I had a bunch of worlds collide during this most recent foray into the world outside of Aix – High School friends, meets Tulane friends, meets AUCP friends. Needless to say my triple lives all meshed together into one gorgeously harmonious trip to Paris. But this harmony was not without moments of dischord. Our initial train from Aix to Paris was cancelled on Thursday (less than 24 hours before we were supposed to leave!) and so I spent an hour scattering around on the Internet trying to find cheap plane tickets. Mission accomplished. We arrived at the airport for our 7ish flight and spent the next 3 hours on the floor near our Gate, drinking demi-bottles of wine and navette cookies. 4 bottles later and more cookies than I care to count (or publicly display), we boarded. (Picture to follow…)
We landed in Paris circa minuit and proceeded to take a bus and then attempt to walk to our hotel. 20 minutes in, my too-trendy-for-walking-but-still-adorable-booties decided it was time to take a cab. And good thing, too, because we would’ve been walking for over an hour more! But nothing can be easy and the cab driver, of course, didn’t know where our hotel was and – for some reason – didn’t think it necessary to use his GPS. I’m gonna go all Allegiance to NYC on you right now and say this would never happen in The City. Public transportation in Europe (and sometimes other US states, I’ll admit) just boggles my mind. Dad, I understand: I can never live anywhere but NY. Anyway, we arrived to our hotel at a whopping 1:30am. In NOLA this would pose no problem. In France, there is a law that bars must close at 2am. Thus, we made the executive decision to (grudgingly) change into PJs and wait to take on Paris tomorrow.
And take it on we did! But we were not alone. In fact, there were over 25 fellow Tulanians in Paris this weekend. And while I (very sadly) didn’t manage to see them all. I did get to see a bunch of my favorite people who have also crossed the pond this semester and who are pursuing their studies (drinking habits) abroad.
Ramirez & I somehow finding perfect lighting in the strange High-School-Party-In-A-Parisienne-Basement-Club that we were at. Love it!
Yeah, we got a little fratty circa 3am!
There was even an appearance from another resident of the 914 area code who has relocated herself to France for the semester. She braved angry French strikers and police armed with battering rams to make it to my hotel for an aperatif before we cabbed ensemble to Montmartre for dinner with Tulane friends! This little “mush” will also be joining us in ROME in less than two weeks. jewagjewkjgfwigjawg – meaning to say, EXCITEMENT!
All in all, it was an amazing trip. I’m lucky enough that it was my 4th time in Paris but we still managed to hit all major tourist spots just by promenading along the Siene – thank you Ancient Parisiennes for making all of your monuments so easily accesible and tourist friendly. This was obviously their thought process when mapping out where to place the Louvre in relation to the Eiffel Tower in relation to Notre Dame.
I cannot wait to get back to this wonderful city – hopefully sans grèves – in December with my family and see even more of the wonders that Paris has to offer once you get up the courage to leave the sight of the Siene and begin winding your way up the weathered streets of the City of Lights. Until then, I leave Paris this time with (shockingly) no new purchases but an entirely new set of memories to attribute to this wonderful place – plus an complete set of photos for a potential Pi Phi Does Paris Abum (say that 5 times fast) and an array of choices for the Penthouse Photo Display that we’ll be putting up in our apartment come January. [Update for all of you Tulane readers: I will be back in NOLA January 5th rolling squad deep with Pange and Lyss and maybe even the Great Sweet Lou.]
Until then, it is currently midterm week here and while I am quite enjoying my time here – which can be described as nothing but a Holiday From Real – I have to stop “wasting my weeks beneath the sun” and actually remembering I have school (womp womp). Here’s to studying AND THEN MILAN ON FRIDAY!