Paris, France I’un des plus beaux endroits du monde in translation “Paris, France, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Where do I begin? Paris, France has always been a dream destination for me since I was a little girl. I first fell in love with this beautiful European country that was inspired by this little girl name Madeline. I learned so much about Paris through this little girl. Madeline was a popular children’s book collection that my mother used to purchase for me. Madeline was one of the twelve boarding school girls who lived in an old house covered with vines, and they always walked in two straight lines wherever they went along with their teacher, Ms. Clavel who was a nun. Poor Ms. Clavel, Madeline and her friends gave this lady a run for her money every chance they got. They were very well known for their cute yellow hats and yellow trench coats. Madeline a gutsy, charmingly but also mischievous was the smallest and always seems to lead her classmates on an adventurous day in Paris, France. Although the storylines to the many books were intriguing, but it was something that caught my attention a little bit more. It was a funny looking structure that managed to be in majority of the books. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted to see this oddly, but beautiful art that looked like a big capital letter A. Well, that is how it looked to me as a little girl. I later learned that this structure was the infamous Eiffel Tower. Every time I saw the Eiffel Tower either in a movie, an art portrait, or in someone else photos, I would get all giggly on the inside and would imagine myself standing right in front of it. I would always say, I am going to Paris one day. That will be my dream trip.
So, in 2015 before New Years Eve, I wrote in my journal that I was traveling to Paris and I was going to save money for my trip. I even had the picture of the Eiffel Tower on my vision board. I did my first vision board in my room. I ordered the vision board kit. Since at the time, I was paying for my book to be published and still getting situated with our new apartment, I kind of talked myself out of it in fear that I wouldn’t have the money to pay for my vacation. Although I was excited about becoming an author, I felt like I went back on my word.
Well, we were about to enter the year of 2017 and I pulled out that vision board kit and I created a new board which I used printed photos instead of magazines pictures because the photos are more visual to me and it just pops out at you. I printed another picture of the Eiffel Tower, and I declared that by any means necessary, I was going to Paris. I placed the photo on my board and I also placed a picture of Mickey Mouse and the crew at the Magic Kingdom in Disney Land. The Disney World trip was going to be the family trip. I began speaking and manifesting my dream trip. The first thing I did was put in my request for PTO to my manager. I already had my passport. I decorated my desk at my job with a Paris theme; I ordered am 15cm desktop Paris Eiffel Tower that also came with a miniature keychain, a framed picture of Paris, France among some other items and of course pink was all up and through there. My friend Andrea who was also my office buddy at the time had went to Paris and she was giving me tips on where to stay and what places to tour. I would get excited every time we talked about Paris.
Well, my dream trip almost didn’t happen again. SMH! A financial emergency came about that I didn’t have any control over and I ended up dipping into my savings for my trip to Paris. Ugh! Why do it seem like once you put your hands in the savings cookie jar, something else seems to come up? Now here it is in the month of March and I have yet to book my trip. I was so frustrated and sad that again, I will miss my opportunity to visit Paris. I am ready to give up! I decided in my mind that I will just go to Las Vegas and stay at the Paris resort since that would be the closet that I will get to seeing Paris, France.
So, I messaged my friend Latashia Alexander on Facebook. She is the traveling Queen!! This woman can find unexplainable deals to different parts of the world at unbelievable prices. On March 15th the message went like this:
Me: Hey girl! I know you are somewhere traveling, but I want to go to Vegas and stay at Paris 4/21-4/24. Burgundy Room with Eiffel view. I was going to Paris, France for the Eiffel Tower to watch every night from my room.
Latashia: Lol. Not Paris casino LOL
Me: LOL don’t judge me
Latashia: I’ll look. What’s your budget?
Me: $800, I know the Paris resort ain’t cheap
Latashia: I’m seeing some in that range, but the layover is ridiculous
Me: I don’t do crazy layovers. I never done one before.
Latashia: Yeh, it’s cray. Other than that, S1000+. It’s that time of year. Vegas goes up around April.
Me: I looked at Southwest two days ago with Paris it was under $900. It was a late flight like 8pm.
