A Travellerspoint blog

19, Crazy, In Love and In Paris

A Birthday I'll Never Forget

sunny 32 °C

"Paris is Always a Good Idea" - Audrey Hepburn

My 19th Birthday. Another year has passed and what an incredible, life changing year it has been.
I cannot actually believe that this time last year I was sitting in a classroom stressing over exams.
From finishing school, smashing the HSC, to backpacking around Europe and the UK, relocating my life to London and working 2 jobs... this past year sure has been the year of change.

So where else would one want to spend their 19th birthday on the 19th of July, but, yes of course... Paris. My city.
My Clarendon Family and I partied London style, complete with a beautiful cake, friends, free drinks and catching the first tube home. I am so thankful that I could celebrate my birthday with such incredible people!

Alas, I was off to Paris on the Eurostar (which I would highly recommend).
After some inconvenient money issues, metro issues and meeting issues, I was finally reunited with my girl, Jess who I'd be staying with.
Our meeting was plucked from the scenes of a dramatic romance film where two lovers are finally reunited. We ran and held eachother in a strong embrace as we both cried, so happy to see my best friend.
After a rollercoaster of an evening, I crashed hard. The last thoughts I had as an 18 year old was WOW.

I awoke to the smell of coffee and croissants. I was covered in colourful balloons and Jess brought me breakfast in bed, Parisienne Style. We listened to music and I opened my beautiful letters from loved ones. A knock at the door startled me and Jess had a smirk on her face. In walked a cute French boy with a delivery from Piere Herme. In the parcel was an ice cold bottle of luxury champagne and a divine selection of Frances finest macaroons from my family. Even though they couldn't be with me, I knew their hearts were. We had a beautiful lunch at a local Japanese restaurant (where else would you go in Paris?). I braved the sweltering heat and wondered into Montmartre to my favourite place in Paris, the Sacre Coeur. It really is the most stunning view in the whole of the city. Forget about la Tour Eiffel or d'Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre Coeur is to Paris as a smile is to Audrey Hepburn.
I lost myself in the backstreets, away from all the tourists, venturing through winding little streets, past a vineyard, along Rue de Saint-Oeun until I passed a little jewellers. A golden watch caught my eye and after all, it was my birthday. I chatted to the lovely French owner (in French!) and he even gave me a discount especially for my birthday.

Now, I realise i usually theme my entries around coffee, however, Paris in the middle of summer is no time to be drinking coffee, because we all know, Parisiennes don't sweat. Instead, I traded my hot sticky coffees in for beautiful, decadent, happy hour cocktails. We sat out on the sidewalk of the brasserie, and watched the world go by whilst devouring a delicious cheese platter and multiple cocktails.

I honestly had such a beautiful birthday! The only thing that could have made it better would be if my family had been there with me, but I assure you that my European family made my day such a beautiful one.

The rest of my escape to Paris was spent relaxing, wondering the streets of the city and experiencing Jess' Parisienne, amazing lifestyle . Jess took me to an extravagant cabaret show la Nouvelle Eve and then to a club to indulge in free drinks. We also witnessed history, seeing the final stage of le Tour de France whilst having ice cream and trying to escape the blistering sun.

Before I knew it, my birthday weekend had come to an end and it was time to head back home to london.
As I sat on the Eurostar, staring out the window, I reflected on the past year and how much my life has truly changed, all the incredible people I've met, all the amazing things I've seen and done and all the memories I now have.
I've changed so much, but I believe for the best. I look at things and people differently now, and see obstacles and challenges I can overcome. Don't get me wrong, the past 7 months have not been easy and I still get worried, stressed and scared. But I think as long as you embrace all the good things in your life and focus on those, with a little support and encouragement from your loved ones, with a cocktail, a coffee, a sad movie and some chocolate, you can overcome anything.

I've had a birthday and life experiences I'll never forget, making me think about what the next year will bring.
But now I can firmly agree with Miss Audrey Hepburn that Paris is ALWAYS a good idea.
xxx
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Posted by missadelaide 05:29 Archived in France Tagged paris friends family love birthday change coffee cocktails cheese champagne journeys city_of_light macaroons croissants Comments (0)

Sunshine - the ultimate medicine

If London was a person, it would be bipolar. A whirlwind of colours, sounds, lights and scents, constantly changing and fluctuating from week to week, hour to hour, minute to ticking minute.

Recently, work has consumed my days.
Alarm, snooze, breakfast, work, dinner, shower, breaking bad, sleep, alarm...

The medicine to this sick routine is the knowledge that soon it is my birthday and ill be off to Paris. And the daily smile I get from my barista at Starbucks. I can't believe the difference it makes to my work ethic. Just knowing that I have something amazing to look forward to, numbs the fluctuating emotions the London spits at you.

