The Completion of My Paris Bucket List

I did it! I finished ALL of my Paris Bucket List! ..except for three items I couldn’t afford as a poor nanny. 

    
 The last few items on my list were not easy in the slightest. The first, and one I’m most excited about, is seeing the entirety of the Louvre. I did that. I saw it all. And you know what? It’s massive. Unbelievably massive. It took me five trips and that’s even after I’d been multiple times previously. There are so many hidden rooms and staircases that it’s ridiculous. Part of it was closed off but no matter, I found a way around all of the construction through hidden passages and just kept on going right through (around the construction, of course). The Egyptian section is mesmerizing. I’ve always had a love for ancient Egypt and so getting to see so many real sarcophagus’ and AN ACTUAL REAL LIFE MUMMY, pretty much made my whole life. While going through, I marked everything off on a map from the information desk and said map is now a tattered mess, yet still in tact for my offspring to be proud of one day. 

    
   
The second thing I’m most proud of is getting up at 4am to go watch the sunrise at Montmartre. It was glorious and everything anyone could hope for in Paris. Sitting on the steps of Sacre Cœur with Aimi and Gemma on our last full day in the city, breathing in the morning air.. Yes, I cried. It was a magnificent morning. 

 The last thing on my list that I completed, was actually completed at the beginning of my year. Let me explain. One thing on the list was “hipster theatre.” I wanted to go see an obscure show at a hole in the wall basically. But with time and how slowly I realized I was quickly leaving, it just wasn’t possible. Then, it hit me. I used to regularly go to Open Mic night at the Highlander when I first came to Paris. It was a small show with local artists put on in the basement of a Scottish pub – what more could I ask for in the hipster theatre respect? So there you have it, done.

COMPLETE.

SUCCESS.

All done.

..except seeing a show at Moulin Rouge, having afternoon tea at Ladurée and velibing (biking) around Paris because I just did not have the money for them. And that’s okay because everyone knows I’ll be back.

One day.

Tackling (Most of) My Paris Bucket List in One Week

Since moving to Paris almost a year ago, I’ve had a bucket list to complete that I’ve slowly been adding to throughout my time here. And last week, I was able to cross off four more things. So, I’m almost done with my list! Just a few more things left.. But for now, I’ll tell you all about the ones I just crossed off.

  First, there’s Giverny. You’ve heard of Monet, right? Those beautiful water lily paintings? Yeah, I went to his house last weekend and it’s just as gorgeous as you’d imagine it to be. Overflowing with thousands of flowers outside the front and the hidden pond off to the side.. It was all so surreal and magnificent. I couldn’t help but just stare and stare and stare. The girls and I decided to go exploring throughout the town after his house too and found ourselves on a little adventure throughout the hills. We climbed a trail that led to the top of a steep hill and at the top you could see the wonders of nature for miles and miles and miles. It was just such a peaceful and relaxing day full of flowers and sun. 

                   

  Next, I climbed to the top of Notre Dame. Kissing a gargoyle up there has been one of the top things on my list all year and I finally did it! Obsessed with gargoyles.. Anyway, the view was glorious and breathtaking but mostly I’m just happy I kissed a real gargoyle. Even looked for Quasimodo but couldn’t find him anywhere. 

     
  Then, I climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Gotta say, this view is my favorite in all of Paris thus far. You could literally see the whole city and it started with the length of the Champs Elysées. Really just a spectacular place to go and get lost in thought within the beauty of this city. 

        
  Finally, I sang karaoke at my pub. Yeah, it might be a weird thing to have on a bucket list but it makes sense to me. The Highlander is the place where I literally spend most of my time in Paris and every Thursday night they have karaoke. Usually, I just laugh when everyone else makes a fool of themselves for everyone else’s pleasure but this time I decided to be the fool. I told Declan, the best bartender in the world, that I was going to do karaoke tonight so that I wouldn’t be able to bail. Once I told him, I was stuck. Later in the night he called me up to sing and even though I pleaded for a good 30 seconds for him to not make me actually do it, he announced to the whole pub that this was something that I had to do and that I needed to knock it off my bucket list. Thanks, Dec. Anyway, I sang Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” and I even did the Steven Tyler squeal with my voice after every line. It was pretty fun since I committed to it and sang my heart out – none of that shy, quiet I-don’t-really-wanna-do-this kinda stuff – no, I full on went for it. I feel sorry for everyone’s ears but I don’t really care, I had a blast being an idiot. And now it’s been crossed off my list.

