Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whoops, I've been lazy. BUT I WAS IN PARIS

Yeah, that's right.  I went to Paris.  

YEP!  Surprise trip planned by my husband and Liz's...incredible!

Pretty sure this sums us up perfectly.

Notre Dame!  WOW!

Of COURSE you have to get macaroons in Paris.  

Champs Elysees with 2 of my favorite girls ever.

Get nerdy with me.  

Yeah, this is Hagrid's chair.  and I'm sitting in it.

I can't recommend going to the Catacombs enough.  Just incredible.

Lots of drinking....

DAY 1:
So we took the Ice Train from Kaiserslautern to the heart of Paris.  Train was fun and fast.  Ran very smoothly.  We had all been up since like 4:30am, we were tired, but totally jazzed to be there!
Took a cab to Notre Dame.  It was INCREDIBLE.  I felt like singing "God Help the Outcasts", but I refrained somehow.  

Caught a Hop On Hop Off bus from there to the Champs Elysees.  Saw it, it's BEAUTIFUL.  The area around there is very busy, but it's one of the few places that wasn't totally dirty. (Yeah, Paris is pretty filthy)  We walked around the shops and had lunch and cocktails at a little cafe.  Cocktails were SO good!  It was a gorgeous sunny day, so there we were, just walking around Paris in sundresses drinking cocktails.  (AM I IN A MOVIE?!)

After that, we got the bus to the Eiffel Tower.  Can I just explain to you how amazing it is to see something like that in person?  I mean, countless movies and TV shows...and I got to go there.  WOW.  It's enormous and so we stopped there and had drinks at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower.  I feel like I'm bragging, but this was totally on my bucket list!

Stayed there for awhile, and ended up missing the last bus pick up!  Had to cab it back to the train station because we were staying in Saint Denis (because that's where the Harry Potter expo was).  Got our luggage from the train station and found out that we couldn't just take a train there.  We had to catch a bus to the subway station and then take the subway to our destination.  Now, this is a pretty daunting task for 3 tipsy girls at night in a foreign country.  BUT WE DID IT!  The bus drove by the Moulin Rouge, and it is in a REALLY shady part of town.  Rats.  Got onto the subway successfully and managed to figure out which stop to take.  Found our hotel, got some food, and promptly fell asleep.

DAY 2:

Woke up and got ready for the day, and headed out thinking we would get a cup of coffee and a croissant for breakfast.  
NEWSFLASH: Saint Denis is really unpleasant and shady.  Nothing was open and it was filthy. Every establishment had weird people in track suits who looked like they were part of some crime group.  We were almost worried to step into any place.  Not that it mattered, apparently France does breakfast until like 10, and then no place serves anything until noon.  It is so bizarre.  We had to stop and get money from an ATM and this guy came up and started to try to get my attention and just became more aggressive as I ignored him.  We took a cab right outta there.  

Then, HARRY POTTER EXPO!  It was incredible, guys.  Real costumes, props, and all kinds of stuff from the movies.  It was put together SO WELL.  I got Delilah a Quidditch shirt and a Ravenclaw magnet for well as a million pictures.  Seriously, I couldn't have asked for anything more from the expo.  It was just so awesome.  Truly something every fan should be able to do.  

After that, hopped a subway back to Paris for lunch, drinks, and just walking around.  We walked through this AMAZING graveyard.  Europe knows how to do graveyards, guys.  It was beautiful.  Well kept too!  Walked through the catacombs (only a 45 min wait in line, so it wasn't bad!).  I think the catacombs is in my top 5 favorite things I've done out here.  It was hauntingly beautiful.  The amount of bones...I can't even describe it.  There's no barrier, if you wanted to touch them, you totally could.  No, I didn't touch any of them, yikes!  Just thinking about how many dead people are down there, it really makes you quite somber.  I loved it.  

After that, we walked around to different cafes having snacks and drinks.  It was just a blast.  The girls I went with, I don't know if I could have had more fun with anyone else.

Back to the hotel (navigated the subway successfully) for more drinks and silliness.  

DAY 3:
We are tired.

No showers, too tired.

Gather up stuff and get going.  Subway was no problem, but we had a long wait for the bus.  We were in a super shady area of Paris (after leaving Saint Denis and actually having men call out to us at like 7am and drive backwards down a road to then just drive next to us slowly as we walked).  Waiting at the bus station, we DEFINITELY saw a shop that was a front for something else.  It was just an aisle, but people would go in, and different people would come out. Some weirdo high lady was trying to talk to us about how much our bags are worth and "talk fast, talk fast"...people smoking hookahs and looking like they are in the Russian or Czech mob driving up in front of us and going into the shop...then a bum fight.  Luckily, our bus came, and we made it out of there intact.  Phew. 

Took the ice train back and ended up next to some pretty funny Germans who were making jokes about messing with us while we dozed without realizing that I understand some German and Amanda speaks fluent German.  We visited and laughed with them the rest of the trip back.  Fun times, very happy.

Made it back home, and Delilah ran to me and cried a little saying she missed me so much.  That made me really sad and happy.  It was our first weekend away from each other and Ben's first time with her by himself!  He's never had her overnight without me!  Her only overnights without me have been with my mom and I'm always there bright and early to get her.  

I was a pretty incredibly trip, and I'm so thankful for Ben doing this for me. 

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