The 26th of each month is a good day. Not only is it pay day, but it's the day that the next month's roster is released and I can start planning all of my worldly adventures. When I received my May roster I had no complaints, other than an afternoon London smack dab in the middle of my great month. It's a hectic flight and the weird timings make it difficult to do much during the layover. I figured I'd make due with it, seeing as how I'd been blessed with not one, but two trips to my beloved home country. Just imagine my excitement when I received an email from a girl begging me to take her Paris flight in place of my London! I didn't hesitate for a second, immediately accepting her request… I was going back to Paris, beautiful Paris!
The day of the flight had finally arrived and I was on my typical pre-Paris high. I don't know what it is, but the city captivates me. I couldn't wait to go back!
Among our crew were 3 girls on their very first operational flight, and one girl on her supy flight, her very first ever flight as crew! I thought back to my supy flight, a traumatizing trip to Cochin, India. She had no idea how lucky she was! 3 of the girls decided to tag along as I made plans to venture into the city. The media was a buzz with news of what was said to be "Rapture Day" on May 21st. I didn't believe it for a second, but in the off chance that the world was actually going to end the next day, I had every intention of enjoying my last day on Earth in the beautiful city of Paris. After an extremely busy flight, made more chaotic by the fact that half of the crew were brand new, we were in sunny France and ready to head out.
We'd agreed to meet 30 minutes after checking into our hotel rooms, but I wasn't the least bit surprised when I came to the lobby and the others were nowhere to be found. For people who can't be a minute late for work, crew are sure not punctual when it comes to anything else. The last girl to arrive was 20 minutes late, coming just in time. If it weren't for the others, who were far more patient than me, I would have left her behind. The Champs d'Elysees was waiting! We finally set off in our taxi to the city. Despite the fact that it was my 4th and their 1st time in the city, I was definitely the most excited. We got off at the Opera and began wandering without a care in the world. It was a beautiful spring afternoon and nothing could bring me down, not even the miserable supy girl who whined and complained more than anyone in Paris ever should. I understood that she was tired. We'd all been up since 4 am, but if she was this negative on her very first trip I'd hate to see her a few months from now.
We walked and walked and snapped photos around every beautiful corner. The buildings surrounding me were older than any in any country that I've ever lived in. The city was busy and crowded, but at the same time so much more relaxed than other huge cities I've visited.
Down the street I spotted a familiar green sign. I informed the others that I'd found "Laduree" and it was mandatory that I go inside. I was simply unable to pass by dessert heaven and not step foot in the door. I left with box of macaroons, happy as could be. The others trusted my advice and purchased treats for themselves as well.
Back outside, we strolled through parks full of green trees. Unable to wait to get to a restaurant, we decided to stop at a hot dog stand in the midst of a busy park. You have to understand that traveling to foreign countries is my life, and occasionally I long for comfort foods. Only in Paris will you have a hot dog served in French bread. It was delicious!
We continued walking past the designer stores on the Champs d'Elysees all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. The newbies posed for more photos as I scanned the area for the nearest metro station entrance. I'd promised to navigate, and I wasn't about to let the others down. We found the station, purchased our tickets, and set off to go to the Eiffel Tower! I felt like a tour guide as I happily led the girls out of the station and around the corner to catch their first glimpse of the tower in all of its glory. It didn't matter that I'd seen it more than a few times already. It's one of those things that doesn't lose it's magic after one visit. A lengthy photo session followed, as the girls posed for in hopes of the perfect new Facebook profile photo. I took a ton of photos, despite being well aware of the fact that I had more than enough photos of the Eiffel Tower to last me a few years. We inched closer and closer to the tower, stopping every 5 metres for more photos. I didn't object! At the base of the tower I spotted exactly what I'd come to find… crepes!! After much contemplating I opted for a chocolate strawberry crepe, which I devoured as I sat watching the world pass me by. My goodness, French crepes sure are amazing.
I insisted that we walk underneath the tower, and the others followed willingly. I found it a bit odd that I was so much more enthusiastic than the rest, but I suppose that's just me. I tend to get very excited when it comes to certain places.
It was a beautiful Friday evening and we just sat for awhile taking it all in before agreeing to go back to the hotel. Everyone was feeling a bit tired, and supy girl was starting to really irritate all of us with her complaints. We caught a taxi back to our hotel, and headed to our respective rooms for the evening.
I slept like a baby until the next morning. Feeling guilty but satisfied, I indulged myself in my macaroons from Laduree instead of going downstairs for the buffet breakfast. They were just as great as I'd remembered, and the best way to start the day! A short while later it was back to Dubai, as much as I didn't want to leave.
Even after my 4th time in Paris, I'm still on a high from the city of love!