Trip to Paris: Day One

Can you believe that, for eight years, I hadn’t been on a holiday abroad until August this year. I made lots of plans, but those plans fell apart because someone or the other didn’t/couldn’t save up enough. But this year I was determined to go on a holiday, and I thought a good place to start would be Paris!

I booked tickets for me, my mum and my sister, and a week and a half later, our offer for a new house was accepted and we had to begin the moving process! I can’t tell you how hectic and chaotic August was, but we’ve finally moved in, been to Paris and, now, I can finally resume blogging again – it simply was too stressful to properly blog while we were still in the process of moving, so I just took a break… without informing my followers. I thought it would be great to ease myself back into the blogosphere by starting with a lighter post, so Paris it is!

First things first, we arrived late to Euston station, so I had to fork extra money to book tickets for the next departure. I was fuming because I told my mum that we needed to leave earlier, but homegirl took her time getting ready. *sigh* Moving on, after that, getting through British security was pretty straightforward and we finally got on the Eurostar. I busied myself with reading ‘A History of Britain in 21 Women’ by Jenni Murray which I had been really enjoying, but had to stop reading after I came back from Paris because I sent my physical books to the new house and had to read strictly eBooks. So far, I would definitely recommend the book if you’re looking for an inspiring, yet light read!


Our uncle, who lives in Paris (convenient!) picked us up from Gare du Nord station and we headed to the hotel. After we had left our luggage in our hotel room, we wandered around the 10th and 3rd arrondissement. We visited Place de la Republique, a busy and bustling area with a lively atmosphere, and took a lot of pictures in front of statues with my family! There was live dancing and I convinced my sister to come and dance with me. I think this was my favourite moment in Paris! It was interesting to see what I like doing during a holiday and it’s clear that I prefer being in an upbeat and loud environment just letting loose and having fun. And that I’m basically not fancy either. I think this goes back to my need for physical stimulation that I discussed in another post!


Next, we ate at Buffalo Grill as we all felt we all needed some good junk food in our system. I decided to try the quesadillas which came with nachos whereas my mum, sister and uncle went for burgers and chips, and our table received complimentary bread. Speaking of bread, I love, love, love French bread. I feel like ‘le pain’ should come as an accompaniment to every main course.


Having ate, we walked back to the hotel as it was time to shower and then sleep, and oh my God, my mattress was so comfortable. I felt as though I was literally sinking into the depths of heaven that the next day I was struggling to motivate myself to get out of bed. This gave me another idea that for any upcoming holidays, I need to plan one where all I do is sunbathe and sleep on the beach in tropical weather. I’m putting that out in the universe, manifest!

And that was day one! Or shall I call it the first night?

Some questions for you, reader: which countries have you been to that are lively, exciting and busy? (Get recommending!) Do you prefer quiet or lively places? If you’ve been to Paris, what are some of your favourite things to do there? What are the best places to visit in France, generally? Where are you planning to go on holiday next? Let me know in the comments!

Sophia Ismaa

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  1. Omg I hope u have an amazing time in Paris and enjoy it xo

    It’s good to read ur posts it’s been a while 😊
    I hope you had a great summer holiday.

    About the French Bread… I would pay for a plane ticket every day just to go to France and get their fresh bread, IT IS HEAVENLY!!!!

    If you find yourself anywhere near there, Belguim is a really cool country to visit as well, if you’re interested in history especially WWI you’ll find a lot of the old battle fields and camps there. You can find a couple in France as well but I’m not sure where to be honest.

    Enjoy your time in Paris xxx


    1. I had a lovely time, thank you! ☺️

      I know I’ve been away but, ah, so much going on! Hope yours has been great and that the new school year is treating you well!

      YES! You would never think that bread could taste so good, I could literally eat it by itself. 😔

      Belgium is now on the list, thanks for the recommendation! 😊 I had no idea about the battlefields and camps (I should know more, I studied history). Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House is a must on the list too!

      Thank you 🌟

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amazing that u had a good time 😊
        If you do end up going to Belguim the chocolate is to die for

        Alhamduallah, school hasn’t been so bad but it’s school at the end of the day… I just wish we had nap time… 😂


        1. Aw, thank you 🌟. I love Belgian chocolate, my sister went a few years ago and brought back a lot of chocolate!

          Pahahah, omg, nap time should be for all levels and not just for nursery! We should all have one hour allotted to napping. 😂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Nap time… I never got to enjoy it because I was a stupid kid that liked to play in the sandbox and my Nursery gave us that option…

            I need 2 hours of nap time as a bare minimum!!!


