the day i got lost in paris

day six in the uk

This morning we got up super early and headed for the Eiffel Tower again to take some pictures during the daylight. We went at the right time because the city was not awake yet and we had the best opportunity for photo-bomb free pictures. After we took your typical tourist-y pictures, we wandered over to find a money exchanger so we could buy our Metro tickets. We had a rough idea of where one would be but when we got there, there was nothing in sight. We headed down to the information desk of the Metro and she pointed us back in the same direction. So we wandered around for a bit longer and finally gave up. We wandered through the streets, now just trying to find somewhere to eat (preferably with an English menu and WiFi). On almost every corner there was a little café that looked just like the one next door and almost all of the menus were the same. Red and white checked awning, the tiniest tables, wicker chairs. We picked one and ordered crepes (round 2). We wandered (are you catching on to the theme?) around some more looking for an ATM and ended up at another Metro ticket booth along the river. We met the nicest lady who was American and had a house in Paris, New York, New Orleans, but spent most of her time in Houston. (Yeah, don’t we all?) She was so helpful in answering our questions and giving us advice about things that we didn’t know. This time, the Metro ticket booth accepted our cards and we left with a book of tickets, which she said was cheaper than getting the weekend pass. After this, we decided to walk along the river some more. It was a gorgeous, sunny day (probably 65 degrees) and we just wanted to see more of Paris. We wandered down until we found the second Love Lock Bridge. The locks on the original bridge had been cut off because the weight was causing the bridge to cave in. People were now locking their love on a bridge by The Louvre instead. After the bridge, we headed to find the good shopping in Paris, near the downtown area. After we went in the go-to shops (like Laduree, Zara) we were on the hunt for a Starbucks so that we could get a drink that we knew we would like and some quality Wi-Fi. That was easier said than done. In America there are Starbucks on every corner, sometimes there are some across the street from each other. We searched for one for what felt like hours. On our journey, we wandered through a gorgeous park (worth the wander) and finally stumbled upon a nice GAP employee who pointed us in the right direction for our drinks- of course there were 2 right across the street from one another. We went inside and thought that we would just order what we usually would in America. But their menus are different- of course. So I got an iced passion tea, but ended up having to go back and have them add more sweetener to it because it was too bitter. Classic American. We hung out in Starbucks for a while- giving our feet a break, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and enjoying our drinks and macaroons. Before we headed out, we stopped to go to the bathroom but in Paris, you have to pay to go to the bathroom (which we didn’t know) and of course you needed cash, which we still did not have either. So we kept on walkin. Did we really know where we were in relation to our hotel? Nope. Did we know how we got to where we were? Not really. But one of our cliché dreams was to “get lost” so, accidentally, we did. Check that off the travel bucket list.

  

After the trip to Starbucks, we headed to the Arc de Triomphe. But along the way, we found some more shopping and what seemed to be downtown Paris. At this point, we had found some cash and were willing to pay for a bathroom, so we went into this mall that claimed to have ‘luxury bathrooms’ and surprisingly they were. I think it was a store that was selling toilets and sinks and combinations of the two, because they were also selling colored (like neon) toilet paper and games that you can play while going to the bathroom… so weird… but the individual bathrooms were a plus. As soon as you walked out, the cleaning crew went right in after you to sanitize it for the next person. Their slogan of “cleanest bathrooms downtown” was true! Best 2 euros spent. We kept walking down this huge strip to get to the arc. We stopped, took our picture and headed back to find something to eat- again looking for something with an English menu. We stopped at this place called Le Deauville where we paid 8 euros for water (what…) but I had the most incredible 4-cheese pasta ever. We loaded up and tried once again to take the Metro home, but couldn’t find the entrance (lol), so we hailed a cab and headed home. Once we got home we knew we were done for the night. We had walked over 10 miles in the heat and we weren’t getting up once we sat down. So we relaxed for a bit, watched some Olympic swimming in French and then called it an early night. 

All in all it was a much, much, much better day in Paris!

Annie Bradshaw