Latashia: Was just about to check their flights.
Me: I went on Kayak girl Spirit fares looking like Delta. LOL
Latashia: insert a flight photo for Spirit; cheapest I found $1002
Me: Damn! I might as well go to Paris for real!! God gone need to break me off some favor.
Latashia: insert picture with a deal that was too unbelievable; I found a Paris package
Me: who airline? Any layovers
Latashia: Delta and yes. Can’t get nonstop for that price. LOL
Guess who booked a flight to Paris, France for a 4-night stay at The Crowne Plaza on Delta airlines for $946 from 4/22-26/17? Me!! I said, Fuck Vegas!! LOL
After my trip was booked, I received my email with the itinerary for my trip. I noticed in the email, they had tourist attractions that you can add on to your trip. Why did they have Walt Disneyland as one of their attractions in Paris? I had to look at the email again, like is this for real?? I even went on Google to see if there was really a Disneyland in Paris because I couldn’t believe it. When Google confirmed it was true, I was like I am going to see Mickey in Paris!!! Then I started feeling guilty because the picture of Walt Disney World on my vision board was supposed to be a family trip for the kids and I. Then the spirit spoke to me and said, Disneyland is for you this time. You took your family three times to Walt Disney World and each time you didn’t really enjoy it because every time you went it was either it was just you and the kids, or you were pregnant with child and plus the kids. You always said, how you just wanted to go to Walt Disney World by yourself and have fun like a big kid. No kids or pregnant with child, just you only. I was like yes, I did say that. You know what made it even better. The admission price for 1 Day was $67 and if you wanted to make it a 2-Park ticket (Magic Kingdom and MGM Studios) it was only for $91. Now, for anyone who has been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in California knows it cost $100+ just to get in the Magic Kingdom alone. I was going to both parks for less than a $100! Yes, come through again God!
Less than a week before I was about to leave. I made an adjustment to my payroll deduction account at work. I added another bank and I assumed that it would not go into effect until the next payroll, but boy was I wrong! I received money into one of my accounts, but I noticed no money was going to be received into my new account. So, I called HR to find out where is my damn money because I was leaving the next day which is Friday. The lady told me when there is a change especially when you add another bank account, they mail out a live check. Stop the damn press!! Are you serious right now ma’am? Now any other time y’all don’t do anything until the next or two payroll periods, but now y’all decided to be proactive this time, huh? I told her I am leaving for Paris, France the following day and I don’t have enough money to carry me throughout my trip. She proceeded with I’m sorry, try calling the post office. Now my anxiety is on ten and I’m like this can’t be happening. I then called my local post office to see if I can come pick up the mail in the morning. A guy answers the phone. I said, "Hello. How are you today?" He said, okay but had this what the hell you want attitude. I am explaining my situation about my check and that my flight is scheduled to depart before the mailman would arrive. His response was, so what you want me to do? Whew Chile, Chontate, take a deep breath. I replied, "Sir I am asking if there is a way that I come get my mail from you all in the morning". This negro gone tell me that I can’t come and pick up my mail. We can’t do that. To keep this from going into a full-grown argument, I just asked the man for his name and for the time the office opens. I said, "Thank you and have a great day."
So, I made it a point to get up early Friday morning head on to the post office. My daughter came and picked me up. As we were about one-minute way according to the GPS, the road we were driving on was having construction work done and it was holding up traffic. I’m like this can’t be happening!! My daughter said, call them and ask them to hold your mail and that you are on your way. I called the post office and a young lady answers the phone. I told her my name and I was explaining my situation about my check and that I am scheduled to leave for Paris in a couple hours. She said, hold on, let me check because the carriers are about to leave out. A few minutes went pass and she returned to the phone and said to me that she has my check and my other mail and that it will be here for me to pick up. I told her thank you so much. I asked her what can I do for you? You want some lunch? Some coffee? She laughed and said, no you don’t have to do anything. I am just doing my job and plus I can just hear it in your voice how important this is to you. I picked up my mail and then went to the bank to cash my check and then deposited it. I exchanged some US dollars for euros and made sure the bank was aware that I was leaving the country in case I needed to use my bank card. My daughter dropped me back off at home and I proceeded to make sure everything was packed and that I had everything that I needed for my trip. I had to go to Cumberland mall, so I brought my suitcase with me, so I can just leave for the airport from there. I purchased my birthday dress and jewelry. I was on the talking to my BFF Ericka while I wait on my Uber to arrive. She was like, you’re ready to go to Paris all excited and I said, Yes, I am!! She told me to call her when I made it to the airport. I told her, will do.
