BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If Carolle Balassi from Paris, France, were writing a Valentine’s Day card to Birmingham, it would start a little something like this: “Dearest Birmingham, je suis désolé — I’m sorry, I misjudged you.”

The hairstylist, who is currently living in Houston, Texas, isn’t easily impressed. She’s traveled all over the world, and ask any Parisian — they know fashion.

To her, at first, Alabama wasn’t exactly à la mode.

“I was reluctant to go to Birmingham for years. I had nothing to do in Birmingham until I went [last spring], and I fell in love,’ Balassi said.

Balassi’s best friend is actually from Birmingham and had begged her to visit for years, but she insisted she wasn’t interested.

It wasn’t until her friend’s son was getting married that she finally set foot in “Sweet Home Alabama” and ended up succumbing to the Southern charm.

“I love the architecture of the city, the people are very nice … There is a lot of history in Birmingham, a lot of good food, do not judge the book by its cover,” Balassi said.

She and her friends visited Vulcan and museums while enjoying the lush scenery. The pièce de résistance was a trip to the Bright Star restaurant in Bessemer.

“I had to excuse myself to [my friend] for being so mean to Alabama,” Balassi joked.

Then, she bid au revoir — not goodbye– with a merci to the Magic City. She hopes to come back soon.

“I love Birmingham,” Balassi said.