Saturday, July 23, 2016

Paris ’16, Day 1 – Arrival, Angelic Pretty Shop Opening and Axes Femme


Hi everyone~! I am back from my five-day trip to Paris! Despite the heat the trip was loads of fun and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, so let’s start~!
On Thursday July 7th my mom and I woke up early and collected our last things. For some reason both my mom and I had really procrastinated our packing, resulting in us having to pack and prepare everything in two days. Not very wise. ^^’ Luckily, we ended up not forgetting anything important! My dad drove us to the train station and we said goodbye. We dragged our suitcases (mine was really big thanks to my Lolita outfit, ahem) to the right platform and waited for the train to Amsterdam. We had deliberately chosen an early train since our railway company too often has troubles, but the train arrived perfectly on time and we arrived way in advance of our departure time to Paris.
We spent our time sitting on a bench and waiting for over an hour for our Thalys train. But I much prefer to be early than having to stress (duh). My mom and I wondered whether the security would be better now. There have been two very dangerous incidents involving Thalys and the company promised there would be better security and checks.

Waiting for a Train
Waiting for our train to Paris.

Lots of people collected at our platform, but most of them took the train to Belgium only. Finally, our train arrived and my mom and I walked up to the door to the right coupé. But was there someone to check on us? Was there some way of luggage check? Not at all! I must say I was quite outraged! Dangerous things have happened and Thalys does nothing!? We somehow managed to get our suitcases into the train and onto the luggage racks. I installed myself, but my mom wanted to go and see whether she could find a train conductor. She soon returned and told me she had spoken to some police officers on the platform and they said they “kept an eye out, but everyone who got into the train looked like a tourist”. -_- I have no words honestly. We have made complaints already, but I sure am not done yet.
Anyway, let’s continue with positive things! The train departed on time and soon my mom and I ate our sandwiches and cookies while enjoying the view from our window.

Trainride
On our way to Paris~! ☆

It was quite nice to take the train again after taking the bus last year. We talked for a bit and after a while we fell asleep! We slept for quite a while, making our journey a bit shorter and after 3 hours and 20 minutes after our depart in Amsterdam we arrived in Paris!

Gare du Nord
Back at Gare du Nord at last!

I was so happy to be back at Gare du Nord! I immediately heard the familiar sounds and of course: the French language! We quickly took a selfie and then went on our way.

Welcome to Paris!
Our first selfie in Paris. ♥

Our first goals of the day were getting to our hotel and acquiring new Navigo passes, as our previous ones had expired. We had decided on getting to our hotel first, but when I checked the queue in front of the public transport ticket desk it wasn’t long at all! So we decided to go there first. I asked the ticket desk lady in French for two tickets and she answered me in French too. Later I realised how much more easy I switch to French for official instances these das (I used to be so shy)! We paid and received our tickets and soon we could leave the queue again.
While I was doing some research upfront (I mean, I did do some work) I had found out Navigo passes now extend to five zones instead of two! Which is great, because that means you can now travel to Versailles, Disneyland and the Japan Expo with the Navigo too!
My mom and I took our suitcases up the escalator and walked out of the station. This year we had booked a hotel across from Gare du Nord, a completely different area from where our favourite hotel is located (which is Montmartre). My mom is unfortunately not doing very well: she gets tired quite fast, her knees hurt easily and she can’t walk well anymore. The Parisian metro has thousands of steps of stairs and dragging your luggage to your hotel up and down them is always torture. So we decided to book a hotel really close to the Thalys arrival and depart station, which made things a lot easier! Not only for my mom, but for me too. ^^
After leaving the station, I look right and left and soon spotted our hotel’s sign. It was honestly right across the station and we only had to cross one road!

Hotel
Our hotel! We didn’t know at that moment, but our room would be the one with the slightly open window on the third floor. ^^

We entered our hotel lobby and walked up to the desk. The guy behind the counter was not only incredible friendly, but he was also really cute aaah! *o* ♥ We forgot to ask his name until our last day in Paris though, haha! He was so nice. :3
The desk guy told us to our great surprise that our room was already ready for us! So we could already take our suitcases upstairs and see our room. For some reason unknown to us, the friendly desk guy had upgraded us free of charge to a more spacious room, which really came in handy during the upcoming days and which was incredibly nice of course! We took the tiny elevator up to the third floor and dragged our suitcases up the few steps, after which we entered room 316. The room was so nice! There was a lot of space, a bed, a desk and two windows.

Hotel Room
Our hotelroom for the next couple of days.

