I wanted to love Paris. I really did. But, it didn't give how I thought it would. What was I expecting? Fabulousness! Sex In The City vibes, even though I've never seen that show. Eating croissants with every meal. Toasting champagne randomly. We did eat a croissant or two. And we drank lots of champagne on a champagne tasting tour on the Seine river. But, the vibe was blah to me.
The highlight of the trip was champagne tasting on the Seine River. I booked on Viator that same day so it was super easy. Boarding is near the Eiffel Tower. And the cruise takes you down the Seine River sightseeing while drinking champagne along the way. We paid for the private section so it was spacious, enclosed, and away from the environmental elements. The tastings were generous and the sun set during the cruise. It was scenic and romantic. We went to the Eiffel Tower after, which was beautifully lit up and sparkling. The Eiffel Tower looks the best at night. But, if you want to go up and take in the picturesque views, I would recommend going during the daylight hours. Speaking of going during the daylight hours, I went back just to experience the height and the views. The absolute top was closed due to the powerful winds blowing. Should have been a red flag for me to abort the mission. But, the second observation deck (not as high) was open. I took on the feat by myself. After waiting in the cold, winds and rain while standing in line, I finally got through the security check to board the elevator. The elevator starts going up. I quickly regretted my decision to stand on the perimeter of this glass elevator so that I can watch while we go up the tower at a slight sideways angle. We stopped briefly then kept going. Sometimes, I should realize that I am in my mid 40s with a weak stomach and self induced vertigo. Anywho. I stepped off the elevator and beelined to the observation deck. Another bad decision. The tower sways with the wind. And it was REALLY WINDY. I didn't feel steady. I could legitimately blow off the side of this tower. I desperately wanted to get back on solid ground. I walked out one door, back in the next door, and stood in line to go back down the elevator. That ended my Eiffel Tower visit.
We had lunch on Avenue des Champs-Elysees at Unisex Restaurant. Everyone walking by had on fabulous long coats. I missed the memo on fashion starting with outwear because all I packed was a basic black leather coat and a denim jacket. We shopped in Louis Vuitton and Sephora. Although I didn't find anything to buy, the stores were gigantic and well-laid out. But, I had to buy something black owned. And Christian Louboutin is black. So there you have it. I left Paris with a pair of suede booties that were less expensive than buying in the states by approximately $315.
We took the train to visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Side note: the train system in Paris is super easy to take and super Parisian to do. The hype of seeing the Mona Lisa is magnetic once you get in the room. But, once I got close and snapped a few pics, I was over it. DaVinci created the painting using an imaginary landscape from an aerial view in the background. The first of its time, I guess. It's small and underwhelming. But, the Louvre, as a whole, is amazing. It's so many halls, wings, exhibits, twists and turns. The Louvre is massive. A person could spend a couple of days inside to see everything. The pyramid outside is just the entrance to the museum and an iconic landmark.
Honorable mention is the Palace of Versailles. It's gaudy. The rooms are over-decorated and repetitive. After the first 20 mins, I was ready to go but there was no way to get back to the starting point. King Louis XIV built and resided there and it is certainly fit for a king. The grounds are beautiful when viewed from an upstairs window. Another honorable mention is Moulin Rouge. Think of a cruise ship musical performance meets cirque du soleil in France. Everything was in French, which was fine because the context of the songs were easy to understand. The women were topless at times. The place is set up like a dinner theater. It was an interesting one time experience.
I spent three days in Paris and that was more than enough. Paris is expensive. And expensive is subjective. So, think of NY prices for basic food and alcoholic beverages. I wanted to visit Mama Jackson, a black owned restaurant, and Little Africa, a neighborhood with African food, culture and fashion. But, the weather was too cold and rainy for me. When I go back during warmer weather, I will definitely visit those two places I missed.
Paris is like walking through art. Everything is so architecturally grand. So full of intricate details and history. One of the must go places just to say you went.
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