Things really start to pile up when you're trying to do so many things in so little time. So, this will be a hodge podge post of the previous week and a half of my Paris experience. Brace yourself, you may need several intermissions in order to make it through.
You may be wondering how I have been spending my time, with endless options I could be doing anything, really. Some people come to Paris and spend all their time in quaint cafes sipping espressos and people watching, some people spend every waking minute waiting in lines to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and some people just shop til they drop. Me? I'm trying to do it all! (minus the espresso, lines, and dropping parts). Seriously though. I have done so much in the time I have been here, but I have probably spent the most of my time in museums. Paris, being the museum capital of the world (actually, don't quote me on that- I didn't google before I typed, just an educated guess), has so much to offer. There are literally miles of things to see, and we have walked many of them. Stay tuned because there is going to be a lengthy report regarding them in the coming moments.
Let's keep this chronological, that way I can better keep up with what's been covered and such. So, I last left off at Notre Dame, which was just the beginning. The Wednesday following was my first day of class. Let's just say four straight hours of French grammar and conversation can wear a girl out even before she has a chance to breathe in some nasty metro air or make a furtive glance at the creep standing next to her as she clutches her backpack and city map. Anyway, class isn't my favorite part, but it's okay because I have lots of other wonderful things to do and see to keep me happy. After class Shannon and I practically walked across the whole city before we met up with the others for crepes before the big concert. Coeur de Pirate is a Quebecois band that is very popular among the french speaking world. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see her. Even for somebody that doesn't speak any french I believe her music would be enjoyable. She delivered a great show, and we left fully satisfied.
Next thing I knew I was turning off my alarm and getting ready for school again. My teacher seemed to be in a much better mood on Thursday, which made things go a little smoother, but not any less-long. After school we found ourselves taking a nice afternoon stroll in Tuilleries before dinner and the show. At the grace of Elise, (Shannon and I having completely spaced bringing our tickets), we were able to attend L'Histoire de Manon, a ballet at L'Opera Garnier (which is the opera house that The Phantom of the Opera is based off of- you may have heard of it).
As much as I love the finer things in life, this particular ballet was not gripping my attention. Fortunately I wasn't alone in this opinion, so Shannon and I devised a plan to skip the middle act and poke around the opera house. This turned out to be the best idea ever! Not only did she get really giddy, (she is in love with Phantom of the Opera), but we also were able to take a whole grundle of photos as the rest of the audience enjoyed the performance.
(Above photo courtesy of Shannon)
After exploring and sitting in the empty box seats on the fifth floor, we were ready to experience some more of the high life, and returned for the third and final act. I really have no idea what the storyline was, but I doubt even if I had seen the whole thing I would have followed it.
School, of course, came and went on Friday and then we embarked on our first Parisienne museum excursion. L'Orangerie, home of many famous impressionism paintings was a quick but pleasant place to begin. I do, in fact, quite enjoy most impressionism. Cameras were not allowed, otherwise I would have some photos to render as evidence.
Next on the agenda would be a fashion show at the "Department Store Capital of the World." Let's just say that L'Orangerie left more of an "impression" on me. (Haha, did you see what I did there)? Anyhow, after the display of all the summers hottest trends (as if I'd even wear one thing they fashion-showed), we did a bit of picking up price tags and dropping them as we discovered virtually everything to be out of our budget. Before leaving we did stumble upon an interesting art exhibit that included whatever this is:
Post gawking, we carried on to a more affordable area, where we were attacked by gypsy children, probably ate a nutella crepe and returned home for dinner.
Being our first Friday night here we knew we had to go out, so we made our way to the infamous and oh so charming Eiffel Tower.
(Just imagine I figured out how to turn this... Neat, huh)?
I haven't really experienced much jet-lag, which has been a blessing. However, on Saturday we did sleep until a little past eleven. Our agenda for the day held taking the RER, crossing two zones outside of Paris (still not sure what that means), to visit The Palace of Versailles. You haven't seen fancy until you have seen a 17th century French Chateau. Let's just say Louis the XIV believed in nothing but the best for French royalty.
I wasn't feeling particularly photo-happy inside the palace, especially because I hate being the blockade in the flow of tourist traffic. So, I saved most of what little camera battery I had for the gardens- which turned out to be my favorite part anyway.
We took a few hours and walked about in them, fantasizing what it would be like to grow up with those gardens as your back yard. You're nearest neighbor would be miles away and have a castle comparable to your own. Sheesh- what a rough life.
We also found this outside of the Marie Antoinette estate:
We returned home and made plans to go to the top of the Montparnasse Tower that night. In comparison to the Eiffle Tower, it has an even more spectacular panoramic view of the city, it costs less, and there is no line. Good call, Shannon!
Happy Mother's Day! On Sunday we had the chance to go to church. I absolutely love that no matter where you go in the world, the church is the same. I know they work very hard to make it all correlate so that we are all learning the same things at the same time. The way it works so smoothly is a testament to me that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. We were misinformed as to the time of church, so we were late, however, I still enjoyed it. I even read a scripture in class- which was rough, but they were kind and didn't scoff at my apparent accent. Overall church was a nice taste of home for me, and it was nice to see people who actually looked happy.
Being spiritually fed, I made arrangements to skype with my mama to wish her a happy mother's day. (Shout-out to her for being the best mom I've ever had! But really). It's always a great day when I get to talk to the family! The cherry on top would be a pic-nic lunch under the Eiffel complete with people watching and then a walk along the Seine all the way to Napoleon's Tomb (aka Les Invalides).
(Again, photo courtesy of Shannon)
(couldn't help but capture this moment)
And that concludes week one of my grand adventure. I have hardly even touched museums but, I think I will save that for another night. So, if you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, CONGRATULATIONS! And stay tuned for part III of my travel log.