Saturday, March 22, 2008

Paris Part II: We stop messing around. Kind of.

Day 4: Monday, March 17
After classic X&A raptoring, we dragged ourselves out of bed. We grabbed some pastries on our way to the metro ("Bonjour Madame...") and headed north to the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery. We wandered around the crowded cemetery along with other tourists and saw the graves of Balzac (Nils.), Georges Seurat, Eugene Delacroix, and Jim Morrison, kissed the tombstone of Oscar Wilde, and saw where Max Ernst's ashes are stored. I also found a cemetery kitty and made it love me. Following our creepy crawly morning we headed west toward Place des Voges and stopped to refuel at a nearby cafe. Celi suggested that we take buses around Paris so we bus-hopped our way towards the Arc de Triomphe, stopping to strike some uber-touristy peace sign poses and get rejected by an old man along the way. After nearly getting hit by cars taking pictures in the middle of the street, we took the underground passageway to the Arc where we snapped some photos before returning underground and singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart." We headed down Rue de Victor Hugo in search of a recommended place for pan au chocolate and stopped to browse in some stores along the way. We found the bakery but it was unfortunately closed on Mondays so we settled for a baguette and a bottle of wine (twist off, so we could drink in the street...duh) and headed towards the Eiffel Tower. We turned a corner and there it was! We made our way towards it, stopping to pose for pictures along with the rest of the world and settled in on a bench next to a French gang (Ali G was a member) to drink our bottle and get our carb fix. Having downed the bottle in approximately ten minutes, we took a somewhat tipsy ride on a nearby carousel (and obviously had the time of our lives) before walking under the tower. By this point I was freezing so we jumped on a bus home as the sun set. After our daily trip to Picard we made dinner, planned the next day, and headed to sleep.

the crowded cemetery

kissing Oscar Wilde's grave

Arc de Triomphe

underneath the arc

lovers in Paris!



slightly crooked

carousel fun

up close and personal

Day 5: Tuesday, March 18
Another early wake up and more crepes for breakfast! We set out for another attempt to go to d'Orsay but were again faced with the mother of all lines so we decided to buy tickets in advance for Wednesday. Feeling slightly defeated, we walked along the Seine towards Notre Dame and stopped along the way for crepes avec oeufs. We checked out the interior of Notre Dame and sat inside for a bit to warm up and take some photos. Being the expert bus-riders that we are, we took a bus to Laduree, an infamous place for macaroons. The place was packed with brunch eaters and macaroon enthusiasts and after much contemplation we left with six macaroons neatly packaged in a pretty purple box. We stopped in a cafe for our routine warm-up drinks where we had some interesting interactions with our server who fell in love with both of us at first sight. Things got a little awkward, especially when he decided to pick up my camera and look through all of my Paris photos with commentary. He told me I should stop kissing porcelain dogs and carousel horses and instead find a boyfriend. After a failed attempt at locating the Longchamp store we bussed home and had a early dinner (Picard of course) and rested briefly before heading up to Montmartre. We finally reached the Sacre Coeur after climbing lots of stairs and took in the amazing view. We went inside the church for a bit and then walked around for a bit and shared a nutella crepe on our way down the hill. After pausing to see the Moulin Rouge we bussed our way home and called our mommys to check in before heading to bed.

Notre Dame and candles


Laduree and steps up to Montmarte

Sacre Coeur

view from the top and twinkle lights

Moulin Rouge

Day 6: Wednesday, March 19
Our earliest wake up yet happened on Wednesday so that we could get in line for the d"Orsay. Smart choice because we were among the first in the museum and were able to navigate our way through it before the huge crowds arrived, although we did have to dodge a group of nauseating Southerners. From the d'Orsay we crossed the Seine and walked through the Jardin de Tuileries where I did a great Bindi Irwin impersonation and then set out in search of some vintage stores that we had researched. We spent the afternoon sifting through vintage clothes, admiring old quilted Chanel bags, and pining for amazing bedazzled sunglasses. We stopped for some coffee and then discovered a little food market where Stina got some raspberries and I opted for cherry tomatoes and figs. We finally located some Longchamp bags in a department store and Stina spent some time cuddling with various bags. We bussed home where we proceeded to binge eat and then pass out for a few hours. We awoke later than expected and rushed to the Centre Pompidou (aka Centre Pompidont) only to find that it was closed. We settled for a night walk around Ile St. Louis before catching the metro home and grabbing some crepes on the street near the apartment. With happy tummies we hit the hay.

inside the d'Orsay

upclose and personal with Monet

little ballerina girl


snack time!

