I'd prefer to not delve into detail of how long it took me to make the above design. It just felt necessary. It felt like the only way to demonstrate my devotion...Yah, so... I'm certifiably obsessed with Paris.
Sofia and I arrived to Charles de Gaulle, and everything felt so familiar. I remember waiting in this airport two years ago for Alex and Kelsey to arrive... seeing Alex down the long corridor and just sprinting like my life depended on it toward her to receive her into my welcoming arms.... aaaaaaaaaaand I'm crying hahahaha just kidding just kidding, but we had a grand old time in Paris two years ago and I was excited to be in Paris for the third time and to see how/if my sentiments toward the city would change!
I truly felt like a local arriving to Paris. Okay...that is a bit of a stretch. I speak enough French to not get lost and accidentally end up in Germany, and I am familiar with the airports, the RER, and the metro as well as many stops...but I think what made me so excited was the people I knew in Paris! For starters, the four friends we made two years ago all still lived in the area, and one of them, named Gamha, was even letting Sofia and I stay in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend. Then there were three other Grinnell Women's Soccer individuals who happened to be in Paris the same time I was! I know eight people, someone give me my French residency already!!
|Cute menu at the cafe|
After lunch we had a fairly relaxed afternoon...Sofia and I were exhausted from all our traveling so we decided to take our time and get ready for a concert we were going to that night. We did just that. Now this band we were going to see...was not of my choosing. It was definitely Sofia's thing, a punk rock type of band that I just DO. NOT. COMPREHEND. (The name of the band is King Khan & the BBQ Show) The show itself was entertaining at least, I could never make the mistake of saying it was boring...the two guys in the band dressed up in ridiculous costumes, made the strangest faces while performing, jumped around wildly, you know, overall they delivered for their type of crowd. So I'm glad Sofia and everyone else in the venue enjoyed it... but meanwhile I was there wishing the prices of beers weren't 6 euros a pop and daydreaming about the Eiffel Tower! After the concert we called it a night... we had a lot of Paris to see the next day!
The plan for the next day was to go on the free walking tour of Paris. Of all the New Europe Tours I've been on, Paris has always been the most entertaining. The guides are the most knowledgeable and engaged, and the city is just perfect. Well, anyone who knows the Dominguez women knows that we are not a timely bunch, and so Sofia and I missed the tour. But, Sofia suggested that I just show her around since I knew the city well enough, so that's exactly what we did!
|Pont de Arts aka Lover's Bridge|
|The Louvre Museum|
|Me and Mackenzie|
Next up was meeting with Allison. We planned to meet up at the Arc de Triomphe...and I was 45 minutes late. I had no way of contacting her but we just made our way there and hoped for the best! We made it there, but just barely... why are there no clear directions as to how to actual get to the Arc?? It's located in the middle of a huge roundabout and there's no crosswalk. Our weary bodies were NOT about to take a chance and dash across the eight lane roundabout. Eventually we found the dang tunnel and made our way to the Arc. It was enormous and beautiful! It also made for a nice place to sit, take a breather, and enjoy the sunset of Paris...
"OH MY GODDDDD YOU´RE STILL HERE´
Our silent rest was interrupted when I turn to my right to see Allison, panting, bent over a railing, sunglasses half falling off, lugging a gigantic suitcase behind her...I could not for the life of me stop laughing. Only you, Al, only you. We all went and got a snacky at a nearby cafe, and Allison proceeded to talk my ear off just like old times :) She later also joined us for dinner at Canteen Bus (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) with Gamha and his girlfriend. This restaurant holds a ton of memories for our French friends as they always went there on roommate dinners, and somehow, two years ago they let us (Alex, Kelsey and me) lodge ourselves onto the room mate bandwagon and pretend that we also hold lots of memories with them there. It was a deliciously large meal as always, and I was very comforted to see that amongst the numerous photos of celebrities on the walls, over the past two years that I´d been gone the restaurant had finally got the mind to put up a picture of Tyler Durden :)
What followed this evening after dinner was nothing short of...majestical. This was my third visit to Paris and I was finally going to see the Eiffel Tower in its full glory...lit up at night, with some wine in hand and wonderful people in my surroundings. It was Allison, Sofia, Gamha, his friend, and myself all waiting in the chilly Parisian night for the spectacular to begin. We had a couple of bottles of wine to warm ourselves, and we anxiously awaited the lights to illuminate. And then...it happened...
