I really love this picture, so I want to post it.

So, although I’m not recapping my actual Parisian adventures just yet, I took a picture of Notre Dame at night and I love it!

Here it is:

Notre Dame at Night!

Notre Dame at Night!

Funny story: when we were walking by this, a guy was speaking another language (I think German?) and in the middle of his unintelligible jabber (since I didn’t know his language) I heard him say “Notre Dame” as it is pronounced when referring to the American university/football team (he said “no-ter dayme” but the pronunciation of the cathedral should be “no-truh dahm”). It’s probably only funny to me, but I definitely got a good laugh out of it.

To see the rest of my photos of this round of the Paris trip, click here.

(Note: I actually took about 300 photos, but since I’d already uploaded about 5 albums from my prior Paris trip, I limited my uploading to the maximum 60 photos per album and tried to just upload most of my favorites)

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Paris Will Have to Wait…

So, I haven’t been able to even try to think about recapping my Parisian adventures with Becky because my schedule this “week” (ie the 4 days I’m actually in town) is crazy busy… but hopefully I’ll get around to that soon because the trip was AMAZING! At first when Becky told me she wanted to go to Paris I kind of had this “…Again?” feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED it the first time. However, since I had never really traveled before coming to London, now when I have a chance to get out of town I want to go somewhere new. I want to see everything, and then think about repeats 😉

But, nonetheless, I booked a trip to Paris with Becky, and it was amazing. I don’t regret going back a second time at all, and it just made me want to go back more! More on that later…. but in the meantime, my current schedule issues:

The main thing is that on top of all the normal things that cram my schedule Tuesday-Thursday (I’m in class all day on Tuesday and Thursday, and have to fit in all the readings, laundry, groceries, etc. in between before heading out to travel again on Thursday night or Friday.. I know, hard life ;)), this week I’m preparing for a moot court competition on Friday. Alexander and I are a team and we will be arguing a fake British case in front of fake House of Lords judges (like the Supreme Court of England). Although the facts of our case are made up, we have to use real British cases and British law to argue for our imaginary clients. British cases are super dense and they are not like American cases in that instead of a majority and minority opinion (which makes it very clear what the law is), each judge writes their own opinion and they are all listed. Also, the cases seem to be heavily weighted in the other direction (supporting the other side). From the looks of it so far, we’ve basically got a dissent in one case (not binding) and we’ll have to analogize humans at a concert to “wild beasts” to make a policy argument. Basically, our argument is “I know you guys have already totally settled this issue and are very clear that we’re supposed to lose here, but um.. how about you completely change your mind and let us win? Eh?”

So, I should really get back to trying to read the cases and figure out what to say on Friday morning at 8:30am when it’s time for Alexander and I to argue this mess.

Also, Becky and I will be leaving on Saturday morning for a quick trip to Barcelona, Spain… so it may be a bit before I’m able to recap Paris or Barcelona. We’ll see!

The Best Thing Ever = The Eiffel Tower at Night!

Yesterday (Saturday) was our second full day in Paris. We started off the day by taking the metro over to the Tour Montparnesse (a skyscraper in Paris with a viewing deck at the top so you can go up and see the whole city, including the Eiffel Tower–if you go up the Eiffel Tower you don’t get to see that in the skyline!). The view was amazing but it was pretty hot (around 90F) and bright and we both forgot our sunglasses back in London. We didn’t stay up on the top deck very long (floor 59), but there is also an observation deck on floor 56 which is inside and air conditioned, so we hung out there for awhile as well.

Right before we went to the Tour, we stopped at what some friends jokingly call “the American Embassy” aka McDonalds 🙂 I feel like a bit of a lame-o for eating McDonalds when I’m in PARIS, but I just wanted something quick and cheap, and everything else around were sit-down cafes. It was yummy, except in France they apparently put the nutrition facts right on the wrapper so there is no blissful ignorance in eating McDonalds here. Ouch.