Here I am all turnt up because I am about to leave the country to fly to my dream destination. My Uber drops me off at the airport and I checked into Delta to get my boarding pass and proceeded to go to the security checkpoint. I guess everybody momma and daddy were leaving out of town because Atlanta Hartfield Airport was jammed pack. The security checkpoint lines were so long that they had to detour other passengers and I to another checkpoint which took me out of my way to whole different direction. The lines were going slow and then they had everyone take any laptops out from their luggage, remove this and that. They had the dogs out going through the lines which had my anxiety going through the roof because I despise German Shepherd dogs! You can read about the reason why in my first book Passed Around by Man but Not Passed Over by God. 2 hours has went pass and now I have only less than 10 minutes to get to my plane. I asked an employee at the airport how to get to my terminal and he told me, but he gave me the wrong direction. I get on the Plane Train to proceed to my terminal, but since the guy given me the wrong direction, I practically was starting from the end point instead which led me to only have less than 3 minutes to get to my gate because my flight leaves at 3:03 PM. I get off and I’m literally running trying not to go in a full-blown panic and cry at the same time. I see the gate as I am coming down off the escalator, but it felt like one of those dreams where you are close, but you seem to be going in slow motion, yea that was my reality at that moment. I finally get to my gate at 3:00 PM, but the gate is closed. No more passengers are allowed on once the gate is closed. I was telling the boarding agent that I am supposed to be on that plane. She told me, I am sorry maam, but you are late and once the gate is close, we can’t open it back up. I’m like this can’t be happening!! I looked up at the monitor and it said the flight has been delayed for 11 minutes. I said to the lady, the flight is delayed. She said yes, but you still are late, and you can’t get on. You will need to talk to the Delta agents next door.
Then it was 126.96.36.199.1 except there was no Ciara and her dancers telling me to Level Up instead it was me who suddenly went to a full-blown tantrum like a 2-year-old who was told they can’t have the candy in the store. I began to cry, and I don’t mean just a regular cry, but one of those ugly as hell snot nose ass cries. I am loud and everyone who walking pass or seating in the waiting area heard my roar. I didn’t care who saw me having a meltdown in the middle of the airport. I went on to explain to the lady that this is my dream drip for my birthday and how I have been waiting this moment since I was a little girl. I then went on to tell her how the security checkpoint line was so long and at a standstill. I can tell the lady was feeling bad for me, but she was only doing her job. She said, they should be able to reschedule your flight and directed me to the ticket agents. So, I went to the ticket agent and I am just shaking, and my heartbeat is racing, and I felt like I just wanted to pass out. I made my way over to the ticket agent desk and I was explaining to one of the agents who was a lady what happened, and she said to me ever so bluntly…there is no more planes flying out today to Paris and to rebook your flight, you would have to pay the difference. Honey chile, she had so much attitude. Jesus be a fence because I am about to beat the breaks off her. She was about to get that 15 minutes to the face no cover up action, especially I am pissed and crying too! I said, ma’am can you please help me, you just can’t tell me that my dream is gone down the drain. Still with major attitude she directed me to a phone on the wall and told me it will connect me to the reservation agent.
