It was the longest plane ride, but also the most comfortable I had ever been on. The seats were spacious, there was in flight movies, they even brought dinners around to everyone. It was still a flight and I was excited when it landed but overall, the trip was off to a good start.
I was actually excited now to be in Europe. It had finally hit me. I was in PARIS. I missed Jake and a part of my heart ached a little but I was really just excited to be there. The plan landed with a thud and I immediately turned and looked at mom. You could see how tired she was in her eyes, and I knew my expression had to be no better. It was early morning in Paris, but middle of the night at home.
“I think the first thing we should do is find a Starbucks,” I said looking at her through my exhausted eyes.
“Tori, this is Paris. They have the best coffee in the world. There aren’t going to be any Starbucks,” she said in a way that almost said, “What are you thinking?”
“I bet there’s Starbucks. It’s Starbucks. But even if there isn’t, we should get coffee.”
“Yes, we will absolutely get some coffee, right after we check into our hotel. We need to stay awake and go to bed tonight so we aren’t jet lagged.”
The flight attendant came over the loud speaker first in French then in English she welcomed us to Paris and told us the local time was 9 am.
It’s going to be a long day I thought as I yawned and rubbed my eyes.
We unplanned, made it through customs, and walked to get our luggage. I was staring at the carousel while my mom fumbled with what looked like a million pieces of paper all with different important information on them, our hotel address, train schedules, restaurant guides, easy french sayings, all falling in and out of her hands. I don’t know if it was that I was exhausted, missed Jake, or just being a teenager, but I was irritated watching her fumble with all the papers.
I’ll just stand here and wait for luggage – get a little break from mom. I thought.
I had taken French since 7th grade, but I had never done exceptionally well. I could ask for and understand directions, and order food at a restaurant, but I could not deal with the fact that it had none been two hours, the carousel had stopped moving and out luggage was nowhere to be seen.
My mom was now in full panic mode, she had her papers back into a crumbled pile in her purse and was frantically asking me where the luggage could be and what we were going to do. As an almost sixteen year old in a foriegn country with no control over our luggage, I had exactly no answers for her. We went and talked to the nice workers, who spoke some broken English, and they took us over to where some lost luggage had been placed, sure enough there were our bags. Now even more exhausted from the stress and confusion we took our luggage and hailed a cab. My mom gave the driver the address of our hotel and off we went.
I was looking out the cab window and suddenly I was transfixed looking at my surroundings. I was seeing the Eiffel Tower, The Seine, Notre Dame, everything I had seen in post cards was whipping past me in real life. It was amazing.
We drove down one windy street and suddenly I couldn’t help but laugh. “Mom, look a Starbucks!”
“I guess they do have them here.”
“And another one!” I pointed. It was like any other city, Starbucks covered every corner.
We sped past another Starbucks and three blocks later, we were at our Hotel, Hotel Du Luvre.
It was a magnificent hotel, it was gorgeous and the lobby was just as beautiful as the outside. We checked in and began to unpack our bags both yawning as we went along. Luckily it was getting dark outside, which meant we could get dinner and then we could go to bed.
We finished unpacking and my mom looked at me, “Dinner?”
“The food will be great. France is known for their food! Let’s go!”
I followed mom right on her heels outside our hotel room and into the Parisian night.