When OpenSkies calls, you answer. The exclusive transatlantic service from British Airways provides effortless transit between New York and Paris, with all the culture you’d expect from the UK’s number one airline.
OpenSkies invited me to Paris for a whirlwind two-day excursion experiencing the very best the City of Light has to offer. I had been itching to get back to Paris after my life-altering first trip in October 2013. From the moment I stepped on to my Euro-bound flight, I was met by the most attentive and gracious staff of any airline I’ve ever flown. While most of the flight staff knew I was on board as a partner of OpenSkies, I was treated to the most luxurious experiences for my overnight flight: restaurant-worthy meals with an open bar, an iPad stocked full of movies and games, and – best of all – a comfortable seat that fully reclined into a bed, furnished with a cushioned mattress and comforter… literal heaven.
After arriving in Paris, I headed straight to the Hotel Marignan Elysees. This five-star luxury hotel was such a stunning home base for my trip; my room was absolutely immaculate and I got in a quick one hour nap before hitting the ground running on my itinerary.
I hopped on the train and met my Parisian representative Charles for a walk through the immensely beautiful Jardin Des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden). The gardens, which provide a scenic promenade around the Louvre, remain one of the oldest and largest municipal gardens in Paris. As hunger got the best of me, Charles and I stopped into Le Saut du Loup for a turkey burger and fries.
I spent the rest of my afternoon exploring the Marais neighborhood and escaping a light rainstorm inside the quaint Café Pinson. The café is situated on a shaded side street, away from the hustle and bustle of the 3rd Arrondissement. I sat on the cushioned ledge looking out from the bay windows watching the purposeful way Parisians move about their day. As a New Yorker, I couldn’t help but envy the way Parisians savor every moment. I’m so accustomed to a “grab-and-go” lifestyle that it was like hitting some lovely but forgotten time warp.
I ended my evening with dinner at Le Ciel de Paris. Words can’t properly describe how beautiful the view was – nothing compares to seeing Paris from 56 floors above the streets below. With a belly full on four courses, I made the short walk to the Eiffel Tower. Like our statuesque Lady Liberty, the Eiffel Tower stands tall as a beautiful and memorable emblem of Paris.
My second day was packed with the sights. I went to the Arc De Tripomphe, explored the immense majesty of the Louvre and the precious art held within, snacked on traditional macaroons at Angelina, shopped the cultural wares at Merci and dined at Ralph Lauren’s impeccable Parisian restaurant, Ralphs. Aside from getting to see the Mona Lisa, the highlight of my day was walking home from dinner. Getting to see a city like Paris come to life at night is pure magic.
I walked until my feet hurt with the blisters of a well-traveled man. I walked in circles and squares, with a big smile on my face. I needed this trip; I needed a recharge and so I plugged myself into Paris as forcefully as I could with 48 hours.
The following afternoon, as I boarded the flight back to New York, I couldn’t help but smile from the inside out. I had fallen in love with Paris, and I felt it fall in love with me.
* I can’t thank OpenSkies enough for this incredible opportunity. It was just the best! *
Scout Sixteen is a lifestyle blog from Justin Livingston. Justin grew up in Mississippi but relocated to New York City in 2008. On Scout Sixteen, Justin shares his passion in fashion, travel, food and drink, and mental wellness.