Paris: Tears, Towers, and Tours

Ok, allow me to preface this with a quick explanation of how this read is about to go. So in 2016, I became a flight attendant and in 2017, I began to live my best life. Paris and Dubai were the destinations I chose to explore on my very first paid vacation (ever). So this post was written and. Dedicated to my 2016 self and I am choosing to share it with all of you. That said, excuse me.

C’est La Vie a Paris

Paris was epic! Although Paris was not in the original plan, I came out on top. It was everything I’d hoped. The hotel sucked, and I’m not going to lie; when I walked into my room initially, I looked around and, for 5 minutes, tried to convince myself that it was OK, that I was OK. I walked into the bathroom and lost my natural-born mind. There was no showerhead. I was looking at the water hose, thinking, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?!
I, of course, said something about it, and they switched my room. I got to the new room, looked around, sat on the edge of the bed, and cried (I am not a crier, so this was completely out of character). I was disappointed and happy all at once. I was disappointed at my accommodations and how far I had to travel to where all my excursions would be, but I was so happy because I made it to Paris. Finally! A dream come true. I kept saying things like this don’t happen to me…and it did. After two minutes of tears and quickly learning that Le Blanc-Mesnil was not exactly the Paris I envisioned, I showered, dressed, and started my day. I took an Uber to Les Caves du Louvre because I was not ready to tackle France’s public transportation any more than I had when trying to find the hotel that morning.

French Wine is Life! (And Trouble)

The wine experience was absolutely and authentically amazing. I learned a few things, but I only really remember one thing. The longer you hold wine in your mouth, the more drunk you become. Everything but the alcohol evaporates. Four glasses later, and I was off to my next adventure with a personalized bottle in hand. The bottle literally had my face on it! I had enough liquid courage to take on this public transportation once again. I did it! I made it to L’Arc de Triomphe. So my excursion was supposed to include me climbing to the top, and yes, you guessed it, that means stairs. Tons of stairs were involved. Security would not let me through with the bottle of wine I had in my purse. So, as a side note, most people go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, but I came for L’Arc de Triomphe. It was my dream landmark. That said, I was disappointed yet relieved. For one, I have a history of climbing things while drunk and it never turns out well for me, so I am glad they told me no instead of me A) telling myself no or B) attempting something that may have turned out to be a tragic fail. And I was not about to throw out my personalized bottle of wine. It had my face on it, for crying out loud, my face!! I took a substantial number of pictures, and I moved forward with my life. After walking around for a bit, I decided I wanted to get home before dark. I definitely didn’t make it before dark. I got lost, and man, was I in defense and slight panic mode. I was waiting for a bus that seemed like forever to come, and as it turns out, I was waiting for the wrong bus. I rode around for a while until I admitted to myself and the bus driver that I had no idea where I was going. If you notice, this is quite a pattern for me. I’m directionally challenged, and I own it. The driver pointed me in the correct direction and took me to another bus. I rode it until I felt another panic attack coming, and just before my freakout, the bus stopped right in front of my hotel. I was tired from all this traveling and basically ended up laying in bed most of the next day. I spent the day falling in and out of consciousness and occasionally thinking I should go to Disney in Paris as originally planned. That dream was far-fetched. I was tired and felt like I might have been coming down with something. So I slept. Later in the evening, I decided not to be a bum and look for somewhere to eat. All I knew was that I was not traveling all the way to Paris to do so, so I found something close to Blanc Mesnil. I found a place called Grill Coutrepaille, which I later found out translates to The Short Stick. Ha! The irony. I went for the caramel flambé, which, after dinner, I found out they didn’t have. Though I didn’t get what I came for, I left pretty freaking happy. I was so happy that I walked to the bus stop, singing in the middle of the street and everything.

Paris: French Wine with a new face

Take Me to Church…and the Louvre

I got a good night’s rest and prepared for the next day. I woke up in that happy mood and put on my “made for Paris” outfit because today I would conquer the Notre Dame and the Musée du Louvre. Finally getting this public transportation thing down, I made it to Notre Dame. I sat at a little Cafe across the street, eating croissants and sipping a cappuccino, awaiting my showtime for the tour. Another unbelievable experience. The tour was astonishing. I learned way more than I thought I would! Like, did you know Jesus died when he was 33, or that Notre Dame is imperfect purposely because the designers of the towers agreed that only God should be perfect? Yeah, I didn’t think so! After the tour, I lingered around the beautiful establishment to tap into its wifi. I found that I could actually walk to the Louvre. So I did. I walked by little shops and bookstores and even across what was once the ‘love lock bridge.’ I was so disappointed to see that the gates where wishes once covered were removed and replaced with plexiglass, making it impossible for those to attach their wishes. Or was it? People found a way, and later, I’ll explain how, as did I.

