Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SB 2011: Paris!

So NBD but I had my 21st birthday with my parents in France, Paris to be exact and it was freaking awesome. I have wanted to visit France since I took my first French class in the 4th grade and finally, at age 21 I was able to go!! Papa Berg got me champagne to at the top of the Eiffel Tower (I'm trying to be modest but it's really hard, when this was like a once in a life time experience) Anyway, getting to Paris was not as easy as I had hoped. There was a strike on an airline and then my flight got canceled because somehow my airline was also involved, I'm not quite sure, but basically I had to buy a new, more expensive ticket for the next day and chill by myself in some random hotel in Venice. And I was not on the main cool island of Venice, I was at a hotel that had a farm next door, so it smelt like poop the whole time I was there. So instead of getting to Paris on time, I went on a run, nearly got hit by several cars because apparently Italian drivers are not used to runners in those parts, maybe it's because there were hardly any people around, and got trail mix and fruit for dinner at a convenience store because the two restaurants nearby looked closed. It was really a fabulous time, then I watched a bunch of French crime shows because I only had four channels, one was in Italian, one in Spanish, one in French, and one was car racing. So I watched the French channel and thankfully I sort of could understand what was going on and I'm into crime shows so I wasn't totally bored. But it was not a great time, the only solo guest at the place and probably the youngest. But on the other hand, breakfast was delicious, chocolate croissants with cappuccinos and it was included so at least the morning started off right. And going with the things aren't going right theme, I got to the airport and my flight was super duper delayed, I was supposed to leave at 12:20 and the airport didn't show up until 14:00, so stupid, I've never been to Paris and this was the prime opportunity and everything went so not how it was supposed to. But enough of the half page of complaints already, I got there! And it was everything I wanted, I want to go back and get the day and a half back that I missed out on.

So this is the real fun stuff; I met my parents at the train station and we went to the hotel so I could freshen up and tour around the city. Sitting in an airport for half a day does wonders for your hair, really, wonders. So we walked around Paris, I got to see the Seine, Notre Dame and its flying buttresses which I've been dying to see, a couple of gypsies, Pont-neuf, the Eiffel tour from a distance (it was really pretty once the sun set, they light it up and its just really nice against the dark sky) we got to walk by the Luxembourg garden (I have to brag here too; my mom and I went jogging there everyday and it was so pretty and refreshing). We got dinner at a little place in the Latin Quarter and had some more traditional French meals, I do love a good pomme frites. After dinner, we walked around some more just exploring Paris at night. I like to pretend that I'm a native and just walk around like I know where I'm going.

Notre Dame!
Proof I was in Paris!

The Eiffel Tower, so pretty!

Me and the pops at the Louvre

The rest of the family (minus E)

For Alex: random dance off, thought you'd appreciate this group of Parisians.

The mini Arc.

We went to the Louvre the next morning and i got to see EVERYTHING. Like the Seated Scribe and the Venus de Milo, I mean everything I learnt about in my Art History courses freshman year; it was so exciting. As I posted earlier, you don't always think you'll be able to ever see some of the works in person and then you do! Anyway, to all of those who haven't already heard the Mona Lisa is small and people swarm around her, go in expected it to be portrait sized. I did this, and was not underwhelmed, it was actually larger than I had expected, which is saying something, so just be prepared. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful piece, just don't expect to see a real life Jesus or anything. After being totally exhausted, because all the things I wanted to see were all over the place, we got crepes in the gardens right outside the museum. And let me say, my my are they delicious; I don't know why French women aren't fat, they say it's the walking but I also do a lot of walking and don't seem to turn into a size 0 overnight. Anyhow, it was so beautiful and I loved being able to order in French; after all those years of Madame Flynn and her terrible accent, I was finally able to use my French and in real life. (only if you think I'm living in real life right now, this could be fake life). I GOT TO SEE THE CENTRE DE GEORGE POMPIDOU!!!! For those who don't know this has been the only thing I could talk about when discussing my trip to France. I've talked about this building like it's my job and well I finally got to see it. And there was a street actor doing a little show with the audience right outside. It was awesome, the building is so cool. Saw a pretty freaking sweet church also, I found the shoes of my dreams also, but didn't buy them-epic fail. We also went to the Arc de Triomphe, which also goes highly recommended, but all guide books do. We got dinner at this little cafe; I love in Europe that they expect you to sit and chat for a really long time and never pressure you with the check. It's really nice because you don't feel awkward staying long after your meal is over.

Yup, small.

Veronese! Love it.

The view from upstairs

Take art history, you'll appreciate this dude.

Outside the Lourve, on our way to crepe eating.

Random acting


The tomb of the unknown at the Arc.

My Birthday! So I turned 21 in France! After an awesome breakfast at our now regular place, with fried eggs and fresh (I mean like an orange in my glass fresh) orange juice, we stood in line at the Eiffel Tour and I worked on my tan for 3 hours. Then we were finally able to go up, thankfully the had just reopened the summit, so it wasn't crowded and we got to go up without a wait. IT WAS GREAT; the view was awesome, awesome, and I don't even like heights. I think since I've climbed all these super tall buildings/churches in Europe, my fear of heights is nearly gone. Plus I got champagne at the top and toasted my dad for my 21st and of course took a million photos. Then of course we had to go on a sightseeing boat on the Seine, a total necessity. Plus the boat tour leader spoke like 5 languages fluently, also a must see. It was amazing weather, nice and sunning so I also got to see a lot of speedo-ed French men, which is yet another highlight. After that we went to dinner with a view of the top of the Eiffel Tower, it was a must for me. I also got some champagne at dinner because now I'm old and wise enough to drink it :) The food was super delicious and i had this mind blowing apple tart for dinner; it was like a baked apple but squashed, weird but so so good, and my dad had them put a candle in it which was sweet. They al wished me a bonne anniversaire and I ate happily. ALSO, greatest dinner ever, because there was the most pretentious lame LAME American guy at the table next to us and I basically listened to him the whole time. He owns a bunch of chateaus and wanted to have worldly, cultured children with his study abroad girlfriend, who he was obviously trying to impress. I was underwhelmed, there are only so many times you need to mention how you own more properties than your mom, or how beautiful this girls eyes are in the sun; it's just way way to nauseating.

Isn't the view awesome from the top; it is DEFINITELY worth it to go all the way up.

I live there!

I also live here.

From the Bateaux-mouches

Really awesome architecture piece (I've forgotten what it is, but it's near the tower, go)

Our last day, sadly, in Paris, we spent the whole morning in line for the Catacombs. Who knew so many people wanted to see a bunch of bones. Okay, I'm being over critical, it was actually awesome once you got down there, it just wasn't my choice of activities. But years ago, cemeteries were dug up and al the bones were arranged underground, way below ground. They had the skulls and femurs stacked in a design, it was really crazy. Also before we made it inside, when we were stuck in line I decided to go shoe shopping. I found the most amazing pair of shoes in Copenhagen for nearly 70 dollars and not in my size and I loved them and saw a similar pair in France, didn't buy them and should have, so I found a totally different pair that I also like instead. A pair of black ballet flats, that look a little like gentleman's shows, basically no one will recognize me when I get home because I'll be so posh and European, just you wait. I think I've said too much/actually I think I just want to go to bed, but I'll be sure to update about the parents in CPH soon. EVERYONE SHOULD GO TO PARIS, ASAP!

Inside the catacombs, it was a model craved into the stone; I didn't take pictures of the bones because that's weird, but I promise they're organized in a cool way.

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