Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paris: Practically Perfect in Every Way, Day 2


On Wednesday it was Cath's 20th Birthday! How lucky is she to spend her birthday in Paris? Well, we started the day off a little rushed...Lauren and I intended to wake up at 6:30am and woke up at 7am instead! Luckily, we still had a half hour so we managed to get dressed and eat breakfast in time. Breakfast was of course traditional French croissants. I gave Cath her birthday present that morning too. It's a necklace with a crown charm on it, just like the one she gave me for my birthday. At 8am we began what was about to be a very long excursion to Versailles. The hotel suggested we walk to the train station because it was only 15-20 minutes away, yet somehow we ended up in the Industrial Zone of Paris, walking along the highway, wondering where in the world we were, for an hour and 10 minutes. There were elements of humor to it and also elements of frustration. However, we did manage to make it to the train station and after a 40 minute ride we arrived to Versailles.

Versailles was a lot of fun. I'd been there last summer so it wasn't a shocker like it was for the other girls, but I still really enjoyed it. We went through the inside first. The Hall of Mirrors is always quite the site. It was what Annie and Lauren were most excited for. We took our time wandering through it and admiring the vision Louis XIV had. He was quite the spoiled guy. After that we headed out to the gardens. The one downfall in comparison to last summer was that the gardens weren't nearly as pretty and it was really cold. Other than that we had a lot of fun. We took some excellent pictures and wandered down to the lake. When we got there the girls wanted to see Mary Antoinette's village she had built. It was a ways up another path so we kept walking till we got to the entrance. Cath and I went there last summer so we decided to let them go ahead. We ended up sitting at the entry gate for a good 40 minutes listening to some tunes. When they weren't showing up we decided to head back to Paris and meet them at the Louvre.

When we got back into Paris we were in desperate need for some lunch so we went searching for a pastry shop. After wandering through a couple streets we found one and enjoyed a nice cheese bread. It tasted great. When we got to the Louvre Abs, Ann, Laura, and Lauren were waiting for us. Poor Abby got "coat picked" at Versailles! Well, we stepped inside the building for a long afternoon of artwork. Don't get me wrong, I love the Louvre and I appreciate the art, but it gets a bit wearing after a while. I did love seeing the "Winged Victory" and the "Mona Lisa". That sculpture is amazing and inspiring and I love everything about it. The Mona Lisa is cool, but I think it gets a little more hype than necessary sometimes. It was also fun to wander around the museum and recognize a lot of art that we've been discussing in Humanities this semester. I think it made me appreciate it a lot more. When it was around 5pm Cath and I had to go back to her parent's hotel for dinner. We decided we'd meet the girls around 8pm at the Eiffel Tower!

Dinner was really fun. We went to a restaurant that had a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Cute Lisa and John treated us to a delicious meal. I shared some french onion soup with Cath and had some ravioli for my main course. It was so nice to have a good sit down dinner. We talked a lot about London and how amazing it has been for Cath and me over the last 3 months. I've really realized how much it has changed my life. I honestly don't think I've ever been happier. Lisa said that if she could do 3 things over again Study Abroad would be one of them. I think I feel the same way. I have just loved every minute of it. When we were done with dinner we headed to the Eiffel Tower. The light show was going on as we were walking and it was so pretty. It was gold, blue, white, multi-colored, and flashing. I loved it.

When we got to old Eiffel we got our tickets and got in line for the elevator. We were so lucky because it had been really crowded every night, but of course on Catherine's birthday the place seemed to be empty. The ride to the top was an exciting one. I couldn't wait to be on top looking over all of Paris. When we arrived it was FREEZING! Truly so so cold. However, I think that made it that much more memorable. We were laughing so hard the whole time and hurriedly taking pictures of each other in the brisk wind. Hair was everywhere, fingers were numb, but I've honestly never had a better time. The view is so amazing. The Eiffel Tower is so much higher than everything else in the city that you can literally see every single thing. We sang "Happy Birthday" to Cath plus John and Lisa's own ending verse. I'm so happy she's now 20 with me. Bye bye to our teen years.

When we were back on the ground we had to end our night with some crepes. We went to the place located right next to the Eiffel. John and Lisa were so nice and treated us! I got a Nutella banana crepe and it was beyond good. I think it must be the best place in town. Seriously, something could not have tasted better at that moment in time. I think everyone felt the same way as me. We were all just savoring every bite. It was the perfect way to end the night, and I think Cath had a great day!

Another wonderful day in the City of Light!

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