            1. OMG I used to love the sandbox! It was the most prestige thing to play in during nursery. 🤣 I remember another child being dumped a bucket of sand on their head. Crazy!

              My sister always takes a nap after coming home from college and it looks like it helps a lot. Is that something you would do after school?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I wish I could but sadly I’m a creature that can function in the night but not in the day but can only sleep at nigh not in the day. It’s very problematic for me 😂

                The only issue I ever had withe sandbox was when kids would play with the sandbox and then decide to play ring a ring a roses without wipinh off the remaining sand particles off their hands. 😂 It annoyed little me so much!!!


                1. Oh, you changed your gravatar!

                  Eesh, I have that problem too! If it’s not enforced by school/work, we just don’t know how to actually nap. Still don’t know how my sister manages to take a nap. My mum and my sister used to take a lot of naps during winter, but I haven’t seen them taking naps together this winter at all.

                  Your memory is really good! I can’t seem to remember the finer details unless they’re major events.


                  1. Yeah, I was bored and decided to change my gravatar… my boredom mode has no limits it’s terrifying…

                    I have a great memory for things that will never be necessary in my life… ever… it’s sad that I can remember tons of facts about the Mandella Effect, Parallel universes and String theory but I can’t remember the names of the bones that made up the human skeleton…

                    Ugh, the life of a teenager… remembering how to survive a zombie apocalypse but not the information for the exam we have tomorrow.


                    1. It looks really good! Although I can see that there’s a water bottle on the top right, but I can’t make out what it says!

                      Hey, you can always join trivia competitions, you know there’s money to be won for those. 😂 it’s great that you know all of that, because I have no idea what any of those things mean. But The Big Bang Theory shows talks about parallel universes and string theory quite a whole lot. Have you ever watched it? I don’t know if what they’re saying is true or not, but you might be able to make sense of it.

                      Pahaha. That’s fine, it’s completely normal. How are your exams and subjects going anyway?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I am obsessed with TBBT it’s not even funny anymore.

                      Yeah, what Sheldon’s always rambling on is true and accurate down to the T.

                      I think the biggest accomplishment is when I watch the Big Bang Theory and I actually understand what they’re talking about. I just feel so proud! 😂

                      The water bottle just says Evian as in the water bottle company.

                      I think maybe some time in the future I might consider joining trivias but I kinda like knowing these things for the fun of it and just sounding smart when I ramble on about them 😂


                    3. Do you remember that episode when he has to smile and pretend to be happy and his smile just looked demonic. And that episode when Sheldon and Kripke play basketball! 😭 Paha, you’re so lucky, Masha’Allah, that you can understand it, I’m so terrible that I don’t even try and understand it. I’m basically Penny and you’re Sheldon when it comes to science.

                      LOOOOL. Why is it that every person who’s good at remembering facts always has to drop random facts to show off their intelligence. Every. One. Of. You. 😭

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I love those episodes!!!

                      I only every truly know things that will not be important or relavent to my life but when it comes to things like Physics formulas and Computer Science, two, impossible GCSEs, I can’t remember a thing. I shall fail!!! 😂

                      I think I’m more of a Leonard, no one pays too much attention to me but I’m also not too smart but smart enough. 😂


                    5. That’s probably because there’s so much to learn, it’s information overload. But, hold up, you’re doing computer science? I thought that was only possible to study in university?!

                      I like Leonard! He’s the glue that holds the group together, he’s the second sanest character on the show. I was more like Howard when I was younger, but I think I’m more of a combination of Penny and Bernadette now. Fun, laidback, sales whizz, but don’t cross me, I can be scary. 😂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Yeah, they’ve made Computer Science into a GCSE, my aim is to pass that GCSE I’m not even aiming for a good grade, as long as I pass I don’t even care…

                      I can so imagine you as a Penny and Bernadette it makes sense.

                      The funny thing is Leonard is the reason why 5 episodes into TBBT, Sheldon wasn’t dead 😂 and Raj, Penny or Howard weren’t in Jail 😂


                    7. I’m so surprised! Is it any different to IT or is this for some schools? My sister just finished secondary school last year and it was ICT then.

