Paris, je t’aime

I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.

I took French for 11 years (though apparently the only thing I have to show for it is being able to order food and read billboards) and spent time learning about French music, film and landmarks. Seeing them was just awesome.

Caitlyn and I hit the ground running on Friday morning. We first headed to the area near the Louvre — unfortunately, the line looked to be about a three-hour wait, so we didn’t get to go inside. We went through a huge beautiful garden. We walked along Champs-Elysses, where we saw (among other things) the most posh Abercrombie & Fitch ever with an actual line to get in. And, of course, that walk ended in a view of the Arc de Triomphe.

IMG_2437We wandered around for a bit, seeing old churches and small children twirling batons in the street — Paris isn’t too touristy outside the main areas — before heading toward the symbolic Tour Eiffel.


After that, we wandered around the Musee d’Orsay. We saw an interesting exhibit about Van Gogh and other artists who eventually committed suicide, and some famous works of art, including Manet’s “Olympia.”

We left and, on our way to Notre Dame, kind of accidentally found the “Love Lock Bridge,” as it’s been dubbed. We’d read an article about a Mizzou student who left her love for her school on the bridge, and we wanted to do that, too.

IMG_2549In the words of Sheryl Crow: “ZOU … forever.”

We did eventually find Notre Dame. We also found Shakespeare & Company, an adorable bookshop, and Moulin Rouge. Oh, yeah, and we ate tons of crepes.

The next day, we took a train to Versailles, the home of Marie Antoinette, the original Queen B(ee). The estate was so beautiful — even the servants’ quarters were nicer than anywhere I’ve ever lived. The gardens were pretty, too.

IMG_2659Yep, servants’ quarters.

After we got back into the city, we walked around some more while watching a beautiful Paris sunset. The highlight of the night was returning to the Eiffel Tower, hot chocolate in hand. On the hour, additional lights flash on the tower, which is really pretty.

IMG_2693On Sunday, we went to a massive graveyard where Oscar Wilde, Chopin and The Doors’ Jim Morrison, among others, are buried. Many of the graves were hundreds of years old, but there were still a lot that had been put there in the past year or two. There was also a small portion dedicated to Holocaust concentration and extermination campus memorials, which I thought was nice.

Then, we went to Montmartre, home of the Sacre-Coeur. We climbed up to get a nice view of the city, then took a nap there because it was so beautiful and sunny. We also walked through that part of town, stopping in candy stores, bubble tea cafes and small boutiques until we reached Cafe les Deux Moulins, the cafe featured in “Amelie.” We had coffee and creme brulee there, both of which were delicious.

IMG_2741Then, I took my last flight before my one back to Atlanta. It’s so crazy to think that, in just a few weeks, this adventure will end!

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