday afternoon, but not before enjoying an amazing breakfast at The Georgian, yet another restaurant in the hotel. I had the to-die-for eggs benedict, which kept me going for the whole day (until the chocolate cake, that is, but I couldn’t bear to throw it out).

All in all, this was a fun and exciting little getaway before my mother and I go back to school and work, but I will definitely be hitting up the gym in my first week of classes to work off all the food I consumed. No idea why, but I always eat way more on vacation than I ever would at home.

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Banff, Alberta | Travel Diary

The end of April is such a strange time for me. Those of you attending university or college will understand this, as the end of April is characterized by the end of the spring term, where classes are finished and final exams are done. For those of you in other levels of schooling, this is comparable to the end of June. After being online so much for university, and being cooped up in my room studying for finals, I wanted to take a break from it all, and Banff was the perfect place to do this.

One of the many highlights of my trip was staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Resembling a castle, this hotel is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, and is absolutely beautiful. I was lucky enough to be there when they were offering a historical hotel tour, so I got to learn about the history of the hotel, and some of the ghost stories surrounding it. 

Another highlight was that the hotel had a bowling alley across the street; a bloomin’ bowling alley!!! Of course, my mother and I had to give 5-pin bowling a try, and we actually made the bowling high score board for lane 3 (our travel aliases are Rachael and Charlotte; never know what hoodlums are lurking about, ready to steal your identity). 

Yet another highlight was Afternoon Tea in the Rundle Lounge of the hotel. My mother and I both love tea, and afternoon tea is such a lovely thing to do, especially in a castle-like building overlooking Rundle and Cascade Mountains. There were 12 specialty teas to select from, and I went with the Banff Springs blend that was exclusive to the hotel. The tea was then served in three courses: a seasonal fruit cup, a tea tray of sandwiches and scones, and a tea tray of various desserts. I have done afternoon tea at several different places, and it still amazes me how tea, finger sandwiches, and bite-sized desserts can fill you up; needless to say, I didn’t eat dinner that night. 

Another highlight of the trip I wanted to mention was stumbling upon the store Gingko and Ink while wandering the Town of Banff. It is this super cute little store that sells paper, notebooks, quills and ink, handmade wrapping paper, handmade envelopes, greeting cards, and so much more. It even had typewriters scattered throughout it, but none were for sale, or else I would have scooped up at least two. The store also offers classes in some really neat DIY projects like journal making and paper making. I could have gone crazy in this store and bought everything in sight, but luckily the limitations of my suitcase size prevented this. 

I saved the biggest and best highlight for last: I got to see my aunt and uncle on the last two days of my trip!!! They live in Calgary, a city in the neighbouring province of Alberta, so I don’t get to see them very often, but they drove up to Banff to stay at the hotel with us for the last overnight. We took a historic tour of the hotel, played a game of pool (I lost pitifully), played a game of glow-in-the-dark 5-pin bowling (I just squeaked into 3rd place, edging out my mother by one point, while my aunt schooled us all with her over 100 score), had some canapés for dinner, went on a walk of the hotel grounds and into the town of Banff, and finally, met up in a lounge for some drinks. The lounge we went to had the neatest chairs I think I have ever seen. They kind of reminded me of hot air balloons, and I could hear my voice echo every time I leaned my head back into the chair and spoke. There were only two of these chairs stationed at each table, so we pulled four together around one table so we could all sit in one. Pulled together, the edges were almost touching. When the server came by, he asked us if we wanted a sheet to put over the top of them so we could make a fort, which sent us into a fit of laughter. In total, we had 7 drinks, but when the bill came it was $98 . . . we were so shocked that all we could do was laugh hysterically; turns out each drink was around $12.

I had such a wonderful trip, and I am feeling so much more relaxed and refreshed, which is good because yesterday was my first day back at my summer job. After spending the last 4 months online and connected every single day, it was nice to disconnect from everything (save for a few Instagram photos of the hotel). I have so many post ideas for this blog, so I will be working on those for the next little while, along with finally getting to read for pleasure again (The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is up first).  

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Packing for Banff

So today I started packing for my trip to Banff. What?! Yes indeed, I am off to Banff tomorrow morning on a 6am flight, which means I have to be awake by 3:30 and out at the airport by 4:30 . . . *groan*

I always seem to be the person who is “randomly” selected for a technology search or pat down every single time I travel so I like to get there early and plan for this: get in the security line ASAP and expect to be delayed, have my technology at the ready, and have my shoes already off and in-hand. 