However, she is happy today. A beautiful 25degrees, blue skies and cool breeze. We smile together whilst I soak up the warm rays in our backyard. I have a bit of a nostalgic moment this morning, as I sip my coffee. Thinking back on all the people I've met, the places I've been, and the things I've accomplished, the routine I'm in all seems worth it, just to do it all again.

As I write in my blog, about all the faces I've met, I wonder how many people have included me in their blogs, their journals, their photos and thoughts. It's such an interesting concept, thinking about who's life you might've touched in one way or another.

Anyway, I better get back into my routine. I'm now charged up from the sun and can't wait to smash work over to enjoy the beautiful day whilst London is still happy.

Posted by missadelaide 06:35 Comments (0)

All these little things

Isn't it funny how the smallest things are often the ones that make the biggest impressions on our lives?
How its always the moment you're letting go, a spark ignites, pushing your forward harder and faster than you imagined.
I thought I had my mind made up about Paris, the city of light. A big, dirty, beautiful city. Yes it's absolutely gorgeous, but personally, there was always something missing. I didn't know what it was, was it the rude waiters? The overpriced food? The sleezy men on the metro? Or the lingering urine smell?
I wanted so badly to love Paris, but something just wasn't right.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved my morning, lunch and afternoon croissants, the breath taking sights, language, the sexy men on the metro and the food...
I believe every city is like a human being, some people meet them for a few hours and see the surface, and judge it on their highlights or flaws, as we inevitably do. However, once you take the time to sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee and open up with that city, you are truly immersed in the truth of that city and only then can you experience it.
I had had numerous coffees with Paris, but like it's inhabitants, she was stubborn and rude, unwilling to open up.
I was beginning to lose hope, maybe this beauty just isn't what I always thought? A crushing realisation for my thirteen year old self swooning over the romantic city.

With some close friends we ventured her lonely, dark streets... The crisp spring air chilling out bones and soul.
We ascended up a hill, with each step, a small part of me, fighting for her, for myself and for light.

I couldn't believe the physical effect the pinnacle of the hill had on me. I gasped as I looked out over the beautiful city. Small orange flames dotted the Black Sea of culture, food, language and love. Chills spiralled down my back, my blood pumping faster and harder as if preparing for something amazing.
We continued to walk in silence, our words captured by her selfless beauty.
We stopped.
My cheeks burnt red and my heart stopped.
Paris, the kind, cruel, beautiful, incredible woman stole my heart from my chest.

The Eiffel Tower, so tiny in the distance, twinkled like one thousand stars in the nights sky.
How did something so big, appear so small yet so stunning? I felt I could reach out and pluck it from the glowing city and put it in my pocket.
My thirteen year old self squealed with excitement as I realised Paris was everything an more I had believed it to be.

This beautiful lady, Paris, showed me so much more than her beauty, but how things are never what they seem. That each dream is beautiful and achievable regardless of the obstacles that stand in your way. and that you should never judge anyone based on your first impressions and judgements, because sometimes they're saving the best of themselves for a special moment, one that you'll never forget.

Posted by missadelaide 15:20 Comments (0)

Ooh la la.... Paris, you are so beautiful

Carpe Diem

Paris...
The City of Light, The City of Love.
Oh how I adore Paris... the cobblestone streets, sweet aroma of bread drifting from boulangeries, the sexy french accent and just the atmosphere that Paris offers.
I am a hopeless romantic, so with Paris being the epitome of romance, I was in my element.

My week in Paris held many memorable days and nights.
From wondering through the graves of the beautiful Pere Lachaise, drooling at the marvel of Versailles, laughing and screaming at Euro Disney, to eating fromage with baguettes, drinking red wine and watching the world pass by.
I must confess my disappointment at the fact that coffee in Paris is tres merde. However, it's all about the experience of having that coffee; where you are and who you're with.

I absolutely love bonding over a nice cup of coffee, and that's what I did with two London chaps I met in the cemetry of Pere Lachaise. After hearing English, I asked if I could join them on the hunt to find Oscar Wildes grave. We ended up hanging out all day, talking about (quite morbid topics but environmentally reasonable) our funerals and what sort of graves we would want ourselves. It's these sort of conversations which make you realise how lucky you are to be alive, young and healthy in a beautiful place in the world. When your eyes are opened up by two complete strangers, you really being to truly appreciate all the little things in life, and when that happens, the air smells fresher, your food tastes sweeter and the sky seems brighter. It really is an amazing feeling which when it strikes, I feel completely empowered.

