The theme of my trip to Paris was simple: convince all the natives that I belong. Seeing as the trip was for my 16th birthday, and my insufferably touristy mother was accompanying me, this simple motto became a challenge. Luckily, my mother succumbed to my whines and wishes and let me act as Parisian as I dared.
And oh did I dare. I braved every day of the week in a skirt, heels, and my trademark leather jacket. My chic Parisian attire was seen in The Louvre, at the Paris Opera House, atop the Eiffel tower, but most importantly, I wore the jacket to a special café.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
L’ARC is a café found directly north of the Arch de Triomphe, which happened to be on the same street as the apartment we rented via www.Parisaddress.com. Every night, my mother and I would sip on hot chocolate and people watch from the café windows before retiring to our makeshift home; it was deemed “our café” before the week ended.
At the Paris Opera House, I donned my leather jacket as I watched the Paris Opera Ballet perform Coppelia, a reality that was a gift of my mother’s spontaneity. She was told of a way to receive unsold ballet tickets for free if we waited in a long enough line; and after waiting in an obviously long line, the only tickets we were given were “no sight” tickets, meaning they basically wanted me to stand behind a pole and listen to music. And that would be great, except as an aspiring ballet dancer, I was more interested in watching the ballet. Walking dejectedly back towards the apartment, my mother approached a scalper and bought two tickets off of him right on the spot. I was amazed! I was even more amazed when we entered the private box that my mother had just bought tickets for! What an amazing night. Needless to say, the Paris Opera House and the Ballet Company within set a very unattainable goal for what my future may hold.
As long as I’m discussing my unattainable goals, I should mention that I’m way too determined to meet Johnny Depp. Luckily for me, I have an aunt who used to be a flight attendant for Delta; her route made a stop in Paris between Denmark and America. During one of these stops, she was let in on a secret: that Johnny Depp’s summer home is on the Île Saint-Louis, and that his favorite café sits right on the bank. Naturally, I was determined to visit the Left Bank and venture through the Île. Also naturally, I was a little worried about finding the particular café Depp enjoyed. Taking ten steps on the island in my edgy jacket solved that problem by helpfully presenting three cafés lined consecutively along the bank (success!). I’m sad to report that Depp didn’t attend a café for lunch that day, but that I was overcome with nerves for at least an hour anticipating his arrival.
The Latin Quarter was an amazing cultural part of Left Bank that connected literature, music, art and history. I impressed myself by remember the reason for Napoleon’s architectural renovations throughout these wide streets, and longed to spend a night in the hotel Shakespeare once visited. www.discoverwalks.comprovided me and my mother with a free tour throughout left bank led by a native Parisian.
My leather jacket without a doubt gave me the confidence needed to experience all these adventures… But next time I’m found in Paris, I plan on leaving my mark on a greater scale than fashion alone.
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