Paris Play by Play
Me vibing with my macaroons, moments after arriving in Paris
One day I’m gonna feel like I have lots of time to write these posts, and I will know that they accurately capture what a wonderful time I'm having, how much I'm learning and growing, and demonstrate good writing.…… a very funny joke.
I often find myself struggling to find the balance between trying to capture and describe my life here in Germany, and simply trying to live it.
So, if you'll forgive my tardiness and lack of proper-travel-blog-dramatic-language. Here are some thoughts and highlights from a wonderful weekend trip to Paris a few weeks back.
This trip to Paris was a shared birthday gift for me and my host brother Caleb who had a birthday a week before mine. This was my first time in Paris, so I was so incredibly excited.
Here is a bit of a play-by-play, followed by some longer-form thoughts at the end!
Friday at 12 I finished my language courses for the day. I met my family at the bus stop and we loaded into the van and headed to Paris. On this trip were Caleb, Sophie, Winnie, Teddy, Jule, Emmi, Benedick, and me! We grabbed some road trip snacks and headed towards France. We had a fun and very french playlist for our drive there.
When we arrived in Paris we drove straight to our hotel. We did, however, get a sneak peek at the tip of the Eiffel Tower in the sky on the main road before we got to the hotel. The hotel was wonderful. The rooms were small, but perfect for what we needed. We had a small balcony in our room and there was a french breakfast served every morning.
After getting settled into the hotel we decided to head into the city. We took the metro from our neighborhood to the other side of the city to the Eiffel Tower. The metro was crowded but the country girl in me is always just a little too enamored with public transportation, so I didn’t mind.
We arrived and could immediately see the Eiffel Tower. (I’m gonna just acknowledge right now that I know I sound like a typical American white girl, but what can I say Paris just lived up to all my expectations and I'm allowed to love it okay !?!) I was so glad we were able to make it into the city that first evening because the Tower at night is just so beautiful. It's one of those things you've always seen pictures of and you think it won't measure up, but let me tell you... it does. We walked around and took lots of pictures as well as just got our bearings in the city.
We split up the first evening for dinner. Emmi, Benni, and I had Pizza at a wonderful little pizza place, where we were also able to get a much-needed cocktail. (The drive had involved just a touch of car trouble, so we needed to dissolve the residual stress)
Saturday was our big day in the city. We did it all. For our main mode of transportation, we had tickets for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. And I know that may seem like the most touristy thing ever, but hear me out. There is a reason those are so successful, it is just a really effective way to see the city! We were able to see so many sights including many museums, Notre Dame, lots of the Seine, The Arc De Triomphe, and of course, The Eiffel Tower. I was able to visit Shakespeare and Co. Book Store just beside Notre Dame. We drove up and down the Champs Elysse and got to see the opera house that Phantom was based on. It was just a full day, I don't really even have words for it, but here are some photos.
Notre Dame --- Shakespeare and Co. --- Top of the Arc De Triomphe --- Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower --- Eiffel Tower --- River Cruise --- River Cruise
We ended the day with a boat cruise on the Seine. It was a delightful way to see the city.
Sunday, we woke up and had one goal and one goal only…. Disneyland Paris.
We arrived shortly after the park opened and left shortly after it closed. It was such a fun day! I have never been to Disney World, so my only comparison was to Disneyland in California and I would say it is quite similar. A few of the rides are different, but, of course, the magic is still very much the same.
First Ride --- Ice Cream --- Leaving the Park
I think one of the best things I did for myself on this trip was to decide about two hours in that I was coming back. 1. I just think my mom would love Paris. 2. It helped me to really manage my expectations of this trip, because if there was anything I wasn't able to do, instead of being disappointed I could just add it to my list for something to see next time.
The reason I decided I was coming back was because 2 hours in, I had already decided I loved it! Paris reminded me the most of a big city of all the European cities I have been to. It still has such a beautiful and rich history, but it also feels very...now. The subway system and the arts culture especially really felt like New York but like New York's cool, rich, well-traveled cousin.
Seriously, the art in this town is unreal. Artists and Musicians fill the street and really add a life that other cities are missing. At one point on our boat tour, we passed 3 different mini amphitheaters along the riverside and each one had a different style of dancing happening, one with salsa, one swing, one hip hop. It was really just beautiful. (side note: I could write a whole piece on how seeing Ragtime changed my view of Street Artists and was a huge part of the success of this trip to Paris, maybe one day with a little more time I will) Just a cool, artsy city. I live for that shit.
I'm getting so excited as I sit here writing this. I just really had a wonderful time. Is it for everyone? I’m sure not, but it sure is for me. Like, we’re talking reconsider where I want to go to grad school good, so well see!
The one last thing I would comment on is that I realized I think I was avoiding France in past travel because of the stories I had heard that the French people were snotty and impatient. However, while there can be a little bit of a language barrier at times, the French people I interacted with were all so nice. Stereotypes are just stereotypes. Alternatively, I may also just be snotty and impatient…. Jurys out.
My wonderful host parents without whom this trip never would have happened. I don't know that I even knew it was my dream to go to Paris until I was there, but this will definitely be on the list of best gifts ever.
My travel buddies, yes all 8 of them. But especially Emmi and Benni who were my drinking partners in Paris and my ride-mates all throughout Disneyland….2 very important jobs.
My mom, for blindly saying yes to the 10 texts I sent saying “WERE GOING TO PARIS”
Bis Zum nächsten mal...