For spring break this year, my host family and I flew to Paris! We stayed in the city for 5 days and it was a wonderful time! We saw SO MUCH! We were always out and about, taking pictures of everything we could find. And it turns out that there are a lot of things in Paris. The weather was simply amazing. It was a brief taste of summer/spring; I even got a little sunburned! (Sadly it didn’t last very long. I am back to my pale self.) Unfortunately, since the seasons were changing, my allergies came in strong. I was sneezing every 5 minutes! As I am sure most of you know, my sneezes aren’t exactly the most discreet. The French were probably wondering what was wrong with me. Just look at this face:
Everyone else is enjoying the sun and the blooming flowers and I can barley breathe. But, at night, I was wide awake and full of energy! Isn’t that how it always is? Also, since Paris has been struggling with smog recently, all public transportation was free! Even the bus from the airport to the hotel, which usually costs 5 Euros a person, was free! It was not a bad deal at all.
I would have to say that my favorite attraction in Paris, other than all the attractive people, was this:
It is spectacular! A gigantic, glass pyramid in the middle of old, French buildings. Perfect! It makes me happy. It also felt pretty sweet being the same place where they filmed The DaVinci Code. Tom Hanks stood where I was standing! Whoo hoo! I’ll never wash these shoes again! (Not like I did that before.) We went back to this particular site twice (upon my request).
Look at that joy! Paris! I even look French! Okay not really, but I don’t exactly look not-French either. Most of the people that I saw speaking French had brown hair and brown eyes. I was one of the only blondes. But still, people spoke to me in French and that made me happy. They could have said something super mean, but I was just smiling like an idiot because they mistook me as an average French-girl! I absolutely LOVE blending in to a different society. It makes me feel so accomplished. I snuck in successfully! 🙂
But you can see it in the background! There were a lot of locks. Probably more locks than citizens of Latvia. That is, of course, not scientifically proven, but wouldn’t take much work to find out! There were locks in all different languages. There were locks that spoke key, others letter combination, and yet others were a number dial! They were a diverse bunch, let me tell you! Almost like that group of friends going out to eat in the Olive Garden commercials.
Oh I just remembered! I promised my friends that I would take a picture of Latvian grass and send it to them. Yeah, I didn’t do that. But I do happen to have a picture of French grass. It is green and luscious and sounds just like a whistle.
Isn’t it marvelous? Can’t you notice the differences between American and European grass? It is almost mind-blowing. I had trouble recognizing what it was at first, but with a little help from my host family, I was able to differentiate it from the other wildlife. Thank goodness for that! (I am sure that when you started reading this post about Paris, you were expecting to hear about the Eiffel Tower and baguettes. But we are talking about grass. And I am okay with that.)
When we went to visit the Moulin Rouge, we were in for a surprise! Rightfully so. We arrive at the scene and there are a bunch of people crowding the sidewalks. Part of the street was blocked off and there were a bunch of camera men set up. Clearly something was about to happen! I took a few pictures:
and then we waited for a few minutes. Finally we gave up and headed for the metro. (It was already 9 p.m.) Then, sure enough, right as we cross the street, we see a dozen scandalously dressed women march out of the Moulin Rouge! They had huge, 2 ft tall feathers on the top of their heads! I was looking for Satine but I guess she was sick that night. *wink wink* They started dancing and making that strange yelping noise. It was great! Oh and they did a count down and then something amazing happened to the Moulin Rouge:
It became photographed! Notice the difference is the lack of smart phones in the first picture. Incredible. Oh and I guess the walls turned green. I didn’t realize that at first. Also, you can see the cancan dancers in the corner with their ridiculous feathers. I looked across the street to see where Christian’s apartment is, but they must have taken the sign down that marked his window. What a pity! I wanted him to sing to me! Next time.
For those of you wondering, we did indeed go to the Eiffel Tower! We waited in line for approx. 2 hours. While in line, we, of course, were standing behind a romantic couple. I found it amusing that as the wait progressed, they stood farther and farther apart. I, on the other hand, taught Madara how to play Cat’s Cradle. That is always a difficult process. This time it was interesting because I was speaking in English and she in Latvian. The whole situation attracted a lot of spectators. I could see over her shoulder that the Asian family behind us was watching intently. I wouldn’t be surprised if I taught the entire line how to play that game. We eventually got to the top of the tower! What a sight! I took a picture of the top:
It is strangely similar to the Death Star. Maybe Mr. Eiffel designed it for Darth Vader. That would not surprise me at all. There is also an apartment at the top of the tower. There were wax figures (or at least I thought they were wax) of Mr. Eiffel, Mr.Eiffel’s daughter, and Mr. Edison. I guess they had a party up there way back when. When we went on a walk through Paris by night, we passed in view of the Eiffel tower. It was just light up in yellow lights. Then, all of a sudden, it started to sparkle! Not even kidding! It was magical! I wonder what special occasion made it do that. Then that got me to thinking what they do for Christmas. And New Years. And more importantly, my birthday! I bet they have something big planned. The French wouldn’t let me down.
Being in Paris, I felt like I was in such a stylish, artistic place. Every person I saw on the street had on sweet clothes, snazzy shoes, and a killer hair style. It really made me embrace my inner model. This is a glamour shot on accident. But, according to Grand Master Oogway of Kung Fu Panda, there are no accidents… (I am sure that other people have said that, but I do not know them.)
Oh look! There is even a lamppost with a green light in the background. How symbolic! (I forgot the meaning it had in the Great Gatsby, but I remember there was something important that I never picked up on.)
Overall, my trip to Paris was well needed for my whole family. It was a wonderful experience and I really feel more a part of the family now. I am starting to be myself again. The trickster, childish, loving person I am is coming out! No stopping it now! I will leave you with one final picture. The Music Academy of Paris:
I guess I need to learn French. I don’t mind one bit. As long as I can eat baguettes and lemon crepes, I will be happy.
-The French/Latvian/American Girl 🙂 Where to next?!