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!
~Tuesday, July 5, 2005~
9:50 AM (Paris time)
My 2nd day! I woke up around 8:30 AM, and Uncle Brad had already gotten up and showered. So I took a shower and got dressed while he went to the continental breakfast. I went down at about 9 AM, and had watermelon, a chocolate croissant, juice (some sort of multi-vitamin that tasted like grapefruit and orange juice mixed together), and hot chocolate. It was all very good.
Uncle Brad is lying down for half an hour, til 10 AM, for his shoulder. Then we’re off!
11:35 PM (Paris time)
Another full day.
Afer breakfast, we walked down to the Notre dame. It was so gorgeous—all of the detail and height and beauty—it was just awesome.
We walked around for a bit—bought some souvenirs, visited the World War II Memorial. Then we had some cappuccinos on a river boat which was very, um, atmospheric, for lack of a better word.
Afterwards, we looked at the second-hand book stalls along the river which Grandma mentioned. The variety was strange—sci-fi paperbacks, old movie magazines, semi-pornographic pictures/books, cheesy souvenirs. One owner we talked to told us that Bill Clinton had been there, in big sunglasses, and bought a bunch of jazz cds from him. He said President Bush would probably never do that. Very true 😛
We explored a few streets and then got on a double decker tour bus, sitting on top of course. It was very nice—sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, everything in sight, an audio tour guide and a two-day ticket—the tour lasted about two hours.
We missed the stop for one museum, so we decided to go shopping instead. Uncle Brad and I split up, designating a spot for two hours later.
I went to H&M, the women’s store. There were three entirely separate buildings for women, men, and home. Shopping was a little overwhelming because it was very crowded and everyone was pushing and chattering in French (not knowing the language (at ALL) is rather disconcerting), and the lines for the dressing room and cashier were also very long. I didn’t even try them on, but I bought three shirts, all very pretty. One is a sea-green v-neck, one a mint green v-neck with lace on the collar and sleeves, and the other is a sea-blue with a face on it in white with yellows and greens—it says something in French at the bottom, but I can’t quite tell what. Everything was 23.25£. Everything was CHEAP! And on sale.
After H&M, I wandered through a few different stores, but didn’t get anything. I was a little nervous the whole time that I would get lost or wouldn’t be able to find our meeting place. But I didn’t get lost and I found the kiosk, and it was all good.
Next, we walked to the Tuileries Gardens and walked around. It was also very nice—ducks and fountains and statues, etc. At one of the larger fountains, a man rented out tiny sailboats to kids, and they got sticks to push the boats from the sides of the fountains. They they’d run along the side til the wind blew their boat to another side and they could steer it in a new direction.
It was almost 8 PM then, so we drank tea at the “Chalet de Diane” ( 🙂 ) and decided where to go next. We took some more subways to another cathedral (I forget the name—it’s on one of the highest points of the city). You couldn’t take pictures inside (which was fine, since I’d already finished the two rolls I’d brought in my purse—I’m going to need more film!) but it was much quieter and less touristy, which was nice.
We had to search some for a restaurant, the one from the tour guide book being too busy and another one too smoky and slow. So we ended up in a really nice/quaint Italian restaurant.
I’m pretty tired—Uncle Brad’s getting hot water for tea downstairs, and cutting the tags for my shirts too. 🙂 So maybe I’ll get to wear them. Fashion here is pretty similar to home—but everyone seems to be in their most fashionable clothes every day. And there’s a lot of layering which Starkville, at least, did only in the winter. But it is definitely cooler here—and windy!
Well, I’m to bed. Maybe I’ll read some, or maybe not… we’ve decided not to go to Versaille tomorrow because of time constraints, but instead to a couple of museums. It’s after midnight, so hasta!