Saturday, April 16, 2016

Versailles & Paris, France {Part 3}

Hey friends, it's been too long. I've been up to so many adventures these last few years and just haven't kept up with this blog of mine. Well my best friend, Inna, is in Germany at the moment being an au pair (overseas nanny) for a whole year. She started a blog to document her experience, check that out here: ichbininna. That has inspired me to get back on here and share my travel experiences. This is the last post of the 2013 Europe trip that I need to finish. Then I got a whole 2014 Europe trip, Grand Canyon road trip, Smith Rock, East Coast trip, Alaska trip, and a Japan study abroad that I did this last summer to get through. I think I can do it, just bare with me. It's also my senior year of college at the University of Portland. I graduate in 15 days 😳 so that's exciting and terrifying at the same time. Time for the real world. Anyways, as always thank you for those of you who actually still look on here. That itself is amazing. I do want to get back to writing because I truly do enjoy it. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned...

Day 12 - 09.15.13
It was a sunny day, which was a nice change from the rain. We took a day trip out of Paris to visit the beautiful palace and gardens of Versailles. We started with the gardens first because the line was too long for the palace. That's the thing about touristy places... the lines are ridiculous. There were so many people, it was like ants scattered all over. It was a bummer that all the water fountains were turned off. We just weren't there at the right time, but it didn't take away from how beautifully designed they were, though. There was one on in a corner of the garden, and we pulled out our packed lunch of baguette sandwiches and had ourselves a little picnic. Wandering the many rooms of the Chateau of Versailles was next. It's an incredible place but crazy packed with tourists. So try to go when there aren't that many people because it kind of takes away from the experience. I'm a fan of the French Revolution era so it was fascinating to learn about, and I love the Marie Antoinette movie that came out in 2006 with Kirsten Dunst. The production of that film was given access to the Palace of Versailles, the gardens, and Marie Antoinette's home. After that adventure, we had an underwhelming lunch at McDonalds, although, I was surprised by the cafe selection that had all kinds of yummy-looking desserts, including macaroons (which I tried). Not bad for MickyDees.

We were exhausted from Versailles, but we couldn't go to Paris without going up the Eiffel Tower. We waited through more lines in the chilly evening air. It was cold and windy at the top, but the view was incredible. Once we got down we wanted to catch the flashing lights, so we waited it out in the park.

Day 13 - 09.16.13
After the long day before, we had a late start tor recoup and get everything packed since it was mine and David's last day. It was just a casual, wander-around kind of day. We went to the Jardin Luxembourg. A beautiful park, that is the perfect place to people watch. People eating, playing, chatting, reading, jogging. Just doing life in Paris. It hit me that I was leaving and that my European adventure was coming to an end, so I got a little melancholy. A freakish gust of wind hit and then it started pouring rain, so we ran over to the Panthéon to wait for the rain to pass. We explored the burial crypts where a bunch of famous people are held: Voltaire, Louis Braille, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, and Curie. It was kind of creepy and smelled weird. The storm settled, so we left on a mission to find French Onion soup. We got lost and wandered the little Parisian streets before we found Au Pere Louis for lunch. That was my last Parisian meal. 

It was a mess to get on the metro, then a bus, and then to the airport with all our luggage. Ryan Air was one of the worst experiences, especially with carry on sizing and weight. It was the most stressful airport experience I had and such an exhausting way to end the trip. 

Looking back, almost three years later, I couldn't be more thankful for this trip. I was unaware that a love affair had begun. Traveling has become a huge part of my life. When people ask me what my hobbies are, I say travel because that's what I think about in my spare time. I'm either reading or watching things for inspiration, or I'm planning a trip. I don't update this blog nearly enough, but Instagram contains my adventures, so follow me there: @gloriousdaisies. I'm also thinking of changing my blog/Instagram name to Traveling Glo because I only really post about traveling anyways. Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading along, and I hope you're inspired to do some traveling yourself. Hopefully, write to you soon 

"Travel is intensified living - maximum thrills per minute and one of the last great sources of legal adventure. Travel is freedom. It's recess, and we need it."
- Rick Steves

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Paris, France {Part 2}

Day 11 - 09.14.13
Just as the day before, it was raining in Paris. We started with Musée d'Orsay, it's full of impressionism (Monet and Van Gogh). Being new to art in general, I'm not a big fan of modern art. David was in his element though. We left Orsay and crossed a bridge that is the second lock bridge, it seems the first may be full already. We walked through a garden that had a clear view of the Arc de Triomphe and started our way to it along the Champs-Elysées. Did a little bit of shopping. It took a second to figure out how to get to the Arc because you can't cross the extremely busy street. Instead, you have to go through the tunnel underneath. The parents stayed below because it was too tiring to climb up, but David and I took on the 274 steps to the top. There were more foggy views of Paris, but it was still so lovely, and a different view than Notre Dam. I loved all the streets coming away from the Arc, like a star. After a quick game of I Spy, we made our way down to the shivering grown ups.

Afterwards, we took a metro to explore Montmartre and stumbled upon a cute restaurant. I was able to practice a little bit of French and ordered as well as asked for the bill. It wasn't much, but I felt accomplished. When going to the Basilica of Sacré Croeur, we happened upon a service of some kind. It seemed like a graduation for monks. Of course we didn't understand anything, but it was still fascinating to watch. We ended the night with a chocolate shop, where we bought some macaroons. There was also a sculpture of the Notre Dame made entirely out of chocolate.

"Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown."
- unknown