Memories from Maryland

On my freshman year move-in day, I remember one of the last things my Dad saying to me before he pulled away was,”Lex, you’re going to meet ‘your people’ here”. As someone who struggled through high school in the friendship department, that was everything I was hoping for. It excited and terrified me all at the same time because the possibility of making lifelong friends seemed so incredible, but I was also scared about whether or not I would connect with people in the ways I wished for. As they say, parents are always right and I was blessed with forming some amazing friendships this past year. One of the most special relationships I created in school was with my friend Carmen. We had met at an admissions event the Spring before our freshman year started. In the Fall we both happened to be in the same Spanish class, we sat together, and the rest is history! Every single Friday we met at our school’s coffee shop and gave each other life updates, laughed until we cried, vented, gave each other advice and inspired each other! Carmen and her family invited me to spend the week in her hometown and I was incredibly excited to spend time with her and make memories that would last forever!

One of my favorite places we visited was this small town called Berlin. This quaint spot is filled with awesome shops, boutiques and restaurants. I spent way more money than I should have and bought some awesome jewelry and a new pair of sunnies that I absolutely adore! Below are some photos of the food I ate and snapshots from this sweet place!

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Whenever I travel I always look for a cute and comfortable outfit to walk around in. I went for an off the shoulder, smocked gingham top that was super comfy and summery. I paired it with a high waisted, white, frayed jean skirt that I seriously have not stopped wearing this season. I finished the look off with some blush colored, suede slides that I cannot get enough of! Most of my wardrobe is black and white so these add a subtle pop of color that I am totally obsessed with!

I’m so thankful for my vacation with Carmen and can’t wait to show her my hometown next summer!

Special shoutout to this sweetheart for being the best friend!

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XO, Lexie

Golden Hour Under The Eiffel Tower

Seeing the Eiffel Tower has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I imagined for years how magical the moment would be when I saw it for the first time. I had high expectations nontheless for what this experience would be like, and when I started walking towards the Parc du Champs de Mars I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

The soft afternoon light caressed itself around the Tower…one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Standing there in all of Her glory, the Lady of France is even more magnificent in person. Chills ran through my body and happiness surged. This moment was more amazing than I could’ve ever dreamed of. My beautiful friend Justine, who’s an incredible photographer couldn’t resist pulling out her camera to snap a few pictures. Standing under the Eiffel Tower I danced and posed in the golden light. This was one of the happiest moments of my life.

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Make sure to check out more of Justine’s amazing work on her website http://www.justinemaggiolino.com! Have an amazing day…write to you next week!

xo, Lexie

Sunrise in St. Tropez

St. Tropez, one of the most exclusive, glamorous, and most beautiful towns in the French Riviera. This place has been on my travel wish list for ages and I couldn’t believe that we were actually going to be visiting. Piling into the car before dawn, we maneuvered the windy roads through the mountains from Toulon and arrived in St. Tropez in a little over an hour…just in time to watch the sunrise over the mediterranean.

We parked the car on one of the many colorful streets and started to walk through town toward the port. Vacationers sat outside in wicker chairs at local cafe’s sipping their morning espresso and munching on all of the delicious french patisserie.

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Sweet little streets with colors that are sure to brighten any day are a defining feature of this glamorous beach town.

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High end stores and fancy little shops are scattered all over with the prettiest of window displays, catering to the classy clientele.

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Nearing the port I was allured by the crystal clear blue waters of the med…the morning light glistened on the crashing waves, truly a sight to see.

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Super yachts filled the port, some even bigger than the houses back at home. I was dazzled by how extravagant and massive they were; multiple party decks, perfectly polished silver detailing, and butlers bringing guests their morning feasts seemed too perfect to be true.

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I advanced toward the rocky coast, watching the birds soar through the pink and blue sunrise.

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The sun was slowly creeping higher and higher into the sky, projecting the most gorgeous golden light over the mountains in the distance.

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I could have stayed there forever, admiring the peaceful sea and insane views.

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One of St. Tropez’s specialties is their famous pastry called the Tarte Tropezienne. It is essential to try this dessert when visiting here! Buttery Brioche filled with rich vanilla pastry cream topped with sugar crystals is sure to be the dessert of your dreams. I still cannot stop thinking about it! I wish I could have snapped a pic but as soon as the pastry was in my hand it looked to good to not start chowing down right away…I guess you’ll just have to visit yourself to see and taste this delicious specialty!

