Featured, Travel

An indie in Paris

September 27, 2015
travel,blog,paris,indie

All about Rolls Royce, VIP events and fun adventures with my papa!

In June I was flown to Paris by Rolls Royce to perform at a VIP event for their clients. Since my dad had never been to Europe before, I brought him along!! We had such an epic time, so I journalled about it. (P.s. umm excuse me? why is my spell check telling me that journalled is not a word?!! From now on, journalled is a word.)

SATURDAY JUNE 13th, 2015

travel,blog,trip,flight,parisDad and I left home at noon to arrive at the Toronto airport in the afternoon. We left his car in a sketchy airport parking lot and took the shuttle to departures. Although a little anxious, my dad was also very excited to be starting a new journey with me. He upgraded his seats right behind first class for extra leg room, while I was just fine sitting in the middle of the wings. It was probably the fullest flight I’ve ever been on, and still very smooth. Since this was an overnight flight, we arrived at 8 am on that side of the world. We breezed through customs and were greeted at the airport arrivals by David our Rolls Royce driver. He took us to our hotel by a few detours, circling around the Eiffel tower and the Arc de Triumph. My dad was like a kid in a candy store… There’s only been a few times in life where I have really seen his eyes light up from amazement, and circling through the Arc was the moment I knew it was going to be an amazing trip.

At our hotel we couldn’t check in until 3, so we dropped off our bags and went in search of a breakfast spot.

Little did we know how difficult it would be to find a place that is open BEFORE 12 on a Sunday in Paris! We finally did end up finding a little pizza place near by and finally had a rest and a beer after the hype of the trip over the sea. My dad ordered a burger and I ordered a panzerotti with egg. I figured the egg would be boiled. It wasn’t. Basically it was a raw egg in my panzerotti so it was very different. After we finally checked in, jet lag was finally setting in so we had a little nap.

Not one hour later we had to quickly get our stuff together for a debriefing at Le Musee d’art moderne for my performance that would happen on Tuesday for the Rolls Royce VIP dinner.

The place was quite lovely. We then had a beer in the courtyard and just hung out under the setting sun. We walked back to our hotel via the river to take some photos.

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For dinner, again it was hard finding a decent restaurant open, but we did end up finding a little Lebanese restaurant on our block. We’re so glad we went here! Amazing service. A perfect meal for what we were looking for, and delicious wine. It was already 10pm by the time we started eating which is SUPER late for us, but the sun sets so late and the restaurant was still quite busy, so we didn’t even notice what time it was. Went to bed with full bellies and happy bodies. Bring on tomorrow!

 

MONDAY JUNE 15th, 2015

paris,breakfast,travel,blog

Still on our awesome Jet Lag schedule, I woke up around 10am and we really didn’t get a move on until noon. Now…my dad is a simple man… All he wanted for breakfast was toast and jam. And I was like, we’re in Paris!! There’s no way I am eating only toast and jam for breakfast… So we walked down the street and found a little creperie that looked quite busy. We took a seat and were quickly greeted with smiles and bonjours. We ordered juice and savoury crepes for breakfast. Here in Paris the coffee is great, but when you ask for a plain coffee you usually get espresso, unless you ask for a Cafe Americano, which is espresso with more water. All things we are learning along the way!

 

eiffel,tower,paris,travel

After dinner we walked a short 20 minutes to reach the Eiffel tower and never realized how massive it is up close. Magnificent, and so much detail. We spent a bit of time walking around and appreciating the structure, then continued on our journey for the day.

Walking through the streets of Paris is something else. You really feel like you’re in another world. So much detail on the buildings, and there is quite a rich culture of the Parisienne way of living. Everywhere you go, you see people eating fresh baguettes. The streets are narrow, and the houses and restaurants are all very small and close together. When you’re sitting at a restaurant, you’re usually always sitting at a tiny table, with your neighbor sitting right beside you at their table. You could very easily just hop into their conversation (if you parle francais)!

paris,france,travel,lock,bridge

During our walk we noticed a lock bridge. I had heard of this before coming here, but thought it was being taken down. And then I noticed that almost every bridge in paris is full of locks, adorned with messages, hearts, and beautiful quotes. It’s such an awesome thing to witness. My favourite thing about walking on this bridge and admiring the locks is that you get a little glimpse into peoples lives, without ever meeting them or knowing who they are. I felt bonded.

We got to the Musee D’orsay and it was closed! Of course we had no idea. So we decided it was time for a famous hot chocolate from Angelinas.