So as I said, we visited the Louvre. Gamha had the brilliant idea of buying our tickets beforehand...and holy crap was it a good idea. When we got there the line wound its way around the plaza, and we just skipped on up to the front and were let in right away (Man, I could get used to this VIP treatment). Before entering the museum, we knew there was no way we would be able to cover the whole thing...most people have told me that it takes 4-6 hours at the very least. We decided that we would power through and see the most famous pieces of art, and that still ended up taking us about 3 hours! We saw the Mona Lisa, which was quite an unpleasant experience. There was a crowd forming a 30 meter radius semi-circle around the thing, so you had to gradually work your way toward the middle. Now, I've experienced rude people pushing in lines and whatnot, but NOTHNG like the crowd around the Mona Lisa. Everyone was "no-mercy", elbowing and shouldering to try to get the best view. I felt so bad for a lady who couldn't have been taller than 4'8" and was getting tossed around like a rag doll. Anyway, there was a lot of yelling and sweating and smelly people and I don't think the art piece is worth the fuss. It's something you gotta see once in your life though, I suppose.
There were many other pieces in the Louvre that I found to be more alluring and beautiful. I dug the Greek and Roman sculptures in particular:
|My future home?|
After the Lourve, Gamha and his girlfriend guided us to Montmarte There we saw the Sacre Coeur as well as the Moulin Rouge. It was comforting to see that the same amazing juggling/street entertainer from 2 years ago was still standing up on a pillar on the Sacre Coeur! We were quite beat after this visit, so we made our way back to the apartment, where Sofia and I attempted to create a Mexican meal for Gamha and his girlfriend with the limited amount of Mexican supplies available in France! It was...mediocre... I really need to start paying attention to my mom and grandma when they cook. At least the guacamole was pretty good :)
|My pile of meat and potatoes with some raclette|
After lunch the family brought out the CUTEST little cake with bunnies and eggs on it...and I thought to myself, wow that's cute, are bunnies a French thing too... wait a second ...It's Easter today, isn't it? Holy crap I am spending a holiday with a French family...SERIOUSLY now, GIVE ME FRENCH RESIDENCY!!!!!! And if I weren't full enough from that meal AND dessert, Erwan still came through on his promise to make me crepes. And they were perfectly delicious as always! It was such a pleasure to see all of the guys again (but sad that Florian couldn't join us ;) ) I literally never stop laughing when I am with these crazy French men!! I can't wait until the next time we are all together!
|We are all French!!!! (Antoine, Erwan, Me, Gamha)|
So, after this I went to sleep, dreaming of glittering Eiffel Towers, succulent lemon crepes, and heart attack raclette cheese. Early the next morning I had my flight back to Spain...back to reality, away from France :(
Everyone tells me... "Well why don't you stop talking about how much you love Paris (but really...no one wants to hear about it anymore!!) and just find a way to move there!" I have considered it. I read an awesomely informative book last year called C'est la vie about a woman who lived in Paris... basically what I gathered from the book is that I'll need to be 40-50 years old with piles of money to spare if I ever want to think about even surviving in Paris. It is expensive as hell. And honestly, I would be scared to lose the magic and giggly girl feeling that I feel every time I return to Paris. Wouldn't it all just lose its novelty? I think I'll prefer to keep my heart locked up in the Eiffel Tower...you can't live without your heart...so I can't live without a bit of Paris every so often :)