Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Magical Time in Paris, FranceI bou

On Thursday morning (May Day, a holiday in Europe), Ashley and I boarded the train in Werne to leave for Paris, France. That morning my host dad came into my room at 8:00 AM so that we could all eat breakfast together before Jule left for her festivities that day. I finished packing, showered and we left for Paris! I was very anxious about the trip. I was quite nervous about just the two of us traveling to another country alone. Would the metro systems in Paris be confusing? Would we make all of our trains on time? Would we be able to find our hotel once we got into Paris? A million questions were running through my mind. Around 4:30 we arrived in Paris at the Paris Nord station. We bought a 5-day metro pass and found the route to our hotel. Our hotel was located near the Arc de Triomphe. We found our hotel very easily, went up into our room and settled into our new home for the weekend. It started to rain very heavily once we got into our hotel so we did not venture out into the city that night. We had packed sandwiches and chips earlier that morning so we ate those for dinner.

On Friday, we were going to explore Paris! I could not believe I was actually in Paris. It seemed like a dream honestly. First, we ate lunch at a deli on the Champs de Elysses and then we walked through the different shopping stores along the street. We went into a chocolate store and I wanted to buy everything! We went into an H&M and some other French stores. After we finished looking around the shopping stores, we decided we wanted to go visit Notre Dame. We determined which routes to take on the metro and after walking around a block once or twice, we finally found Notre Dame. It was absolutely beautiful! It was such a neat experience since I taught my 6th graders at Natcher Elementary about Notre Dame during my student teaching. The cathedral was even more beautiful as it is in photographs. We decided not to go inside since the line was extremely long and it was rainy. We wanted a creppe so we found a cute little cafe on the corner of a street where they served creppes. I ordered a peach creppe and Ashley ordered a chocolate creppe. Mine was very delicious! After we finished eating we went back to the hotel and waited for Jennay and Stephanie to arrive in Paris. We were all 4 going to visit the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower that afternoon/night. After Jennay and Stephanie texted us telling us that they were finally in Paris, we decided to meet them at the Louvre. Once Ashley and I arrived at the Louvre, we took several pictures and walked around the area to look at the different buildings. We finally found Jennay and Stephanie so we went inside. You had to enter the glass pyramid and go underground to enter the museum. We actually got into the museum for free since we were under 26 years old and it was Friday night. We were thrilled that we did not have to pay! We found the famous Mona Lisa--it was very small and was fenced off. The crowd of people around the painting was unreal. We saw some other famous works of art and then left the museum. We decided then that we wanted to go see the Eiffel Tower--I was so giddy that I felt like a small child! By the time we made it to the Eiffel Tower, it was dark outside. The Eiffel Tower was absolutely beautiful but little did we know it would be even more gorgeous at the very top! We waited in line about an hour and finally made our way to the very top. The view was incredible! I didn't think I was afraid of heights but as soon as I got to the very top, my stomach felt a little uneasy. It was probably the coolest experience I have ever done in my life! We left the Eiffel Tower around 11:30 and went back to our hotel. Ashley and I got McDonalds on the way home since we hadn't had dinner. It was such an amazing day in Paris!

On Saturday, we wanted to go to the Palace of Versailles. We bought our metro ticket to travel to Versailles and hopped on the train. It was very tricky figuring out how to get out there but we made it. We only were able to tour the palace--we could not go to the gardens. I was disappointed that we had gotten there too late to buy the garden tickets. The palace was the most lavish thing I had ever seen! It blew my mind that someone actually lived there! The Hall of Mirrors was amazing. Had to take a selfie there of course. After we left the Palace of Versailles, we went back to Paris and walked around several shops downtown. I bought some super cute wedges at a shop downtown. By the end of the day, I was sad that our time in Paris had come to an end but I was excited to see my host family again the next day!

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