Thanks to The Weather Network, my old fair and foul weather friend (pun intended), the weather in Banff for the coming week is as follows:

Picture 22

To some of you out there from warmer climates, this weather might seem cold, dreary, and unappealing, but for a Canadian Spring, this weather is quite lovely. I am packing mostly jeans and sweaters, but a dress or two for the sunny days and for afternoon tea. 

As you can see, my cat, Valentine, is exhibiting some symptoms of Separation Anxiety . . .

IMG_6416 And now for a few nifty facts about the Town of Banff:

  1. The Town of Banff has a population of 7,500.
  2. The Town of Banff has an elevation of 4,537 feet (1,383 metres), making it the highest town in Canada.
  3. Banff National Park was established in 1885 as Canada’s first National Park (third in the world), starting Canada’s national parks system.
  4. Mountains in Banff National Park are 45 to 120 million years old
  5. Castleguard Caves in the Northwest of Banff are Canada’s longest cave system.

Have any of you been to Banff before??? Let me know of any must-see places in the comments!!!

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Rouge G de Guerlain

In case you haven’t already noticed, a lot of my posts the past few days have been Paris-themed. This is because the internet connection at the hotel was super slow, so I only managed to get one or two posts up, but now that I’m back, I’m making up for my absence with a whole slug of posts about how incredible Paris was.

IMG_5639So, while walking down the Champs-Élysées for the first time, I noticed a Guerlain store. I have heard amazing things about this brand and read raving reviews of some of their products, and I had always wanted to give it a try. While some Guerlain products are available through Sephora, the selection is limited, so I hadn’t really considered ordering anything. But when a giant Guerlain boutique was staring me in the face, I had no choice: I had to go in and have a look.

IMG_5637Well, the store is beautiful. Just beautiful. The best way I could describe it is vibrant elegance. All of the products are displayed in really neat ways, and they are all colour-coordinated, as you can see in the picture on the right. Displays like this one line both walls, with wonderfully friendly sales associates at every turn.

IMG_5682I knew I wanted to try out a Guerlain product, but I had no real idea which one. Since lipstick is my favourite beauty product that I cannot live without, I decided it would be a practical souvenir of my visit to this Guerlain boutique, and would definitely get used. And then I spotted this shade, 68 Gigi, a beautiful vibrant fuchsia.


  1. Intense colour
  2. Creamy application, almost like lip balm
  3. Rruby powder for radiance
  4. Spheres of hyaluronic acid for smoothed lips
  5. Wild mango butter for hydration
  6. Comes in a jewel lipstick compact
  7. Optional engraving of lipstick compact

Shades: There are 29 Rouge G de Guerlain exceptional complete lip colour shades, ranging from soft pinks, to bright reds, to even tawny purples. However, one of these shades, 68 Gigi is exclusive to this Champs-Élysées address, meaning it cannot be bought online or in any other Guerlain store.

IMG_5683Each one of these lipsticks comes in a jewel compact, which opens by pulling on the end, revealing a little concealed mirror, with the lipstick sliding out the side. From there, the lipstick just turns up normally. The mirror is super handy for on-the-go application, and for a quick check up on coverage throughout the day.

IMG_5680I am in love with the jewel lipstick compact. A cool fun fact is that the case was designed by Lorenz Bäumer, the most talented jeweler from the Place Vendôme in Paris. The case makes lipstick feel more like an accessory than a simple cosmetic product. The 68 Gigi comes with the option of having the traditional lipstick compact or an exclusive one with 68 on it, which is the one I opted for. And, best of all, you can have the compact engraved. That’s right. Every Saturday, this store has an engraver on staff who will engrave your name, initials, or anything else you’d like into the side of the compact. Now that is what I call personalizing a lipstick.

IMG_5672IMG_5674Guerlain appears to be a master of classy packaging. The lipstick compact comes nestled in a beautiful little, white box, which is tucked away in a chic little Guerlain bag with some product samples, and tied up with pretty red ribbon.

All in all, this is most definitely my favourite beauty souvenir of this trip to Paris, and it has given me high expectations for the rest of Guerlain’s products that I now want to try.

Have you tried any Guerlain products??? Which ones did you like???

