During my trip to France, I only had 1 full day in Paris. While that may seem like a total bummer, I did drown my sorrows with 5 days in Champagne (the region) afterwards, so all was not lost. So what was I to do? In consulting countless friends and family prior to the trip, they all agreed that I had to see the Mona Lisa. To the Louvre I went.

I set off on foot to the museum, passing by Notre Dame cathedral and the bridge where the locks held steadfast (sadly the locks are no longer there) in a visual enduring symbol of love. This is Paris after all.

I arrived to the Louvre, excited to see painting after painting after sculpture. As a BFA holder, I’ve spent plenty of time in art history lectures and there is nothing like seeing a painting or sculpture, big or small, in person.

I hopped into a carefully constructed roped line where a guide at the entrance cheerfully announced that it would be approximately 2 hours to get into the museum. Wait, what? Two? As in more than one?

Ya, sorry Miss (Mona) Lisa. You’re going to have to wait until my next trip to Paris. Ok, now where to next? I had no real plans post Louvre so I decided to head to another recognizable Parisian landmark—the Eiffel Tower, with a bus ride around the Arc de Triumph for fun first.

It was on the bus that a lovely couple from Cleveland, Ohio. They told me to go to the top, there’s Champagne up there. Done. Sold. Who wouldn’t want to drink Champagne from atop the Eiffel tower? Real, call-it-what-it-is Champagne. C’mon bus. We have Champagne to drink!

Upon arriving at the tower, I immediately saw a good sized line to the top and I took a deep breath. I wasn’t about to wait for two hours to see the Mona Lisa, but for Champagne, atop the Eiffel Tower? That’s a different story. Thankfully, the line moved much quicker and I purchased a ticket to the top of the tower. Bring on the bubbly, I mean the Champagne, I mean the view!

The view from the top observation deck is breathtaking. Even on a partially overcast day, you get a feel for the history of this city. Small buildings with less than straight roads expand out as a far as the eye can see. Yes, there is a financial hub, but even those skyscrapers pale in comparison to the height of the Eiffel Tower. There was only one thing that could beat the view. The view with a glass of Champagne in one’s hand.

True to form, they had Champagne and sparkling rosé. This has to be one of the few times where I didn’t even notice until I reviewed the picture that I was drinking brut rosé out of a plastic flute. It was that good. It’s as if the magic and thrill of being on a small metal balcony nearly 1,000 feet in the air and built over 125 years ago was cranked up to 11 with just the soft taste of that rosé.

I had long wanted to taste wine in France. It was one of the countries I had longed to visit and study (and by study, I mean, wine taste). The various cafes and restaurants did not disappoint one bit, but there is something magical when you are drinking Champagne in the most wondrous of locations.

Here’s to Paris for making an amazing journey to the top of the Eiffel Tower just that more memorial. I can now check drinking a glass of brut rosé from on top of the Eiffel Tower off of my bucket list.