Lili's Travel Diary #16: Paris, Days 2 & 3

In case you missed it, I did so much amazing stuff in Paris that I decided to split my 4 days there into a 3 part post series. If you'd like to hear about my awesome day one, please click here!

Day Two

Day two started off with a quick French breakfast (one pain au chocolat please and thank you!) and then a bucket list goal of mine: Notre Dame! Not only was my inner child waiting for Quasimodo to appear around the corner, but my inner history nerd was squeeing in delight for this entire morning. Even if my legs hated me after that climb. Climbing Notre Dame gave me my biggest work out of my trip here. It absolutely killed my legs, but it was oh so worth it. You are given the opportunity to stop several times at different levels of the towers to see multiple views, and it was so breathtaking. The climb is free for Paris Pass holders and students who come from countries within the European Union (yes, if you study abroad, this counts). If you ever get to Paris, I can honestly say this is so worth it. This climb was one of my favorite parts of this trip, even though it was freezing. Once again, bundle up and be prepared for the windy weather up there.

Below you will find several of the beautiful views from Notre Dame.

I had to get at least one in with a gargoyle!

And, last but not least, let's not forget to take a moment to admire Emmanuel, the bell of Notre Dame.

Once we climbed down Notre Dame (thankfully it is so much easier going down!!!), we decided to go on a Seine River Cruise. This cruise was included with our Paris Pass, so we figured why not. Unfortunately, this cruise is where the drama started. I am choosing not to go into it because I want to remain positive with this post, but I will say that this is where I learned how important it is to choose your travel companions wisely. They need to have similar ideals to you. If you like to go off on your own, they need to respect that and vice versa. It doesn't work out when you have several people who are okay with separating and someone who simply is not. As someone who likes to go off on her own, I am making sure I only travel now with people who are okay with that and know my tendencies beforehand.

With that being said, I'll be honest and mention that I spent a lot of this cruise in tears or absolutely shocked at just how much a person upset me, which is really unfortunate, but I did get some killer views of the Eiffel Tower. I would not recommend going out of your way to splurge on this cruise if you do not absolutely want to. It's nice, but the Parisian views are significantly better on land. And also I just don't associate this cruise with positivity of any kind.

Moving on, we went on this terrible lunch adventure which didn't work out because the one restaurant someone wanted to go to closed at three and they didn't look it up beforehand. Piece of advice we learned on this trip: if you are actually planning to eat at a specific place and not just wander around for lunch, look up their hours! Some places apparently close immediately after a certain service time. I didn't know such a thing existed until this moment, really.

After this not-so-great lunch mishap, we ended up at the Musee de l'Orangerie to get a quick glimpse at Monet's famed Water Lilies. This is a series of huge works, so the picture you see is a mere fraction of its beauty. I sat in this room and was absolutely mesmerized. I wish I had a talented bone in my body! haha

Next we headed to Tour Montparnesse. This is yet another thing included in our Paris Pass. Montparnesse Tower is the tallest building in Paris, minus the Eiffel Tower. When looking at the Parisian skyline, it's all beautiful and then there's this big blob of a black building standing above all the rest. After erecting this attraction, Paris created building laws so as nothing else could ruin its skyline. With that in mind though, the views are pretty great! The plan was to watch the sunset from it, but again, no sunset! We did admire the views and relax a little, so peep this before and after of Paris in the daylight and Paris in the nighttime I took from its many observation points.

Left daytime, Right nighttime

We ended up finding a traditional Parisian restaurant. There was no English menu and most people spoke French, so it was a bit awkward for us to figure things out but nonetheless wonderful because we had an amazing time. I also got my first ever bite of creme brulee! Afterwards we headed home. I had an emotionally exhausting day on top of it being physically exhausting, and I was ready to turn in for the night to prepare for day three's adventures.
The Louvre




Day Three

I was determined to put the past behind us and start anew on day three, so I woke up with a smile on my face as we headed straight for The Louvre! Built in an old palace, the museum itself is something worth beholding. We decided to start the day there so we could run straight for The Mona Lisa without having to deal with major groups of tourists like we would if we went in the middle of the day. Going into it, everyone told me that this painting would be the most disappointing aspect of this trip because, in the end, it is a small painting that you're over ten feet away from in order to protect it. I suppose that it was underwhelming in that regard. But to be in its presence after learning so much about it through grade school was awesome nonetheless.