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day 🙂 🙂

The Perfect Paris Travel Book

IMG_6047Before leaving for Paris, I read numerous travel guides, and pored over maps of the arrondissements and the metro. I made lists of what I wanted to see most, and planned out what I could see on which days to limit travel time and maximize fun. But then I got to Paris and stumbled into Colette, one of the weirdest stores I have ever been in. With booming music, people everywhere, and a host of random products with no concrete theme, it was unlike any store I had seen. From Hello Kitty Polaroid cameras, to a wall of magazines I had never heard of, to office supplies, to clothes, to candy and keychains, Colette had it all.

Pages 22-23
Pages 22-23

Finding my comfort zone in the notebook and stationary section, I came across the book This is my Paris by Marie Bashkirtseff, with text and compilation by Petra de Hamer. Along the lines of the Wreck my Journal concept, this book is touted as a “travel diary, activity book, and city guide in one”. It has everything from beautiful and quirky illustrations of Paris’s sights, to lists of must-see stores and restaurants, to blank pages for lists of things to see and do, to pages to tape business cards and tickets, and even pages of recipes for classic French foods and beverages. Essentially this book provides the framework of a trip scrapbook; all you have to do is add in whatever you want.

I saved up everything from my trip in a manilla envelope, and now that I’m home, I will be filling it all out and taping everything in. I would recommend purchasing this book before leaving for Paris though, because some pages are meant for pre-trip planning. On these ones, I am going to attach all of my lists, but it would have been nice to list things directly in the book.

If this type of books is interesting to you, there is also a This is my Berlin book, and possibly more.

So here’s a question for you: how do you document your travels???

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day ☺ ☺

Shakespeare and Company Book Haul

IMG_5919Shakespeare and Company was at the top of my Places to Visit in Paris list. This bookstore has been featured in numerous movies, such as Julie and Julia and Midnight in Paris, and has an illustrious history.

Shakespeare and Company is in fact the name of two bookstores. The first was opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919 at 8 rue Dupuytren, and then moved to a larger building at 12 rue de l’Odéon in 1922. This bookstore was popular with writers like Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, and James Joyce. However, this bookstore closed in 1940 during the German occupation of Paris and never re-opened. An American ex-serviceman named George Whitman opened the second bookstore bearing this name in 1951 at 37 rue de la Bûcherie. Originally, it was named “Le Mistral,” but was renamed Shakespeare and Company in 1964 as a tribute to Sylvia Beach’s bookstore after her death.

Finding this bookstore though was quite tricky. I ended up wandering the Latin Quarter, Saint Gérmain des Près, and even picking up a Despicable Me Minions puzzle in the process of trying to find it. When I finally found it, it turns out I had essentially passed it at least three times, but the road it is on is so inconspicuous that I kept walking by it. So for any of you who go to Paris and want to see this bookstore, here’s a really simple way to find it: stand with your back to the front of Notre Dame, walk forward towards the road, turn left and cross the bridge, then turn down the first little road you see called Rue de la Bucherie; from there you will see the green awnings.

IMG_5922This bookstore has two floors. The ground floor has new books available for purchase, while the upper floor has books available to be read in the store but not bought, along with couches and chairs for reading, and an adorable little nook with a typewriter that visitors have left notes and quotes in. Not to mention there appears to be a resident cat that lives on the upper floor of the store. It doesn’t get much better than that.


What I really liked about this bookshop was the stairs leading up to the second floor. Each stair has part of a Hafiz quote painted on them. The full quote is:

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astounding light of your own being.”

Along the right side of the stairs on the other side of the banister are diagonal shelves with more books sitting on them, along with various box sets of postcards, such as those with previous covers of The New Yorker on them.

20150903-122948.jpgAnother thing that makes this bookstore unique is that any books purchased there are made  extra special with a Shakespeare and Company stamp to mark them as souvenirs of the visit. Of course you can opt out of having your books stamped, but I think it is a really nice way to remember where they are from.

Needless to say, I picked up a few books, so I thought I would show you them here.


IMG_6050The first book is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I have a mini collection of copies of this novel, and I had never seen this edition before, so I wanted to add it to my bookshelf. Of course this means I will read it again, but I can never read it too many times. I always find something new in the story.

