Sunday, March 24, 2013
The Rest of Our Weekend in Paris
"Remember that time we woke up in Paris?" was precisely what I said as I rolled over in bed Friday morning. We started off the day with a trip to (oh dear, let me google how to spell this because French sounds nothing like it looks - I swear the middle of the word just disappears) Sacre Coeur, a beautiful church on a hill. We then returned to the Eiffel Tower for a daytime viewing and were this time able to climb the stairs. We made lots of friends in the lines, especially an Australian family and a couple from Orlando, Florida on their 15th wedding anniversary. Then we started trekking towards the Arc de Triomphe, which we also climbed (and for free, even better) and then we wandered around Avenue des Champs-Elysées. We saw these kids in awesome coats, and we asked them what their deal was. Argentinian rugby team. Fantastic. We kept running into them. It was awesome, they invited us to their hotel, but that didn't quite make the cut in our itinerary. After asking a hotel guy for a cheap place to eat, we started another long trek to the student district and then ran around for 2 hours trying to make a decision because all the restaurant people would stand outside and harass you to come into their restaurant which was obnoxious. But we finally made a decision and I was able to try snails!!! Delicious. Another Paris dream come true. Also had creme brulee for dessert. After dinner we returned to get some sleep to gear up for Saturday which went like this: wake up. Stumble across STARBUCKS COFFEE WOOOOOO. Not that I don't love Italian coffee, but sometimes you want coffee that lasts more that three sips. Continue onto Musee D'Orsay, an art museum which I surprisingly liked. Saw some of Monet's works and the famous Vincent Van Gogh self portrait. Oh oh, then we went to the Luxembourg gardens. Beautiful. There was a fountain with little kids and their sailboats, sunshine, plenty of runners, pony rides (!!), a playground so fancy and big that you had to pay for it and mmmm delicious crepes. This time I went for creme of chestnut instead of my classic Nutella. Amazing. We then walked to Notre Dame Cathredal. Only one problem. It just happened to be the day that they were ringing the new bells for the first time. There were so many people, we couldn't even get that close to the church. But oh well these things happen. Stopped by the Shakespeare and Company bookstore and started tracking down places for dinner. Found this place called The Frog and the Princess which had an enticing menu of chicken wings and nachos, but perhaps an even more enticing cute waiter who invited us in to look at the menu and who got slightly embarrassed when we reminded him that it was outside. We told him we would keep it in mind. We finally settled on this Tibetan restaurant, and very quickly realized it was a bad choice. I think the tiger rug in the background of this picture says it all. So that interesting meal with small portion sizes, left us no choice but to return to cute boy (whose name turned out to be Edward, lives in Australia, taking a gap year in France, has only been there for three weeks) for second dinner, consisting of aforementioned nachos and chicken wings along with my first (and legal!) beer sampler and first legal margarita! The restaurant had an awesome sports atmosphere with a rugby game on TV and we made great friends with the bartender Allie. Afterwards we returned to our apartment and geared up for our final day. We woke early to get to the Louvre right when it opened. Saw the Mona Lisa (so much smaller that you would think, but her eyes do follow you) and the Winged Statue of Victory and Hammurabi's Code. Very cool stuff. Also got another Starbucks coffee. After the Louvre we returned to Notre Dame to pick up Mary Grace and Cayla from mass, and alas Palm Sunday drew another massive crowd, so I had to remain content with simply viewing the outside of Notre Dame, but fine by me. Then we had lunch, said our goodbyes to this wonderful city and began the journey home. It went like this: Walk to the metro. Take the metro to the bus. Pop up out of the metro into a MASSIVE rally against gay marriage. Form a human chain to walk through the crowd and all the flags. Take the bus to the airport. Take that plane back to Italy (after running into a girl who is studying in Spain with my friend Grady from high school). Have the guy at the bus window call to stop the bus from leaving to we can get on to take the bus to the train station. Take the train to Padova. Walk half an hour back home. Now here I am, at 2 am, still SO wired from everything that has happened, but also with a quiz tomorrow at 11:30 so I must force myself to go to sleep!