Yes it was rich. Yes it was delicious. Yes I could eat it with a spoon!!!

Time for the Arc de Triomphe. We began walking and flagged down a bike taxi to take us there. This was super fun for both me and dad. Only 5 minutes later we were already halfway up the road and the driver let us off. When we got to the Arc we really couldn’t believe how massive it was. The pillars are so much bigger than what you ever expect. We went underground to bypass the roundabout, and came up on the Arc side, finally seeing it up close. So many names of fallen heroes engraved on the monument. We climbed up to the top which was about 8 floors up some tiny spirally stairs. This was fun and I got dizzy. You just seem to keep going up and up, around and around, until you finally get to the daylight again.

 

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Stepping out on the top of the moment was incredible! With 6 roads pointing inwards towards us, making a roundabout around the structure, it is magnificent! I’ll let the photos speak for itself..

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I convinced dad to take the Subway with me to get home, since he hadn’t been on an underground subway for 20 years. He was super reluctant at first, but I told him he didn’t have a choice and he followed me in. It was a breeze. The only time we got lost was when we came out of the subway near our hotel, but we didn’t know where we were. So we walked a few blocks, and decided it was time for wine and pee break. After we re-grouped, we found our way back and got ready for dinner. Walking around the neighbourhood in search for a decent place again, but today was a little easier. We found a little Portuguese place and took the plunge. More wine. More food. More 12pm. We got home so late again! It must be a norm for people to eat so late. Well it’s new to us but we’re slowly getting used to it.

Voila! Until tomorrow.

 

TUESDAY JUNE 16th, 2015

 

Omg! Another late wake up at 1pm today. I probably needed the sleep but man, that seems like half the day is gone already. Since today is performance day, we couldn’t do too much because we were short on time. We got some quick bagels (with jam this time for dad) on the go and tried to hail a taxi but noticed there weren’t any on the streets. We asked our hotel to call a taxi for us but apparently the taxis are on strike today. How convenient the week of the Paris Air Show for them to be on strike!? They must be losing lots of business. Anyway, I was just fine with renting those little bikes instead but dad wasn’t so keen. But as usual, I told him he doesn’t have a choice so I put in my credit card info and rented two bikes for us. All we had to do was follow the river down to Musee D’Orsay which was quite enjoyable. I took some photos while pedaling and didn’t even fall once! Upon arrival at the museum there was a huuuuge line, so we actually just had to turn back and get home so that I could get ready for my gig.

I put on my dress, I put on my pretty shoes, and away we went. (Ok it actually took a lot longer than that, but we all know this info 🙂

 

museum,paris,france,rollsroyce

 

People were bustling like working ants, trying to get everything set up before 7pm show time. From the sound, to the lights, to the decorations, to the food, so many people getting the event ready. Unfortunately the event was just not ready in time, and they were still setting up as guests were walking into the reception area. I felt the tension in the air! Especially when somebody accidentally dropped a box of crystal wine glasses and they shattered everywhere. Sigh. I just had to play right on through!

It sounds quite beautiful, even with the echo of the high ceilings. And yes, the VIPs did notice me up on that little stage. 🙂

 

performance,museum,singer,songwriter

After my performance the guests were escorted into the dining hall. My dad and I had a delicious meal. Perfect wine, light salad, and entree, and a yummy desert. I was meant to go in at the end of the meal and be introduced to the crowd while performing Change the World, but unfortunately since the event was late, we just didn’t have any time left at the end of the evening.  That’s ok because everything still went well, and overall I think everyone was pleased.

 

WEDNESDAY JUNE 17th, 2015

 

scooter,paris,travel,trip

I had big expectations for today. I rented a scooter online, and had a few tourist spots that I wanted to tackle. Dad hated this plan but he had no choice! I missed my Canadian scooter so much, and I couldn’t resist in scooting down the beautiful streets of Paris. You only live once!

So, I was the driver and my dad was the passenger. After moving our hotel to an Airbnb, we took the scooter for a spin. The plan was to climb the Sacre Coeur church, have lunch, and then set off to le Parc de Bagatelle, all on the scoot. Within about 30 minutes of driving blind and getting lost, dad was so anxious and I was getting a little frustrated. My best advice I could give anyone who wishes to rent a scooter in Paris is to GET A GPS! Or bring one before you go. Trying to navigate on the streets in a different country is really difficult and basically impossible if you don’t know the way. What was supposed to be a 15 minute journey to the church ended up being an hour of wrong turns and one way streets. We couldn’t be more frustrated!

