I am officially in love with Paris. Future husband: this is my honeymoon destination. SO much has happened since my last post and I have loved every minute of it!!! This is the first post I don’t have to rush through, so i’ll give u some details, starting Wednesday night.
Moulin Rouge: O MY GOD. Everyone who visits Paris should definitely go. It was so much fun and the most entertaining, ever. After a drink at the bar next door (which we have gone to twice more after that), we entered the quint, cozy, lamp-light cabaret hall and sat down to a really yummy dinner and a few bottles of wine while a jazz band was playing on the stage. Everyone was so giddy and excited about everything Paris, another one of the “I can’t believe I’m here” moments. When the show started, male and female dancers (yes, topless) came out in beautiful elaborate costumes and they did the most French dance moves I have ever seen. Since it started, I don’t think I blink. In between the dancing, they had little shows like a juggler and acrobats that did VERY impressive acts. Highlights of the show included a girls swimming in a pool with snakes, mini donkeys, and ridiculous costumes. Youtube it! All the girls agreed that the toplessness was unnecessary and distracting, while the guys disagreed. A good group of us went back to the bar next door (O’Sullivans, our fave) and had one of the best nights that I’ve had in a while. We danced to really good music (I guess the French love Macklemore) and became even closer friends. Seriously, the group is amazing.
The next morning, Thursday, or yesterday I guess (it is so hard to keep track of days) we all hopped on the bus tired but happy from the night before and went to a tour of a French perfumerie. It was cool and interesting! After that, I headed to the Louvre with a small group to see Mona (eh.) the had a really nice lunch a a super French cafe. I got escargot!!!! And a cheese plate, because I was in Paris. In the afternoon, the group went to Versaille. We had a tour and it was super cool! I liked the back gardens the best. Last night we went up to the Sacre Coeur on the top of the hill in the cute Montmarte neighborhood. The Sacre Coeur is a really pretty church built to celebrate the end of the plague. When mom and I were there last time, they had skateboarders and bikers riding down a ramp built on the steps that lead up to it. We had another traditional french dinner in a square in Montmarte that is lined with little creperies, street artists, and cobblestones. We ordered a bottle of wine and frog legs for the the table (!), I had beef bourguigone and a crepe for desert. We walked down to the hill and back to O’Sullivan because clearly we can’t get enough.
I don’t think I mentioned that last night was the official last night of the tour. They do extensions in Paris, Rome, and Amsterdam after, but they are less structured and not escorted. Obviously I chose to stay in Paris, but everyone else kind of dispersed, so last night was the last hoorah. Five others are still in Paris too, not my closest friends on the trip, but I will be hanging out with them while I’m here. This includes a couple from Ohio that just found out they are having twins!
Despite a late night last night, I woke up early and set off into the city alone to do some things on my list that I didn’t do with the others. For navigating the city myself, I think I did really well!! Between being here with my mom and this trip, I feel really comfortable getting around (both walking and metro), and feel like I have covered a ton of ground. It’s a pretty cool feeling. I got off the metro at the Grand Palais, walked alongside the Tuileries gardens (it was a bit rainy at this point) to Angelina – a tea room with the best hot chocolate in all of Paris! This (click and keep strolling for more pics!) is the picture from when I went with Mom!! the hot chocolate comes with a huge thing of heavy whipped cream. Heaven. I didn’t get one this time, but got their famous french macaroon! I would bring home macaroons to EVERYONE if they didn’t go stale after one day, so disappointing. I kept strolling to another destination that involves a surprise gift that I can’t write about yet, then over the the islands. I LOVE the islands. They feel more Parisian to me for some reason, and are home to the Notre Dame and the St. Chapelle churches. I went to the flower market on the big island that I would bring home with me in pocket if I could (remember how awesome it was, mom!) I didn’t go into the St. Chapelle this trip, but it was one of my favorite spots last time (pictures in the link up there). I then crossed over to the little island to go to Berthillon, a famous and awesome ice cream shop and got a pear and almond waffle cone. I Know. I walked up to the Luxembourg palace/ gardens and ate one of my macaroons in one of the chairs set in front of it (lots of walking needs lots of calories, right?) Finally, I walked all the way up to the Catacombes and waited in a long line to get in. Its an underground ossuary that runs from 2 km and holds the remains of six MILLION Parisians. Wiki it! Its crazy! It was dark and scary and skulls and femurs are piled on top of each for what feels like forever. So eerie. It was only a tiny bit weird being alone all day today, but really fun! I did whatever I wanted to, and really had to learn to rely on my sense of direction and very poor french skills.
I took the metro back to the hotel where I had a very late lunch due to all the sweets I’ve been eating and am now lying on my bed. I’m making myself stay in and relax tonight, upload photos ect, because my body needs it. Tomorrow is another free day in Paris. My friend Marc from New Zealand and I are gonna hang, I’m thinking of Musee D’Orsay, but who knows. Off to Cassis to see Marti and David the next day! I’m very excited for that!
My Paris Top 5:
1) Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkles come on when you’re not expecting it
2) Moulin Rouge and all the excitement that comes with it
3) Biking around the city!
4) FOOD. macaroons, escargot, cheese!
5) Strolling through the gardens and flower shop
Im working on posting pictures. It hard with slow internet, wish me luck!