Oh man, where do I even start?
During our last night in Rome we were still dealing with Indy's issue with her flight the next morning. Her Paypal account had shown she was charged for the ticket through Ryan Air but had never received the ticket or confirmation email. So, she ended up having to spend another $200 on another ticket. The following morning we woke up at 4:30am ready to head to the airport. We woke up earlier than the last time because we almost missed our flight to Rome and we weren't about to risk that. So we arrived at the airport and saw that there was the longest line for check in and only 2 employees working at the check in desks. So we get in line and are already stressed to get on our flight because it was taking FOREVER. We finally get closer to the front when people began to cut in front of us nonchalantly. Then we realized she was telling us to step away and letting at least 10 people check in before us. We pushed ourselves forward and approached the desk lady she finally checked indy in and sent her bag to be put on the plane and then when it was our turn she decided that's a good time to go on break and to say we have to go back into the other line and her colleague would help us check in, because it was her break time and of course she didn't have time for us. Tristen, Indy and I all looked at each other like "are we joking?!" And then shook our heads frantically checking the time and stressed out of our minds. Finally we get to the front. The lady says to hand her our passports and then begins to yell at us that we are too lat and that check in had closed. BUT WE WERE READY TO CHECK IN AND AT THE FRONT OF THE FREAKING LINE 20 MINUTES AGO!!!!!! I could not explain how angry I was. After that awful experience we were pointed to another desk and the lady told us we have to buy another flight for tonight. Indy went ahead and got on the plane because her bags were there and at this point she's paid for TWO tickets already and did not want to pay for a third.
So there we were unable to get another taxi or uber to somewhere so we decided to stay at the airport. Plus we weren't going to risk missing this dang flight. Sitting there, upset and tired we wanted to make the best of it. I pulled out my phone and started an Instagram live and so did tristen. This brightened the mood as we were laughing and joking with strangers and asked everyone to send us a Snapchat of them yelling "HOIIIIYYYYYYAAAAAAHHH". Suddenly, we were receiving videos of people saying "HOIYAH" from all around the world. It was awesome and definitely made my day better.
After a long day of me being bored while tristen snored (really actually VERY loud) on the floor of he airport making everyone around us stare in our direction, we were finally about to board our flight to Paris. Climbing up the stairs to board the plane my heart was beating so fast and I was praying over and over and OVER agin that my ear wouldn't burst on the plane because it STILL hadn't popped. I sat down and up we went.
I sat next to an Irishman about mid 20's who was curious was I was in Rome. He was there to watch a rugby match because I guess that's a big deal in Ireland. I explained to him my travels and he was in awe. His chin hit the floor as I said I do not go to college and then said "well I guess if I were to choose between college and traveling while I'm young I'd do that too". He was a such a nice guy and told me about how he hopes to own his own business someday which I thought was awesome.
On the way up in the air my ear started popping a little but not all the way and so I got my hopes up. On the way down, they did not pop and my ear has never hurt more in my life. I thought for sure my head would explode. I was able to maintain composure while we grabbed our luggage and took the bus to our Airbnb. Tristen and I were in awe when we saw the Eiffel Tower. And when it started sparkling on the hour the little girl in me got all happy and I remember when I was young how my dream was to visit the Eiffel Tower some day. Well here I am. Making my own dreams come true.
Getting into the air bnb became quite a difficulty. Indy had already been there all day and said to remind her when we were returning to the Place so she could let us in through the door down stairs. Well, we did and she was not there.... for an hour... tristen and I were carrying around our heavy luggage at midnight and scared to death of any other stranger. Every time anyone would approach us tristen would pul out his phone and act like someone was calling him. It made me laugh but it was a good idea to make us unapproachable. Finally we got in as indy explained that she was so sorry she fell asleep.
Walking into our first Airbnb we had the coolest view of the Eiffel Tower. With a little ledge out of the window we could sit on. We talked until the late hours of the night and then went to bed.
The next day everyone woke up to watch the sunrise but I was so exhausted from the airport before and the late night that I slept in through sunrise and breakfast but they were nice enough to bring me back a muffin and a croissant. As I sat there eating my food out the window in the warm sun and cool breeze brushing through my hair, I smiled. "I'm the luckiest girl in the world", I thought to myself. How many people get to experience this at my age? Not a lot I'll say and I'm so grateful to be able to do the things I love and to learn so much. Even if that's just feeling the sun from the other side of the world.
The Eiffel Tower is HUGE if you didn't know. We walked around and sat on this bench at the park underneath that Tower and just looked at it for a while. I wondered what it'd be like to be at the top of it.
After a while of walking around we went to get a snack at this really good crepe and pancake restaurant. I got a caramel crepe and oh man I've never had better. I wanted to stay there all day and just eat until my veins pumped with caramel.
After checking into our next Airbnb we went to the Louvre museum. If you ever go there don't wait in the huge line in the main entrance. Most people don't know there are other entrances, and we were able to basically skip the line completely. The Louvre was spectacular. I love a good work of art and this place had only the best. As we wandered through the famous statues and sculptures, my heart was so happy. I wanted to stay there forever and just look at all of the paintings and other art pieces, but we had spent a lot of time there already and of course we're getting hungry again.