                      Penny when I’m comfortable and Bernadette when things don’t go my way! 😂

                      LOOL. Too true, Leonard is so unnecessarily hard on himself & I’m sure Sheldon didn’t help, despite like you said, Leonard’s the reason Sheldon is alive. 😂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. Oh I wish Computer Science was anything like IT.

                      It’s all about how the computer works and the memory locations and where data is stored and how it’s transferred…

                      In other words I look at devices in a new light after the lesson.

                      Normally, Grammer schools are the only ones to offer a CS GCSE, but my crazy school decided to be a weird state school (like it wasn’t already) and offered (or rather forced) it’s students the opportunity (the hell) to study one of the most complicated subjects ever!

                      Ah, Leonard and Sheldon the definition of a crazy friendship 😂


                    9. That’s really useful! You’ll find yourself needing those skills in a number of professions rather than having to repeatedly liaise with and pester IT folks.

                      I really admire your school for doing that, it shows they’re really interested in developing your full potential and giving you as many opportunities as they can. It’s actually really sweet! ☺️

                      Liked by 1 person

                    10. It’s nice they gave us this opportunity but I do wish the gave us a choice on what we wanted to study. Especially seeing as this is our future that is on the line… 😂

                      Our school can be amazing but extremely annoying at times as well… but that’s all school *sighs* 😂


                    11. How many subjects did you get to actually choose? I remember being able to pick between certain subjects, it was either full course History or Business which annoyed me because these were some of my best subjects and I could only do short course History, and those who did full course got to go to Berlin, I was so jealous! 😭 Do they still give you trips as part of subjects? I think my sister went to Belgium and she got back chocolate! 😋

                      PAHA, yes that is indeed true!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    12. My school were planning a trip to Berlin because we’re studying Nazi Germany for our GCSEs but with all the Corona stuff I don’t know what’s gonna happen 😂


                    13. Yeah… it seems like it probably won’t happen. Eesh. Such a shame. I think there’s some confusion that this lockdown will be over in 3 weeks when, really, it’s only going to be reviewed. Some countries are doing a lockdown of three months. Looks like it’ll be June, but probably longer because not everyone is taking it seriously!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    14. I’ve only been home for a week and I’ve gotten so bored that I’ve learned how to draw, I’ve done extra studying, I’ve eaten excessive amounts of food and my sister and I aren’t even fighting because we’re too bored.

                      I MISS THE OUTSIDE WORLD! I turned to my Dad the other day and I was like, “Baba, when the war in Syria started we were still going out. How is a virus worse than war?” And then he gave me a whole Islamic lecture that made me regret making that joke… 😂

                      How r u coping with the lockdown and self isolation or are you one of the lucky people who still has human contact other than their family?


                    15. I think I’ve sort of become resigned to it, and instead I’ve taken the time to actually just relax now. Everything was so go go go! before, I quite like this pace. I just wish I could see people and be out and about and bask in nature. I miss the sun, lol! My sisters doing the online classes, but apparently, it’s mostly just reading from a textbook that’s online? Smh, doesn’t make sense. But she’s doing tests, taking pictures and sending them in.

                      LOOOOOL! Sorry, but I’m not surprised at that lecture! 😂 we are safe in our home!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    16. Lectures… I live my life on those 😂 Yeah I do appreciate the lectures it’s just sad that I’m so used to getting them (aka- my parents are used to me messing up 😂)

                      I’ve stopped feeling bored and now I’m catching up on shows that I missed, writing, reading, Quran (I’m trying to memorise but I’m not exactly successful- I am ashamed to admit) so I’ve been sort of keeping busy.

                      Online work is weird I wouldn’t say it’s productive because it’s mostly spent with me and my friends calling each other and sharing the answers but we’re getting the work done and understanding it 😂


  2. I have never left the states. My cousins live in Luxembourg and my collage roommate is in Belgium. But its a little different for me. The US is kinda like a collection of small countries that all follow similar laws. & yet there’s major cultural differences between West Virginia and New York or Detroit.


