Sunday, January 8, 2012

Passport to Paris

mal au nez
un rhume: a cold

Alrighty then. Here we are. Siiiitting at the computer. With lots of pictures. And lots of stories. And minimal time to procrastinate. So I'll just . . . uh . . . I'll just get started then. Actually I should go get a pillow first. Need to be comfortable to write all this down . . . hehe. Alright. I've got a pillow. It's time to start writing. Aaaand start. Wait I'm actually kind of thirsty. I'm gonna go get some water. Okay. Now I have my water. I have my pillow. And I'm ready to write. I'm ready. To write. All this stuff. The whole thing. Here I go. Don't try and stop me, I'm gonna do it. I'm actually going. I've almost started.

Seriously is no one gonna stop me? Ugh fine.

Well if you haven't noticed, this is a little intimidating. So I've decided to split our Christmas trip in half. I'll write about the France stuff in this entry, and then I'll write about the Italy stuff in the next one. This is really for you, not me. I'm afraid if I wrote everything in one entry, by the end you would be so exhausted and confused that you wouldn't be able to process it all, thus causing you to do a "cartoonish-cleaning-out-the-file-cabinets-in-your-head" to make room for everything, and subsequently forgetting how to eat food. So for the sake of your brains and your stomachs, I'll do it this way.

The timer starts . . . now.

Day 1

Early morning airport trip to get my mom and Amy! I was so excited to see them. Funny story: Nice has 2 airports. A big one, and a small one. I've only ever been to the small one. The big one is much bigger. (As is evidenced by the adjective I chose to describe it.) I figured it out though. 5 points for Gryffindor!

When they walked through the gate, we hugged about 4 times--all for different family members. (You know when people say "Give her a hug for me" and they usually mean "Accept this gesture metaphorically I guess. Just lie to me and say you will." Nope. Not in this family.)

They were dressed in dark colors. Very French. I still struggle with that.

I should tell you, I'm wearing green pants. And silver shoes.

Then we went back to my dorm, did the present thing, found our hotel, and got some lunch. We also walked to the "Castel" lookout place I went to last semester to get the really pretty view of Nice!

(Unfortunately I have no pictures from that. So. I trust that you trust me to tell you it was pretty. I'll add some later from Amy's camera. Here's a link to the previous post, if you want to see the view.)

So we went back to the hotel to rest before dinner. Aaaand we all fell asleep. But we woke up (except Amy) and decided to walk around the town center to see the lights before buying some shortbread in a convenient store for dinner because apparently you can't buy regular people food at night.

Day 2

Train to Paris! It was really fun! At least I think. Actually I'm not really sure. Since Amy had gotten roughly 14 hours of sleep, she was pretty good for the day. But my mom and I kept drifting in and out of naps. I tried to fight it. (Amy kept reminding me that I didn't have jetlag to blame. Well, I blame the train. Moving vehicles just do this to me. Extra long road trip? BAM Nap city. Really far plane ride? BAM Droolin' like a fool(in). Cross country train? BAM Snoozin' Susan.)

At one point my mom turned to me and asked:

"Were you asleep?"

"No I was reading." (lies)

"Oh, I just took like 5 naps."

Also there was another guy sitting in our little group of 4. I say "sitting" but what I mean is "leaving." There was a guy who kept leaving our group of 4. He would come back, sit for about 30 minutes, and then leave for an hour. I like to imagine he was fighting robbers on top of the train.

Yes. Those are ninja turtles.

Once we got to Paris, we took the metro to our hotel. (The metro is a hellish nightmare made of 2 parts metal, 1 part electricity, and 5 parts happiness killer.)

Our hotel was really nice. Interesting thing about this hotel. Our room was between the 1st and 2nd floor. "Oh, you think that's a closet? No. No that's my room." (But it was much nicer than a closet. A very nice room. It had a tendency to smell like toilet when we weren't there, but everybody's got problems.) But it was kind of cool. Like Platform 9 & 3/4! (credit: Amy) I drew a diagram.

And this is why I'm not an architect. I would be a hazard.

Okay, so again, I don't have any pictures from today. I don't really know what I was doing. I know Amy and my mom do. But we haven't shared yet. So I'll just be sure to use a lot of adjectives to describe the places to you.

We went to a creperie place for lunch (flat, delicious). Then we walked around our neighborhood/the 5th district to see the Luxembourg Gardens (green, vast). The weather was disagreeable (misty, foggy, cloudy). We also went to Notre Dame to see the outside and part of the inside (gratuitous, immense, hunchbacky).

