Exploring on my own

This morning Jenny was very sick and tired. She did not want to get out of bed so I decided to explore Paris alone. 1175478_10151783226075813_678355807_n

I made my way to Notre Dam.

Travel Tip:

  1. Avoid the lines to enter Notre Dam by taking a free guided tour! 1146608_10151783226670813_516677365_n

I arrived just in time for a English tour and was able to beat the long line of solo travelers waiting to enter the cathedral. We were taught about the exterior architecture and then led inside. Once inside I left my tour group to explore on my own. It was a very cathartic experience. My mother is home battling cancer. So I lit a candle and prayed for her recovery. I sat in a pew for awhile and just watched the church goers and tourists. It was very peaceful and moving. As I was leaving the bells of Notre Dam began tolling.

I forgot to mention that I felt very French and beautiful today. I dressed in a black dress, tights and sweater. I’m pretty sure people thought I was French. 🙂

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I tried to go to the Musee d’Orsay but it was closed. So instead I ate lunch on a park bench. I had the most amazing sandwich in the world. It was so fresh, delicious and filling.

I continued to wander around Paris aimlessly. I eventually made it to the red light district where I was propositioned by some seedy french men. That’s when I decided to call it a night. I ended my trip in Paris drinking wine and eating crepes alone in a cafe. And that was okay.

Don’t go to Disney when you’re sick

Today we made the huge mistake of going to Eurodisney.993369_10151783220150813_2055094664_n

  1. Because Jenny was massively sick.
  2. I’ve already been there.
  3. It’s very expensive.
  4. It’s just like Disney in America.

I don’t know why we decided to go. I think we would’ve had a better time exploring Paris more. But we went to Euro Disney.

Jenny was at the middle stages of some sort of head cold/flu and she was not a happy camper. So a majority of the time there was spent by me trying to cheer her up. Also Disney doesn’t have very many actual rides. Like the Disney in America it’s catered to children. So most of the rides are animatronics train or boat rides. The lines in the park were insane. So I think we only ended getting on five or six things before we left.1175627_10151783220600813_69001212_n

The whole trip was kind of a bust. But now I know. When in Europe don’t go to Disney. 1078122_10200245993823788_1609516630_n

How to beat the crowds in Paris

At last we have arrive in Paris, France!

The last time I came to Paris it was with my family and for only two days. It rained the whole time, my dad made us walk everywhere and we ate the cheapest food. So I was ready to re-discover the City of Love on my own.

W993983_10200296729892158_1002056516_nhere did we stay?

St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel in Gare Du Nord

  • Accommodations: Clean and Modern.
  • Restaurant in the Hostel: Fantastic! Great food and live entertainment every night!
  • Location: A short metro ride from the city center. Right next to the major Gare Du Nord Train stop. Walking distance to the Moulin Rouge.
  • Bonus:  The hostel provided a free walking tour of Paris! We had a very charismatic and informative local guide who showed us all of the major sites and gave us some helpful tips for traversing the city.

Paris travel tips:   Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 11.52.35 AM

  1. Beat the lines by going to the Louvre through a side entrance.
  2. If a Gypsy offers you something, don’t touch it! You touch it then you buy it!
  3. Paris in August is crazy busy. You can not avoid crowds.

After the walking tour we went to the Louvre. We entered through a side door, passing the huge lines through the main entrance. We bought our tickets from a machine vendor. After Jenny bought hers she reached in the slot to pick up her ticket and found that someone before us had left behind their ticket. So I got in for free! #win

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Had the most refreshing ice cream in the world on a park bench in Paris.

We meandered through the Louvre for a bit and then hit the streets for some more wandering. I fell in love with Paris on that walk.

Later we had several glasses of wine and some creame brule and listened to a band play at our hostel bar. It was a perfect day.

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971808_10151783219125813_828311914_nDay 2:

Saturday morning we boarded a train and headed to Versailles. Apparently every other tourist in Paris had the same idea. Disembarking the train was like entering a mass exodus. Thousands of tourists were heading the same direction as us. It was very overwhelming. 1185281_10151783200405813_1788143615_n1098005_10151783199645813_1538643809_nBy the time we reached the gates of Versailles the lines wrapped around the building. We decided it wasn’t worth it to wait and decided to walk around the gardens instead. The gardens are vast and impressive. We got lost for hours and it was glorious.

We eventually stumbled upon Petit Trianon. A small château located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. It was Marie Antionete’s home away from home. It was charming and straight out of a storybook. I loved seeing the little french cottages and all the cute farm animals!

We had lunch at a charming and very busy outdoor cafe near the lake of Versailles and then continued to explore the gardens. We walked through the maze and far away from the mass of tourists.

1003917_10200296742532474_162100182_nThe temperature was just perfect and we were secluded and exhausted so Jenny and I laid down in the soft grass and took a nap. Laying in the greenery under the perfect French sun was one of my favorite moments of the trip and I think I’ll cherish that memory for the rest of my life.

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Napping in the gardens of Versailles.