Paris! The City of Lights and the City of Love. And a lot of it. Especially Valentine's Day weekend. Upon our arrival to the dirty yet classy Parisian city, we made our way to a little cafe for a real parlez-vous francais dinner. I split the the best appetizer, or shall I say hors d'oeuvre, and salad with Megan. The platter consisted of a bunch of different kinds of meats and cheeses, olives (which I now love), tomatoes, and some other mystery items which were delicious. After dinner it was dark out, and we decided to go see the Eiffel! We took a train and got off at about 11:53. Right when we got out we could see the tip of the 1,000 foot tall Tower. It was beautiful! I could not believe that I was standing right there, in Paris, and the Eiffel Tower was right in front of me before my eyes. We started walking closer and more and more of the Tower began to unveil. When the clock struck midnight, right on cue, the entire building began to sparkle. It was almost as if the Tower knew we were coming and was greeting us with a big show. We later found out that it lights up every hour on the hour at night...
Friday we woke up around 10 and went with everyone on the walking tour. This was the day where I ate everything French in sight. It began with 3 croissants by the fountain at St. Michel. I love the french accent. The way everyone said "Meeshell" and "bonshjjjour!" Anyway, three croissants and three minutes later, we made our way to the Notre Dame. After Ashley got a picture of me hunching my back over in front of it and dodging people pretending to be deaf trying to get us to sign their petitions saying that we would give them 20 euro, we went inside.
The Catholic Cathedral, considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, had flying buttresses on the outside, and beautiful stained glass on the inside. Ashley and I blessed ourselves with holy water upon departure.
We continued on to see the Pont Neuf bridge, the Latin Quarter, the Louvre, Palais Royal (which was like an architectural fun zone with giant silver balls, black and white striped stumps coming out of the ground), the Tuileries Gardens, Les Invalides, the Academie Francaise, Opera Garnier, Pont Alexandre III, the Assemble Nationale, Champs-Elysees, the Place de la Concorde, my favorite to pronouce - Zi Arccccc de TriOMPHEEE, and ended at the Grand and Petit Palais. So many cool buildings and statues everywhere.
After the tour Ashley and I were exhausted and ran to the Esplanade des Invalides (French for, really green field) and passed out. It was so nice to just drop all of our bags, purses, jackets, glasses, and just lay for a second looking at the sky and remember where we were.
Oh I didn't finish telling you guys what I ate. Quiche for lunch, ham and cheese crepe for snack, fried donut stuffed with chocolate for another snack.
Our next stop was the ferris wheel at the end of Champs-Elysees. I don't remember the last time I rode one, but it was definitely nothing comparable to the view of Paris surrounding me.
We headed back over to the Louvre to go see the Mona Lisa. The Louvre has definitely been my favorite architectural building so far in Europe. It is so unusual and modern looking like something out of the movie Inception. Or like a glass office building fell and crashed and is half under ground. I saw Mona!! And the Venus de Milo (famous ancient Greek statue).
Croque-monsieur for dinner and a chocolate crepe to wash it down.
Saturday morning we got to sleep in, then went to see the Musee d'Orsay. I saw original paintings from two of my favorite artists; Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet. This was my favorite museum in Europe! I enjoyed being able to recognize work from artists that I was already familiar with and love.
Later in the evening Ashley and I went to go see an act by Olivier Giraud titled "How to Become Parisian in One Hour," at the Theatre de la Main d'Or. It was a suggestion made by our tour guide, but I guess we were the only two interested in going, because within the audience of almost 300 people, we were the only two Americans. I anticipated the act being a semi-tourist type of deal where they taught American's how to act more Parisian while visiting the city. However, the skit was the complete opposite of a touristy event. A little hole in the wall place located in a little hidden alley, Ashley and I walked back and forth past the street the theatre was on a couple of times trying to find it. We felt like such fancy locals. Giraud was hilarious and literally had me cracking up in my seat, dying laughing. He was semi mocking people from all over, both the tourists who come to visit Paris, and the stereotype snobby French themselves. At the end I was called up on stage, completely caught off guard, to perform a few of the lessons he taught us. It was such a fun experience and I'm so so glad we went.
As if the night couldn't get any better, we went back to the Eiffel Tower, but this time to go up! We waited in line for forever surrounded by couples smooching, then took the elevator up to the halfway point and got out to check a looksy. We then proceeded to go alllll the way to the tippy top. It was incredible! I looked down on the baby ferris wheel I had rode the day before, thinking I had such a great view of the city, and that was nothing. It looked tiny! We were so so high up.
Overall, first ten day break was a success. We visited some amazing cities. It's hard to say between Dublin and Paris which was my favorite - Paris there was so many famous sights to see, Dublin there were so many drinks to be drank. And London had a little bit of both.
Since then, I've been to Rome and Venice. I cannot believe that we already leave for our second ten day break in two days!
I dyed my hair yesterday. It's really dark right now, so I'm hoping it will fade a little. But my roots are gone! Wahoo. Oh yeah, and Madeline and I gave Jillian a haircut today. About halfway through with our trip - time for a little maintenance.
Love and miss everyone back home SOO MUCH!
Shout out to you Anna Klele - Happy 22nd!
What I looked like in Paris: (copy & paste)