Wanderlust | Paris here we come...

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  I am over the moon about our upcoming trip!  Kirk, Ingrid, and I will be heading to Europe next week. We'll visit Stockholm, Helsinki, and Paris. If you follow me on Pinterest, then you'll know that I've been researching like crazy. (My favorite guides so far: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and this whole site.) And although I'm really looking forward to visiting Stockholm and Helsinki for the first time, my mind keeps coming back to Paris. Maybe because I spent my whole childhood listening to my mom's stories of growing up there. Maybe because as an 18 year old study abroad student, I spent an entire month hitting every museum and crepe stand. Or maybe because everyone else on the internet seems to be obsessed with Paris, too!

Since Kirk and I have both been to the french capital before, we don't need to hit the big monuments and museums. Plus, we'll have a toddler in tow, so we won't be able to cram a lot into our schedule. I decided to pare my massive wish list down to the top 5:

1) Jardin du Luxembourg - Ever since I first read Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon, I dreamed of bringing my future children to this charming park. A marionette theatre, toy sailboats, pony rides, a playground... I can't wait to see Ingrid's little face light up. Possible nearby stops: Poilane, Mamie Gateaux, Le Comptoir, Talc, the Bonpoint outlet, Deyrolle.

2) Merci - From everything I see and hear online, this lifestyle shop in the Marais district is one of the most beautiful and creative in the world. I'll be like a kid in the candy shop. I don't think my travel mates will mind. Possible nearby stops: Bonton, Breizh Café, Marché des Enfants Rouges, Chez Janou, Musée de la Chasse, Au Passage.

3) Bread and pastries - I'm not really into the whole macaron trend, but give me a pain au chocolat and I am in heaven. This won't be a one time stop, but more of an ongoing "project".

4) Canal Saint-Martin district - Ever since I saw Amélie skip rocks under a canopy of trees, I've been intrigued by this area... but I have yet to visit. I'd love to simply stroll along the banks of the canal, watch the boats go by, and wander into shops and cafes along the way. Possible nearby stops: Antoine et Lili, Le Verre Volé, Artazar, Du Pain et des Idées, La Pinata, Petit Usagi, Gallerie Philippe Chaume, Bob's Juice Bar .

5) Les marchés - Produce, meat, cheese, shoes, birds, books, or bric a brac, I don't care... I love it all. I've heard that there are hundreds of markets each week within Paris city limits. I'm planning on studying this book to narrow down my choices.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas! And if you'd like to see all my Paris pins, click here.

Illustration by Eva Jorgensen for Sycamore Street Press