Tuesday, January 31, 2012

At Least the Wine Was Good

Our European Vacation: Part III
We arrived in Paris exhausted and hungry for some American food!  In
stead of trying to navigate public transportation, we jumped in the first cab that would speak (some) English and drove straight to our hotel.  We dropped our bags and went in search of a juicy hamburger.  Lunch was outrageously expensive, but worth the comfort of some familiar food.  Conor was pretty excited about his double yolk egg!

Conor was going to be very busy with work most of our time in France, so we took advantage of the little time we had together.  Our first night we took a long walk towards the Eiffel Tower and had dinner outside at a cute little restaurant just a block from the tower.  Neither Conor nor I spoke any French which made for an interesting Paris experience.  We still tried, with the 3 or so words we could say... But many of the people we encountered the first couple of days were unwilling to speak English to us and were quite rude about it.  Going out to eat was difficult at times with the language barrier.  However, most of the meals were tasty and the wine was always delicious!  I can't complain about that! Conor had stories when he returned from a few days on business, of all the crazy foods he had tried. But I stuck to what I felt comfortable with... After dinner, we finished the walk to the Eiffel tower right and arrived right as the lights were twinkling...so pretty!

The next three days Conor travelled around France for work while I stayed in Paris.  I'm embarrassed to say, I did not do much during this time.  I was very frustrated with trying to navigate the metro system and was finding it impossible to communicate with anyone French.  Each day I would go for a walk and attempt to take in the culture but it was a rainy couple of days so that didn't work out so well.  Instead, I caught up on some much needed sleep and anxiously waited for Conor to return.  I did find one very friendly crepe stand guy, which was a breath of fresh air....'til I realized that I really don't' like crepes all the much...  Needless to say, I ate a lot of frosted flakes those couple of days, oh well!

My favorite thing in Paris was the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.  It is a beautiful church set up on a hill with fantastic views.  The neighborhood surrounding the church has lots of character and, from what we were told, is where many of the famous artists from Paris worked and lived. The streets and square were filled with artists painting and displaying their art. We spent quite a bit of time roaming the streets and oogling all the local art.  We wanted to purchase a few things;however, we decided it would be so hard to travel back to the states with a large painting.  Unfortunately, we walked away empty handed.

Next on our list of sights to see was Notre Dame.  I had really been looking forward to seeing it, even though we had visited many churches over the past three weeks at this point.  I have to say I was fairly underwhelmed and maybe even a little disappointed.  It was still a great experience to be at such a historical site, but it was nothing like I had expected.  Maybe that Disney movie gave me the wrong impression....

Already a bit worn down by the time we got there, we felt very ready to be home by the end of the week in Paris.  Our first big trip to Europe was a crazy and amazing adventure. Surely a time that we will always remember with great memories.  We can't wait to go back and continue exploring.  I think next time we would love to visit Ireland, maybe even bring the golf clubs!

Next up: A couple holidays, the move to Seattle, and our new house!

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