Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Life in Paris so far

The last couple of days have been busy. Yesterday I had an interview with a wedding planner. No, I am not planning a wedding to a French man (unfortunately!), nor am I planning a vow renewal ceremony. I was interviewing her for an article for Alpine Living (the magazine we’re publishing this semester) about little-known romantic spots in Paris. She was really nice, and we had a great time. She told me about several great places. A photographer and I are going to go around town tomorrow afternoon to shoot photos of some of them. It should be fun.

After I left her, I met up with some of the UA group, and we went to Versailles. I had been looking forward to Versailles, but it was a little disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite grand, but it didn’t live up to my imagination. Perhaps it wasn’t possible for it to live up to the image in my head. We started by walking through the gardens which was less than thrilling. First, it was freezing outside, and the wind was unbelievable. I actually had to brace myself to keep from being blown over. Second, it is winter; no flowers, no pretty green, no nothing. The gardens were quite bare, and it looked like the grounds crew was everywhere (with their big equipment) getting ready for spring. The fountains were turned off and filled halfway. Not a great way to start the visit. Then we had trouble getting back in. We finally made it back in and walked through. There were parts that were interesting – particularly the hall of mirrors – but overall it wasn’t my style. I’m glad I can say that I’ve been though.

Last night we went to see the Eiffel Tower and to do a boat cruise on the Seine River. I was worried that the boat cruise was going to be unbearably cold, but I sat inside the boat so it wasn’t bad. We got to see the city at night which was cool. Also, we got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle three times. Here’s a video that I took (sorry it's sideways):

Today I had the day all to myself which was wonderful. I have realized that I like my me time. I like to be quiet, and I like to do what I want to do without consulting anyone else. I walked to the Sacré Cœur this morning.

A view of the city:A view of the Eiffel Tower:

I got a jambon et fromage crepe (ham and cheese crepe) and a Coca-Cola Light for lunch and headed toward the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. Before I made it to either of those, though, I had to stop in Ladurée, a famous French macaroon shop. There was actually a film crew in there when I went in. I got a few macaroons and went outside to eat them. I only got the hot pink one because it was pretty. All the flavors I thought I’d actually like were a little ugly. From left to right: chocolate, two vanillas, caramel, another vanilla, and the hot pink one (I think it’s raspberry). They were pretty good. As Cole predicted, vanilla was my favorite.

(Sorry it's not turned right...technical issues.)

The Arc de Triomphe was really cool. If you come to Paris, you must go see it and climb it. Here are some photos:

Then it was on to the Louvre. The Louvre is a museum that I’ve always heard of and have always wanted to visit. I think it’s a little like Versailles though and can’t live up to my imagination. It’s almost like I half expect to fall down and cry at the beauty of these places, and that definitely did not happen. The Louvre is massive. There are TONS of people all around. I felt like I just couldn’t get a handle on exactly what was going on. Some of the art was impressive, but some stuff just doesn’t really do it for me. I had to go see the Mona Lisa, of course. And the crowd of people around it. And then I had to see the Venus de Milo. And the crowd of people there too.

I came back to my hotel after that to sit down for a bit. I tried to do homework, but that didn’t go well. Instead, I sent emails and wasted time. Since dinner, though, I’ve been researching the romantic spots we’re going to visit tomorrow, and I’ve been trying to get excited about putting the finishing touches on my thesis. I have to submit it electronically by Friday. Cole was fabulous today and got the signatures I needed from my committee members and the department chair. Without that piece of paper, I would not graduate in May.

Tomorrow morning we’re planning to head to Notre Dame. After the pictures, we’re going to go to the Musee d’Orsay. Cole said Orsay was his favorite. I’ll let you know my verdict tomorrow.

I will post a link later to the rest of my pictures, including the ones from the Louvre.


Anonymous Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Great blog Anna and just beautiful pictures. Have fun tomorrow. That sounds like fun! Love you, Mom