It’s funny what you find while packing… I found my journal from my first (and only) experience abroad. I was 18. It was the summer of 2005. I liked emoticons. Join me on my journey! I promise to stay true to my written word, for better or worse!
~Monday, July 4, 2005~
3ish AM (Central time zone)
Well, we’re still in the air—but almost there!
It was hard to sleep, but I guess I did, off and on some at least. When we get to the hotel, Uncle Brad and I can take quick showers and that’ll be nice.
When I was trying to get comfortable last night, I pushed the armrest of the middle seat up for more room, but it fell down and hit me in the mouth. It hurt but I didn’t realize for a few minutes that my gum and lip were bleeding! 😥
It’s ok now, but I didn’t think to ask for ice after I patted everything with tissue (thanks, Mom!!). So my lip has these lovely brown patches to greet Paris! I just hope that’s all—I guess maybe I should see the dentist just in case, because I’m not sure if the tooth that was hit is the one that had the root canal or not. Wouldn’t want to kill another nerve!
Just finished breakfast—neither meal was as good as it sounded, but each was certainly welcome when it came! And at least the croissant was warm. Dry—but warm—and jelly helped.
So now we’re about an hour or so away. Maybe I can write again while Uncle Brad is taking a shower.
12:05 AM (Paris time)
We’re finally here! So far my impression is just confusion, but we’re in the hotel and I’ve taken a shower and I feel better already.
When we arrived, it’d been raining—but Audrey Hepburn said in “Sabrina” that you should always enter Paris as it’s raining.
At the airport, we got our bags pretty quickly, but it took a while to find the train we needed to get on, and then there was noise and close quarters on two different trains. But it was fun—on one, there was a guy playing an accordion for change.
The sun is almost out now, and it kinda cool—I’m really glad I brought my jacket.
The hotel was hard to find too—at least it seemed that way to me. Lots of traffic and people. I think I’ll be glad to do touristy stuff—I won’t feel so lost among everything.
Our hotel room is itty bitty—and so are the hallways and the elevators and the bathrooms, etc. Thank goodness I’m a small person and not claustrophobic!
We do have a nice view though—the windows open and there are red geraniums on the window grille overlooking a narrow street and across from another hotel. There’s a breeze and I’m sitting at a tiny corner desk. I think what has most impressed me so far is the age of everything, but with modern stores and people too.
Well the shower has stopped in the bathroom, so I’m going to put my contacts back in and do my makeup.
10:20 PM (Paris time)
Today has been a LONG day—not in a tedious day, just full. After we left the hotel, we took some more subways to exchange some money. Paris is nothing but confusion, but it’s a lot of fun just to walk around and look at everything.
We walked some more and decided to go on a boat tour down the river. Actually, I don’t even know what river it is, but I’m sure everyone else does—it’s the only one through Paris, and there are tons of historic sites on either side. The tour was a lot of fun—it lasted about an hour, and was very leisurely and beautiful.
Afterwards we ate ice cream (Brock’s friend is right—it does taste better). Then we went to the Eiffel tower which was HUGE. I don’t know why I never really realized how tall it really was, until I saw it for myself.
The line for an elevator (or lift, I should say) was forever long—it took us about an hour. There was this group of Asian men behind us who kept trying to break in front of us in line.
When we finally got up there, the views were great. But it was so crowded I felt a little peeved—it was beautiful and you could see for miles—but all the crowds and lines made you question if the experience was really worth it. And it was so WINDY—and being cold is never fun. And it lasted a bit too long—we couldn’t even go to the top floor and the only head cut-outs were too tall for me so I was disappointed about not getting a pic of that for Dad [like the one of him and Mom when they fell in love in Paris].
We were both pretty exhausted by then—it was almost 8 PM, so we went back on the subway to go to dinner. We went to Le Tassili, a Nigerian restaurant that specializes in cous cous! That was really good and a lot of fun. Uncle Brad told lots of stories about living in Tunisia [where I was born].
The only bad part was that it made me miss Mom and Dad and Brock. I’ve never really been homesick before, but I am already. Everywhere I went today made me think of how much they would enjoy it all, especially the restaurant with the music and the food and the wall murals and all the quaint little Parisian things like the winding stone staircase down to the restrooms. And I kept welling up at odd moments, wishing everyone was there. I hope Uncle Brad didn’t notice, so I won’t hurt his feelings. There have been some tiring moments, but I’m having a great time and I’m looking forward to what we have planned. I just really miss everyone.
Ok—it’s finally dark out, and I’m actually not very sleepy but I don’t think that’ll be a problem for long! So Good Night from Paris!
p.s. I asked—it’s the Seine.