I have slowed down the crying and I walk over to the phone and a lady answered. As I was explaining my dilemma, I began crying profusely again. I gave the lady my booking information and she told me that I will have to pay for another flight because they couldn’t touch my ticket, although they can see in their system that I have a ticket, but they don’t know if I had a ticket in my hand. I asked her, why do I have to purchase another ticket when it was not my fault. I told her the checkpoint was extra slow and long and I missed boarding the plane by a minute or two. She then instructed me to call my travel agent. I said, okay ma’am, whatever! I made it up in my mind that Delta had lost a customer for good! I went back over to the seating area and I cried again. You know what really pissed me off. About 15 minutes went passed and that plane that I was supposed to be on was still sitting there!!!! I couldn’t believe that I spent money on this trip and I must go back home. My whole birthday celebration has become a complete disaster. I began just talking to myself and saying to God, like is this for real? I said first I didn’t almost have enough money to have for my entire duration of my trip and now I am not going to be in Paris. Please make this makes sense because the devil is a damn liar!!
After calming down just a little, I grabbed my itinerary and called the number that my flight packaged were booked through. After holding on for a few minutes, a male agent answer and by this time I have calmed down a lot. I explained how I am at the airport, but I missed my flight because I got to the gate too late. I went on to tell him how rude the Delta airlines agents are and how they don’t want to rebook my flight unless I pay for another flight. Then I was telling him that I got my boarding pass in my hands, I just missed getting on the plane right before they closed the gate. The agent said, wait a minute, did you just say that you have your boarding pass in your hand? I replied, yes, I do. He said, oh they must rebook your flight! You are already there. He stated to go back to the desk with my boarding pass and get another flight. So now I am feeling a little better and my faith was starting to build back up. I was like okay God, work this out for me because I know you didn’t get me this far knowing how much I always desired to go to Paris. As, I am getting ready to walk back over to the desk, I noticed that the lady with the attitude didn’t give me back my boarding pass. When I got to the desk, I told another agent that the other lady never gave me back my pass. Why that heffa threw away my boarding pass and had left work for the day!!!
The lady who name was Marshall grabbed it out of the garbage bin and handed it to me. I took a deep breath and I asked the lady could she helped about my trip. I went on explaining to her that this is my birthday trip and how I have been wanting to go to Paris since I was a little girl and that security checkpoint was at a standstill while hoping this would be my last time explaining myself. She stated that she saw and heard what was going on earlier between the other agent and I, but she couldn’t get involved because she was with another customer. Then she said, yes checkpoint was kind of crazy today. She stated beginning around the month of April, International traveling begins to increase. She then said, let me see what I can do for you, because I wouldn’t want to see this be taken from you. So, she got on the phone to speak with reservations and a man she knew well named James answered the phone. She said, James you are the perfect person that I need to talk too. I have this young lady here who has been dreaming since she was a little girl to go visit Paris. Well she had booked a flight for her birthday and she didn’t make it to the gate in time due to the long wait time in security checkpoint. Mr. James checked it out and was able to see that my story about the checkpoint was true. The he said, let me see what I can do. Ms. Marshall said, yes Mr. James, if anybody can work it out it would be you. Then she said to me, Mr. James is also a pastor. I smiled and was like yes, God, come through!! Won’t He do it?? He came back on the phone and told Ms. Marshall tell her God was on her side because I was able to rebook her flight for 8:25. I’m thinking he was talking about 8:25AM. I was like, so I just go back home and come back in the morning. She said, no you’re leaving out tonight at 8:25PM. Now y’all remember when that heffa told me earlier there were no more flights flying out to Paris? Well anyway, not only did Mr. James rebook my flight, he also booked a non-stop flight unlike my original flight had a connector flight in Amsterdam which I only had 45 minutes to get to the connecting flight to finish my route to Paris, France. You talking about somebody who was running around shouting up in the airport. Yes, Lord! Mr. James and Ms. Marshall went out of their way to make sure my dream became a reality and didn’t have too. I tried to offer some dinner, coffee or something sweet and they refused my offer. Ms. Marshall said, she was just doing her job and she felt the need to help me. She even made sure I had a good seat on the flight too. She told me to relax and go get me something to eat and make sure I am on time for my flight. I was like, you don’t have to worry about that at all.
All excited and grateful for my blessing, I walked over to Starbucks and ordered their new frappuccino, The Unicorn Frappauccino. I felt that was the perfect drink to go with my perfect blessing because this unicorn is going to Paris,France!
And just like Madeline I was eagerly to start my adventures in Paris, the only difference was that my trench coat was the color pink!!