So this is what my hair looks like from the back as I artistically stare at this work of art.
Also had to say what's up to my dear friend Venus de Milo.

And let's not forget my obligatory tourist photo that took forever to stage, but makes me happy all the same.
Can you tell that the sun was so badly in my eyes?
After spending a few hours in The Louvre, we went to the The Avenue des Champs-Élysées. This is the boulevard for shopping in Paris. We walked up and down it, grabbed lunch at an Italian place because it is a touristy area after all, and then almost died while making our way to the beautiful monument at the end of the street: The Arc de Triomphe.

Once again, climbing this monument is included in the Paris Pass, but students should be able to do it for free if not for a discounted price. Unfortunately, the fourth person in our group left half her Paris Pass at home and was not allowed to climb, but the ticket ladies forced the three of us up without her to stop holding up the line and we climbed away. Thankfully, this was the easiest climb we endured with a strategic resting point along the way.

This is what nonstop climbing does to myself, Monica, and Julia (left to right), but the views were once again so worth it. I am so thankful for these two girls getting me through the emotional craziness of this trip and being my rocks here in London even today. I love them to pieces.

Once we exited the arc, we headed back down the Champs-Élysées with a purpose. I would never forgive myself if I did not stop into Laduree for their overpriced but totally necessary macaroons. Walking inside is like a dessert lovers heaven because everything looks so delectable! I splurged on a fancier case as a souvenier that I am going to turn into a glasses case in the future and I have no regrets. Verdict: chocolate macaroons are still the best, but their vanilla is ridiculously buttery, and I liked their famous Marie Antoinette macaroon too. I went big by trying a green apple one, which didn't wow me, and their raspberry macaroon is what you would expect it to be.

Nom nom nom
Bathroom selfies with Mon are totally necessary when they're this fancy. We definitely did not belong here! haha
Foodie goal achieved! I loved their Alice in Wonderland window decor.
After we grabbed our goodies, we went to a wine tasting that was once again included in the Paris Pass. I think everyone should definitely do a wine tasting in Paris if given the opportunity. I brought a bottle of sweet white back with me that I'll be indulging in with my friend when she visits in May simply because it is a way of life in Paris. 

Unfortunately, more drama went down at the wine tasting, but this time I had had enough. I left to go off on my own and explored the Tulerie Gardens for an hour and a half to allow myself to have peace of mind before joining up with my girls at the Centre Pompidou to check out their beautiful art exhibits and eat some street crepes for dinner. Again, this is a cool museum I could spend hours in. I'd highly recommend checking it out if you are ever given the chance. 

In the background of the picture to the left you can see a smaller arch. This one was erected for Napoleon's triumphs, but he deemed it too small and instead ordered famous Arc De Triomphe we know today to be built in his honor.


Once this night was over, all hell broke loose back in our AirBNB. I look back on this night and just shake my head. I learned a lot. I learned that if people are just going to hurl names at you over and over and threaten you repeatedly, sometimes friendship just isn't meant to be. With my shock factor at an all time high and confusion ruining my time in Paris because I just had no idea what was going on, I made the executive decision to go off on my own for my fourth and final day in Paris. The girls also made the same decision, and this was the best decision I could ever make because my last day in Paris was my favorite. I had a day to do the things I wanted to do with nobody bringing me down with emotional baggage. It made the memories of this trip so, so wonderful after these two days of tumult. 

In retrospect, I suppose that's why I paired these two days together. Lots of drama, and it's easy to just forget about it all when you gloss over it.

Stay tuned for the final post in this series talking about my final and best day in Paris!


  1. Awesome pictures!! Looks like you all are having a fabolous time!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Aw, I'm so sorry to hear about all the drama that took place :(. It's good that you stepped away and took some time to yourself, though. I'll definitely keep your advice in mind if/when I travel or study abroad. I'm hoping your fourth day makes up for it!

    My dad would love those macaroons; he's always going on about how he wants me to make some (but they are so hard!) so if I ever go there with him, I'll definitely check out that bakery. Btw, you're right-- everything does look fancy! As for the picture of you admiring art, you can caption it "art admiring art" ;).

    1. My fourth day definitely did!

      I heard it is a true challenge to make macaroons. I can barely make macaroni and cheese, let alone macaroons! haha

      bahahaha, your last comment made me laugh. Thank you for stopping by, Jess!