    1. Nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s not so travelled, but I think yours takes the cake. There’s another comment on my Paris trip, from Crystal Girl, who recommended Belgium. I see where you’re coming from, I think as a Londoner I’d be more likely to visit New York because as a melting pot, its values and ways would be more similar to mine. Though I’m sure, like every city, there are those who breach those values.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really uncomfortable in urban settings. By NYC standards even West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston is small. But, rural communities tend to be tight knit. When I was a kid it was common for the church youth group to go to the homes of the elderly in our area and do the work that they couldn’t do for themselves. Yes, some people are distrustful of outsiders but once you’ve been accepted you’re treated like family.


        1. That’s so lovely to hear, young people engaging with the elderly community. I worked as a practitioner once and helped young people to engage with service users of an elderly day care centre, it was wonderful seeing how well they interacted with elderly people with dementia.

          In terms of outsiders, would this be just generally outsiders or could this sometimes be a race matter? Forgive me if I’m wrong, I’m only operating on very surface-level knowledge, so I apologise if I’m causing any offence.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. No offense taken at all. That’s how we learn.
            Well, if you believe the mainstream media they’re not going to tell you anything more than what they need to sell a story.
            Like all parts of the world there’s always going to be pockets of racism. That’s just human nature. But the vast majority of people in West Virginia are pretty accepting of different races. Most are more concerned about politics and culture more than race. We coexist with other cultures pretty well but if it’ll perceived that the local culture is being squeezed out then the more traditional folks get offended. After the civil war many of the African Americans found a safe haven in West Virginia. We’re predominantly Christian and as such we believe that all races are descended from Adam and later Noah. To be a racist one has to believe in evolution and evolution is directly opposed to the Christian faith.
            I hope my rambling reply isn’t confusing. Mostly we have a live and let live outlook on these things.
            Never be worried about asking me anything. 😊


            1. Hmm, I think there is a difference between racism and prejudice. Prejudice is everywhere, and racism can only be wielded by white people. Racial oppression can only be wielded by those who have institutionalised power. I disagree that it’s part of human nature, prejudice is a part of human nature… there’s nothing normal about racism, the religions that we follow (Islam and Christianity) have little place for it. I think that through language we can unconsciously perpetuate the normalisation and, therefore, the existence of racism.

              What does squeezing out local culture look like in West Virginia?

              I hadn’t thought of it that way with regards to evolution. That’s an interesting perspective. I think that Yuval Noah Harrari’s ‘A Brief History of Humankind’ points to that and you can tell that there’s a subtle applause underlying it that alludes to the superiority of Caucasians. I’m glad we both agree that our own respective religion has no space for racism. 🙂


              1. What does squeezing out the culture look like in West Virginia?
                That’s kinda tough to nail down but I’ll try.
                Basically, most of it comes from political correctness. A prime example is the town of Gauley Bridge and the cross they place on city property every year at Easter. The population of the town is only about 600 people who are Christian ( technically but not always in practice). To the best of my knowledge there’s maybe a handful of pagans but no other religions. And yet, the ACLU tried to force them to stop putting up the cross ( which was donated by a local church and not government funded ). So we have an outside group ( The ACLU) who came in for the sole purpose of disrupting the local tradition because the land it was erected on was city property. A city that is entirely funded by local Christians. The cross still goes up because nobody was preventing the pagans from creating their own displays and it turns out that they wasn’t interested in doing so in the first place. So the ACLU lawyer who doesn’t live there and never came back was only stirring trouble for Christians.
                But about a 15 minute drive down river is a population of Muslims. I have never seen a public calibration or display from them but the community interaction between the two groups have always been positive. I’m certain that individuals have had problems but the point is 2 parallel cultures as a whole get along.


                1. That is a tricky one and an interesting example of how law and religion interact in practice. I would say that as long as it isn’t preventing the practice of other religions, it should be fine for people to practice their own religions in peace. And that’s great to hear that the two religious groups get on fine, mind their own business and practise their religion without complaints. That’s how it should be. 🙂


                  1. That’s what the law is supposed to be. Kinda, ” to each his own “. The problem comes in when a 3rd party has an issue with one side or the other and stirs the pot. Then people who once got along fine begin to find faults with each other and become offended by things when no offense was ever intended. Lives and friendships get destroyed and only the 3rd part profits and usually in an insignificant way.


