maandag 4 augustus 2014

A Shopping Trip to Paris

Hi everyone!

I've finally returned from my vacation a few days ago and now taking the time to write about my trip to Paris! I must admit I went there specifically to go lolita shopping but it was a lot of fun.

We actually went on a two-week vacation to Spain first and then drove to Paris on our way bag. As that was already a ten-hour drive, with nearly no sleep (there was a railway next to our house -__-) we didn't do much on the first day in Paris except going out for dinner.

The second day however, we had made up a plan to visit a lot of shops. I was planning on wearing full lolita but I slowly lost more and more parts of my outfit again, haha. I took off my OTKs almost immediately!
We originally wanted to visit Baby the Stars Shine Bright first, but as it was closed until 12 P.M. we decided to head to Jugetsudo and Guiq'Chaq first. 

Jugetsudo was a really cute Japanese tea store. I love drinking Japanese tea a lot so I couldn't skip this shop. Sadly, Japanese tea is really, really expensive (⇀‸↼‶) 
I decided to go for a little bag containing an assortiment of teabags, and the shopgirl offered me and my parents to try some cold gyokuro tea. I thought it was delicious, but my mom quickly traded my empty glass for her full one as she hated the taste. Oh well. 

The girl wrapped up the purchase and my mom pointed out that both girls in the shop really seemed to love my dress! When we returned to the hotel later that evening and I opened the bag with my purchase, I saw that she added some extra bags of sencha with my purchase. I don't know whether they do that with every customer or that they just really liked me (─▽─)

Next up was the little store of Guiq'Chaq! I've never visited any of these Paris shops before and I was surprised by the small size of the shop! Even though Mfashion here is very small, this was even smaller. Mikiko, the shop girl, was really nice and asked us where we came from, if I'd visited before and whether I was part of the Facebook group. She was really kind and I ended up talking with her about lolita fashion and Japan for a while while my parents waited outside, oops.

We ended up talking about the Angelic Pretty tea party and Japan Expo (which I both would've wanted to attent!) and she was dissappointed I didn't come to Japan Expo this year. She said I really had to come next year and otherwise, just would've had to go and visit Japan ( ´∀`). When I told her I will probably visit Japan next year, she was really happy and recommended me a lot of things. It was really nice that she was so enthousiastic and kind! 

I also browsed the shop for a bit but except for a cute (but very expensive) Putumayo cutsew nothing really caught my eye. We said goodbye and went back to the metro to head to Avenue Ledru Rollin, where Baby has their store!

Sadly, Avenue Ledru Rollin is a long long street... We came onto it through another street which crossed halfway through the street. We started to walk to the south, but it turned out (after 15 minutes -__-) that we had to walk north on Ledru Rollin instead! When we finally went the right way, the shop wasn't difficult to find due to its pinkish storefront.

The dresses up for display were Starlight Carnivale on the left, and Sister Maria's Hummingbirds and Collection Douche Chocolatier on the right. Starlight Carnivale is even prettier in real life! I loved the JSKs that were still in stock but they were too expensive for me right now. 

After browsing the store for a bit, I found myself liking a lot of Baby dresses I disliked on my computer screen! I'm doubting whether to search for Sheep Garden or buy a cute Baby dress right now... There was one dress in particular but I don't remember the name. But after looking at all items, what really caught my eye were the usakumyas! I was surprised to see the pochette in all three colors, as I only saw the pink version listed on the Baby blog. I felt like a kid again, they were really there: the bag I had wanted for so long! I was trembling with excitement at that point.

I've actually wanted an usakumya pochette ever since I knew they existed. I just think they are adorable and long story short, I had to have one. My mom really questions why as she thinks they are terrifying due to the red/pink eyes (except for the black version which has blue eyes) but I decided to go for the white version as I don't wear that much black. I might buy a black one later though (/≧ω≦\) they just are too cute! When I had that Usakumya in my hands, I didn't want to let go, haha.

As everything else was a bit too expensive for me, I took the usakumya to the cashier and he wrapped up my purchase. I was surprised with how much care they packed my new bag! The Japanese guy wrapped it in pink paper first, then in the bag, then taped it shut with a Baby sticker and eventually tied it up with a Baby ribbon. He even bowed when he handed it over to me and thanked me! The fact he handed it over with two hands and bowed surprised me, as that's a formal gesture and I really just came to shop, haha.

With my new purchase!
As it was about 1 P.M already, we decided to walk to Princess Crêpe as it wasn't a very long walk. When we finally arrived at the Rue des Ecouffes, the heart-shaped storefront was difficult to miss! First things first, my mom and I inspected the menu outside and my dad took some pictures.

They even have the fake plastic crêpes!
My parents decided that since I wanted to go there, I'd have to order for them. My French is really, really bad and so I decided to order in Japanese instead, which was probably easier for me and the girl taking the order. While I was ordering, a Dutch girl and her mom walked in and the girl pointed out, "It looks like something from a Barbie movie!". My mom couldn't help but laugh and explain the situation to her, both about the cute interior of the restaurant and my clothing. Luckily they were genuinely interested and after the explanation, they seemed very enthousiastic about it!