IMG_6052The next book I bought is Three Early Stories, also by Salinger. It contains “The Young Folks,” “Go See Eddie,” and “Once A Week Won’t Kill You.” Compiled into a book in 2014 by the Devault-Graves Agency, these short stories were originally published independently, “Young Folks” in Story magazine in 1940, “Go See Eddie” in University of Kansas City Review in December 1940, and “Once A Week Won’t Kill You” in Story magazine in November-December of 1944. I have never read any of these short stories before, so I am super excited to sit down in my reading nook with my cat and a cup of hot chocolate and delve into them.

IMG_6051The last Salinger book I picked up is For Esme–With Love and Squalor. This is a collection of nine of Salinger’s short stories, some of which I have read like “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and others I have not. I have a copy of these stories compiled into a book of another title, Nine Stories, but I have yet to even crack the spine. That book came in a collector box set of all of Salinger’s works that I received as a gift from my French 11 teacher before he retired. He was, and still is a remarkable person, and we shared a passion for books. Before French class started, I would get there early and we would talk about what we had been reading and recommend books to one another. With a copy of these short stories that I can now read, I am looking forward to reading the ones I didn’t read from printed versions from my French teacher.

IMG_6053The final book I purchased is Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Firstly, because it is about Paris. And secondly, it mentions the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in chapter 3:

In those days there was no money to buy books. Books you borrowed from the rental library of Shakespeare and Company, which was the library and bookstore of Sylvia Beach at 12 Rue de l’Odéon. On a cold windswept street, this was a lovely, warm, cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window, and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living. The photographs all looked like snapshots and even the dead writers looked as though they had really been alive.

I opted for the restored edition, as it includes two sections of photos, one of photos of some of Hemingway’s handwritten manuscript pages, and the other of photos of people, such as Hemingway as a young man, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is even a picture of Hemingway and Sylvia Beach in front of her bookshop Shakespeare and Company. And a picture of the interior of the bookshop, which is similar to how it looks today. A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s last novel, was published posthumously in 1964, with changes made to the text prior to publishing. This restored edition, however, is the original manuscript as Hemingway wrote it to be published. This edition also has a personal forward by Hemingway’s only surviving son, Patrick Hemingway. Plus, the introduction to this edition was written by Seán Hemingway, the editor and grandson of the author. So if you’re a Hemingway fan, I would seriously recommend picking up a copy of this restored edition.

I would have picked up many more books, but they are deceivingly heavy, and I could only fit so many in my suitcase. The good thing though is that this bookstore has a website, which I recommend you check out, because it shows all the books they have there, new, used, and rare, along with book boxes that can be ordered online. I am seriously considering ordering the classics book box just to see which books are randomly included in it. It’ll be like being back there only I won’t have to worry about weighing my suitcase in the airport.

Have you visited this bookstore before? What books did you bring home?

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely day 🙂 🙂

Disneyland Paris

When planning out this Paris trip, Disneyland Paris was near the top of my list of things I wanted to do. I have been to the Disneyland in California, so I was interested to see which rides were also in this park, and if and how they had been changed. Plus, knowing all the characters would be speaking French was an added bonus.

I did not take as many pictures as I’d like, but I figured the limited number of pictures speaks to how much fun it was. I hope you enjoy 🙂 🙂

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Lunch at Tiffany’s

IMG_5137Holly Golightly had breakfast at Tiffany’s; I had lunch. While wandering through Galeries Lafayette the other day, and munching on un pain au chocolat, I stumbled upon a Tiffany and Co. store. I have always wanted one of these little robin egg blue Tiffany bags, but was convinced that nothing in Tiffany’s would be anywhere near my price range. Not so. There really is a wide variety of selection; it’s not all platinum and rare gems. But, of course, there are still the astoundingly priced items that are fun to look at, like the €250000 engagement ring, Some people buy a ring; others buy a house. Ha, talk about perspective. 

Out of all the platinum and shades of gold, I spotted this little Sterling silver infinity ring (on the left), and instantly fell in love with it. I had been eyeing some of the pieces in the infinity collection online, as an advertisement for them had popped up in an internet browser a few weeks back (fate?), but I never thought any of them would be “affordable.” I say that in quotation marks because €190 is still a lot of money, but it makes for a lovely addition to my jewelry case, and a timeless souvenir of my trip to Paris. And it comes in such an adorable little box!!! IMG_5138 What is your favourite souvenir from a trip you have taken???

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