I am down to three socks. Not three pairs.. Just three individual socks. My current body composition is about 36% beer, 27% wine, 23% bread and 14% döner - if that doesn't add up to 100%, keep it to yourself, math isn't my strong suit. I left Europe with 3 euros in my wallet (and I owe Sam $10). We are 7 hours into our 11 hour flight to Los Angeles from Paris, and I would do pretty much anything to turn this plane around. Seriously I kept asking Sam if we could turn around and she just kept reminding me that my best friend Becka will be in town soon so I have to come back to America for at least a few weeks. I make no promises on my location come October. Hint: Not America.
So Paris: Our train arrived outside Paris central around 11:30am and after the day we'd had, we were ready to get to the hostel and get showered bc we were absolutely disgusting. As luck would have it, that is completely the opposite of what actually happened. Why, you might ask? Well we got to the main train station outside of the city and had to figure out the Parisian metro system on our own bc we were planning to meet Saskia (my German bff of six years) at the hostel, and last time the two of us were in Paris four years ago she did all the navigating. So after Sam and I stared at the interactive map and pushed aaaall the buttons for awhile like a couple of children pressing all the buttons on a skyscraper elevator, we made our way to the hostel. Or we thought we did. We arrived about 20 minutes before Sassy, and as anyone with cognitive function would, we rang the bell and waited. And then waited. And by the time Sassy arrived we had walked around the entire block and got yelled at by an old French lady who I think was attempting to help us. Sassy made fun of our inability to function until she too was leaning up against the buzzer half shouting at the door wondering where we went wrong. Eventually Sassy took the initiative and called the hostel people, who promptly informed us that as we had not confirmed our reservation (that's not a thing that has never been a thing it will never be a thing again yo I was pissed) we would have to stay at their sister hostel for the same price but right outside the Louvre instead of outside the city center. This kind of made up for the fact that our hair was gross and we smelled bad and all we'd eaten by then was 3 Rollo's each. Actually I think Sam had 4 bc she's selfish but I digress. We found our way to our new hostel through our skilled navigating abilities - by that I mean we had none bc none of us had gotten more than 3 hours of sleep the night before, nor did we have any food in our stomachs. On arrival, Sam got to experience the epitome of a low end hostel that only thrives due to its fantastic location. We were a 3 minute walk from the Louvre - which I cannot pronounce to save my damn life - but between the $2 charge every 24h for wifi that only worked in the lobby, the $5 towel rental, the UNACCEPTABLE number of stairs leading up to our room (also in Paris in general omg I'm gonna have the best calves and the biggest beer/wine belly) and the SINGULAR OUTLET IN OUR DORM ROOM OH MY GOD IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY WE ARE TOURISTS WE NEED OUR PHONES FOR PHOTOS YOU SICK MONSTERS, it was quite an experience. We checked in, which took about twenty years bc the woman behind the desk was absolutely moronic - so much so that I felt it warranted mentioning in this post - and took about an hour or so to get showered and changed and look less horrifying. Luckily we didn't have any conditioner and my hair is a tangled mess so it took me about 20 minutes just to get it brushed out. We finally headed out for crepes before making our way to the Arc de Triomphe (like it's cool and all but it's an arc let's all calm down), and the Sacre Couer (pls ignore my spelling I don't French it's a really pretty church). We got a super fancy dinner at a super fancy Italian place (in the middle of Paris I know idk I had a craving) and dessert was a freaking delicious tiramisu which I devoured bc I am meant to be a 900lb walrus. At this stage the food coma took over and it was time to look for some wine and conditioner, neither of which we found bc we started searching too late in the day and Paris is not an "up all night" kind of city. Back at the hostel we took advantage of the astonishingly poor quality wifi for a bit before passing the hell out.
The next morning we woke up early enough to enjoy the free hostel breakfast - enjoy is a strong word, it was bread and applesauce and coffee out of a bowl bc French people are weird - and set out for the day. Our first stop was to the Louvre where entrance was $15 freaking dollars so that Sam could appreciate art while I was dragged behind her as Saskia photographed me staring out the window wishing I was not inside staring at dead people's expensive paintings. It was super. Don't get me wrong, art is cool and all and I'm all about it being valued but like of all the cultural things there are, I'd rather drink French wine in a French language class. Mostly the wine idk not gonna lie French is a weird language. So after seeing the tiny painting that is my girl Mona Lisa - by seeing I mean fighting our way through the crowd only to give up and take a zoomed in picture - Sassy and I left Sam to wander the Louvre while we finally found some conditioner and a snack. Sam took her time and only stopped staring wistfully at old ass artwork when she realized she was hungry, and we always try to feed the small one when she's hungry so as not to anger it. We grabbed a delicious lunch of Croque Madames, which is a ham and cheese grilled cheese with a fried egg on top and brings such joy to your life - and then made our way to a photogenic looking bridge en route to the Notre Dam. The next stop was Amorino, a gelato shop that shapes their scoops into the form of flowers bc they cater to tourists who like taking artsy photos and Sam needed it in her life, and we carried that with us to the Luxembourg Gardens where I decided that I had found the most comfortable bench in existence anddddd immediately took a nap. FYI it was not at all comfortable, I was just wrecked tired. Sam and Sassy were kind enough to let me nap - mostly bc Sam doesn't exercise and her legs hurt like crazy bc they were experiencing their first consistent movement since she learned to walk. At this stage we decided it was time for a picnic under the Eiffel Tower bc that's how you Paris, so we bought some wine (3 bottles was not enough) and baguettes and cheese and grapes and sat under the tower chatting until we saw random men popping in and out of the bushes with wine like freaking prairie dogs. This was terrifying and we started developing potential theories as to what the hell we were doing until they came and offered us some of the wine they were selling - calm down mama, we said no. Next stop was the Alexander III bridge so we could get some super cute pictures with the tower bc shut up everyone needs super cute pictures don't judge us. Believe it or not, Sam didn't even try to push me in, even after traveling with me for two weeks straight. Don't get me wrong, Sam is one of my favorite humans in the world and one of my very best friends who has taught me soooo much about the kind of person I want to be, but that doesn't mean we get along all the time as we are very different people. The point is I was not thrown in the river and I'd like to consider that a victory. Btw we actually got along super well over the course of the trip, I'd imagine all the alcohol we consumed didn't hurt.. but that's just a theory.
