My first trip to Paris was not what I expected. I had too many expectations of what it should have been, what I should have encountered during my time there, and how the food should taste. All of the movies, games, and books I have read depicted Paris in such a way of viewing a city as “always perfect.” This time around, I decided to leave those expectations behind. To go to Paris expecting nothing exciting, and boy was I surprised by the series of events that followed.
Coming into Paris was easy, I’ve become a pro at flying. I trained my body to sleep on any trip so that I can:
- catch up on sleep
- wake up and feel like no time has passed
Now. On my last trip to Paris, my mother and I were cheated of our money because of the fake taxi cabs overcharging on driving us to our hotel. I made it a point to NOT let that happen this time, but alas, it happened once again because Malu felt forced to take the taxi after the guy started yelling at us while we walked away. €180. Oh no. I could not believe this happened again. Luckily, I did not have to pay.
We arrived to our hotel during midday, and decided to venture into Paris briefly before meeting up with Malu’s high school friend the next day. We stayed on Champs-Elysses, and I believe it was the best spot to stay in because we were fairly close to most prominent landmarks. We walked towards the Arc de Triomphe. I didn’t see it last time, but as we walked towards it I realized just how huge and magnificent it is. So many intricate carvings on the walls that depict the French Revolutionary wars. We decided to buy a bus ticket that takes us to the most prominent locations of Paris and we got closer to the Eiffel tower. I wanted to make sure this experience was perfect for Malu, because Paris is her dream. As the Eiffel tower came into view I knew it was all worth it for her. She came to Paris, the furthest she’s ever been from home. And I realized I was the same as her. And we both watched the Eiffel tower in silence until it was time to go back to the hotel and rest for the next day.
Jaime is boisterous. Everything that exemplifies what Texas is, and I had the best time getting to know him while in Paris. Things were never awkward and seeing him and Malu interact was so nice. It made me feel like a piece of home was with me. We were those Americans walking around the streets of Paris, laughing our heads off, and then realizing that Parisians don’t really laugh like Americans, and laughing some more.
The Louvre. The Louvre. Oh my goodness gracious. That is one beautiful museum, and I am so thankful for student discounts. I believe each person has to go to the Louvre at least, at LEAST once in their lifetime. Not because of the Mona Lisa, but because of the art that exists within it. There is so much art that I never knew was inside the Louvre.
My favorite location out of all of Paris, however, was the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur. Heading there I got a taste of what I thought Paris would be like. Street painters were on every corner and I saw four people (four, I’m not kidding) eating baguettes while walking the streets. At the basilica, there is a fantastic view of all of Paris, and on such a beautiful day. People were sitting on the steps, playing music, eating, laughing. It was the happiest I was in Paris. We ate a small cafe and made our way to our next location.
After eating a fulfilling dinner, Malu, Jaime, and I made our way to the Eiffel tower with a bottle of champagne in hand. Planning to drink while watching it twinkle and stare in amazement. No matter how many times I see the Eiffel tower, it manages to still take my breath away. And to think it was initially only supposed to be standing for twenty years. We cheered to good times and drank to our hearts content. I believe we all cried at some point, but I can’t remember.
My Paris trip this time was spectacular. There is so much to talk about that happened in Paris, and I only scratched the surface. Although I lived cheaply there, my bank account was still dry. I almost had a panic attack, and that’s when I realized that although I love Paris, I will not be returning until I have enough money to visit comfortably. Visiting sites that I’ve been to before with my mother made me realize how much I miss her, and the good memories we made together while in Paris. Like the Mexican restaurant we found, or that stranger taking a picture with her, or walking an hour and a half to see the Eiffel tower and then getting a cab back to our hotel. Remembering her and the time we had, along with the time I had this time, was such a beautiful experience for me. So for that I was thankful. La vie en rose.
And now, some vanity pictures.