We stopped for a bite to eat and to find where the heck we were on a restaurant wifi.

After pre-loading my google map back home, the trip was much easier and actually enjoyable even for dad!

It was a relief to know that we could get back home much easier via google maps.

With still half of the day left, we decided to at least try making the trek to Bagatelle because that is what I have been wanting to see for quite a while… And we couldn’t just sit in our room.. We were in Paris!!!!!

So we gathered up courage, pre loaded the map and set off on our 30 minute journey to the garden via scooter.

This ride was super smooth and chilled, and quite fun! Despite some wonky traffic laws, we made our way just fine.

parc,bagatelle,paris,france,flower

 

The park was stunning. It was everything I could have imagined, and quite the hidden gem in Paris. With VERY few tourists in the part we were at, I believe we were the only ones actually. In fact, there were very few people at all.

We walked around and enjoyed the fresh Paris air for nearly two hours. There was a little cafe that I asked to charge my phone so that we could make it back on my battery power, and we had a coke to stay hydrated. Then I saw this pretty peacock and decided to take a picture. I got so close to it that its feathers on its wings were brushing my cheek. Most people have seen at least ONE peacock in their lifetime, but they are even more stunning in real life.

 

parc,bagatelle,paris,france,peacock

 

Of course on the way back we got lost again because the streets we took up were one ways and we had to go in the opposite direction. It was a bit of a nightmare as it was getting dark and we were wandering around in circles, not knowing which street to get on the right way home.

Eventually my cell battery died again. Viva iphone!!!  So we had to stop and eat something and have a beer because tensions were high!

Again, I charged my phone in le restaurant, and it’s a good thing everyone is so nice about that here because otherwise I would be in trouble and forever lost!

I loaded the map back home and we made it home 20 minutes later. Whew!! What an adventure!!!

Dad was EXTREMELY relieved to have made it home in one peace.

Would I do it again? In a heart beat. 🙂

 

THURSDAY JUNE 18th, 2015

 

Today’s plans are very simple. Paris Air Show!!!

We went downstairs and turned in the keys to the scooter. Then we bought some fruit and bread/croissants for breakfast. Made some tea and coffee, fruit salad and bread for breakfast.

Our Rolls Royce driver picked us up shortly after. He kindly took us to get our dollars changed to Euros since we STILL didn’t have any euros which makes it difficult to get around as some little shops don’t accept credit cards. We changed our dollars and headed off to the big show.

Since we didn’t get our VIP passes yet, upon arrival of the airport we had to wait a good 30 minutes for someone to bring the passes out to us. Then we were driven through the gates, patted down and bags and car checked, and taken straight through the crowds to the doors of the Rolls Royce chalet.

paris,air,show,rollsroyce

We were greeted so nicely by our friends there and were offered a delicious lunch fully stocked with the best red wine I’ve ever tasted. It was probably a million dollars a bottle too. I guess I have good taste 😉

We walked through the show, seeing different aircrafts up close and even inside. I think this was my dads favourite part of the trip, and it was really quite sweet seeing his eyes light up at the event.

 

air,plane,show,paris,jet

 

We got to watch the show with front row seats in the Chalet. We saw five planes take off and land, showing their hot stuff to the big wigs at the event. We even saw the biggest plane in the world that carries 800 passengers do it’s thanng. Also we saw the fighter jet like the fastest and loudest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my whole life. What a cool experience.

 

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We had a final dinner equipped with a pink beer that I wasn’t expecting, and a delicious salad and burger. We shared some wine while packing together for the flight tomorrow.

 

flight,plane,paris,show

 

This really was an awesome way to end our father daughter trip in Paris. I couldn’t be more happy, excited and grateful for the opportunity with Rolls Royce, and the experiences that I shared with my dad. This is something that I will always ALWAYS remember and I can’t wait for the next one.

dad,father,birdseye,travel,paris

Thanks dad for joining me, cause I know you’re reading this 🙂

 

Love you lots,

xoxo

-Jess

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1 Comment

  • Reply Dave Wallace April 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Such an enjoyable story. You bring it all to life. Your words made me feel like I was actually there in Paris with you and your Dad – perhaps enjoying a freshly made crepe. I LOVE crepes!!! You are such a wonderful storyteller. Vous etes magnifique. Je suis enchante!!! Je t’aime. Bon chance mon ami.

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