Confetti Travel: Black Paris? A Tour

 

 

Hey! It’s a rare picture of my daughter. She is the reason I took the trip to Paris. It has been her dream trip since she was a small child and now she is entering her first year in college. Here we are meeting up with about 15 ladies preparing for the Ricki Stevenson Black Paris Tour which I HIGHLY suggest anyone in Paris take! ANYONE. ANY RACE/ETHNICITY. TAKE THE TOUR. My daughter was eating up the the experience and wealth of knowledge. I was, too. It opened up her perspective and I was there to witness it.

 

 

 

 

The best coffee and hot chocolate is in Paris. This cafe along with a few others had me coming back for more. Hey, I was on vacation! We made this place our last meal in Paris and it was worth it.

The Ricki Stevenson Black Paris Tour blew our minds. The knowledge, the history, the information and the experience poured into us will never be forgotten. Below are photos of memorials for the Dumas family. There were three that made their mark in history and they are so different in their personalities and contributions.

 

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This is the church that held the funeral of Josephine Baker. Did you know she was decorated soldier that flew planes? She was buried in her uniform. She also was a spy! There was more to her than her beauty and body. She had brains!

 

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View from the church.

 

 

More photos from a historical park that African Americans and Black Parisians, famous as well,  frequented.

 

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Awesome food at an African Restaurant on the tour! Don’t mind my Schweppe’s obsession!

But what was best at this restaurant was the soul-filled wisdom and knowledge poured into us by our wonderful and beautiful guide. We talked current and so many perspectives from a diverse group of women.

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The tour was priceless. It was worth every penny. I will never forget this rich experience of knowledge and culture in Paris I shared with my daughter!

~Nikki

 

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Relationship Confetti: It Will Be Easy, I Thought

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Let me guess. You’re a woman that has been single for a while and all this time you have been diligently working on yourself. You finally find a guy or the guy finally finds you and surprisingly you two are compatible. However, as time seems to go one you realize several things about him that you don’t particularly care for and some of them may be major (and perhaps he has done the same). However, you carefully decide if you want to “deal” with them and see if you two can work out the kinks. Great.

But, in the process you began to realize that with all the work you have done on yourself, some of the old you is still there. Triggers. Also, you now see that you have work to do on yourself as well. Two things will keep sink or float a relationship like this: A person that is not willing to work together to improve the relationship and a person you are so unequally (yoked) out of balanced with it would be better to preserve the woman you have become than to deal with the turmoil ahead. This person has not even began to THINK about doing the work on themselves, growing, or changing. Depending on your age and tolerance, dealing with a person like that can bring you down.

I thought I would meet someone on my level in EVERY way. I thought it would be easy. I am learning that even if you are compatible 90% the 10%, if major can keep you out of harmony. I am learning that I share some of the 10%. (Or whatever percentage it may be. I am just throwing out numbers.) I don’t know if it’s going to last, but I intend to do the work to find out. We often see these “power” couples and think they are so happy. We often see these Facebook couples and they are only posting the good and not the bad (I mean it’s their business and we would probably have something to say about that, too). In the meantime, I will keep praying my way through like I have been doing and letting things unfold naturally.

~Nikki

Good Morning Paris

 

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Once we made it to Paris, the stress began to melt away. We put our bags down and opened up the windows to our hotel room. It was like a boutique hotel and the view of the Eiffel Tower was amazing! Also, just to be able to open up those windows and watch the every day life of Parisians spill onto the streets made me feel at home.

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Our first night we discovered that it doesn’t get dark until 10 pm!!! We had dinner reserved at an Italian restaurant one door down from our hotel. There also was a little mom and pop store in between that I went to everyday for Schweppe’s Mojito flavored ginger ale, water, and snacks. I learned to count my euros! However, I mostly used my debit/credit card which is what is suggested and accepted by most. I needed euros for some of the other places we went as tours.

I love the décor and the food was AUTHENTIC and the dessert was my favorite! So delicious. Every dessert I tried in Paris was DELICIOUS!

Photos below are from exploring our neighborhood.

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I love engraved and hand carved doors and there were plenty in Paris! 

 

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Flowers hanging from windows were the norm. 

 

 

 

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I like fast cars. A Lamborghini will do!