When we checked the view, my mom and I squealed in unison. Our view was right upon Gare du Nord! It was a-ma-zing! You know how in movies when someone is on Paris they always have a view upon the Eiffeltower (which is pretty much impossible). Well for a moment I felt like that. XD

View
Our view to the left, the middle and to the right. *o*

We were really happy with our room, despite the default in the bed (which could be easily fixed; one of the bed posts was loose) and the fact there was no shower curtain in the bath tub (like, why would not install that!?). ^^
We installed some of our things, got freshened up and then went on our way to enjoy Paris! Our next goal of the day: visiting the new Angelic Pretty shop that had opened for the first time right that morning! I admit that I would have loved to have been present at the opening, but it was just not possible. But being able to visit it on opening day was also really special, plus I wouldn’t have to wait for an unknown amount of long time, so that was something positive. :)
Despite our plan of trying to take the bus more, my mom and I decided to take the metro. Using our Navigos felt so cool and familiar!
I thought we had to transfer at Les Halles, but it turned out we had to transfer at station Châtelet: The one station I wanted to avoid. ^^’ Châtelet is a huge station with lots of stairs and long hallways and in order to spare my mom a bit, I wanted to try and stay away from this station during our trip. Go me. And as I feared, we got lost, had to walk around and take multiple stairs causing my mom to having to sit down and use her inhaler. I know I couldn’t exactly help it, but I felt so bad…
After my mom felt better, we continued our way and finally arrived a station Tuileries.

Tuileries
Station Tuileries suddenly got a whole new meaning for Lolitas!

We exited the station, walked up some stairs and arrived at the Rue de Rivoli where there were lots of cars and lots of noise. Luckily, before we could go on, I felt a panic attack coming up! I’m sure you noticed the sarcasm there. -_- For a moment, the scare I got from my mom not feeling well, the heat (because yes, just like last year it was hot in Paris. Not almost 40° Celsius, but still) and the noise just got to me. A bit of water, some breathing exercises and a hug from my mom made everything better though. ^^
We entered the Rue St Roch and didn’t have to walk for long, because I immediately spotted the red storefront on the left side of the street. We had arrived at the new Angelic Pretty store!

Angelic Pretty Paris Shop
The beautiful new Angelic Pretty store in Paris. ;___; ♥

The location for the shop is just amazing! It’s right next to the Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre. It’s much more touristic, which is in a way a blessing and a curse I guess? But the store definitely won’t be overlooked easily!

Angelic Pretty near Tuileries
As you can see by the big ferris wheel, the shop is right next to the Jardin des Tuileries.

The storefront looked amazing! The wood was painted stone red, but it might have been the colour the shop that had previously been located there had painted it. Maybe Angelic Pretty will repaint it, maybe not. Anyway, it looked quite nice! A simple Angelic Pretty sticker adorned the top of the shop. It looked a bit temporary to me, but I might be mistaken of course. ^^
The big shop window had the words ‘Angelic Pretty’ on it. In the window, three mannequins wearing Diner Doll, Strawberry Whip and Wrapping Cherry. The floor of the window was covered in Angelic Pretty bags and the typical vintage toys Angelic Pretty displays in all their stores. Everything looked so lovely!

Angelic Pretty
The famous Angelic Pretty font finally back on a Parisian shop window again!

The bags in the shop window were just so cute! And once again the Lolita curse snuck in: you don’t like a dress until you see it in real life. Strawberry Whip is so gorgeous up close!

Angelic Pretty Shop Window
Three lovely red dresses adorning the shop window. ♥

Contrary to what I expected I didn’t cry, but I was overjoyed and excited to enter the store! There were quite a lot of people inside and everyone was wearing Lolita but me! x) Oh well, at least my bright pink dress matched the decor I guess! I was ready to go inside!

Angelic Pretty Doormat
There was even an Angelic Pretty doormat!

The inside of the store was amazing! ♥ The shop was square shaped and not very big, plus it was packed with Lolitas. I could immediately tell the walls were wrapped in the same wallpaper as the shops in Japan: fancy prints in pink and lavender (which is probably referring to their two different labels). Angelic Pretty seems to want to pursue a bit more mature style in their shops, as their Laforet store recently underwent a makeover into their newer style as well. Anyway, back to the Parisian store. An absolutely gorgeous chandelier hung from the ceiling. In front of the wall facing the shop window there was the checkout desk. The two remaining, opposite walls both had two frame units/closets/whatever you call them with dresses hanging on hangers and bags on the shelves, a mirror in between. In the middle of the store was a table for accessories and a rack with more dresses. Along the shop window, behind the decoration and bags were socks and shoes stalled. Behind the checkout counter there was a changing room to the left and a storage room to the right. At the checkout there were two people: designer Asuka and the new shop’s manager: Taka-san, who was also present during the previous Tea Party as a translator. There was another shop staff member walking around tidying when it was necessary and more helping out around the checkout. That last girl seemed rather familiar and no wonder: she had been at the 2013 Tea Party! She was so nice, it was great seeing her again.
I made a fairly simple layout map for you. I hope this clarifies everything a bit. ^^

Angelic Pretty Paris Layout
I made this layout especially for Charlie. 8D I hope you like it dear!