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I certainly wouldn’t mind watching the sunrise everyday in St. Tropez!

xo, Lexie

 

 

Royalty for a Day // Exploring the Chateau and Gardens of Versailles

Usually waking up to the sound of my alarm clock blaring has me scrambling to hit the snooze button, but this particular morning I couldn’t wait to hear that annoying buzzer! I sprung out of bed, pulled myself together, and was ready for a royal and regal day. Before leaving the apartment, I ran into the kitchen and downed my morning shot of espresso…nothing like a java jolt to get the blood flowing! We had an exciting day ahead of us, spending the day exploring the Chateau and Gardens of Versailles. With no time to waste, we jumped into the car, plugged Versailles into the GPS and were on our way! But first we had to make a pit stop for croissants and pan de chocolat…breakfast of champions!?

After about a 40 minute car ride we arrived at our destination. Pulling into the parking lot and looking up at the Chateau my eyes instantaneously were drawn in by the gold…golden gates, balconies, windows, detailing and more.

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Versailles was crawling with tourists which was to be expected. Even upon early arrival we had to wait for hours in line to tour the Chateau. Thankfully with some snacks and good company, the time flew by. Before we knew it, we were stepping into the main entrance. After going through security, the entire Palace was open for us to explore. I was giddy with excitement.

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Walking into the first room, my eyes darted in every which way trying to soak up the grand beauty…the walls were showered in gold, magnificent murals, marble, and velvet; it was just the right amount of overwhelming.

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The massive windows lining the walls of the Chateau offered an incredible view of the perfectly manicured gardens…so dreamy!

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After roaming around for some time, we finally reached the famous Hall of Mirrors, the Palace’s most remarkable and recognized gallery. It was over the top beautiful just as King Louis XIV intended it to be…my eyes were nearly blinded by all of the gold and crystals. The paintings on the ceiling were absolutely stunning and so culturally rich. This was by far the most beautiful art I have ever seen.

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I could have spent hours in one room alone, just admiring the extravagant details.

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Soon we made our way out of the Palace and it was time to see the Gardens! Perfectly trimmed greenery dotted with the most lush and vibrant flowers I’ve ever seen…it felt like I was in heaven.

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Strolling further and further through the Gardens we saw a new perspective of the Chateau…a truly remarkable sight.

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Spotting some stairs near one of the Garden’s fountains, we took a seat and enjoyed a traditional Parisian sandwich for lunch…ham and gruyère on a french baguette…delicious! We finished off the meal with some sparkling Perrier and apricots (they’re the best ever in France trust me!).

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After lunch we continued our stroll through the Gardens that seemed to be never-ending. We eventually ran into Le Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette’s Chateau) and couldn’t wait to check it out!

The lovely symmetric Gardens leading up to her home took my breath away…I certainly wouldn’t mind living there!

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Wandering into Antoinette’s Chateau I eventually came across her famous bedroom! Red and gold details…a simply elegant and regal combination.

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Next we went to Le Grand Trianon…my favorite Chateau in all of Versailles! The light pink colored marble and gold detailing instantaneously won my heart; and don’t even get my started on the black and white checkered marble floor…need this in my future house for sure!

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The darling yellow and purple flower color combinations were my favorite! How incredible would a wedding be here ahhh!

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After a long day of adventuring we took a quick detour into the town of Versailles to grab some dinner and drinks! I had the best crepes in the world; one savory and one sweet. The sweet crepe was my favorite; salted caramel sauce, nutella, and french vanilla ice cream! Too good to be true!

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After a meal of a lifetime we went back into the Gardens for golden hour and planned to stay until nighttime for the Palace’s firework show!

The sunset was a firey orange, casting light on the Palace and creating a beautiful picture in the sky.

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Royal music played as we walked through the Gardens…it was surely fun to feel like a Queen for a day!

As the sky started to darken we took our places on the stairs and got ready for the fireworks. Crowds of people made their way to come sit down taking up every seat available. We were all anxiously waiting for them to start.

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The royal music gradually grew louder and louder indicating that the show was about to begin. I quickly took out my camera and put it straight into video mode!

These were by far the most amazing and striking fireworks I have ever seen. Bright hues of purple, soft pinks, rich reds, and crystally whites showered the sky. The colors continually exploded into the pitch black sky presenting themselves in every shape and style. Seeing these fireworks in person is something I believe everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. I will remember this show forever.

