Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In the city of lights

Last night, we went out again and had a boat ride on the Seine. I fell asleep with my head in my lap and Corbin (a new friend) fell asleep too. My other new friends, (Lauren, Alisha, Francis and Mark) decided to take pictures of us, so once my computer will let me upload those, I'll post them. Despite my total and complete exhaustion, we went out to dinner and ran around the city, trying to find catacombs and creepy tombs.  Didn't, but had fun. Went back to the hotel and went to sleep after my 31 hour (!!!!) day.
( :
 Today, we started the morning off with a tour. Well, actually my room-mate Alisha and I started off the day with the alarm not working and me waking up mysteriously a few minutes after it should have gone off, getting ready and then going down for a croissant with nutella and "jus de pamplemousse" (grapefruit juice). Our hotel is called "Citadines", near the Eiffel Tower.Then we got on a coach and taking an absolutely fantastic tour of the city. After the tour, we thought we were experts and proceeded to get lost many times today. But, the tour part:
We saw the Arch du Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Les Jardins du Luxembourge, viewed the Louvre from afar and went into Notre Dame Cathedral, which was gorgeous!
Wandered today. Finally (and accidentally) found my way to Laduree. Oh my gosh, I was in heaven. I took pictures, which I will post when I can. It was truly spectacular.
I have been speaking a mind-boggling amount of French and have found myself solving mine and other people's problems more times in an hour than I thought possible. My head hurts a little and I have to resist the natural urge to answer English in French and vice versa. I think I have improved a little, but my sentences are still totally broken. Meeting lots of nice Parisians ( and a couple of them who were a little less patient and accomodating) and eating amazing food.
I feel like I have been here for weeks, probably due to jetlag and just the foreign-ness of everything, taking in so many new things.
Paris has been very nice. I wish California had the same number of  open, public spaces.
Tomorrow morning, our itinerary includes going into the Louvre and then going on to Brussels by train. Going out tonight to see the Eiffel Tower and la Pyramide  in front of the Louvre light up.
What I learned today:
The metro gives you a receipt that looks exactly like a ticket, and when you hand it to a friend, they won't be able to get through the gates and you might all leave him behind by accident.
The word "prairie" is actually derived from French, from the words meaning "big field".
The wristwatch was invented by Cartier for an airplane pilot in the early days of aviation who asked him for assistance. He said that while in the air, the flight was so bumpy, he could not remove his hand even for an instant from the steering wheel to check his pocketwatch. Cartier responded, "we'll strap it on his wrist" and the wristwatch was invented.
The Eiffel Tower was hated by the French, who saw it simply as an ugly homage to industry, so the Parliament was preparing to tear it down when a general suggested that they mount a radio antenna on top. Radio was new at the time and the radio wires had to be fixed to the highest building in the city. The Eiffel Tower was, at that point, the tallest structure in the world and so, it was saved from demolition because of the invention of radio.
Guys who speak French sometimes assume you don't understand them and say impolite things ((but I couldn't remember how to say "You are rude" in French, so I had no way of enlightening them)).
The metro is worth it's weight in gold.
Love to all of you at home. Postcards on the way.


  1. Well, it sounds like you are having an absolutely lovely time in Paris. Watch out about drinking too much jus de pamplemousse, because I had too much fun ordering it and ended up with a mild allergy to citrus. This would be especially terrible for you as we all know that you need orange juice like you need oxygen, haha. Anyways, yes, that's very interesting about the eiffel tower. Have a lovely day, miss you lots.
    <3 Melody

  2. I am so glad you saw Notre Dame! Did you climb to the top? Can't wait to see photos. We miss you like crazy and are beyond thrilled for you. Much love from your Martin 6

  3. Hey Lauren, I was in Brussels 30+ years ago...of course I ate Belgium waffles, and pommes frites with all the sauces (try the curry one!) If you get a chance to go to Namur, it's a quaint town. We love reading your blog, can't wait to see your photos! Love, Suyin

  4. Thank-you for the advice and love! ( :

  5. Oh and no, mom, they weren't allowing people to go up notre dame the one day we tried ) :

  6. Maybe we can do it together when I'm there. I will bring myself some Kleenex!

  7. Haha okay! Sounds like fun!
    We should go to some British plays too!