Sweet Lou, in France, demain.

Need I say more? After two days in Lucerne, Switzerland the Vitali girls are returning back to France, a country where we have some idea of what’s going on and how to communicate, and finally finally being rejoined by their fourth member – thus making this Eurotrip complete. All of this in time for the previously loathed and despised holiday called Christmas in Paris! Author’s note: I’m making progress, but play me any Christmas song that doesn’t involve heartbreak and sorry (aka anything other than “Last Christmas”) and I’ll really have to try not to slap you. One can only make so much progress in a few months.

Waking up bright and early tomorrow for a train then a plane back to Paris. If I don’t get around to posting until after: Merry Christmas Eve & Happy Present Opening!

Holiday From Real: Paris Edition

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!

Let’s get a little Retro

WeeFee Stick obtained. And now to make up for lost time, a little flashback on the past few weeks before we push forward into the lavender fields and fountains of Provence.

I was lucky enough to spend a little under a week in Paris with the lovey Pange as my companion before taking the TGV – no longer just a vocab word in my French textbook – to Aix. Feeling no pressure, as we had had the fortune of visiting this gorgeous city once before, we took on the city with a mindset of leisure and enjoyment. And while I had papillons a flutter in my stomach from the time we set foot on the plane, Pange did her best to calm me. I think most of them have fluttered on, hopefully because space was getting tight, but with the way I’ve been eating tartines and cheese, that’s probably not the case. *Sigh*

I guess now’s as good a time as any, especially since I’m thinking about my time spent in Paris, to say that I’m so thankful, and I’ve talked about this a lot with one of my new friends here at AUCP, that I have the kind of relationship I do with my parents. I count myself as very blessed to be able to say, “Yeah, I had a great time with my Mom in Paris” and not add my usual sarcastic tone to the statement.

Taken from the Sienne, I obviously had to make a nod at the original Orleans, without which the New Orleans that I miss so much would not exist! Merci, France.

 

But bien sur (of course), we had lots of fun taking on The City of Lights. Cafes, the Musee D’Orsay, gypsies and boat rides on the Sienne – we did it all – and even managed to blow out a hair straighter in the process. (Stupide americaines.) It was an amazing way to spend some time before my program and ended up being a great idea because I got to get over my jet lag before starting at AUCP. Smart, Mommy!

And aside from sight seeing, a fellow Tulanian made a dinner time appearance. It was so amazing to rendez-vous with Sarah at an amazing little hotel cafe and have one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Wow, I think I’m channeling the Bachelorette with all of those “amazing’s.” Do I hear Jimmy Kimmel counting?

Alright, I think that about makes up for my lack of posting about Paris. On to Provence! But not tonight. Class at 9AM means I should probably sleep a little bit…

More for Pange than anyone else – the flying buttresses are her favorite!

 

Courage!

I’ve been in Paris for a little under a week now and am slowly – I’m talking snail’s pace – gaining some confidence in my French. In the words of my program, “Courage!” This is a quick update, though. Once I get my pictures onto my computer, I’ll be able to post some pictures and anecdotes – of which, Pange and I have accrued a few. And so for you, readers, “Patience!”

Tomorow I leave Paris and meet my host family and ma nouvelle ville! Aix-en-Provence, j’arrive…