I showed my mom some pretty dresses, like Eternal Carnival and the navy Melty Sky JSK (which was much more beautiful than I had expected)! I tried to browse the goods as well as I could with all the other Lolitas in the store. I immediately spotted a beautiful pair of white socks with gold print and picked them up, since I was hoping to find a pair of socks for my Tea Party outfit.
After browsing the whole shop at least three times I think, I couldn’t find anything else I wanted to buy. I would have loved to buy a dress or something else big, but I didn’t have that much money and despite all the beautiful dresses around me none of them drew my particular interest. The lucky packs and awesome deals that had been there for the opening had of course all sold out, so I finally “gave up”. Then, all of a sudden, one of the shop ladies hung two dresses on the rack in the middle of the shop, the one I was standing right next to. They were a blue Baked Sweets Parade JSK and a mint Shadow Dream Carnival OP and apparently both were sets! For really nice prices! I didn’t care much for the Baked Sweets Parade dress, but I have liked Shadow Dream Carnival for a while now and the print looked so beautiful on this dress! I showed the dress to my mom and she really liked it too. I very seriously considered buying it, but I wasn’t quite sure it would look nice on me. I certainly wasn’t going to try it on with this heat, so I would have to hope it fit. Luckily the dress did have full back shirring and well. It was just so pretty! ;0;
Meanwhile, one of my friends came in! I was very happy to see Camélia and also asked her for advice on the dress (haha). Eventually, I decided to just go for it! =D
After a while, some other girls I knew showed up too! I was happy to talk for a little bit with Chloé and Yume and also Lou~! ♥ At least Lou wasn’t in Lolita, so I felt less alone haha. XD

Girls Shopping
Cute girls doing some cute shopping. :3

The line in front of the checkout was significantly shorter and many girls had actually left the store by now, so soon it was my turn. I arrived at the checkout and just wanted to calmly pay for my purchases and ask for my Tea Party tickets, but the shop ladies had a slightly different approach: do everything at the same time. x) It was very confusing to me to pay for my purchases, find my reservation email and fill in my birth date at the same time. ^^’ I would have much preferred to take things slowly, especially since there was no line behind me. Oh well. I did get to pick a gift though! I could choose between a postcard and pin set or a Dolly Cat pouch. Since I already owned the posted version of the postcard I went with the cute pouch. ^^
I was done paying, received my invitation and got thanked for my shopping when Mila and Marie arrived at the store. ♥ I was hoping to see Mila at the store, since she is one of the two French shop girls. ^^ It was great talking to the girls and I got to ask some questions about the shop and new releases and things I wanted to know, so that was really nice. :)
I left the store and my mom took some pictures of me in front of the shop.

Purchase Picture
Posing with my purchases. ^^

If you want to see more pictures of the store: I went back on our last day of our trip and took some pictures again which show a bit more of the shop. So keep an eye out. ^^ ♥
When we were leaving, my friends Eveline and Astrid were just arriving! Isn't that a coincidence? I wished them much fun exploring the shop. ^^
I said goodbye to everyone and my mom and I walked on to the other end of the street so I could get some money from the bank to give back to my mom. The pin machine in the Angelic Pretty shop wasn’t working unfortunately so my mom had lent me some money. Then we walked back through the Rue St Roch, into the candy store next to Angelic Pretty shop, La Cure Gourmande. This bright yellow shop looked quite familiar. Not surprising, since we had visited another shop of the same chain in Montmartre during one of our previous trips!

La Cure Gourmande
La Cure Gourmande.

My mom had spotted a lovely bright yellow cookie jar and wanted to show it to me, after which she bought it. We also chose some delicious-looking caramels to eat later. ♥

Candy Store
Isn’t the inside of this shop just amazing? *o*

We left the Rue St Roch and walked into the Rue de Rivoli, next to the Jardins des Tuileries. My mom showed me some touristic shops there where they sold cute things like trays. Before going on, my mom and I decided to have a drink somewhere, so we walked into the Jardin des Tuileries.

Tuileries Ferris Wheel
The amazing big ferris wheel for the summer fair in Jardin des Tuileries.

We immediately spotted a big tent restaurant that claimed to be cheap. They were very much not, but we wanted drinks and accepted the utterly ridiculous prices for once. x) My mom and I also both tried one of the caramels we just bought. They were so good, oh my God. *o*

Tuileries Drinks
Very focused pouring my drink. XD

Since we had spent such a long time doing what I liked, I asked my mom what she would like to do! I was expecting some kind of sightseeing, but her answer? Axes Femme! XD
We finished our glasses of coke and caramel and then walked back to the metro. We only needed to go a few stops further down one line, so that was okay. We soon arrived at stop Saint Paul and left the station, from where we walked through the cute streets of Le Marais, past the closed Princess Crêpe, to the Axes Femme shop.