                    1. Oh my. So basically what the British Raj did to India – and based on what we’re seeing in the news, the effects of this can still be seen. You’re right that only the 3rd party seems to benefit from destroying those ties. I think it’s something we should be aware of in our daily lives as well.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. The Hegelian Dialectic is real. But it’s not always a government that manipulates minds with it. Sometimes it’s just someone who wants to make an name for themselves or even a person who has pure motives but doesn’t realize that all their accomplishing is further division of the people.


                    3. I just googled it, and I couldn’t help but think of my position as a Muslim in the West.

                      I have to disagree that it’s rooted in well-intentions. The agenda is to centralise power. If two parties are busy fighting each other, they’ll be too focused on their conflict to notice the looming of a larger power. Division and fractured communities are essential to securing power. I’m reading a book called ‘We Need New Stories’ and it’s a really interesting exploration of the number of myths perpetuated in order to ensure power remains with the heteronormative. Much of it is similar to our discussions, I think you’d enjoy it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Yes, and we’re seeing that in the U.K. with people who voted for Boris Johnson. It’s such a shame. I’m just wondering now… what is the solution because our current political climate is a breeding ground for hatred and division. I know it will never be ‘great’ not for a long while, I know both of us come from faiths where we believe in the return of Isa (AS) (Christ for yourself)… so, I guess we gotta keep fighting and passing on our knowledge and compassion until that time comes.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. The only thing that you can do is continue to be outgoing and friendly. A long time ago I was called in front of a class for an expiriment. The instructor asked me if I trusted him and of course the answer is yes. He asked if I would cooperate with him and again I replied yes. Then he gently pushed me. And I leaned into the push without thinking. It was a reflex. He asked why I resisted so quickly after agreeing to cooperate and I had no answer. Then he turned to class and explained that no matter how gentle the nudge was a person’s instinct was to resist. And that you can’t lead people by pushing. Even when they agree. But if he had simply stepped to a place himself it would have been likely that I would have moved with him because that was instinct as well.
                      The point is that in any political movement if you try to force people they will resist. But if they’re not willing to follow you anyway then you’ll just waste energy without actually accomplishing anything. It’s better to have a smaller following that’s loyal and even if it takes longer to achieve the goal you’ll hold onto it longer.
                      I have probably missed a lot of the lessons there but I think you’ll see what I mean.


                    6. That’s a brilliant analogy, Lloyd, thank you so much more sharing this, and I’m sure we can all learn something from it.

                      I think I could perhaps begin with a smaller following and appeal to their emotions – there is safety in numbers. You’ve given me a lot of ideas for possibilities, thank you.

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. You moved?!?!?! But still in London, right? Paris is a dream. I did a lot of shopping there lol. It was pouring rain and people were still out and about living their best life. Looks like you had a great first day (minus the whole being late part lol).


    1. You managed to do shopping in PARIS? How? Explain! I’ve been to Lille and managed to do shopping there (prices were cheaper there then), but Paris was so expensive, one look at the price tags and was like, welp, not happening unless it was at Les Halles, I wish I saved up more because it was more affordable in LH.

      Yeah, we moved in September, we found out that we got the house just before we went to Paris, it was STRESSFUL. I’ve never moved before, so I had no idea how mad it can be nor why my mum needed to hoard letters from 20 years ago.. like why?! 🤣

      Yep, Parisians are really lively and ENJOY life. They actually dance in public spaces, literally the place is made for me, I want to go again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I stuck to H&M lol. The mall you visited looks familiar. Yeah, I remember looking at those prices and my eyes nearly popping out!

        Moving is so not fun lol. Decorating and arranging stuff is though. The real question: Do you have more room for books??


        1. Lol, that’s why you were able to do shopping. I think I went to H&M in Lille. But now I’m also remembering that I think something happened to my shoe, so I had to buy a new pair there.

          I have not began decorating yet or even bought a new bookshelf. 🥺 It’s pretty expensive to decorate, and my mind wasn’t in it during the last half of 2019. But if I decorate, first thing I’m going to buy is a bookshelf. Right now it’s sitting in this massive bag, in my closet, under my bed and plenty more in my room at my aunts. I probably have around 100 books or more. I’ve got the smallest room (what happens when you’re the oldest girl in the family), but my brothers got the second biggest room & he barely uses up the space… got a small wardrobe, a desk for his PS4 & his bed. Lemme stop before I get mad lol.

          Liked by 1 person

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