There is nothing quite like waking up in the city you’ve always dreamt of. Every little girl hears about Paris, the city of love. And how many movies devote a scene to the Eiffel Tower, France’s prized possession? The first time I cracked open the window, I saw rows of bikes and mopeds lined up against our Hotel, Hotel De Turenne. I closed my eyes and listened to the hum of the tiny fiats and mini coopers. I could practically taste the crepes being baked across the street, which caused me to throw on my shoes and drag my mom out onto the street with me. I instantly fell in love with the architecture. Each building was a glimpse of the old world. Blue tin roofs had a romantic appeal to it and I was in complete awe. The streets curved into each other and gave the sense of being never ending. My cousins, mom, aunt, and I went for the standard French breakfast: coffee and a chocolate croissant at our new favorite place, Cafe Des Officiers. The very second European chocolate touched my lips, my world changed. I’m a sucker for dark chocolate, but the richness and quality of that chocolate croissant forces me to curse American chocolate to this day. We spent that morning wandering through winding streets filled with shops and cafes. My absolute favorite street in all of Paris is Rue Cler due to its intricate stone streets and sweet faces. Rue Cler also holds a cafe, Le Café Du Marché, where I purchased many bags full of delicious macaroons. Paris is well-known for its shopping; so it wasn’t hard for five girls to find the boutiques in town. By the afternoon, we sat on top of a green double decker bus that took us to the many landmarks of Paris. We shopped along the famous Champs-Élysées while singing the French song that was repeated fifteen times on the tour bus. After we shopped the morning away, we had lunch across the street from Notre Dame. There was a slight drizzle, so the crowd outside of the chapel dissolved. Our chairs faced out towards Notre Dame as if Paris was begging us to examine its masterpiece. The towering arches and biblical faces carved into the cathedral lived up to the building’s reputation. After lunch we caught a ride with our tour bus to the Louvre. I recommend buying your tickets online ahead of time or bringing an organized mom like mine because the line outside the entrance was over two hours. Inside, we made our way through the x-palace and occasionally peaked out of the windows to gaze at the flowing fountain in the center of the protected plaza. Kids fed pigeons and tourists refused to stand still. Within the museum, we found a massive crowd next to a wall with only one portrait on it. There, in the center of a bare wall, was the Mona Lisa engulfed behind a shield of glass. It was much smaller than I expected, I would say that it was as large as the standard computer screen, which makes me wonder how it became so famous. After the Louvre, we finished off the night on a river tour that took us to more famous locations like the Love Lock Bridge, which is covered in locks that couples put on the railing of the bridge and then throw the key into the river. Just as we were pulling into the harbor outside of the Eiffel Tower, the lights on the tower began to dance for ten minutes. We ran towards the legs of the tower and watched the lights bounce about the steel frame in total silence. You know how kids believe in the tooth fairy or Santa and they truly believe that magic exists in the world? Well, in that moment, I felt like my nine year old self and I had no doubt that I had just experienced the most fairy-tale-like day. And right then and there, I pledged that I would return to Paris and live a life filled with magic.
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