Axes Femme Paris
Ready for some shopping at Axes Femme! ☆

To my non-surprise and great happiness there was a sale going on! Well, I was happy for my mom, because she was hoping to find something nice. During our Japan trip she had been a bit frustrated, because she couldn’t find anything to her liking. She was looking for a nice bag, so I followed my mom around while I took pictures.

Axes Femme Upstairs
The Parisian Axes Femme store honestly is so amazing. ♥

Soon my mom found two bags she liked and asked for my advice on which one to take. We compared for a bit and I gave my opinion (I liked the cream-coloured one better). I let her think about it while I explored the shop for a bit. I am sure there were a lot of beautiful cothes, but I deliberately didn’t look at anything up close. At Axes Femme I always fall in love with something and since I had just spent a lot of money I wanted to try and aoid ending up really liking something, haha!

Axes Femme Clothes
Some of the beautiful clothes in Axes Feme.

I went downstairs and took some pictures of the room down there. I love how this shop has two floors, it’s just so cute! The room downstairs is really different from the upstairs room, creating a great contrast. ^^

Axes Femme Downstairs
The downstairs room of Axes Femme.

I walked around for a bit (still not looking too well at the clothing, haha) and took some pictures. I accidentally bumped a promotion poster off a mannequin in the process, whoops. ^^’ In my defence, it was very unstable. XD
I even sat down on the famous swing!

Swinging at Axes Femme
Trying out the famous and amazing swing at Axes Femme.

When I got back upstairs again my mom had decided on which bag she wanted (the cream-coloured one, yay). She sat down for a moment and said there hung a really pretty black lace bolero in one of the racks. I went to get it for her aaand I think you can guess where this is going… I fell in love! Well, I fell in love with the white lace bolero, not the black one. But it was so pretty and different! The bolero has to layers and is slightly longer. It will work perfect in and out of Lolita, I’m sure! It’s a little hard to explain what it looks like, I understand, but you can find a picture of it down this post or spot me showing it off in the video I made even further down below! ^^
My mom and I paid for our purchases and the lovely shop ladies put them into a bag for us. There were two bag options: a big paper bag and a small plastic one. Since my mom had a big purchase the shop girl put it in a big paper bag and asked whether my purchase could be added to it. But… then I wouldn’t receive a plastic bag. And… they were so pretty. So I asked for an extra bag after all, which was no problem. XD
Finally, we left the store and sat down on a ledge a couple of meters away for a bit of rest.

Shopping
Shopping, shopping, shopping~! ♥

My mom and I rested for a while and discussed what to do next. We finally decided to go back to our hotel, have some dinner and maybe go see the Eiffeltower later.
After a while we got up, went back to the metro and returned to Gare du Nord. We decided to have dinner at… McDonald’s. On our first evening! How shameful… x)
Well, we were hungry okay?
It was a nice, simple and satisfying dinner.

McDonald's Dinner
Dinner at McDonald’s.

After finishing our dinner we went back to the hotel, where we decided not to go see the Eiffeltower after all since we were super tired. Instead, we stayed in and watched the soccer game. While we were in Paris, the European Championship was going in in France! That night it was Germany vs. France. It was really fun to watch it surrounded by people of the playing countries, since France won! Listening to the cheering outside was quite fun. :3
After the game was over we looked out of the window for a bit. It had slowly turned dark and the sounds of the city floated through our open windows. Actually, it was quite loud. XD But we liked it. ^^

Hotel Night View
Our evening view was also so nice!

Then we went to bed. It had been a long, but amazing day!

Purchases of the Day
Purchases of the day

And to end this post with, here is the video I made about our adventures on our first day in Paris. I hope you will like it! ♥ Please take a look if you want!


Thank you for reading! ~☆~

4 comments:

  1. Your post was so detailed I felt as if I was back in Paris (and I've only ever been once!). Thank you for this, it's made the Paris AP store seem that little bit more familiar (I think I can even place it in my head, as if I was going on the metro), I really hope I'll get to visit it soon. I look forward to reading about the rest of your trip - I saw some glimpses on Facebook and on other people's blogs, and I want to know more. :D



    http://cupcakes-and-unicorns.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I am so glad you liked my post dear! =D
      I will do my best to write the others as soon as possible. <3

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  2. I'm so excited to be visiting Paris is five days! Angelic pretty, Btssb, Axes femme and princess crepe! Not to mention the beautiful scenery and cute cafes ^-^

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