Sunday, January 22, 2017

Prancing around Paris

These last few days have been full of adventures! This morning I got to sleep in a little (8:30 woo!) before heading to the IES center for my academic meeting. I walked again to get a little exercise, but it is just about the same time to take the metro vs walk. Had my appointment to go over classes and I added another class I might want to switch, it doesn't sound like the most fun so we will see.

Next, it was the first intensive French grammar course ... oh la la! Luckily there is a bunch of Skidmore kids in the class. Unluckily there is homework tonight. After that we went to get falafel for lunch in the Marais which is a kind of hipster-y district of Paris. Let me tell you - there is a reason l'As du Fallafel is on Lenny Kravitz's places to eat in Paris. C'est delicieux!

After lunch, we walked around the city and finally got to do some sight-seeing. First stop was the Seine!

Next we were close enough, so we walked down and saw the Notre Dame! It was so big and so pretty!

Then it was off to Shakespeare & Co. which is a pretty famous bookstore in Paris. Lots of cool things to see. Then we ended our afternoon at a bar in St. Germain which was a lot of fun. We ordered a pitcher of cider for all of us to share as our apértif which is a pre-dinner drink. The bartenders asked us if we were studying abroad in Paris (it was quite obvious as we were speaking English!) and when they heard we were they gave us a round of shots on them! So obviously, new favorite bar as they were very nice and also spoke English. We just hung out and chatted all evening which was a nice way to wrap up our day. Dinner was delish and after me, my homestay sister and host mom all had to do homework.

C'est vendredi! It's Friday and we all couldn't be happier. Breezed through my French grammar class and then grabbed lunch with a few girls from a boulangerie again. French sandwiches hold a special place in my heart - today's was ham, Gruyere, and butter on a baguette. We ate lunch in a park near the center and then walked to Monoprix to pick up school supplies and shampoo.

That night we had another welcome dinner with all of the IES students and staff at this really fancy restaurant. First course was an artichoke soup with truffle oil (heaven in a bowl). Next, the plat principal was haddock but since I don't eat fish I got some duck which was delicious. Dessert was a crème brulée.

We then hit up another Monoprix for bottles of wine and sat near a canal and drank them. It was very French! We tried to get into a bar near where we were but sadly our group of 10 was much too big and they didn't let us in. Luckily we were pretty close to a metro and took the metro to Bastille which has a lot of bars. We split up and went inside in different groups which worked out better. The bar was crowded and we all were pretty tired so most of us left around 12:45 to take the metro home.

Saturday was also full of adventures! I slept in a little and then had (yet another) awkward run in with my host-sister. So far whenever I see her, I am either having trouble opening doors, having the coffee maker overflow, or accidentally taking a shower just as she was. We were meeting some people from IES to go on a street art tour in Belleville in the 10th, so a few of us met up before for some food before our walk. It took about an hour and a half and was pretty chilly. The street art was super cool and our tour guide was energetic which made the tour a lot of fun.

It is necessary to distrust the words ... 

Then, my friend and I took the metro to Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur to meet up with some other friends at the Musée de Montmartre. Let me tell ya - Montmartre really is un mont (a mountain)! We climbed over 300 steps and were pretty tired at the top. But the view was beautiful!

Paris est belle // Paris is beautiful

The museum was chouette (cool)! I finally learned the meaning behind Le Chat Noir, that famous poster that seems to be in everyone's house. After the museum, we had some time before dinner so we went to the 1st arr. for coffee since we all were pretty tired. Dinner was ramen and the perfect thing to warm us all up from this chilly day.

After dinner, half of the group went home while the other half decided to grab a drink. One of us had a better idea to go see La Tour Eiffel. I was 100% on board as that was the one thing I have been dying to see while here in Paris.

... and it was every bit as magical as people say it was. Seeing the lights of the tower against the dark Parisian sky was the prettiest thing I have ever seen. My heart was racing and I got a little teary as the clock turned 9:00 and it began to sparkle. It hit me that I am studying abroad in Paris for a semester - literally the dream!

We walked down closer and saw a crêpe stand, so we bought crêpes to eat while we looked at the beauty that is the Eiffel Tower. With my crêpe citron et sucre (lemon and sugar) looking at the bright lights and listening to La Vie en Rose play on a nearby carousel is something I hope I always remember.

We walked around near the tower across the Seine for a little bit and then walked to find somewhere not too expensive to have a drink. We found a cute little restaurant a little bit of a walk from the tower but the kir au vin blanc was so worth it (mine was peach!) Had another awk host sister encounter but made it into bed!

Sunday morning was a nice, lazy morning where I tried to get some homework (dévoirs) out of the way before we went to Rue de Rivioli for some shopping. I ended up getting a super soft light pink scarf which will come in very handy as it continues to be freezing here. We then met up with some friends at the Jardins de Tuileries in the Louvre - which is huge and beautiful! I'm so excited to come back and see the museum. 

We hit up the same café as yesterday to warm up before dinner. Then back to the homestay, where I've had the apartment to myself tonight which is very nice! I got to show my sister and mom around the apartment on Facetime! Now for a night of Netflix in bed ... 

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