Day 7: Thursday, March 20
Having checked most things off of our to-do list, our last full day in Paris was our calmest yet. We slept a bit later than usual and after quick trips to the post office and an internet cafe we returned to Ile St. Louis to explore. We immediately picked up some pastries and soon after had amazing gelato from the very popular Berthillon. We found a chocolate shop/cafe called Le Charlotte with bunny cookies in the window (obviously made for me) and waited around for it to open, eating half a baguette in the mean time. Once the doors opened I was very pleased with my bunny "biscuit" and after a mini photo shoot with the bun we headed west. We witnessed some interesting bus problems and had to get off before we wanted at which point we found ourselves in the middle of some student riot. We sought refuge in a small kitcheny store and a neighboring flower shop with real bunnies in the display window. We walked along the street, stopping to admire some giantchocolatechickens (one word) and split a mini quiche at a cafe. For dessert we picked up some raspberries from a fruit stand and three macaroons from a bakery. We explored Jardin du Luxembourg where we took some amazing self-timed selfies then bussed home for the last time. We picked up three baguettes and two bottles of wine to accompany our dinner and had a relaxing evening in the apartment. We tried to venture out later but were somewhat unsuccessful and instead escaped from the rain in a restaurant where we had hot chocolate and a petit creme at the bar. After squeezing into a photo booth for pictures, we climbed into bed for the last time, content but exhausted after our busy week.


love of my life part I

love of my life part II

hella awk self timers


Friday, March 21, 2008

Paris Part I: We arrive. We are lazy.

On Friday I returned to Madrid after a wonderful week in Paris with Christina. It was great to be able to spend a lengthier amount of time in Paris, especially in comparison to the "go-go-go!" theme of most weekend trips out of town. In short, Christina and I did it up like true Parisians: 29 crepes, 14 baguettes, and 13 bottles of wine. (Also 9 macaroons, 7 pan au chocolates, 1 mini quiche, and 25 trips to Picard.) We also did it up like true tourists: Louvre, Seine, Notre Dame, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Eiffel Tower, Musee d'Orsay, Montmarte, Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Centre Pompidou, Ile St. Louis and a fare share of wandering and shopping. Quel suprise. To avoid a mammoth blog post, I'm going to break it up into segments. Enjoy!

* * *

Part I: We arrive. We are lazy.

Day 1: Friday, March 14
I nervously boarded what was soon to become my first time flying completely alone and anxiously waited to see who would be sitting next to me. I was pleasantly surprised when two little boys made their way into seats 9B and 9C. Stephen and Matthieu were 11 and 9 year old brothers, also flying alone for the first time. They spoke French, Spanish, and English and Stephen must have thought I was pretty cool because after the initial "Parlez vous francais?" he did not stop talking to me. The three of us spoke in a strange mixture of Spanish and English about bunnies (obv), tennis pros (they claim they're related to one), and boats. Once the flight landed we exchanged handshakes, they blushed, and I set out on my search for Stina who was patiently waiting for me upon my exit. We exchanged reunion hugs and boarded the RER train towards central Paris. 45 minutes later we were greeted by Celi, Christina's godmother, and were able to rest for a moment in the apartment that would be our new home for the week before rushing to find Lizzle in a restaurant where she was eating lunch with her program. I was reunited with my Lizzle and after smiles and squeezes the three of us set off towards the Louvre where we saw the Mona Lisa and the infamous Gnome with a Snail. Lizzle unfortunately had to get back to her hotel to go back to the Cope so we said a sad goobye and Stina and I returned to the apartment where we had crepes for dinner and proceeded to pass out early.

loving my Stina!

the Louvre

my new bffs: Mona and Gnoma

happy Columbia girls!

Day 2: Saturday, March 15
The morning of our second day was spent sleeping. Stina had the jet lag excuse but I was just being a lazy bum. Celi ventured pretty far north with us to the Vernaison Antique Market. We spent a few hours wandering through the aisles filled with antique velvet couches, racks of vintage dresses, and doll parts. I picked up a navy velvet bow clip that's pretty cute for one euro! Somehow exhausted again, we went home to relax, take a trip to Picard (an all-frozen grocery store that we worship), and make soup and pizza for dinner. A few hours later we met up with Mikey and tagged along to two of his friends' apartments. The second apartment was right on the Seine and had an amazing view of the Louvre. We drank lots of wine, ate our fair share of Pringles and congratulated ourselves on being oh-so-Parisian before spending an hour trying to hail a cab home in the rain (slightly oh-so-American...). We were happy to be out of the cold rain and again slept like babies.

the market and some doll eyes

not sure if there was enough to drink...Stina loving the Prings

being tres chic on the balcony

loving my Tinafish

kissing porcelain dogs probably isn't the best idea...

oh you know, just your standard view

the big fall!

Day 3: Sunday, March 16
Weekends are meant for sleeping in so I have to admit that we slept in yet again. Once we were mobile, following a breakfast of nutella crepes, we started to walk north towards the Musee d'Orsay. We passed lots of flower shops and fragrant bakeries and did not mind the on and off rain drops. The d'Orsay had an enormous line so we abandoned that plan and instead walked along the Seine. We briefly saw Notre Dame before seeking refuge from the cold in a cafe where Stina and I warmed ourselves up with hot chocolate and cafe vainilla (respectively) and soothed our rumbling tummies with a croque madame and a plate of chevre (respectively). Evening had fallen before we knew it and as we hopped on a Metro home we vowed to arise early for the rest of the week. We leafed through Paris guide books and made an extensive to-do list before cooking up some soup, green beans, and carrots and resting up for the busy week ahead of us.

our French breakfast

and my French snack

and! a French dinner!!