Day 3 was pretty much just us waiting in a lot of lines and eating a whole bunch of food. We woke up to our crappy hostel breakfast and had a slow morning as we showered and avoided the gloomy/rainy/chilly day that waited for us. We started off on our way to the Musee d'Orsay, a modern art museum Sam wanted to check out. Key word: wanted. After an hour of waiting in line and only making it halfway through the line, the rain really started poring and Sam doesn't handle cold well so we accepted defeat and headed for lunch. My quiche was not filling enough, nor were the girls sandwiches, so after our first stop we headed into another cafe which sold espressos with three mini desserts - one of which being a creme brûlée, which was not a hard sell - and sat down to enjoy. Eventually we convinced ourselves it was time to be productive, so we took the metro to the catacombs. Mind you, I've visited the catacombs and it was a super cool experience which I wanted Sam to see (bc she likes dead people and creepy places bc she's a psycho). Unfortunately after an hour and a half waiting in line in the freezing rain with a line that still had about two hours to go, Sam stopped caring about the underground dead people and mostly just wanted to get out of there. Sassy and I asked her about 8 times if she was sure, because we didn't want her to regret missing it, but she was sure she was cold which gave us her answer. On our way back to the hostel we stopped at a super neat viewpoint for the Eiffel Tower which was totally worth aaaall the time it took us to find the damn thing, and then we dropped a tired and wet Sami off at the hostel so we could go pick up wine and snacks for an in-hostel Parisian picnic, which was one of my favorite parts of our time in Paris to be honest. We started off with five bottles of wine but decided we needed more, at which point we took our show on the road and finished off our wine picnic at the Louvre - 10/10 would recommend as a late night hang out btw. At some stage we couldn't find the bottle opener so our wine escapades came to an end, which we realized the morning after was for the best because none of us would have woken up in time/in any shape to get to the airport this morning.
Luckily we did wake up and we even had time to pick up snacks for the road and macaroons for my coworkers before taking the hour-long train ride to the airport outside the city. Upon arrival we had some snacks with Sassy before we headed to our gate and she headed to her terminal (we had to be there by 12 for our flight but Sassy's didn't leave till 9pm poor thing) and said our goodbyes. Thankfully, Sassy and I always make our goodbyes pretty quick, usually going with more of the "see you later" approach. We see each other pretty often for two people who live across the world from each other, and if I don't find an internship in October in Germany (which I plan to) then I'll see her November when I come out to visit one more time before we meet in Southeast Asia around March, so we'll survive. I know, we see each other a whole hell of a lot for two people who live on opposite sides of the world, but if it helps, we're poor as all get out as a direct result of our international bffship. Sam and I got through security with ease bc it's Europe and their version of TSA is so not even comparable to ours in terms of stringency. We ran over to get some food bc we knew we had a 12h plane ride ahead of us and honestly weren't sure if we would be fed, and boarded our plane. Mind you by "boarded the plane" I mean blatantly dragged my feet and almost didn't make it, but obviously I did bc if I were on my way back to Germany I would be way too excited to write this post right now.
Overall, Paris was magnificent as ever, and I'm so happy I got to experience it with Saskia (again) and with my little one for the first time. Showing her around some of my favorite places has been such an incredible experience and I wouldn't change anything about it for the world. She's such an amazing young woman and I'm so excited to see where she goes and what she does bc I am already so proud of her and everything that she has and will accomplish. She may be a brat, but she's my brat, and how can I complain when I get to spend two weeks galvanting across Europe with my favorite tiny human?
Anyway, I've watched like two seasons of the Big Bang Theory and I'm so tired I think my eyes may fall out of their sockets so I'm going to try to catch a nap, otherwise I'll never make it to work tomorrow.
Wish me luck boys and girls, bc I'm gonna need it.
Until next time lovelies!
About the Author
Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
USA, Mexico, Iceland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Poland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece
The Baltic countries,
if Covid allows for it (Latvia, Estonia, maybe a stop in Finland)
(in August in the US)