We decided to break at the hotel for a little bit before dinner. A novice mistake. Again, we all fell asleep. I woke up at 8:45, panicked that we'd missed dinner, and asked with a hint of coherency:

"Hey, you guys? It's 8:45. Did we want dinner?"

Unanimous no.
"But . . . but I'm hungry."

So I ate a granola square, shut up, and went back to bed.

Day 3

NOW I have pictures. These next 2 days were busy. Busy busy busy. We got 2-day Paris museum passes that would grant us access to most of Paris for just 35€ a person!

First we went to Sainte Chapelle, which is just beautiful on the inside.

So preety!!

Next? We tackled the Louvre. But with a little less vigor than you might think.

The Louvre is mega-overwhelming. It's just so massive and there are SO many people! We found it difficult to enjoy ourselves. So, with the oncoming sea of Asian tourists, we made our way to the 3 hotspots: Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and Venus de Milo. Anything else we saw along the way was unintentional and, frankly, unappreciated.

I'll wait to show you "outdoor-Louvre-shots" til we get to the night ones. They're much more impressive.

This is why the Louvre is no fun.

And we didn't even find Mary Magdalene.

Then we made our way to the Musée d'Orsay, a smaller yet highly under-appreciated museum with fewer crazy tourists, an amazing selection of art, and a much less anxious Kessler clan. I even saw Les Jeunes Filles au Piano by Renoir which I have in my bedroom at home!

We then made our way to the Arc de Triomphe, looked off the top, grabbed some dinner at a family friendly restaurant, commented on how the waiter looked like Mr. Tumnus (we all agreed, except me and Amy), and went immediately to sleep.

It's a dreary day in Paree.

Day 4


I'm not really sure what to say about Versailles. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Marie Antoinette's bedroom

Photoshoot, maybe for a wedding?
I took way too many pictures of them.

We told her not to go wandering. She didn't listen.

so vast

We returned to the hotel, napped (as per usual), and later went to Notre Dame to look off the top. We were one minute late. Actually we weren't one minute late, we were 59 minutes early, but apparently there's a secret closing time that they don't tell you and you get there and become really disappointed because you can't pretend to be Quasimodo on the top of Notre Dame so you vow to write mean things in your blog when you get home about the stupid Notre Dame and all it's stupid flying buttresses and gargoyles and Quasimodo! Stupid.

But we went to the Centre Pompidou which was really neat (lots of modern art--it's a bit of a thinker).

The ouside is covered with tubes!

Then the outside of the Louvre! At night! And the Eiffel Tower! At night! And the German village! At night!

We tried.

Facetimed with Michael and my dad. We told Michael his sweater was really nice. He said it was from an ugly Christmas sweater party. My opinion was not swayed.

Day 5

CHARTRES! It was a welcome relief to get to finally get to Day 5. (Not that Paris isn't super awesome and fun and a really cool place to be and stuff.) But my GOD was I tired. That city is exhausting.

We went to spend a day in Chartres, one of the cutest little places with little streets and a little watery moat thing and a giant cathedral (which, for our purposes, was also little and cute). We stayed in a converted monastery next to the cathedral which, in theory, was really awesome. Unfortunately, we discovered its downside when wandering the halls one afternoon. No light.

So this is what we saw, I'm sure.

But it felt a little more like this.

It just had a haunty feeling. Collectively we hastened our steps.

But let's get back to the fact that everything in Chartres is cute. We did this walk trail thing around the city that our hotel man recommended. (These are very scientific terms, I am aware.) And everything was charming.

Chartres is known for their timber houses. Also everything is alive.

Okay now for real pictures.

Monky view from our room.

Here's the monastery where we stayed from 2 sides. We looked off a mountain!

One day it was cloudy. One day it was sunny.

This is the cathedral! Sort of!

I realize now, that I have very few pictures of the three of us together. In Italy there are more, but still not many. Maybe more will come when I get Amy and my mom's pictures from their cameras. No promises.

Day 6

This was our transition day.

Train back to Paris in the morning.
Sat outside of a bakery for about an hour and a half with all our luggage.
Walked 500 miles to the train station.
Sat there for maybe 6 hours?
Saw a guy with hair plugs.
Took a picture.
Overnight train to Venice! (Train stories will come in the next post.)


Amitiés :)

UPDATE: Monky ≠ Monkey

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
I See London, I See France is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.