Notre Dame and me

I made it to the entrance of the Louvre, and I was met by a deaf lady claiming to be collecting money for a hearing-impaired program. Of course, I was willing. I signed the sheet and gave the lady five euros. She pointed to a section of the paper that read “minimum 20 euros”. Just as I realized this lady was out of her mind, a man started yelling in French. A woman walking by translates and says she is a pick-pocket. The lady walked away so quickly…I guess she heard that. Life continued. I walked until I saw the pyramids. I was in awe. It was just as I had seen in Wonder Woman. I felt pretty amazing myself standing in front of it. After finding the perfect place to take photos, I decided it was time to take the tour. I headed to the meeting place, got my headset and map, and then walked to get in line. Once under the pyramid, I noticed the inverted pyramid, which I didn’t know was also quite famous. Walking towards the beauty, I found myself in a mall. The Louvre had a mall under it. It’s like a whole mall. It was filled with high-end stores, as well as a few I’d never heard of. I was concentrating more on what my stomach was saying. Where there is a mall, there is a food court, and I was hungry. I ended up eating Mediterranean food which proved my eyes to be bigger than my stomach. After exploring the mall briefly, I went on to complete your tour. By the way, taking the tour is a waste of money; just grab a map and do some self-exploring. I chose the Musée du Louvre of all museums because it is the home of the Mona Lisa. I walked all over that museum, which is impossible to see it all in one day. I finally found her. People were everywhere taking selfies with her, blocking all types of views, but I was still able to have my moment with her. After that, I searched for Paris’ replica of the Great Sphinx. It took me forever to find it in that maze of an establishment, but I did nonetheless. I took a picture of it as I walked away. Ten minutes later, after finding myself in yet another section of the museum, I decided I wanted a selfie with the Sphinx. I headed back that way, and of course, I saw a man laid out on the floor of it, and the gate to the display was closing. Of course, when I want a picture with it. Yes, I am aware that I’m selfish. After that, I was finished.

Inverted pyramid inside the Louvre

Love Lock Bridge

I decided I wanted to put a lock on the love lock bridge, though it had disappeared. I saw that people had begun to put locks on the lamp post or anywhere they could attach it. Before I left the States, I meant to buy a lock, so I was praying that one of these overpriced gift shops would be selling them. Of course, they were. I bought the perfect lock and then returned my tour items for the thirty euros they held as ransom. I struggled for like an hour trying to change the combo. Thank God for YouTube. I finally figured it out and headed back to the bridge, squeezing the lock, wishing, hoping, praying, and bargaining for my wish to come true. I was squeezing so tightly that I had the imprint of the lock on my hand. Even though I’d love to write here what I wished for, I firmly believe in not telling wishes if I want them to come true. I found the perfect placement for my love lock and attached it after one last pled. I returned to Notre Dame to get my directional bearings and proceeded home. I did not get lost and my last day was approaching. I raved on the phone about my perfect day and finally knocked out.

Paris: The new love lock bridge

The next day, I found myself super excited. I got all dolled up just to end up missing my bus to the Eiffel Tower. I took an expensive Über but made it in enough time to have a fabulous lunch. Once again, I found myself in a fantastic Cafe. So I had the fish equivalent of shepherd’s pie. It was delicious and the waiter was hilarious. Something that caught me off guard was when I went to pay my bill, and the waiter shoved my payment into his wallet. Confused as ever, I just walked away. I met up with the tour group and began walking towards the beautifully iconic wonder of the world.
I gasped because, once again, I realized that things like this don’t happen to me. The tour was less than 10 minutes, and then we were encouraged to explore as we pleased. My height-loving self decided to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. At this point, I know I was pushing my luck with time, as I had arranged to take a cooking class after the tour. I thought I had plenty of time, but between the long line for the elevator and the never-ending stairs, my time between came to be short. I attempted to find a quick bus route, for when I finally reached the bottom of the beautiful tower, a bus wouldn’t cut it. I got to the bottom and struggled to find the internet.

Paris: The Eiffel Tower

The Culinary Cream Puff Experience

Once I did, I caught an Uber, and of course, we ended up with more passengers whose stop was before my stop. I was so impatient, but I made it to class with one minute to spare, though they requested everyone be there 15 minutes early. Upon arrival, I didn’t know what to expect. I was in a class with all French speakers, so my instructions came after the French instructions. There was laughter and jokes being told that I didn’t understand. For all I know, I could have been the butt of every joke. Despite the language barrier, I learned a lot. There were a few things I pretended not to know because of previous culinary experience, but all in all, I had a great time. Our cream puffs came out delicious.

A culinary delight: my cream puffs

After the culinary class, I had one more excursion planned to conclude my Parisian experience. I had a lot of time before my Big Bus Tour. I moseyed around the area since I had tons of time passing shops and an area where it appeared that they may have been going to have a concert. Just outside the gates near the stage was a crowd around a group of street dancers with the setup equivalent to what I had seen in Venice Beach some time ago. It was nice to see that all over the world, this art brings people together. After watching for a few minutes, I headed to my next destination. I took the train back to L’Arc de Triomphe, where my tour would begin. After lingering around taking pictures and borrowing wifi networks, I was welcomed aboard the tour bus with headphones and a seat on the open top. I took so many beautiful photos that I hope I will be able to recover, thanks to my temperamental memory card. I saw the Eiffel Tower light up, the one and only Moulin Rouge, amongst other famous landmarks.

Big Bus Tour

Though it was late after the tour, I was determined not to spend more money than necessary to get back to my hotel. So I took the train. Not realizing that the buses didn’t run after 11, I was left with no other option but to try to remember the route and walk. While walking in the incorrect direction, a police car passed, and I was forced to wave them down. I explained that I was lost, and they were nice enough to give me a ride back to the hotel. That was the first, and I pray the last time I had ever been in the back of a police car. Not to mention, the walk back would have been the longest walk of my life.
I got in my room, showered, packed, and went straight to bed. The following day, I was ready and on the move. Pointed in the wrong direction, I caught the wrong train. It was too early for this nonsense, which was irritating because of my minimal time frame. I hopped off and back on, now headed in the correct direction. I let my second train pass because of the route confusion and then back on when I was sure of my path. I reached the airport and could not get through the exit because my pass had expired. Illegally walking through, I made it to the ticket counter. I checked in my bag, found food, waited for my 30-minute delayed flight, and was heading to my next destination, Dubai.


I think I did well for my first go around. Paris did not take it easy on me. At the time I wasn’t a vlog watcher or blog reader, so I just blindly jumped into the deep end. I have absolutely zero regrets because, I had the time of my life and I learned from my travel mistakes; especially when it came down to my travel essentials as expressed in

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