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After the finale we rushed back to the car, beating the crowd and drove back to our apartment in Paris! Truly a day fit for royalty!

xo, Lexie

Sweet Treat on the Seine // Paris’ World Famous Ice Cream Shop

I’ve had my fair share of amazing ice cream, so when I heard about Berthillon having quite possibly the best in the world, I had to go and see what all of the hype was about. Walking along the Ile Saint-Louis we spotted the famous shop. I knew immediately this place was going to be incredible…the line stretched all the way to the other side of the street, with people tagging on nearly every second. We hopped on the end, waiting anxiously with very high expectations.

The scenic views of the Seine made for a quite enjoyable wait in line. The serene and still vibrant green water glistened as the sun danced across it. The warm temperatures and sunny skies made it the perfect day to stop for a sweet afternoon treat!

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The line moved quickly and before I knew it, it was our turn to order. I took a look at the flavor board and knew it was going to be tough to pick…everything sounded so delicious! Flavors ranged from vanilla, to pistachio, to goji berry, sure to satisfy every type of sweet tooth. I ended up choosing one scoop of mango and one scoop of melon in a waffle cone!

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I couldn’t have been more happy with the flavors I chose! So bright, light, and refreshing to help cool things down on this warm day in the city. The ice cream was easily the most rich and velvety I have ever had. Savoring every bite, I wished it was never-ending. Although a bit pricy, you are surely paying for luxurious and sophisticated ice cream…so worth the price and wait in line! Berthillon certainly makes some of the best in the world…10/10 would definitely recommend!

Stopping here is a must when in Paris! Have you ever been? What’s your favorite flavor?

xo, Lexie

 

 

Afternoon Boat Ride on the Seine

Waking up to an espresso along with bread topped with butter and strawberry jam was how I started every morning in Paris. The soft sunlight would peak through the large open window, bringing my tired eyes to life. A cool morning breeze would circulate through the room while the birds sang their morning hymn; our very own morning soundtrack via mother nature! All of us would gather around the table and enjoy breakfast together as we planned all of the activities we would be doing that day. This particular morning was particularly exciting to me when I heard that we would be going on a boat ride on the Seine. A dreamy afternoon was on the horizon, coming up full speed ahead!

We hopped on the metro and just a few minutes later arrived at our destination. Immediately we were able to spot the port where all of the large river boats were located, taking hundreds of people to see the beauty of Paris. We walked down to the water, purchased our tickets, and stood in line, anxiously waiting for the next boat to arrive.

As the next boat pulled up, everyone boarded, and we darted to the top deck to get the best views! I put my bags down, got situated and pulled my camera out, getting ready to put that baby to use!

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Posing for a picture on Seine nonetheless was the first thing I did on the boat ride…would you expect anything less coming from me!? I wore big Audrey Hepburn inspired sunnies, a red lip, and an off the shoulder top, trying my best to look like a true Parisian. Conquering this city in style is essential!

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The darling gold and blue details of the Pont Alexandre III added a regal touch as the boat cruised along the river. Lush green trees, sweet little boats and views of the Ferris Wheel were on full display, making this ride instantaneously special within the first 5 minutes!

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Moving along, the Ferris Wheel became even more present, taking me back to my first day when I was on the ride, experiencing my first magical moments in Paris!

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To say I was floored by the incredible architecture would be an extreme understatement. The buildings got prettier and prettier as we made our way down the river. I loved watching the people hang out on the river path…some would picnic, some would relax with a coffee, croissant and a book on the benches, while others would just sit on the ground, watching the boats cruise up and down the river.

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Getting a whole new perspective of the city was pretty spectacular…the massive detailed buildings are even more surreal from a distance.

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My eyes darted from left to right trying to capture each building as the boat went by…one of my favorites being Notre Dame. How insane is the detail on this church!? Truly out of this world.

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Passing this apartment put #housegoals to a whole new level! How perfect is this gold and black iron balcony? I can see it now…tucking the white wispy curtains away, opening up the windows, and sitting outside in my robe with an espresso and croissant every morning! Now that’s what I call living! Oh and the view of the Seine isn’t too shabby either!

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The boat ride couldn’t have ended in a more perfect way, with the most beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower! What an afternoon!

xo, Lexie

 

 

Arc De Triomphe

The Arc De Triomphe truly took my breath away. One look at the monument and I was instantaneously mesmerized by how magnificent and massive it is. Meticulously crafted, this structure is covered in detail that I could have spent days looking at.

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Located on the west end of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe is in the perfect spot…on one of the most famous streets in Paris! After taking pictures from every angle we possibly could have (#bloggerprobs) we walked down the famous street that is covered in some of the most exclusive and expensive shopping in the world…but don’t worry not every store will break the bank! I stuck to shopping in Zara!

