Monday, May 31, 2010

Tuesday-Sat (May 25-29)

On Tuesday,we went to Annita's parents' farm where we got to go on a real carriage ride! It was so beautiful, you can't even imagine! We drove through a near by preservation. So nice. We also did more shopping for some more clothes for will. For the rest of our stay in Denmark, we most chilled and hung out, which was nice, especially since we would spend the next week in Paris running all over the place.
After safely and uneventfully arriving in Paris on Wednesday night, we met up with my friends Alana and Noelle from the program I was on last semester, Mickael, who we have been staying with this week, and this guy Dave who we met at the airport who had also had his luggage lost and was from NY. We hung out in alana and noelle's apartment in Luxembourg and then went down to the Seine to hang out. A great way to start off the week.
On Thurs, we woke up pretty early and walked to the Eiffel Tower. There was a giant ramp in front of the tower since someone was going to do an epic fall into it on roller blades. Unfortunately it was raining. Fortunately, not many people ventured out and we had a nice umbrella. Walking around we found a cool park that I've never seen before that had nice bridges and foliage. We also walked along the Seine to look at the house boats. I think that would be so awesome to have a boat on the seine in Paris!
We walked to les egouts, which are the sewers of Paris that you can tour around, but they were closed :( Then we walked to the Petit and Grand Palaises. The Petit palais is free, but right now theyre doing a special Yves Saint Laurent exhibit so there was a line and it was raining so we nixed that. We walked to the nearest Metro to go to La Defence, the modern NYC-ish part of Paris.
when we got out at La Defence it was pouring rain, so we went to eat at Hippopotamus, a easy steak and burgers place thats not too expensive and would fill us up with its American sized portions. By the time we were done eating, the rain let up a little bit and we walked to the arche there. The arche is huge and very impressive. You can see from the steps of the arche down to the Arc du Triomphe which was cool. There is also a lot of neat modern art around which made it really nice to walk around. It has very modern skyscrapers, not at all like the traditional Paris most people know.
Then I was able to get in touch with my friend Pat, who is French and works at Societe General, a French bank. the next day would be his last day, so it was ok for him to take a break and meet with us to chat. Unfortunately, he left Paris this past Monday and will be back from June 11-19, but I won't be in Paris around then. At least I got to catch him this one last time! He was supposed to have a job in NY this summer, which would have been SO awesome, but the "budget was cut" so they cancelled the job/internship he was gonna have. Mega bummer...
Then we took the metro over to the Arc du Triomphe. It was suddenly pretty nice out so we went to the top of the Arc and had the most awesome view of Paris. So great! We must have stayed up there for about half an hour...
then we went down, and suddenly it was raining again. We hung out by the tomb of the unknown soldier under the arc, since we were going to meet my old penpal Salome right near by so we figured we'd wait it out.
We met Salome at La Flamme, a cafe right by the Arc. She also had a bunch of her friends come, which was really nice and they wanted to improve their English so we'd talk to them in english, but then they'd get frustrated and start talking in french, which really helped my french, since its a little rusty from not really having used it this semester as much.
After having some sodas with them there, we went back to Mickaels and had dinner with him and his mom. She made chicken and potatoes which was sooo tasty! we stayed in that night because we were so tired.
On Friday, Noelle, Alana, Will, and I went to Giverny, which is where Monet's garden is. We had the most amazing day ever! We got really lucky, since it was the only nice day in Paris this week. We walked to Monet's garden, about a one hour walk, and had stopped in a Lidl (a super cheap super market) on the way to get sandwiches. We saw the garden, which, compared to when I saw it just before it closed for the season last fall, was amazing, though some people said it is usually more full this time of year but there was a late frost or something. The garden was amazing and the pond was as beautiful as you can imagine. We also went into his house which was nice. However, there were a lot of school children that day so there were times where it was very very crowded.
We had a picnic for lunch, eating our sandwiches in a field next to a restaurant. We cat napped and sunbathed and just enjoyed the sun in general. I kept reminding myself how lucky I am...
On the way back to the train station, we went kayaking. I couldnt really take pictures for this but it was so much fun. They kayaks were cheap and we got to do it for 2 hours. We packed some bread and wine and off we went along the Seine- so fun and beautiful!!! there wasnt much to see in terms of a description, but it was beautiful with the blue sky and all the foliage and the boats cruising by us.
That night we met up with one of Salomes friends and went traipsing around Paris into the wee hours of the night, having a total blast! It was really great...
On Saturday, we went to where I used to live in the Cite Universitaire because they were doing a cultural event called Fete de la Cite. We saw spanish dancers and there was a lot of food, though you had to pay for it and we were too cheap to do that. So after wandering amongst the buildings there, which there is one for all different countries and they are all different, we walked across the street to Parc Montsouris. There were picnickers and families, despite the cloudy weather. will and I sat at a bench there to rest our exhausted feet.
Then we met up with alana and had some sandwiches at a cheap place. we went to the eiffel tower to see that guy do that jump I mentioned earlier. It was super windy, his shirt was blowing like crazy. He jumped from 10m high and roller bladed down a 40m ramp. It was really intense, since he clearly lost his balance but he didnt fall. We left right after, but apparently he did another jump because he wasnt satisfied with the first one.
After that, we went to a sports bar because there was the championship rugby game, on par with the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, everyone seemed tired and my friend Noelle joined us, but she did not seem at all interested in the sport, so we left. I was kind of bummed, but it was 3 against one haha. So we went to a friend of Alana and Noelle's couscous restaurant. It was so nice! I had chicken on a skewer with cousous and this great sauce. It was nice to rest our feet and the food was free! So awesome, but we that meant we missed the game. We tried to go out after on rue Moufftard, but I was super exhausted so we went back.
Alright, well I'm using alana's computer and shes trying to pack (its her last night!) and its not looking good, so I'm gonna help her b/c we are waiting on her to finish before going out to dinner and drinks... talk to you all soon!!!!