Disneyland... the happiest place on earth... need I say more?
Keeping it brief, I had the best day EVER! I wore Minnie Mouse ears all day and thrived on the adrenaline pumping through my body. Life gets a bit crazy sometimes, so it was just great to act like a kid for a day, where my biggest issue was to chose between fairy floss or lollies. It was magical, living in an innocent, beautiful land, where at the end of the day, you can take a little part of that magic home with you, to help your dreams come true.

A very special moment for me was venturing up to the Sacre Coeur late one night and witnessing the beauty of Paris at night. With lights twinkling like stars over the horizon, I felt ontop of the world. I completely and utterly fell in love with Paris when I saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up. I really can't explain why I felt this way, but I was completely overcome with emotion. A lifetime of dreams and hopes all being confirmed in this one beauitufl icon shimmering like sequins on a flappers dress in the distance. I will confess, a tear rolled down my cheek after seeing it and I was so escatic to share it with two people I care so much about.

Another great day was when two very dear friends of mine and I ventured into the city. Due to the unfortunate European weather, we took cover from the pouring rain in a beatiful little cafe overlooking the Seine and the Notre Dame. I absolutely love the sound of rain smashing against a dry roof. The constant hum is so soothing and relaxing, we sat back in our seats and watched the grey world pass by. We had amazing crepes which came out with sparklers on them, and there we sat, for a few hours, just taking in the world. They had been backpacking for the past few weeks and it was so exciting to hear about their travels, inspiring my future plans. It was such a lovely afternoon despite the cold, rainy day. Being with friends and knowing that we'll always have these beautiful little moments we can cherish.

Unforunately, all good things must come to an end. It's hard to say goodbye to people you care so much about in a beautiful city like Paris. The thought that I had my Clarendon family to go home to was very comforting, knowing that I'm not alone over this side of the world. Despite my initial sadness leaving my friends, I always keep in mind how lucky I am to have had such amazing relationships and experiences with them. I will always cherish the time we spent together, because I definitely wouldn't be who I am today without them. They're amazing human beings and I'm so blessed to have people like them in my life. I will miss them dearly and I will never forget them.

I learnt many things on my Paris trip. Not just extending my vocabulary (which is increasing with each passing day), or trying to accept that coffee in Paris just really isn't that great, but learning about myself, what I want out of life and what makes me truly happy. Realising that dreams can become a part of reality, and that if you feel strong emotions, you know you experienced something real and amazing.

Posted by missadelaide 15:29 Archived in France Comments (0)

An English Picnic

Hyde Park

Ah sunshine, oh how I adore your sweet lips on my flesh
Sending ripples of pleasure over my exposed body,
In the serenity of nature, my soul so fresh
Ah sunshine, your touch, your smell so sweet and lovely.

I love those days where you don't set out to do anything of particular importance, and you end up doing something really quite amazing.
Today was one of those days, yes it involved coffee, but today was all about quality food, friends and sunshine.

My two housemates and I headed into the city with a burning desire growling from our stomaches. We met up at Starbucks on Park Lane (and yes I find it completely amusing going to places from the monopoly board) and i decided to shake things up a go for a caramel frapuccino, and on a hot london day, it was definitely necessary.
Inspiration struck me from the gooey, sweet goodness of the caramel and we were off to Harrods.

Now I love Harrods... not for the ridiculously priced, Italian leather handbags or cosmetics, but the food.
I cannot stress how incredible the food is there! If you haven't dared venture into the centre of Harrods, I strongly recommend entering with a blindfold and follow your nose and tastebuds.
The food is freshly made everyday and is reasonably priced.
I usually opt for a sandwich or croissant, pastry really is my weakness, however, we decided to go gourmet ourselves.
We stocked up on baguettes, salami, ham, chirizo and brie, and with out mouthes salivating, we headed to hyde park.

We settled down in cute little deck chairs, in the sunshine, overlooking the lake... it really was so beautiful.
Where I'm from at home, I'm surrounded by nature. I live near the beach and love nothing more than walking along the beach, listening to the melodic waves caress the shore and exploring our headland and hearing the dissonant crash of ferocious waves against rocks.
In London, you can sometimes feel imprisoned by concrete...
Words cannot describe how free I feel in nature, and sitting in the park, feeling the sunshine on my skin, eating our incredible food, listening to the ducks and swans sing and the hum of people enjoying their afternoon was absolute bliss.

It's little moments in time like these that my spirit escapes my body and joins the sparrows in the sky and contemplates everything that's happening at this moment in time and just how lucky and blessed I am. My imagination runs wild as I took a little nap.
My daydreaming was interrupted by a man kicking us off our chairs as our hour had expired. All warmed up like lazy lizards, we headed home.

I really did have an incredible day today, food, friends, sunshine and freedom... and this is why I'm loving, living in london.

Posted by missadelaide 15:04 Comments (0)

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