So we took a taxi to Laduree. Staring at the pretty pastel colors and little creamy sweets all lined up in a row, I was in my own kind of heaven. Much like tristen whenever we get gelato. We each ordered two macaroons and mine were Rose petal and salted caramel. THEY. WERE. DELICIOUS. I wish I could've gotten more than just two of them but they were pretty expensive for macaroons.
Walking around the city streets until the sun went down was probably my most cherished memory of every day on this trip. The pretty building all lined up with windows, some with flowers. The sky would turn this dark blue color. Whenever I see the sky that way I always remember when I'd go camping with my dad when I was really little. Him and I would stare at the same dark blue sky and say it was our favorite color and just as the stars would start to peak out one by one it was so beautiful.
The next day was Valentine's Day and I was excited for it yet not because I was missing Cooper a lot at this point. I woke up and Zach (Indy's boyfriend) brought us both roses and as he gave them to me he said "these are from Cooper". Cooper was planning on having our good friends mom bring me flowers because she lives in Paris but she was not in town so it was perfect that Zach was willing to help him out. It was SO sweet waking up to that. I got all warm in my heart and felt so happy to be Cooper's girl. And even tho I was on the other side of the world he still made me feel special on Valentine's Day.
This photo was snapped by indy and I look so sad lol but this was taken seconds after waking up so I'm just super tired lol
That morning it was raining and I think I fully sunk into the fact that I was in One of the most iconic cities in the world. Paris in the rain is incredibly stunning and I'm glad I got to experience it even if was only a drizzle. We went to breakfast at this AMAZING crepe place. Honestly, I say this about every place I swear but this specific place was by far the best. I was driving over my crepe. The waiters were so kind as well and it made for a lovely morning.
After shooting product for some companies for a while, we went to the Norte Dame. It was incredible! The little girl in me was thinking of the Disney movie the whole time haha. Then we went to the d'Orsay museum. This is what I was specifically excited for because of Van Gogh. All growing up I've always painted, drawn, etc. anything artistic I did and did pretty well at. Van Gogh was by far my favorite artist and still is to this day. When I came upon his paintings I was so amazed. I always saw photos of it online of course and prints sold everywhere but seeing the real thing stunned me. It was absolutely beautiful to say the least.
Valentine's night was a night to remember. Indy and I got into our red dresses and I brought my roses and we returned to the Eiffel Tower. Dancing around with the dark blue sky above us, I was in a dream I was convinced. NEVER did I ever think I would spend a Valentine's in Paris but here I was. Little old Sarah Rae. I couldn't believe it. Why me? Why did I get this particularly incredible life. I'm so blessed I can't even describe how lucky I am to be able to experience this life.
We got tickets to ride the carousel and I was 6 years old again. Around and around we went with the accordion playing and the Eiffel Tower glittering while passing us each time.
We continued to walk around for a little while and the hunger hit us again like it does every night. We were craving pasta so we found a little Italian place on one of the backstreets and it really hit the spot. I think I even had a dream of my pasta that night.
Our last day in Paris went by WAY too fast. But it was one for the books for sure. It was SO WARM outside. It felt like spring time and I couldn't help but smile feeling the sunshine on my face.
We did all the things we normally do. Breakfast at a cafe (I had a sugary croissant), took photos for some product, saw the Eiffel Tower, etc. Today we also rented little scooters! It was so fun. I highly recommend it. It was a little scary at first because they were REALLY fast and I'm pretty sure I did a wheely once or twice accidentally. We rode all over the city passing the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, etc. The only thing was Indy crashed on her scooter... pretty hard. She was okay but it looked epic. I was on the opposite side of this little hedge and all I could see during her crash was her body fling upwith her arms and legs flying around. She looked like a rag doll and I was convinced she had to have broken something. To my surprise she toughed it out and was fine!
the Arc de Triomphe was one of my favorites. We ought our tickets to the top and totally we're NOT prepared for the never ended spiral staircase. Paris has been leg day everyday with all of these staircases including the 7 staircases we take to get up to our Airbnb at least twice a day.
I'm serious, we all are going to have the best legs after this trip.
Anyways, the top of the Arc de Triomphe had one of the prettiest views ever. We got to the top just at sunset and Paris just circled around us with purple skies and little lights starting to sparkle in the streets. This was a view I hope I always remember.
The whole week we had been talking about McDonald's and how much we oddly mis it, especially Zach because he had been in Asia for the past month. So of course we set route to the Golden Arches. Ordering in Paris was so cool we got our touch screens and clicked what we wanted and paid right there. All we had to do now was wait for our food at the counter. I thought it was specifically cool that they had Macaroons at the cafe and Tristen called them McMacaroons! I got like 5 of them Hahaha.
McDonald's was still McDonald's. Even in Paris it tasted the same and it was so satisfying. I know what you're thinking, why ear McDonald's when you're in Paris? But our bank accounts sided with our decision.
Now here we are, packing our massive suitcases and wiping our tears. Some of us may need to be dragged out of this dream of a city. I'll always remember the things I got to experience on this trip and most important I will be back.