So, there you have it. I completed four new items on my Paris Bucket List within a week and I only have about three more things left before I leave in two weeks. Here’s to its completion!

Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera

Okay, so as I mentioned, my best friend Auburn came to visit me for her spring break. We went to London, we had lots of shenanigans, we did awesome stuff.

IMG_7553Well, one of the awesome things that we did was go to the Paris Opera to see a show. This was something on my bucket list that I started last fall when I came to Paris and I was finally able to knock it off. We saw “Le Cid,” a French opera written and first performed in the 17th Century.

<3

Our seats were bad and our view was terrible but we had a great time nonetheless. It was surprisingly easy for me to follow along so I’ll take that as meaning that my French has improved significantly since first moving to Paris. So yay me!

Armistice Day 2014

IMG_5554Today I was able to check another item off of my Paris Bucket List. And this was a pretty big one.

I attended a church service at Notre Dame.

Last summer when I studied abroad in France, I had the privilege of walking through Notre Dame while they were holding a service and I was able to see the beauty of it as a guest. Just being a random onlooker brought me to tears and I made it an immediate bucket list item to attend a real service one day.

And today it happened. I was a member of the congregation during an Anglican service put on by the Royal British Legion, which means that not only did I get to be there, but I was also able to understand the service in its entirety. The experience moved me to tears.

Notre Dame was by far my favorite thing about Paris last summer when I visited for a few days and it’s one of my favorite things about Paris as a whole while living here. So to actually take part in something so full of history and beauty during a special service to remember those fallen on the battlefield was breathtaking. I remember I just kept thinking to myself, “Is this real? Is it? Thank You, God. Thank You, God.. Thank You.”

I’m still in awe hours later and know that this experience will live within me for the rest of my life. Words can’t describe how humbling it was to be there. I know I’m truly blessed.

Thank You, God.IMG_5542

Catacombs!

IMG_5336So I just got back from hanging out with six million skulls.

I finally went to the catacombs in Paris today! The day before Halloween! Perfect timing!

So this was yet another thing to check off of one of my bucket lists. Anyone who knows me knows that I love scary things. Scary movies, scary books, scary places (I hang out in the cemeteries here in Paris just reading horror novels, yeah I’m creepy) and anything else weird/odd/creepy. So touring the ancient catacombs of Paris was absolutely amazing.

But honestly, I have to confess something. I’d never even heard of the catacombs until my baby brother (he’s 20, and like 6’1″ so he’s definitely not a baby at all – but he is to me) told me about them this past summer. He told me about the movie about to come out, “As Above So Below,” and that it was an actual thing in Paris and asked if I was going to go while I was here. Well, today I went. And I couldn’t help but think the whole time that I wish he was with me. It was just the kind of thing that we would do together. We always went to movies together when I was living in the US and we’d call them sibling dates. Okay, well I would call them that but he wouldn’t. Anyway, we’d go see comedies, kid’s animated films, scary movies.. things like that. And it never failed, when we would go see a “scary” movie, afterwards we’d both be disappointed because we don’t really scare too easily. I love that about that kid. He matches my creepy-weirdness to a T. From our love of scary movies, to our sci-fi passion, this kid is totally my partner in crime. We always used to play Star Wars outside together. BUT! I’m getting off track. That’s a story for a different time. Basically all I’m saying is that my little bro is the bee’s knees. And that the only thing that could have made my tour of the catacombs better today would have been if he were at my side.

And now without further ado, please enjoy some creepy photos.IMG_5260 IMG_5265 IMG_5270 IMG_5275 IMG_5281 IMG_5286 IMG_5288 IMG_5289 IMG_5290 IMG_5294 IMG_5295 IMG_5300 IMG_5306 IMG_5312 IMG_5317 IMG_5318 IMG_5326 IMG_5327 IMG_5328

Yeah, I would. And I did. And yes, I wore that shirt on purpose. Of course.