Then we headed to the Louvre. Sadly, my camera was near dead at that point so I had to switch to the 5 megapixel setting to try to save power and I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked to. The Louvre is filled with so much art, but what really struck me was how crazy it was that it used to be a palace. I just couldn’t stop thinking, “this was someone’s HOUSE?” King, sure, but even for a King the Louvre is crazy big. And I also kept imagining people back in the day walking through there when it was the King’s place, and having no idea that a couple hundred years later all these tourists from around the world in their sandals and fanny packs with their digital cameras and cell phones would be strolling through the place in masses. So that is what I was thinking about most of the time– oh, and also about how TINY and insignificant the Mona Lisa seems compared to all of the other art. There was a painting of Napoleon’s carnation (?) that was bigger than the square footage of many peoples homes, and it wasn’t the only big painting… but the tiny Mona Lisa is the one people are fascinated with. It hangs alone on a huge wall… which kind of exaggerates how tiny it is… and is roped off and hoards of people stand around taking photos of it (we got one too… although I wish instead of zooming in I had taken a picture from a distance so you all could see how huge the wall is, and how tiny the painting is). So there you have it– the world is fascinated by Mona Lisa, and I am fascinated by how big the King’s house was. The things we think about 😉

After the Louvre we were exhausted–both from the heat, and all the walking and stairs. Besides all the walking here (both Paris and London), there are rarely elevators. The stairs can be KILLER. When we were flat hunting in London after the first couple days my legs were so dead I had to physically lift them with my hands to get up the stairs. The bright side is– no need for a gym when Europe is my stair-stepper? 🙂 So we headed back to the hotel to rest for awhile. We had planned to visit Notre Dame but the service was at 6:30 and we knew we couldn’t make it back in a hour so we decided to go Sunday instead.

After relaxing for a bit we got dressed up and headed out for dinner near the Eiffel Tower. Alexander had two places in mind (affordable for the area and recommended by a travel book). We got to the first one and the only people in the place were two separate tables with a couple older women at each table, and they were talking very loudly in English to each other across the restaurant. Not appealing. So we walked to the other one–Le Bosque–and it turned out to be very nice. Apparently we were really early for dinner, because the only other people eating when we first got there had full heads of gray hair 😉 But quickly a younger crowd came in as well. However, that also brought our one annoyance with the restaurant. For some reason, still unknown to us, the service to our table (and our table only) was extremely, extremely slow. People who arrived more than 45 minutes after us were getting their food before us, and Alexander’s lamb never came. We ultimately asked them to just bring us the check without the lamb on it, and paid so we could leave because I was getting really tired just sitting there waiting and waiting, and we had other things we wanted to see! Despite the slowness, our food was delicious and the place was so much nicer than option #1!

Next, we hopped on the metro up to the Eiffel Tower. We had planned on walking–it’s a nice walk–but dinner took too long and we wanted to get over there. I am so, so, so glad we went back to see it at night too! It’s so pretty! It’s currently lighted blue with a circle of stars resembling the European Union because France’s President (Sarkozy) is currently the president of the EU as well. It twinkles for 8 or 10 minutes every hour on the hour and Alexander knew the perfect spot to see it from! He also knew about Cafe De L’Homme (a very expensive restaurant with amazing views of the tower) which is in a Museum right there, and he convinced the hostess to let us have a table with a view just for drinks and dessert (she couldn’t let us sit outside if we weren’t buying dinner, but she gave us an AMAZING table inside!) I love, love, LOVED it! Then this morning when I uploaded the pictures I got all excited again. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen/done, and ranks right up there at the top of “Best Nights Ever.”

Our Table at Cafe De LHomme!

Our Table at Cafe De L'Homme!

Today has been a very relaxing day. Sadly, I woke up with (sorry for the TMI male readers) really bad cramps. I still managed to get myself in a dress and make it to the “international mass” at Notre Dame with Alexander, and we went to a nearby sidewalk cafe for lunch. Alexander had to find a pharmacy to get medicine for me, and came back with a pink box that says “regles douloureuses” which I think means something to do with periods 😉 I just asked him for ibuprofen but he told the pharmacist exactly what I needed! Also, it turns out “limonade” is not lemonade, but 7UP. In my desperate-pained state, lemonade sounded good so I ordered it. Not only did it turn out to be 7UP, it also cost 7 EUROS!!! (aka $10 US DOLLARS!! FOR A GLASS OF 7UP!!). So, no more ordering a beverage without (1) knowing what it actually is, and (2) knowing the price! The cheapest I’ve seen here for a diet coke is 2 euros (which is 3 U.S. dollars and I thought that was expensive!) but that is way cheaper than 10!

Anyway, now we’re at the hotel watching rented movies on iTunes because when I have cramps this bad the best I can do for myself is take lots of meds and take it easy. Luckily its today that this happened, a day we planned on taking easy anyway. And today is also the only day it has rained while we’ve been here. So perfect both ways. Hopefully I feel better soon because it’s my last night in Paris! I need to see more of the city!!