Hey you! 😁
The third day of our trip was also our last day in Paris before heading to our next destination. 🚆
We tried to squeeze as much as we could the sightseeing activities the day before because we had important things to take care of today - starting with checking out of our hotel and going to the Philippines Embassy in the morning.
It was time to pick up our brand new passports and to process S' passport. We unfortunately came across some issues with her passport the last time and had to process it again. But it seemed like our prayers worked as everything was solved this time. Thank you Lord! 🙏🏻 The nice man working at the embassy jokingly suggested I go pray to Our Lady of Miraculous Medal!
By the way, I just want to make a special shout-out here to the people working at the Philippines Embassy in Paris. We have had only good experiences there. They are accommodating, friendly, easy to get in touch with and always willing to help and find a solution.
As the Philippines Embassy is just walking distance from the Statue of Liberty, we decided to walk there. I'm sure I must have mentioned it here in a past blog post but ... did you know that the Statue of Liberty in Paris and the one in New York face each other? Yup, that's right. I didn't know this little fun fact until a friend told me a few months ago. I don't know why but I find that so interesting!
We had lunch reservations at a very special restaurant and decided to take the bus going there. And that's how our bus adventure of the day started because we ended up spending a lot of time on the bus today. I take the bus all the time in the city where we live and I actually love it - but riding the bus in Paris is nothing like it! Because of the traffic jam, the road works, the bicycles, scooters, and pedestrians, my calculations were all wrong. Thankfully, we made it just in time for our reservation. I'm keeping the restaurant name and the experience secret until the next blog post. It's not a fancy restaurant or anything like that, so don't go expecting too much, but it was a restaurant I've been meaning to try since it opened! And I think it's definitely worth checking out!
The bus ride on the way to the restaurant was long, but the bus ride after lunch going to the Avenue des Champs Elysées felt like forever! Two hours it took! Two hours for like 5 freakin' kilometres! My butt cheeks were numb from sitting for so long! My thighs were hurting. It was warm. We were nauseous. Ugh, it was ... hell. When we finally got to our destination, the four of us just jumped out to the bus, looked at each other, and started laughing at our misery. What were we thinking???
But! If taking the bus in Paris can be stressful, then forget about taxis, especially crazzzyyyyy Parisian drivers. I swear I think I had more than 5 mini-heart attacks during this trip, especially because I was sitting in the front passenger seat. They go left, then right, accelerate, then brake 5 seconds later, there's the honking, squeezing in tight passages, beating the red light, driving on the bus lane. It's just complete chaos! At one point, the taxi driver really forced his way across an avenue and I literally saw cars accelerating towards us before braking a few centimetres from my window. I looked at him and he just casually said to me, "if you don't force yourself in, then they'll never let you go across". Greattttt! I can laugh about it now, but that wasn't always the case.
The Avenue des Champs Elysées is about 2 kilometers long and is known for many things. It is known for its luxury stores, the Arc de Triomphe, the finish of the Tour de France, and as well as the annual military parade on the 14th of July or France's National Day. But most of all, it is known to be "the most beautiful avenue in the whole world". I obviously haven't visited all the avenues in the world, but so far it is the most beautiful avenue I've ever been to, especially in the winter. It is purely magical. ✨
Longchamp, Rolex, Lacoste, Montblanc, Guerlain, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior. If it's luxurious, it's most probably in the Champs. The Husband's aunt was in seventh heaven. And there was one store she particularly wanted to go in. Can you guess which one?
Do you remember when I mentioned something about Paris not having many Chinese tourists this summer? It was in a few blog posts ago. Well, you could definitely tell that that was true by the length of the queue in Louis Vuitton! On a normal day, the queue is usually so long that it goes all the way to the other side of the building. This time around it wasn't too bad, although we still had to wait about 20 minutes before going in.
I actually didn't go in because one, I'm not a window-shopping kind of girl. If I go in a store, it's because I know what I want to buy and I'll buy it. Two, because I just can't financially buy anything in Louis Vuitton at the moment. Part of me would be heartbroken to fall in love with an item and not be able to buy it. And three, I don't really understand the fascination with luxury bags.
I would be lying if I said I didn't like luxury bags. My mom was a big Louis Vuitton fan and she had several bags. Even travelling bags, which never really made any sense to me. But the truth is, if I had the means to buy one, I don't think I would. I feel like you need to be passionate about luxury things to truly appreciate them, which I'm not. I don't particularly take care of my bags. I throw them to the passenger seat when I enter my car. I leave them on the floor or hanging on a hook. I stuff them with anything and everything, so they usually have pen marks inside. But again, if I spent so much money on a bag, then maybe I would be particularly cautious about it. Or maybe I just wouldn't use it that much, just on special occasions.
Aha! That would actually be a great experiment to test. But ... How likely is my banker gonna be cool with the idea of me buying a luxury bag for the sake of a podcast experiment?
Hmmm ... I didn't think so either. 😅😅
I do admire the designs though. If I could, I would probably start my collection with, wait a minute - I had to look this one up -the Chanel Classic Flap which I believe is a timeless classic and Louis Vuitton Montaigne in Monogram Canvas, which is also an iconic piece.
What do you think about luxury bags? Are they worth collecting? Is it a good return on investment in your opinion? 🤔
Ooh and yes, the Husband's aunt did come out of Louis Vuitton with something for herself, which I believe was much cheaper than back in the States. So it was a pretty good deal for her. She also had to remember to get her tax refund at the airport customs on her way back to the states. That's about 70 Euros if I'm not mistaken.
Anyways, that was pretty much how our third day went in Paris. After a quick ride to our hotel, where we left our things at the concierge after checking out in the morning, we headed to the Gare Montparnasse for the next part of our trip. Trust me, you'll want to know what happened next!