Early Thanksgiving morning Sydney, Niki, and I began our journey to Paris for the weekend. After about 13 hours, a taxi, two trains, a bus, a ferry ride across the Chanel, and another bus we had arrived in Paris. However, our traveling was not done for the day. It was about 6pm and we still needed to find the apartment we were staying at. So we took two more metro trains to the Villejuif area and began our hunt for the apartment. Niki had directions to it from the stop so we figured easy going, wrong! It took two hours until we decided to give up and call a taxi, the ride lasted about 5 mins. O we, well I, found out that those metal pillars that prevent cars from entering somewhere, yea they go down when you sit on them.  The apartment we were staying was pretty decent for the three of us and the price. It had a bedroom, living room, small kitchen, and a bathroom. We decided to take it easy that night since it was already 8 so we ate dinner and just relaxed before going to bed. I of course was a gentleman and let the ladies have the bed and I slept on the futon in the living room. The futon ended up being broken and very uncomfortable, but I managed. Friday morning we left the apartment around 8am so that Sydney could meet up with her classmates and teacher at 10am. We decided that we would have some croissants  for breakfast, this was a wonderful idea. They have all these little bakeries and bread shops, and they are by far the best croissants I have ever had. Niki and I left Sydney to explore the wonderful city of Paris. We walked around the area we left Sydney for a few hours. There were so many little shops and the people were very nice. It was pretty cool we would be walking down the street and there would be a cheese shop, then two doors down a wine shop, and then another cheese shop. They also had a lot of open produce shops. The two of us then headed of to the Opera district. Here we stopped at a little sandwich shop and had lunch. We then were on a mission to find Fragonard Parfumeur to find my mom a gift. The ladies in there were extremely helpful and luckily I had Niki to help me pick out scent and be a tester for me. We continued to walk around the district for a while going into some shops and other stores. We would go into these massive department stores that were 6 floors to look around and kill time. We found it odd that each store would have baby clothes on a floor then women’s clothes on a few, then suit cases, then some other random stuff, however they never men’s clothes. It took us about all day to realize that the men’s department was in the building across the street connected by a catwalk.  Niki is obssesed with Starbucks so we had to find one and we did. Here she ordered her coffee and we both wrote postcards. After awhile of pondering the  Opera district we headed to the Louvre to meet up with Sydney. We got there earlier than we were suppose to so we decided we should do some more sightseeing. We walked around the outside of the Louvre saw and walked through the Arc Du Carrousel, which is located by the Louvre. We then walked through the Jardin Des Tuileries which is an amazing garden between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. We went to Place de la Concorde saw the fountains and Cleopatra’s Needle before moving on to the Christmas market.  The markets were located on Champs-Elysees,which is a very famous avenue known throughout the world. The Christmas market had a lot more food than I expected. They had stands for cheese, sausage, all kinds of different cultural foods, mulled wine, cider, candy, chocolate, and a few that had hand crafted items. We continued our way down Champs-Elysees toward the Arc de Triomphe. We only made it halfway there before we had to turn around and meet Sydney back at the Louvre. After about an hour of waiting Sydney finally found her way to us. We were going to go in to the Louvre, however Sydney had gotten lost because her classmates told her the wrong direction and we all decided that it had been a long day and we should go home, so we did. Saturday we slept in till 10am and then headed out for another fun filled day. We  Went back to the Louvre and walked to the Christmas markets again because Sydney had not seen them and Niki and I didn’t really stop to look at anything. We took our time in the market where they had these massive doughnut things filled with chocolate and Niki had some mulled wine. We then headed back down Champs-Elysees. We of course went into some of the shops and bought some items. I mean we were on one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, what else were we supposed to do. We also made it all the way down to the Arc de Triomphe. After walking Champs-Elysees all the way back to the Louvre we decided it was time to go to the Eiffel Tower. Walking up to it felt surreal.  We decided that we should climb the Eiffel Tower to the second landing because it was cheap and a once in a lifetime experience.  So we climbed it. It was pretty cool because we got to watch the sunset over Paris from the Eiffel Tower. After climbing the tower we decided we would call it a day. We headed back to our apartment to end the night so that we could rise early and head back to school.

I have always heard that the French are rude and that if you didn’t speak French they wouldn’t be very kind. I found this to be very wrong. Niki and I do not speak French and Sydney knows some but isn’t fluent in it, and everyone that we met was very nice and helpful. I felt bad because I did not speak their language but I tried. I was very thankful the second day when Sydney was with us though. Paris was amazing and I’m glad that I was able to spend it with two great people. The only complaint I have was about our shower. So in our bathroom there wasn’t a stand up shower, it was a tub with a sprayer attached to it. Needless to say whenever I took a shower/bath there was water everywhere. I do not like this bathshower thing and hate it. However it could be way worse, at lease I had hot water….well once. Letting Niki take a shower first was a bad idea and resulted in a nice cold spray down for this kid. Overall a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Saint Augustine of Hippo

au revoir, et a la prochaine