Wow, what a year this has been for me. I have traveled so much, I am not sure how I managed to make it all happen but I did 🙂
Left the country 3 times – Ecuador, Mexico & Paris
Took at rooftop tent camping trip to the west coast for 3 weeks
Was in 2 weddings & 2 bachelorette weekends
Went on an airplane 11 times this year
It has been a travel year!!
2018 = 2+0+1+8 = 11 –> a master number, magical portal year
I guess I achieved my goal as my blog is called “travel muse” and the master number 11 helped me complete this magical year!! Well to finish off this 2018, I went to PARIS with three of my girl friends for a weekend. Everyone thought we were crazy to do it in a weekend but we managed 🙂
My girlfriends, Mollie, Jen & Christine, all live in my home town of Bucks County, PA. Jen found this deal, ROUND TRIP $331 to Paris. Us three said BOOK IT!! (And my angel number #31, it was a sign I had to go with them!)
***I am living in North Carolina at the moment helping my family as my uncle gets better from leukemia bone marrow transplant. I am helping my aunt with my cousins and household chores. Just temporary until about March-ish & she also said do it! As it is nice to take some breaks from this job.***
So we flew to France on December 6th night and came back Monday night on December 10th. I actually missed my connecting flight back to NC and didn’t make it home until Tuesday the 11th ha!! If you know me, I am dealing with some serious flight karma & I am clearing that once 2019 comes around, I just know it 😛
It was a 7 hour flight out of Newark to France and I slept the ENTIRE time as my friend Christine, did not.. Idk how she managed to be peppy when we landed. When we arrived it was 1:30pm on Friday, since Paris is 6 hours ahead of the United States, so we Uber-ed to our Airb&b and settled. Where we stayed was super close to all the destinations.
Later that afternoon after we got settled, we adventured to the Luevre Museum and saw what was around our home for the weekend. We went into the light up triangle and I was in AWE of the lights and the construction of the building. We went inside and got ourselves a map to see where the famous Mona Lisa painting was. Then we realized how BIG the Luevre actually was — it became an on running joke the entire weekend.
We went to bed early that night because we had an early train ride to Reims, France to have a champagne tour. Before booking this Paris trip with the girls the Yellow Vest Protests weren’t going on. Luckily they were only happening on the weekends, on Saturdays, and we had this tour booked prior to any knowledge. It worked in our favor. We were out of the city early in the morning and then came back around 8pm missing all the action.
Unfortunately, we got to Reims about 3 hours early to tour more champagne wineries than the tour, like Veuve Clicquot, BUT they were all closed due to the protests even though we weren’t in the city. So we decided to just walk around Reims and take pictures while we waited for our tour to pick us up!
Once picked up, our tour guide was a sweet women who was quizzing us left and right about champagne (& we did not know much at all!!). She also was surprised that young 26-year-olds were on a trip together just to go on a trip. She usually would tour older women!
We started off at Don Perrier tomb stone at a church as him and the monks were the first to start brewing champagne! Then we headed to the champagne roe (which all were closed as well cause of the protests) where we saw Moet & Chandon and a couple other big names. We were touring small local wineries, which still had exquisite champagne, and they weren’t closed.
We learned the Vueve Clicquot widow actually started sitting the champagne a certain way so all the sediment would go to the tops of the bottles. Later, someone invented a machine that was able to only freeze the sediment and could just slip out. Champagne has to sit for some years to really get fermented. At the end, we of the tour we left with two bottles and 6 glasses to take home with us. It was a successful day for sure!
It was suppose to rain all weekend but luckily it held up for us thus far. We got dropped off at the train station and headed back to Paris that night. We opened a bottle, brought out our glasses, and poured some on the train ride home (along with some macaroons we were able to scoop before we hoped on the train!) You can drink in public in France, Mollie had informed us so we enjoyed ourselves on the way back!
It was about a 20min walk back to our little flat from the train station. We started walking and it was drizzling, as we kept walking it started to DOWN POUR. I did not have a water proof jacket for the weekend, just a thick warm fuzzy jacket and an umbrella… Well I never took out the umbrella cause we were walking fast. We all were drenched by the time we got back to our flat. We dried off, rain had stopped so we adventured out and had a nice dinner about 5 min walk away. We some how didn’t make it to bed until about 2am cause we jet lagged & maybe drank some coffee at 6pm.. HA!
Luckily Sunday was just walking around and adventuring, no exact plan, we didn’t need to be anywhere! In Paris, there was the river going through the city where you could get on and get off at certain stops. It was 19 euros for two days so we decided to adventure by boat!! It was called the Boata Boat. It stopped at every tourist spot you needed to go. It was raining so it was a nice little break from the rain and walking.
Our first stop we decided to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was FREE to get in and since it was Sunday there was a sermon going on and WOW did that make it all that much more magical hearing the Pope talk in the french. I lit a candle for my family and for my loved ones. We were able to look at the beautiful stain glass and here some hallelujahs. Probably one of my favorite parts to the trip. My ears were ringing waiting in line, I could feel spirit around.
Once we took that in, we came out and it was DOWN POURING. We decided to just go back on the boat for a little bit. The sun popped out as we headed to the EIFFEL TOWER! Ugh, I couldn’t wait for this part!!!!!! We were able to just see it lit up our first night in Paris but being its presents, I was excited.