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We of course had to run into the famous macaron shop, Laduree! The line was long but SO worth the wait…they were the best macarons I have ever eaten! Equally as delicious as they are photogenic! Next time I’m in Paris, I am definitely going to sit down to a formal tea at Laduree…seems like so much fun!

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As we started to reach the end of the Champs Elysees, we took a left turn and my lifelong dream came true…

Make sure to check out the blog tomorrow to find out where/how my dream came true!

xo, Lexie

 

Jardin des Tuileries/ Ferris Wheel Views

When I think of Paris, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Jardin des Tuileries. Located between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre Museum you are bound to run into this Garden and Ferris Wheel when touring the city! Seeing countless instagram and blog posts about the view from the Ferris Wheel, going on it was a MUST for me when I was in Paris. I ended up going here my first day in the city…I got off of the plane in the morning, slept for a few hours in the apartment we were staying in, and then got ready for an afternoon adventure!

Thankfully the line to ride the Ferris Wheel wasn’t too long and in just a few minutes we were in our cart! I pulled my camera out, ready to snap away!

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As the cart’s began to rise, an aerial view of the Jardin des Tuileries was exposed to us. Lush and green, perfectly manicured, clean and symmetric…this garden was impressive to say the least.

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This garden not only provides a serene spot to relax in the city, but is also a great place for family fun. During summer holidays there are amusement park rides for the whole family that are sure to be a great time! After going on the rides, enjoy an ice cream or crepe from one of the many stands in the gardens.

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Seeing the Champs Elysees has been one of my lifelong dreams. Being able to see this street my first day in Paris is more than I could have wished for! Perfectly trimmed trees line the street of some of the most expensive shopping and restaurants in the world. If you look straight ahead, down the street, you will be able to see the Arc de Triomphe…incredible!

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My favorite view of the entire Ferris Wheel ride had to be the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. It was an emotional moment for me seeing what I had dreamed about looking at since I was a little girl in real life…so surreal!

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After we got off the Ferris Wheel we strolled around the beautiful garden, enjoying the beauty of Paris!

More about my travels coming tomorrow!

xo, Lexie

 

 

 

Mornings in Paris

I’ve been dreaming of going to Paris since I was a little girl. Madeline books (remember those!?) would be on constant rotation during story time right before bed. The Eiffel Tower images on the covers of the books and scattered throughout the pages stuck with me for all of these years. As I got older, my love for Paris grew more and more. My room became (and still is) filled with Eiffel Tower statues, pictures of the Arc de Triomphe, Parisian inspired jewelry boxes…the list goes on and on, not to mention that my bathroom is also decorated with a Paris theme! I fell completely in love with the French culture and lifestyle, but what I loved the most was the Parisian Woman; classy and elegant, always slightly overdressed, confident without having to boast, effortlessly chic, understated while simultaneously making a huge statement. The Parisian Woman is everything I have strived to be practically my entire life. When my parents told me the news that I was going to be vacationing in Paris with my best friend Justine, I couldn’t stop crying…my dream was going to come true! I hugged my parents probably a million times and immediately put a countdown on my phone waiting for the summer of my dreams. Everyday I imagined walking through the streets in the morning, watching the sun peek through the tree branches, hearing the birds chirp their morning song, while munching on a croissant and sipping on espresso…and when I arrived in Paris, that is exactly what I did!

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Getting up early is always a good idea in Paris. Not only do you beat the crowds and get better pictures, but you also get to experience a serene and quiet side of the city. We took a stroll down to the Eiffel Tower and got to watch the sunrise, slowly bringing the city to life…it was a magical morning.

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Watching the morning sun cast light and create beautiful, intricate shadows on the buildings is something that I will never forget.

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Out of all of the food in Paris, my favorite has to be the breakfast food. The croissants were to DIE for…so buttery, tender, and flaky (going to miss them the most back in the states). For all you chocoholics, you would go bananas over pan de chocolat…a croissant like pastry filled with rich and creamy chocolate. The french bread toasted with butter and strawberry jam was also one of my favorites in the morning. A glass of orange juice and some espresso to give you a jolt were the perfect drinks to start the day off right! There’s nothing quite like a traditional french breakfast!

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The darling, quiet morning strolls were a great time for me to set a positive intention for the day. I couldn’t help but smile while gazing at the immaculate architecture. The flowers scattered all over the iron bar balconies add a pop of color and sweetness to the city and were just how I imagined them in my dreams.

Paris has my heart! Many more posts about my French vacation to come…hope you guys are ready to read!

xo, Lexie