Midnight Mass Fiasco in Paris - My Family Travels


Paris, the city of light! So many places full of history and beauty define this city, including the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. To walk in the footsteps of so many amazing people, including Marie Antoinette and Claude Monet; to hear the beautiful French language being spoken wherever you go; to see the Champs-Elysees and the Eiffel Tower all lit up; to experience the exquisite French cuisine like the incredible lists of cheeses and wine; all of these experiences make Paris one of the most wonderful cities in the world, at least in my opinion.

Last December, my family was lucky enough to travel to Paris for Christmas. Getting the opportunity to go to this amazing destination was unexpected. Going through the e-mails one day, my mom came to one that claimed that it had cheap flights to Europe. Amazingly enough, she was able to find good tickets out of my hometown during my school’s Christmas break. It was hard for her to consider missing Christmas with her large family, but her love of travel won her over. She bought those tickets and we were going to Paris, France.

My experiences with this trip made me see that flexibility is a necessary thing to have when traveling. It allows people to be open to new experiences and gain a better view of their destinations. Even though some people need to have things planned and organized, this isn’t always the best way to spend a vacation. Yes, it does allow you to see a lot and know where you will be when, but this leads to a loss in spontaneity that makes a vacation unforgettable.

For the rest of my life, one experience in Paris will always stick out in my memory. On Christmas Eve, my family was going to go to Notre Dame for Midnight mass. We got there two hours early so that we could find a seat and not have to stand for the entire mass. The service was beautiful and very moving; to be able to celebrate with so many people in such an awe-inspiring place was truly inspirational. When the mass was over and the final hymn was sung, my family planned to take the metro back to the hotel. Before we had left, my dad had the concierge tell him how to get to the metro station from the church and what lines to take back to the hotel. What he didn’t mention was that the metro closes at midnight. When we found the metro station, it was all locked up so we decided that we were going to get a taxi. My dad had the brilliant idea that we should start walking back toward the hotel and look for a taxi as we went along. Well, let’s just say that the farther we went, the fewer taxis there were. I got my first view of the Louvre during that walk. It seemed to go on and on forever. Seeing I.M. Pei’s breathtaking Pyramid at night was really amazing, but I really couldn’t appreciate it when my legs felt like they were about to fall off and I had to try very hard to keep my eyes open. All in all, we walked for over two hours back to the hotel at three o’clock in the morning.

Overall, that trip was very eventful, but it still was fun. This was because there was flexibility with how we did things. No one plans on walking the streets of Paris at night, but this experience made my vacation in Paris unforgettable.

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