12 October 2011

Paris and London - the first time!

Oh, what to say about my first trip to the places most people dream about? Do I mention how exhausted I was the first day, falling asleep at dinner without even realizing it? Or perhaps how we, two crazy post-high school girls, sang Disney songs, "Tutti Frutti" and "Ice Ice Baby" around the whole country? How about when my mom had us visit the sewer museum (and saw stuffed rats in the gift shop!) or how we left France on its most exciting day - Bastille Day - and spent the afternoon in London instead?

Paris/London 2004 was an unforgettable experience! Despite being so tired from not only not having slept on the 12-hr plane ride, but also staying up until 3am. the night before the flight - I'll never forget this trip. We spent the days walking (and walking... and WALKING... - to the point of blisters and needing new shoes!) all over Paris, exploring the famous shops and landmarks my mom had read up on. We did everything you have to do on a first trip to Paris - we walked up the Notre Dame, we ate at the restaurant on the top of the Eiffel Tower, we spent the standard +/- 2 hours in the Louvre - spotting the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo. Of course, we also took a boat ride on the Seine, took a bus out to Monet's Garden - Giverny, and spent an afternoon in Versailles (too bad the Hall of Mirrors was under renovation - but it was marvelous nonetheless.) And London was like that too - as we had limited time, we took the hop on hop off (later dubbed the "HOHO" bus by myself) all over the city seeing the essentials.

Some of my favorite moments are less grand, but are still brought up now and again when reminiscing about our trip. I remember our feet being practically raw from walking all over Paris, and we stopped at this little pizza place that was owned by some Turkish guys and as we were practically the only ones in there, we had a blast talking to them. I also remember my mom mixing up her Spanish and French (Fr..anish?) and the cab drivers getting confused irritated because they didn't understand where the "loover" was (Louvre). Good times. Oh, and who could forget, the Procope (procopay, as my mom would say) - the oldest restaurant in Paris (opened in 1694). It was pouring rain and we didn't have time to change before eating - so we arrived at this fancy restaurant in our jeans and t-shirts (drenched!) , and proceeded to order this luxurious meal. My parents did ok, but me and my best friend, being 17 and 18 at the time and unaccustomed to 5-star restaurants in the best cities in the world, had a few more challenges. I ordered chicken and was a little completely mortified when I realized it still had hair all over it! And Christy ordered like a pupu platter type thing, and had to do some problem-solving to get those sardines and other misc. fishies as far away from her as possible. We worked around it...but I'd like to think we've gotten better over the last 7 years...so as to at least hide our peculiarities and unrefined nature.

Our permanent faces throughout this trip (and probably all of our trips!)
Christy's sinus face and my "in awe" face.

Place St. Michel and its amazing stained glass windows.

I always liked this photo - maybe it's the continuous line all of the subjects create..or 
maybe it's just the doggie!

Photo from the top of Notre Dame (when our legs felt like jelly from having
walked up 387 steps!)

Upon arriving in London on Bastille Day. We mistook this for the London Bridge at the time
(as do many tourists), but of course - it is the Tower Bridge!

I love this photo of my mummy.

Yeah...I have no comment for this photo, other than - we're silly.

Photo of the Parliament - one of the first things we saw upon leaving the chunnel.

My stepdad at the original Hard Rock cafe, with guitar that started it all - Eric Clapton's.

Gotta love the guards at Buckingham Palace!

At the top of the Eiffel Tower.

1 of 500,000  photos I have of the Eiffel Tower (that might be a slight exaggeration.)

Notre Dame at sunset.

Arc de Triomphe. We climbed up this as well - only 284 steps.

We did not have time to take the steps up the Eiffel Tower, although I would have liked
to. C'mon - it's only 1,665 stairs (!!!!). Maybe next time..... (.....)

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