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30th Birthday Travels Part 2: Paris

Let me just start by saying, I already know I'm hella late writing my blog about the last part of my Birthday. Please... Forgive me. No really, I've just been so busy especially since I have started work, but enough of that. Let me just dive in. As most of you know or at least the ones that follow me on Instagram, I went to Paris and Nice, France for my 30th Birthday. Not as many touristy things were planned like they were before when I went with my sister for the first time the day after Christmas 2016-2017.This time I was meeting my friend Adriene, whom I hadn't seen since I left the states a little over two years ago and she had visited Paris before as well. I was excited to get a piece of America by seeing her without having to go there. Sad to say, but I miss friends and family, but not the country, especially the state in which it is in right now, but that's another blog for another time.

Prior to meeting her in Paris, we talked about meeting up at the arrivals section of the airport we were flying into and catching an Uber or the metro to her cousins' house, with whom we were staying with. I was so thankful that she had family there that we could stay with because it definitely cut cost on the trip. Thanks cuz! All we had to do was get to each other. However, before Adriene and I reunited I realized although we were coming from different directions, as expected, we were going to land in DIFFERENT airports. This was not the plan. Somewhere between being too excited to see each other and boarding the plane, we never bothered to double check if we were arriving at the same airport.

Not only that, I didn't even think to ask for her cousin's name or address just in case any of this happened, which it clearly did. I had only realized that this error was made when I was trying to look for the time that she was supposed to land in the airport I had just arrived to. What was worse, I couldn't get in contact with her because her phone wasn't receiving calls. So, stuck and trying to figure out how to reach her...think Sidra think...ah hah! Facebook! Going through her facebook pictures with the airports' wifi to thank, had me feeling like a prying distrustful lover going through their partners' social media.

As I scrolled through pictures going as far back as 2014, I finally stumbled upon photos from the last time she visited Paris. "Her cousin has to be in one of these pics," I thought to myself. And just like that, BOOM! However, as soon as I got in contact with her cousin, Adriene calls me, and I inform her that we're at two different airports, and that I'm on my way to meet her at her airport. An hour and a half later we reunited and made it to her cousins' house. Hell of an introduction eh? Maybe a bit long, but bear with me. I'm trying to take you on a journey. ' WAIT, come back! I promise you'll enjoy it!'

Ok, so where was I... separate planes, social media investigation, cousin, ah yes. So, we arrived at her cousins' house and tried to plan the days. Honestly, all I wanted to do was have a picnic near the Eiffel tower, go to an ice bar, have a photoshoot in front of the Louvre and go to Disneyland, but seeing as though the weather was only warm the day before we arrived and the day we left, the option of having a picnic was thrown out. So, preparing for our photo shoot the next day allowed us to just iron our clothes and chill the rest of the day. The following day the weather was predicting rain, so we opted to explore the city instead. We got breakfast, went to Notre Dame, stumbled upon bookshops and got caught in the storm while taking a stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens, all still while in the rain.

After a bit of a long day, we went back to Adriene's cousin's house and looked up things to do at night. Because my Airbnb experience in Portugal was well organized and fun, I decided to see what Airbnb had to offer in Paris and it led us to an Ice KUBE Bar for only $23 which included two cocktails and two shots. So, around 9:30 pm we headed out to get dinner and found why that bar was so cheap. Don't get me wrong, I think the bar itself was cool, but it definitely had potential. It also didn't help that our ride to the icebar had us in an area that was a bit...unkempt, for lack of a better word. Upon entering the freezing cold bar, we were given winter coats and were served our first drink.

Now, the only thing that threw me off were the recycled old war medicine bottles that the drinks were served in, which caught me off guard because I could've sworn that in an ice bar your cocktail should be served in well... ice. I'm just sayin'. However, we weren't gonna let that stop us from enjoying ourselves or the potential threat of contracting smallpox. Nope! Ladies and Gents , we were gonna turn up! Plus, because there weren't that many people in the bar, the bartender gave us two more extra shots. I enjoyed it, but by the look on everyone else's faces with noses scrunched up from disgust, I'm assumed they didn't. One even described it as Robitussin, but she was also drunk before she came into the bar, so I just ignored her.

Afterwards, we got some pizza from a nearby shop and headed home. The next day was the photoshoot in front of the Louvre that we had planned. Although it went unnoticed, the sweat that I could feel in the suit jacket I was wearing as I stood in front of the Louvre as onlookers gawked and even took pictures, can give you a picture of how uncomfortable and nervous I was. However, the show must go on. Lights, camera and action! As my friend was directing me to model in different poses I was secretly wanting to bust loose and do all the many poses I used to practice in the mirror when I was younger before hopping in the shower. In my mind I was posing to the beat of Laurieann Gibson infamous words "Boom Boom Kack! Kack, Boom, Pow!" However, I, nor my friend was impressed when I started off posing like this.

Things eventually got better and I felt more and more comfortable as I kept internally encouraging myself to get out of my comfort zone. So we were able to capture good pictures and of course my friend killed it, since she's already a model. For photos of our Louvre photoshoot you can look and follow us here and here. After we finished killin' it, because we did, we made our way back home until going back out later that night to enjoy, cheese, wine and escargot and excitedly anticipated the next day which was the big SHABANG of my birthday celebration.

DISNEYLAND! The place where dreams come to live and or die depending on your perspective. Between getting on the teacups, being mesmerized by the artistry in it's a Small World or waving to my favorite Disney characters during the parade, I had a ball! The mission of redeeming my childhood was accomplished and I enjoyed every last minute of it. The only two minor setbacks were the man that tried to hustle us into paying him double the price of a metro ticket in order to exit the metro and the fact that the food courts with the exception of one, were closed; and in true amusement park fashion the one that was open was the most expensive. So, after ordering an appetizer to split we made our way to the parade of characters waving to Minnie, Goofy and The Little Mermaid to name a few and millirocked ourselves to the exit of the park making our way back into Paris. By the end of that day while riding home on the metro I thought to myself, in the words of Ice Cube, " Today was a good day."

Last stop, Nice, France.

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