An American in Paris

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was so happy I got to see one of my closest friends get married! Her wedding day was perfect

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So I get to France and what do I do… I speak ITALIAN! My Italian has never been better and for some reason I cannot stop speaking it (perhaps because I’m still interacting with my Italian friends) but I have been speaking some sort of Italian mixed with Spanglish and almost no French whatsoever (I’m trying to change that). I’m incredibly glad I brought a phrase book because some Parisians speak almost perfect English and others not a word of it.

As much as I enjoy traveling alone (because let’s face it – you can do whatever you want whenever you want) the only time I really felt alone was when I was lost carrying all of my stuff around the city and was unable to find someone who spoke English. It definitely teaches you humility and I feel more compassionate towards others struggling in a different country where they don’t speak the language.

Some Parisians were very kind to me when I was asking directions and would even stop what they were doing to walk with me or write things down on paper for me or let me use their phone since I didn’t have data. I’m so grateful for those people. A few even mentioned they knew there is a reputation for rudeness there and they wanted me to have a good impression of their city and see how nice some of the people are. I normally have similar thoughts when I’m travelling because I feel in a way that I’m giving others I interact with an impression of what Americans are like and I want them to like Americans.

Enchantè.. Perhaps my favorite new French friend was the older gentleman that sat next to me on my long flight to Paris. He didn’t speak much English and I didn’t speak much French but we seemed to laugh at all the same things and that’s how we connected… through laughing and also a mix of charade-like gestures. He had brought a case of lobsters on the plane as a carry on so I knew he was a pretty interesting guy. At one point they served a meal with salad that included ranch dressing on the side and he took the lid off the ranch dressing and ate it with a spoon like soup. The look on his face said, “This American soup is strange.” I tried not to laugh but it reminded me of that time in Positano I started to eat leaves not knowing any better.

I am a big fan of airbnb.com now! I used them for the first time in Florence and have been staying in some really nice places that are less expensive than hotels and you get the whole space to yourself which makes me feel more at home! Here’s 3 of the apartments I stayed in during my time in Paris: 1) Eiffel tower studio 2) Studio by Seine river 3) Kangaroo studio : )  *If I have a good experience staying somewhere I want to feature it and if you are a hotel or host and want to be featured, you can e-mail sittingprettyinthequeencity@gmail.com.

La Vie en Rose… 

After arriving at the airport to leave France, my flight was changed to the next day. I got in a taxi and when the driver asked me where to go I told him to take me to the Eiffel tower. So there I sat with all my luggage on the grass looking up at the tower with no idea where I was going to stay that night but I knew it would all work out so I just enjoyed the scenery.  

I found another airbnb last minute and this place was near (what I probably incorrectly call) the Kangaroo Garden. It was less than a block from my apartment and I thought it was the neatest thing to walk in (my host was nice enough to accompany me) and see the animals. I told him that’s the only reason I picked his place because in the description It said kangaroo garden… STOP! Kangaroo garden?! and it sounded like the coolest thing ever! I mean…. kangaroos?!? (they even had French accents 😉 )

So funny story, while I was waiting for my host to meet me and let me in the apartment I was waiting in the lobby sitting on my suitcase and a man walks in and asks if I’ve been waiting long and held the door open for me. So I walk with him with all my things and it wasn’t until I was practically moving in with him that I realized this was not my airbnb host but just some guy making conversation and he was trying to explain he did not know me in French. (haha!) I was pretty embarrassed and when I told my friend this story she said I remind her of a female verson of Mr. Bean with all the goofy things I do while traveling. I embarrass myself all the time (almost daily) but it makes for great stories at least. : )

While at dinner I poured my own wine when my first glass was gone and a French woman corrected me. “You never, ever pour your own wine in France when a man is at your table. “So you’re saying if my glass is empty he must fill it?” This quickly became a fun game (for me). Probably my shining moment. Haha

My last night in Paris I walked to dinner and bar hopped and made wonderful Parisian friends! We ended the night in the early morning hours by buying a bottle of wine and walked to the Pantheon (nearly identical to the one in Rome) and then Notre Dame which was stunning at night and we were the only people there. So we sat and drank and I just sat in awe of the landmarks. I think I was meant to stay in Paris an extra day and I’m so glad it worked out that way because I got to see a different side of the city. Hopefully I’ll be back soon and can spend even more time here!

I am working on uploading some getting ready videos to share but I don’t know a thing about editing so if you have some words of wisdom feel free to share!

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72 thoughts on “An American in Paris

  1. Haha, funny moments from your trip! Yes I find that when you’re a single woman by herself on the streets, men will talk to you.

    I love airbnb too…have been using them for quite some time now, and I getting the “local” feel by staying at someone’s apartment!

    Paris is really stunning…one of my favorite places. Glad you had such a wonderful time!

    Victoria
    http://awayweroam.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you can relate!! Tons of funny moments and I agree I only really get to know the locals when I separate from my friends and then I am open to new friendships which makes it such a special different experience. Love Paris and can’t wait to see more of France…Thanks for reading, Victoria! XO

      Like

  2. September in Paris is lovely.
    Glad you enjoyed it. Also glad some of my compatriots went out of their way to help.
    Two myths that need to destroyed:
    First myth: the french refuse to speak english. Sad fact is, most french don’t speak english and when they do, they speak it badly.
    Second myth: Parisians (particularly café waiters) are rude to tourists. No, they are rude to everyone. 🙂 also there is a blend of Parisian very dry sense of humour that you can only catch if you mumble the language. If you don’t, it’s just dry. Borderline rude.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I like yours. I will come back.
    Ye be good naw.
    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha Thanks Brian for sharing your perspective on this! One reason I love sharing my experience with others is exactly that – to counteract any preconceived notions and I have found that I view each country very differently after really being immersed in it. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I hope to visit Paris again soon. Some of your compatriots gave me wonderful memories and it is very beautiful in September : )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Also bear in mind that my compatriots are working very hard to drive the country into the ground. (Drives me nuts) colateral dammage is that they are so stressed they don’t even realize they live in one the most beautiful countries in the world. (No nationalism here just a fact.) 😉
        Have a nice week-end

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like stories with happy endings (if it isn’t happy, it isn’t the end). There is a nice interaction at different levels with language (native vs foreign), alone vs loneliness, and you are never lost if you can see the Eiffel Tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for visiting our blog. It led me to yours, and so glad to see beautiful pictures of Paris. I (Lexi’s Mom) have been there twice and absolutely love Paris and the rest of France, too. I was left on my own for a couple of days and found everyone from the laundromat to the metro to the Louvre to be extremely helpful. I knew a bit of the French language, and it seemed that people appreciated the fact that no matter how bad my French was, I tried. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for dropping by my blog, and I enjoyed your pix of Paris – loved the place you stayed – reminded me of how precious space is in Europe. Your stories about getting help from strangers took me back to my travels in Italy as a younger woman – great stories! Keep up the good work!
    Els

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Key trick for Paris to make sure you never, ever get lost; have a wee handy map of the Metro with you and mark or make a note of your “home” station. Come the time where you don’t know where you are, now you can find the nearest Metro station – never more than 200 m away or so – and presto, map your way back to where you want to be.

    Never fails 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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