Monday, September 23, 2013

Bonjour, Paris!

This weekend we boarded the Eurostar, rode beneath the English Channel (which I fell asleep during both times) and made our way to Paris! The city of lights and love.... right? Well I can't say that I was really a fan.  My dad always told me Paris was a dump (but he says that about everywhere so I didn't believe him) however, Paris is actually a dump.

Anyway, the first night we got there we had a group dinner at a restaurant near our hotel (the very fancy Holiday Inn Express.... in the slums of Paris... thanks for the awesome location in section 19 compared to 1 where everything is) but the food was actually excellent! We started with bread which all of us were very excited about and a tomato and pesto starter (and wine... sorry mom and dad but we were in Paris!) our main meal was duck confit and a chocolate lava cake with raspberry sauce!

We then explored a little bit around the hotel to see what there was and we found public urinals, homeless people, and drunk people. Paris is so quaint... but we actually came across a bridge and we got our first glance at the Eiffel Tower! I'm just getting the hang of night photography and without a tripod the pictures are a little blurry so I apologize for that. 

The next day we had a bus tour of Paris and got to see a lot of the sights but only got to get off at the Eiffel Tower. 

a little slice of home

I think I only took this picture because that's where we had to meet after our free afternoon... but it turned out nice! 

My first real french crêpe! So yummy! 

We then had some free time where we saw the love lock bridge and attempted to walk from Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe........ did not realize how far away it was so ultimately we did not get all the way there. The love lock bridge is where you put a lock on the bridge with someone you love and throw the key into the river to symbolize the "unbreakable bond" (suuuure.... I bet that worked out for so many of those couples especially because they cut the locks off from time to time. If you looked closely enough most of the locks were from 2013) But who wouldn't want to put a lock on!? So Tyler and I did! (But no worries it was all for fun. I mean when is the next time I'll be in Paris with a boy again!? I can tell you that answer actually. Never. Paris is a dump) 

Throwing the key in the river... for all I know it could have just landed back on the bridge. 

My thoughts on it being "unbreakable" are expressed below... I'm only 20! I have my priorities: Food, family, friends, school, happiness, yoga, clothes, shoes, boys - in that order. But I will remind you this is the first and last time I will be in Paris so might as well go all out! 

Then the hike down the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe began.... fortunately we got to see the gardens which were really nice and I especially love all the white stone sculptures that I saw a lot of while we were in Paris and Versailles. 

We then walked back on a different way and got lunch before we had a boat cruise down the Seine river where we saw all of the same things we did on the bus... excellent way to spend money. However, I did get better photos of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. 

This one's for you mama! 


We then saw a bit of Paris at night including the light show at the Eiffel Tower which sounds romantic but really is NOT when people are trying to sell you champagne and wine for "good price" every single minute (and I'm not even exaggerating). 

The next day we went to Château de Versailles which was lovely but ABSOLUTELY PACKED (and apparently the off season too...) However, going for just the gardens is worth it. 

Sorry they were out of order.

That afternoon we walked to the top of the Arc de Triomphe - a triumph it was! 

And got some more crêpes from Amorino...

and macaroons of course! Those little buggers are delicious!

The one fabulous thing about Paris: THE WEATHER AND SUNSHINE!!!!!!! So nice not to be away from the clouds and rain! But I am thrilled to be back in London where the underground isn't covered in graffiti or as confusing, the streets don't smell like urine, the people smoke weaker cigarettes, and the people speak english! London > Paris. 

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