When our orders were done, we took place in the restaurant and ate our delicious (though difficult to eat) crêpes. My mom ordered a simple crêpe with strawberries, strawberry sauce and whipped cream, my dad ordered the chocolate crêpe with a really long name (choco chocochocolat chantilly, I believe?) which had a lot of chocolate but also chocolate ice and I went with a crêpe with mixed forest fruits, strawberry sauce and whipped cream. I definitely recommend eating there, they were absolutely delicious!

Crepes! (Don't mind my hair, it was windy and hot that day x_x)
Also, when we were at Baby's, the man in the background of the crêpe picture was working there (really, he even wrapped up my purchase!) but when we entered Princess Crêpe, he barged in and went to work there! Isn't that crazy? We were totally surprised by it, but it was also very funny.

After eating our crêpes, we went along to visit Axes Femme. While it's not a lolita store, I heard they had loli-able items and other cute fashion. And that was absolutely true! Before I knew, I'd spend one and a half hour in there. Oops.

My mom really liked the clothing too, so we browsed together!
I've tried on a ton of things, but to my surprise: a lot of things were too big! I've never had that before. Axes Femme offers her items in one size only, and everything is size M or L. Apparently, I needed a size S for most items .__. I knew I had lost some weight but I didn't think I'd lost a whole size! Eventually I did find two cute dresses/sets though. One was a really cute blouse with a skirt with suspenders, but it was offered in both lavender and brown and I just couldn't choose! Eventually I went with brown, as much as I loved the lavender, brown was just way easier to combine. I'm still happy with my choice!

The Axes Femme storefront looks so mature!
Axes Femme was significantly cheaper than Baby (and AF had sale, Baby's ended the day before) so my parents paid for my dresses ^^ Still making up for that by cooking and doing the dishes. 

After Axes Femme, I had set my eyes on Junkudo, a Japanese bookstore in the heart of Paris. We took the underground again and made our way to the store. From the outside, it looked like it wasn't big at all, but it had a large basement filled with manga and other cute items too! I've browsed the store for so long that we couldn't visit Ladurée anymore. Oops.

I browsed through the magazines and although the Kera for both august and september was available, they didn't really catch my eye so I left those. There also was a Zipper available with Kyary on it, but it wasn't that interesting either. After some searching, I did find the Otome no Sewing magazines and handed those over to my dad (he's the one who sews in this house!) and he even ended up buying one. It features really cute patterns, a cute fur jacket, three JSKs, a bonnet, a bunny bag... and a lot more! Even a kimono, and I really needed that pattern c:

I also browsed the light novels and children's books, and soon the Wolf Children light novel caught my eye. I love that movie and I couldn't resist leaving it there! It's easy to read as every word made out of kanji is also spelled out in hiragana. It's supposed to be a book for children age 6-14 but I don't really care, haha.

Afterwards, I went to the basement to look at some manga. I searched a bit for Dangan Ronpa (which I love, if you like detective-themed manga you should look it up) but they only had the giant Reload book which was €50,-, so not buying that one. I ended up buying 神のみぞ知るセカイ. It actually was the first anime I watched, but now I am sad I didn't buy 狼と香辛料 as I love that manga to death, haha.

After Junkudo, we had gotten quite hungry so my parents asked me what I wanted to eat. I had already decided I wanted to eat REAL Japanese food, as I don't have that possibility in my hometown. The first Japanese restaurant we ran into was called Sapporo, and we decided to just go with it as we were starving after walking there. Their specialty was ramen, but they also offered curry and rice bowls, as well as complete menus with a few small dishes.

By the time of the picture I had already eaten my gyoza, but these are my other two dishes!
My parents and I all ordered a different menu, I ordered Menu E which included pork ramen, demi-Curry (which is just a half portion, but the demi does add something for me :p) and gyoza. My mom went for Menu B which had yakuniku with vegetables, rice, salted cucumber and miso soup and my dad went for Menu D which included a rice bowl with BBQ-meat on top, miso soup and gyoza. They were in an adventurous mood (which proves why they went along with eating asian food) and also ordered Japanese beer, instead of good old Heineken.

I must say, I definitely recommend this restaurant! The restaurant itself is small and not really flashy, but the food is delicious. The ramen isn't their specialty for nothing, it's really, really good. They offer a nice variety of different dishes so there's something for anyone. My curry also was delicious, but I didn't manage to eat all of it as I ate too much ramen already, haha.

Don't mind my censored face, I was really tired at the moment.
Afterwards, my mom and I really wanted to head back to the hotel as our feet were killing us, but my dad really wanted to see the eiffel tower in the dark. We ended up walking through the Jardin des Tuileries, to a sort of balcony where you could sit and look over the city. We could see the Obelisk, one of the Arcs and the Eiffel Tower from there so my dad was of course really satisfied.

Isn't this picture pretty?
When it finally got dark, my dad went to take some pictures while my mom and I bought some drinks down at the kiosk. We returned to the balcony to enjoy the view for a bit longer and then went back to the metro to go back to our hotel. I nearly fell asleep already x_x

When we got up the next morning, we had to pack our bags again as we were already going home. It had been a long day before so all of us were glad we could finally go home again. It's always a great feeling to come home to your own bed and home after a vacation! I've had a great time in Paris, and I definitely recommend spending a few days there: you won't regret it.

Purchases of the day:

- Usakumya pochette
- Axes Femme dresses
- TWGOK manga
- Wolf Children Light novel
- Travel Japanese Tea Pack and sencha teabags
- Otome no Sewing book 4

Thank you for reading!~

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