It’s always been on my bucketlist to purchase a Chanel in Paris so during our little weekend trip last week I asked my husband to choose a boutique while I finished getting dressed. A little googling led him to decide for us to visit the location at 31 rue Cambon, which happens to be the original Chanel boutique.. the flagship, the mothership! Coco Chanel even once lived in the apartment upstairs. We popped in less than an hour before closing and it was still pretty busy in there, lots of tourists buzzing around making their Chanel purchases. We waited in line for a few minutes before a kind woman grabbed us to help. I can’t say it enough that everyone working at this boutique was so friendly! Something I usually don’t experience at designer boutiques in the US and I seriously thought that attitude would be on ten in Paris. Thinking back though.. I made my first Louboutin purchase in Paris years ago and they were also much nicer than any Louboutin boutique I’ve been to at home (agh especially Chicago!). Maybe I just have great luck in Paris!
I came in with a good idea of what I was looking for, so it was a very quick process for her to pull options for me. I was looking for a wallet-on-chain in caviar leather or patent leather – in a neutral color. I narrowed it down to classic black with gold hardware and a nude le boy with what looked like champagne hardware.. it wasn’t quite gold or silver. Waseem wanted me to go with the boy but it’s so hard for me to stray from a black & gold combo, and I just love classic designs. It took me a couple years to even appreciate the newer le boy style & I even own one in a loud electric blue patent leather but… classics will always have my heart! My lambskin double flap gives me so much grief because I hate how soft the leather is so I was long overdue on something black & in caviar leather anyways.
All the other shoppers were sipping on champagne as they made their purchases but me being the child that I am enjoyed a cold can of pop while I checked out lol! From start to finish it was such a lovely experience shopping at Chanel Cambon and what is extra unique about this location is that they have exclusive packaging. Every boutique in the world uses black boxes/bags but the flagship location perfectly wraps everything in white! If you ever buy a pre-loved Chanel and it comes in its original white box, you’ll know it came from the iconic Cambon location. Very cool!
Don’t forget your passport so you can get a VAT refund when you leave Europe! I forgot mine but luckily I always have a scan of it handy on my phone and they were nice enough to accept that! Even without the tax refund, my WOC was cheaper in Paris than in the US; but with the tax refund it really was a great deal (about $1600 vs $2100+tax)! I kind of wish I splurged on something bigger.. ah well, next time! :)
Waseem‘s always wanted to spontaneously jet off for a weekend in Paris and we finally made it happen! After an intense several weeks for us both, a little detox is exactly what the doctor ordered.
I don’t know when I’ll get over off the shoulder tops, leggings, or all black haha but today’s outfit was so me! I got this ruched off the shoulder top for our trip and I’m seriously obsessed! It’s so flattering no matter how you’re feeling about your body (I spy a baby bump below!), plus the layers & textures give it such a high end feel that photographs flawlessly! I paired it with some liquid leggings and slipped on some comfy flats and I was good to go! All of my outfit details are at the bottom, enjoy!
I was super blessed to visit Santorini twice in 2016! Once in April, & again in September. With the two trips being so close together during the same travel season, I felt like such a pro the second time around! It was great to see the difference in busy-ness from the beginning of the season to the end as well, my preference? Beginning! When we visited in April the tourist season was just starting, many properties weren’t even open yet, and it wasn’t crowded at all! During Labor Day weekend though? Oia was sooo crowded and congested, I can’t even imagine how it is in the middle of the summer. Just something to keep in mind while you’re planning your trips! The weather was definitely warmer in September but I’m not huge into swimming anyways so April didn’t bother me. I hate getting my hair wet lol!
We stayed at Santorini Secret Suites & Spa and got the true cavernous cycladic experience. Such a gorgeous and photogenic property *heart eyes* – I have a full hotel feature HERE.
Enjoy the photos! It was a quick visit so this is just a photo diary, all of my outfit details are at the bottom btw!
If you’re looking for a full travel guide of Santorini, be sure to check out my in-depth post from last spring! xo
Happy Fri-Yay!! Another long overdue 2016 travel diary today… Istanbul! Waseem & I traveled to Greece and Turkey last spring for our third wedding anniversary. All of my Greece posts went up in a somewhat timely fashion but I really dragged my feet with sorting through my photos from Istanbul. I feel like I’ve mentioned it so many times already but I got so sick in Greece that our few days in Turkey were such a delirious blur. I slept almost the entire time and barely got to sightsee so TBH looking at these photos makes me a little sad too! I’ve always wanted to visit Istanbul and while I’m so happy to have visited, I do really wish I was able to soak it up a little more! We did get to check off two of our top sights to see though – The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet was so generous in hosting us and we really couldn’t have picked a better location! Sultanahmet is the heart of old Istanbul and many of the major attractions are all here and in walking distance. The cobblestone roads were so charming and it must have been a little off season when we went (maybe?!) because nothing seemed to be crowded. It was very quiet & serene, we loved just strolling.
The Four Seasons is actually a century-old former jail! Who would think something like that would be converted into a luxury hotel?! The jailhouse was the first in Istanbul and was built in Turkish neoclassical style and underwent redevelopment in the 90s to preserve its history and architecture. The property now has 65 hotel rooms and suites with a gorgeous landscaped courtyard filled with flowers where we had breakfast every morning. The courtyard used to be the jail’s exercise yard, what a serious makeover! I love visiting places with tons of rich history, the property has so much character making our experience all the more unique.
We checked in at night and there was a yummy platter waiting for us (Waseem gobbled up all the Turkish delights!); we room service’d some tea for my throat and I went right to sleep. I woke up to such a lovely view of the Blue Mosque right from our balcony in the morning! You’ll see everything I’m describing in the photos below :)
This year has been quite the doozy! I think I’ve traveled internationally at least once a month since March, with the exception of May. Not only has it been an exciting year traveling the globe, I got to visit my dream destination twicein the same season! My husband and I visited Santorini during our anniversary trip in March and I was back again in August! Santorini Secret Suites & Spa was generous in hosting me and their property was such a quintessential Oia dream – everything was so white, clean & dreamy. Located right off the pedestrian walkway in Oia, shopping and restaurants were available all around the property. During our first visit at a different property, our room was on the street level so it wasn’t built into the cliffside like the rest of the hotel and like most of the residences in Oia. At Santorini Secret, we had such a Cycladic experience living and sleeping in our cavernous room!
Everything is carved into the cliff so be prepared for a ton of stairs! I get tired easily so I was happy to have a higher room; but the lower you get, the more private the rooms get as well. I had no issues with guests walking by when we were lounging on our terrace though (which was rare anyways!); & from inside the room you can’t hear a thing! So peacefully quiet & private.
Santorini is the most photogenic place I’ve been & any picture taken outside on the terraces or stairs at the hotel will be flawless by default. You can’t take a bad photo with all the light reflecting everywhere and the ever-so-perfect backdrop! You gotta check it out below to believe it!