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~Nikki

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: I Don’t Want A Seat At That Table

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I had the displeasure of meeting a person last night and the hostility in the air was so foul we chose to leave rather than to stay and be TOLERATED. I was glad the choice was made because you could choke off the energy in the air. I am really proud of myself and how I am handling the aftermath of the situation. I was prepared because I realize the opposition I am facing being the NEW as the OLD fades to black. I realize it’s a ride to  paradise, but not without turbulence! So, had some helluva turbulence last night. Still headed towards my destination.

One thing I have learned in life is to go where you are CELEBRATED and not where you are tolerated. The quote by Maya Angelou above also popped into my mind. It’s funny when you are experiencing a quote, wisdom, or the truth in real time. I won’t forget how I was made to feel. REJECTED. It’s not the first time and even though it’s a negative feeling I also know that I am ACCEPTED by so many others. Why let the negative ride? I won’t. I came home, poured my water, hugged my friend, and lit the Gardenia scented candle that reminds of my “Big Mama” and my childhood. It reminds me that I am well loved, I am beloved, I am accepted by those that matter.

#44Presidential

~Nikki

Paris. Take Off or Not?

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Arrival. Finally. The first thing we see is the Arc.

WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT! First of all you wouldn’t believe the drama and trauma we went through to get here. Flight delayed in Memphis for 2 hours! Then we sat for an hour and a half on the plane. Then diverted to Charles Town, West Virginia for 45 minutes. We made it to Newark and we knew the flight was gone and they delayed waiting on us. They said it was room on the next flight, but on arrival the bridge to let us off got stuck and by the time that was over seats were gone. I broke down crying at the counter. I was beyond stressed. The man put us on standby before booking us a room until next day. We get to the gate, last night and they told us others before us, but I said no we have first. Then they said only one of us. I said nope! Can’t leave my daughter. Again, I sat there and cried and was praying the whole time. Then BOOM they call our name. We get the good seats on the 747. They feed us good. I pass out from exhaustion, but my body was not in pain. Get to Paris and luggage is in Chicago. I blame Memphis because that girl was half doing her job when she tagged it. They comp us to buy anything we need up to $100. Luggage will arrive at hotel tomorrow. We are in our Uber and he speaks little English, but is very nice and is telling us many things. He speaks the language of Congo and French. He is from the Congo. We are laughing at the language barrier. The lady on the plane next to me was so nice and calmed me down. It’s crazy the madness yet we are here. We are safe. We are happy. (Taken from my Facebook page as I documented my journey).

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Marvelous view from our hotel!

~Nikki

It’s Been Awhile and A Whirlwind

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Awhile: Sure I went to Paris and I have boatloads of photos to share! But, I have been going through some things, you know life stuff (matters of the heart) and I have not “made” time to write.

Here’s the whirlwind, I took a huge risk in the relationship department. HUGE. GIGANTIC. UNCONVENTIONAL. NONTRADITIONAL. Walking on a tightrope over the Seine river with no safety net and I don’t know how to swim. I don’t wish I could say more because when you’re not sure what the hell is going to happen you keep your mouth closed and keep praying.

IF this is the real deal, I can tell you that it’s not wrapped neatly in the pretty paper from Tiffany’s I thought it would be wrapped in. IF it’s not the real deal, HELL of a lot HEALING will be going on.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Life Doesn’t Get Any Easier????

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There are a couple of quotes that state something like, “Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get stronger or Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get better at handling the things you go through.” I would read these quotes and literally roll my eyes. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the part that says “Life doesn’t get any easier” because I want life to get easier. Don’t we all? Raise your hand if you want life to get harder and remain difficult. I thought so. Can we just get strong enough and learn enough and life gets better? Oh, wait, there is a thought. Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson Yes, quote me on that.

You see, I am at this ebb and flow period of my life. This, nothing is happening, something is happening, but very slowly and we are going from 0 to 100 the next day or moment. I don’t like this phase of things. I imagine this is what being sea sick is like or motion sickness. I just want to get to my destination and BE STILL and ENJOY. I don’t want to ride the ups and downs of these sometimes humongous waves. Heck, I can’t surf or swim! Topsy turvy much? Yes. Much. This type of phase doesn’t work well with my anxiety and depression. What is a girl to do?

A girl is to hold on. For dear life. To her Creator’s unchanging hand. A girl is to cry, get upset, be happy, meditate, have a margarita or go to bed. However, a girl deals with this phase of life is how a girl deals…without judgement from others or herself.

Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson