Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Break: Paris

October 26th marked the beginning of the long awaited 10 day Fall Break. Hall-lelujah. The plan was great: three days in Paris, four days in London, three days in Dublin. SUCH a good trip. We saw so much and did so much, and I can't believe it's already over! Now, being back in Rome, it almost seems like we never left at all. Those 10 days went by way too fast.

So we left Rome early on Friday morning and caught our plane to Paris. We didn't even make it out of the airport before our adventure began. First thing we saw out of security was the one, the glorious, STARBUCKS. I waited 2 months for this Starbucks, 2 months. And oh. my. It was good. After that dose of heaven, we went into Paris and moved into our hostel, then spent the first day seeing some of the major sights: Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero. We grabbed linner (or dunch) in the Latin Quarter at a little Creperie where I had eaten when I was in Paris with MC in March. I knew that coming back to Paris seven months later would be fun, but I didn't realize how heartwarming it would be to go back to these places that were familiar. After linner we decided to spend our evening at the Louvre and since it was Friday night it was free for students! Love that. So we visited the major spots (Mona, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and others). After the Louvre we went to Trocadero, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, to see it lit up and sparkling. Truly a great first night in Paris.

outside the Louvre

Winged Victory

posing with Mona

posing with Venus

Louvre at night

Eiffey from Trocadero

le tour Eiffel

The next day was my favorite day in Paris, and quite possibly one of my favorite days of the whole trip. Instead of doing a full-fledged bike tour, Lindsey and I rented bikes from Fat Tire Bike Tours. Their office was located just a couple of blocks away from the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars so we biked right around there and across the Seine a bit too! It was a beautiful day (although still quite cold - as was the theme of the whole trip) and it was just so enjoyable to ride bikes around the Eiffel Tower. One of the best parts about renting those bikes - it was so cheap! Love it when that happens. After we turned the bikes back in, we grabbed two baguettes and some cheese from a nearby shop and then went and ate lunch on a bench on the Champs de Mars. Classic French, right? After lunch, we went to Musee de l'Orangerie - undoubtedly one of my favorite places. Anywhere. The Monet rooms are magnificent. I could spend a whole day in there. If you haven't been, go. That's all there is to it. And to make the museum even better, we got in for free! WOOT. Finally, we finished off the day with shopping on the Champs Elysees with some Starbucks. I also made a side trip to see MC's old apartment! So fun!

biking by the Eiffel Tower

LOVED being on a bike

a lunch of a baguette and cheese by the Eiffel Tower

Arc de Triomphe

outside MC's old apartment

For the third and final day in Paris, I had a special treat: I got to spend the day with my sweet sweet grandbig from Phi Mu, Sarah. She's spending the year teaching English in a French city just outside of Paris, so she took a train in and we got to frolic around one of the greatest cities in the world. It was so wonderful to see someone from school in Europe. We walked by Notre Dame, got a good long lunch in the Latin Quarter, walked to the Louvre, through the Tuilleries Gardens, listened to music on the steps of the Opera Garnier, and sipped espresso in the lounge chairs of a cafe. It was a magnificent day. That evening, we finished off our time in Paris with a good french dinner. I was certainly sad to see our time in Paris end, but I could not wait  to get to London.

the love lock bridge

great grand big and flat great grand little re-united by the Louvre

SO happy to see Sarah in Paris

Jumping back into the present for a moment, I can't believe today is actually the day that it is. I'm not going to rant on about my political opinions or anything, but I sure am interested to see how the election plays out in the next 12 hours. I don't know what kind of coverage I'll be able to find here in Italy, but I'm hoping I can track the progress right along with all of you that are in the States!

I'll try and post about London and Dublin before the end of the week!


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