Day 3 | Paris Dream Come True | An American Artist Goes To France


View of the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur from the Musee D’Orsay the night before

This day was one of my best days in Paris hands down, even thought started out rainy and frustrating!!!!

Frustration in Paris

Mistake #3

Book tickets to travel before you leave the states …

Friday morning I spent frustrated in my hotel room trying to figure out how to get a train ticket from Paris to Marseilles and then Marseilles on to Figueres in Spain to go visit some friends. I finally got it worked out, I needed to get a round trip to Marseilles, and then a round trip Marseilles to Figueres. If I would have booked it before I left I could have done it Paris > Marseilles > Figueres and then the high speed Figures > Paris. But I didn’t and apparently they were all sold out.

Plus the cost on the internet for tickets over there was considerably higher then here. Or perhaps it was my timing. It wasn’t the commuter train I was thinking like from Long Island to NYC  but more like the Amtrak train. And apparently people in France really like to travel on the weekends. I gave up, then my hotel found me a ticket but they still couldn’t get my credit card to go through.

Later that night when I tried to enter my card, it kept saying I lived in London and wouldn’t let me choose the USA for my address or Montana… Perhaps it was for the best as Spain ended up getting a big storm that weekend and the weather in Paris was warm and sunny… Well maybe not warm but sunny.


I don’t know if I mentioned it but I chose an apartment on the fifth floor for the view, but it meant every day I walked 6 flights up and down … quite claustrophobic, I never take the elevator … IDK how I didn’t lose a ton of weight for all the exercise I got? So unfair 😦 Must have been all the delicious cheese and baguettes 😉

So, Friday afternoon, I headed out with bus map in hand and headed up to see the Sacre Coeur and Basilica I had viewed from the Musee d’Orsay the night before. I was quite tired and it was somewhat cloudy and rainy in Paris. I decided to take the bus even though the wonderful staff at my hotel told me it was close enough to walk.


Fodor’s Travel Guide To Paris

My good friends at home had sent me off with a Fodor’s tour book to Paris. This would become my bible. It had great maps, and reviews to give me a general guide for what I would want to do. The bus went up past all the bridal wedding stores … and then past all the discount shopping. I thought oh, I have to remember how to get here and then the bus stopped. Quickly in less then an hour I had all the souvenirs I needed to bring home… a couple of cute ponchos, Paris t-shirts, a couple of nice scarves, and best of all my cute little Purple French hat I had seen several women wearing at the Eiffel tower and around town …

One of the suggestions in the book was to take the Montmartrobus up to the Basilica.It suggested you start at the top and ride it down. I could see this in some respects but if you know me, I always start at the bottom and head up hill, come down on the way back. So I planned to stop at Pigalle and catch it uphill.


The Montmartrobus: Off to the Sacre Coeur

The bus headed out from the Gare De L’est. One of the best things about catching the bus at the beginning of a run is you get a shot at the front seat next to the driver. Best spot for viewing. The second best spot is usually in the back… My plan had been to just ride the bus and get back to my hotel early. I was tired and it was cold and cloudy and I didn’t feel the need to see the inside of the church even though everyone said you’ll want to.

But when the bus driver turns to you and says, “Madame, you want to get off here… the vineyard…” you listen and get off… (btw – I learned that Madame means “my lady” so nice, not like Ma’am here like I’m in the army, much more charming… they can call me Madame all day long :~)))


And what can I say, I am SOOOOO glad I got off the bus!

I completely fell in love with this place after I sat at one of these cute little tables and sketched for about 45 minutes. I swear 100 people must have walked through the little garden while I was there.


My sketch that day … I think about 100 people went through while I sat there …

Montmartre & Basilique du Sacre-Coeur in Paris

So then I headed up the road to see the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur…

The line when I left the museum went all the way up the street (and for some reason they only had one girl working and she had to take care of gift shop purchases (the coat room – or at least where they made me stash my backpack… etc) all by herself. I wanted to have  sign that said, you know the main collection is closed? To show everyone, because even though I had a glorious time sketching people, if they were looking to see some art the main collection was closed that day…LineUpTheStreetMuseeDeMontmartre

and now up to La Place du Tertre and to think I almost didn’t get off the bus!!

The first thing I came upon was this cute little couple who had just gotten married and were taking wedding photos. The music lady was playing them a beautiful love song.


Then on to the amazing artists. I don’t understand why these people don’t sell prints of their art. I would have bought a notecard from almost all of them, but I couldn’t possibly afford a $50 small print and there are so many tourists I’ll bet tons of them would love to take home some art…


I absolutely loved this gentleman his paintings were incredible!!! I wish I could buy one!



This gentleman was soooooooo incredibly talented! I just loved his work! I would have given anything to buy one of his paintings… his small ones were $50 though way over my budget. I gave him one of my peace sign notecards.


I hope he gets in touch with me someday and I can buy one of his paintings when I am rich and famous (haha;) but I would truly love to own one of his pieces. A real modern impressionist!




This woman who painted just red and black sketches of Paris were lovely too! I just don’t understand why they don’t sell notecards. I couldn’t even get a business card or website from one of them. I talked to here for a little bit and she said there were certain rules for getting to exhibit there, one of which had something to do with they had to be live paintings?? I think she meant they had to be live paintings of Paris. Seemed such a crime. All these tourists? Why not sell prints? Notecards? Postcards? So many people aren’t going to buy an original print but would gladly buy a reproduction of these amazing paintings…

I was still deeply inspired by their art. So much talent all in one place. And to think I almost didn’t get off the bus? •/•~) That’s my texting sign for rolling my eyes!


And there’s more can you believe it my day is not done yet!

I still have to go off to the Basilique!


It wasn’t the clearest day so I didn’t get the best view but it was cool anyway!



IDK why but these couples fascinated me…




This guy in the red shirt was playing soccer on a tiny little wall to music, was soo cool. It made me nervous just thinking about climbing on that little base as it was at the top of the staircase.




Time to go… the birds were just lovely. I took a movie but I can’t figure out how to post it… And as for the carousel… they are all over Paris. If my mom had come along I know we probably would have road on all of them;)

What a day! Hard to believe it really happened!!! What is your dream that you would like to see come true! I’d love to know and help you achieve your dream… Please comment or email me at or find me on Facebook!


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