Heading to that destination I wrote a poem about traveling which will be my next blog post! Writing and poems have been my creative outlet lately because my paints are back in CO. I have some watercolors but you can’t layer the same with them.
Anyway, we ended up at the Eiffel tower and it was gigantic and incredible. It gave you the feeling of how small you really are, kind of how I feel when I am on top of the mountain when snowboarding. It also made you look up, which I love doing anyway!
It was about 10 euro to climb it so we got ready to make it up 600 steps!! We were unable to go to the VERY top because of the wind but we made it to the second terrier which was still magnificent! Jen and I the whole trip seemed to be in the back as Christine & Mollie were the guiders / fast walkers. Jen and I liked to take it slow and take in the views were lucky to see. It was on and off rain and as we were at the second level, I called out a RAINBOW!! Yess I asked for one and yesss I received one — even though it was there for maybe .7 seconds, Mollie saw it as my other friends thought I was loosing it.
The only people that believe in magic, will see the magic, as I realized in that moment…. it made my DAY!! Rainbows have been my theme this year and I just lit up inside after that moment. Nothing could rain on my parade.
There was wifi at the tower so as we headed down, Jen FacetTimed her husband and I just HAD to do the same. I FT Ryan, although it was about 7:30am in Colorado (8 hour difference there instead of 6 to the east coast). I wanted to share this special moment with him cause wow I could of spent a couple ours in up there in the clouds…
Me and my double air signs over here (Aquarius Sun & Gemini Moon) — loving to fly, loving to be up in something high in the sky, sometimes I do need to be pulled down & grounded ha, my friends where there for that!
We headed down to walk a little more and to get some fun pictures the Eiffel tower behind us. The rain stayed away after the morning, we were soo thankful! It was about 3pm and we hadn’t eaten any lunch yet so we were all starving. We went to this little restaurant for some pizza and lattes — which Paris had the best coffee by far! We ordered three as our server told us to do so. Jen ordered this pizza with honey and goat cheese on it — BY FAR the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!! Christine wanted the margarita but apparently in France that just means a regular cheese pizza so she was a little bummed. We had full tummys to continue to adventure onward.
We stumbled across a little street with some venders and Christmas lights up which that was we were excited about with the holidays around the corner. Of course we hadn’t really stopped at any chocolatiers so this was our chance!! We each got a yummy delicious treat and some chocolates to take home. In France, the sun sets a bit earlier than the States so we walk back towards the tower to see if at night lit up (and had yummy chocolates to eat afterwards.
At dusk the lights slowly turned on. We decided to head across the bridge to get a better view of the tower. The newly waxing crescent moon was out, the sky was turning dark, the tower lit up in gold, it was a beautiful site. At 6pm we read the tower flickers with more lights for 5 minutes every hour on the hour. We ate our desserts and waited patiently.
Like I said the Eiffel Tower was one of my favorite sites and with it flickering and glittering — it was so magical! I already loved the tower and with the lights sparkling, it made it that more special. We enjoyed it for about those five minutes and road the boat back to the Luevre and walked back to our place.
We decided to go out for one more cocktail and head to the outdoor seating at a restaurant. The French ate outside all year around (I think cause they are smokers HA). So heated outdoor seating was a thing AND they even offered blankets. So fun!! We reflected on our trip as it was our last night. We all had a great time but I think it was time to go back.
The next morning, Mollie didn’t feel well — as I thought, gluten overload to a non-gluten eater, so Jen, Christine & I both went out for last tour of France. We saw the palaces and the infamous arch, and said by to the tower. Headed back around, we scooped Mollie and called an Uber for the airport.
We made it there and I had all the anxiety of the world about my flight back to NC, as I booked them WAY TO CLOSE — lesson learned on that one. Luckily, I called United when I landed and they put me on the next flight in the morning as we landed at 10pm. All it cost me was a $100 hotel room for the night so I didn’t have to go home. I made it to NC early the next morning, I say Paris was a VERY successful experience!!
LESSONS LEARNED FLYING THIS YEAR:
— If checking a bag, make sure you are there 1 hour BEFORE the boarding time.
— Insurance doesn’t really matter if you miss a flight, only sometimes if the connecting flight makes you late.
— Book connecting flights with WAY more time in between, especially if you are not familiar to the airport HA.
— DEFINITELY getting TSA pre-checking for 2019 as I learned it is about $75 for 3 years & can miss all the lines.
— When you book a red eye flight, 12AM on that day means the night before head to the airport
— Mantra as well: I am clearing my flight karma & moving forward with ease and grace
2018 was a fabulous year for me.
Traveling, getting more spiritual, first year without school, focusing on myself, figuring my art path, it has been a great year with lots of learning. As I move forward into 2019 I am looking to keep being true to myself, really look at what yoga means to me, find that art path that maybe doesn’t have to pertain to a paint brush, finding what grounds me and what a health routine looks like for me AND making one of my million dollar ideas a reality for me.
That is a jist of what I will still be focusing on as the 2019 intentions come into play on January 31st. Remember as well that 2019=3!! 3 = fun!! But also fun with expressing yourself, fun in creativity, a fun life adventure for 2019! If you look at this new year like that than I think whatever crosses your path, good or bad, it’ll be easier to look at as a learning, fun, positive experience.
I know I will!
Happy New Year, Happy Fun Year, May the light be with you & guide you on the path that you walk! Love & Light