Today has been one of the longest days of my life. Yesterday, we got on the plane to Paris, and I didn't manage to sleep very much. I had my eyes closed for probably 4 or 5 hours, so that helped a bit. But we landed and went straight to the hotel to get unpacked. Afterwards, we went to explore the area for a bit and get something to eat. I went with Olivia, Molly, Lisa, Amanda, and Michelle to the Monoprix up the street to take a look around, and I found Kinder eggs!! Hopefully I can find a way to bring those home for Easter... they'll probably be ruined in the checked baggage. But maybe my semester in packaging will come in handy! We'll see. Then, we joined everyone else at a café, where I had the most expensive coffee of my life (4,8 euros) and a delicious crepe with butter and sugar.
We went back to the hotel for a bit before going to see the Marais, beginning with the Opera Bastille.
Next, we went to Place des Vosges and saw Victor Hugo's house and museum. I loved the arches on all of the buildings surrounding the Place des Vosges. It was really a beautiful park. And, as it turns out, they have the exact same jungle gym as in Crescent Park in Wyoming!
Next, we went to the Carnavalet museum to see the history of Paris, which was very beautiful, but also very very large. It never seemed to end. We went to the bookstore and I saw a book called "Paris at your feet" and it was all pictures of the things you find on the ground in Paris, like old railway tracks. I'll have to see if I can track that book down again.
After that, we went to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed all the way up the grueling staircase to reach the top and see an incredible view of Paris. We took so so soooo many pictures by the Eiffel Tower. From the Arc, the Eiffel Tower actually looks pretty small, even though it's massive. It must've been a trick of perspective.
Finally, we walked back and went to dinner where I had a fantastic and rich chocolate mousse. I've really gotten to practice my French here, which surprises me. I thought Professor Lorenz would do all the talking (which is true) but there are still several occasions where she's not available and I have to speak for myself or answer people's questions. It's really coming in handy, and I'm glad for the chance to speak with French people and practice my skills. We have also had our fair share of adventure on this trip already. Before leaving, I wasn't allowed to check in to the flight because my name had been misspelled on the ticket, so we had to spend a long time trying to get that sorted out. On the plane ride over here, there was a medical situation and the flight attendant asked if there were any doctors on board, and the woman seated next to me (French) happened to be a pediatric surgeon so she went over. I talked to her and her friend (who turned out to be Italian so we spoke in Italian for a bit, which was fun) afterward and found out that there really was nothing wrong at all, and that someone had just felt very sick and fainted, but she was perfectly okay. And while we were riding the Metro to the Arc de Triomph, Erin and Meredith got closed out of the subway train and were left behind! We went to the next station as planned and caught up with them, but it was a definite adventure all day long.