Happy New Years Eve!!
It's about 8:30 and I'm coming in to update before I head to the Champs Elysees to see what's going down for the new years celebration. I'm not sure yet where the party is going to be, but as long as I find someone who speaks English, I'm sure I'll be fine... This may be more difficult than I had originally planned :-/
Today was SOOO busy. I really doubted myself when I woke up this morning and knew that I had exactly 7 hours to do the entire city of Paris. I guess this is a very good example of the pace of this trip, but I actually finished everything on my list.
First, I started by walking the Jardin du Luxembourg. It's right next to the hotel I'm staying in (which is actually some guy's house that he rents out the spare rooms in and calls it a hotel). The garden is very obviously beautiful in the spring/summer and it was fantastic now, but I know that it was not at it's prime. The palais still looked wonderful though and I really wish I could just buy the whole thing and live there. After that, I walked up the Blvd. St. Michel to the Pantheon. Now, I stumbled upon this last night as I was walking home. I honestly had no idea it was in Paris. Nonetheless, I spent a good deal of time walking around and snapping photos.
Next, I headed to the river. I went to Notre Dame and then headed up the river towards the Musee d'Orsay and the Luvre. The river was really beautiful today as the clouds made it this sort of dreary grey color. The Musee d'Orsay was closed so I didn't have a chance to go inside, but the Luvre was open. Here's where the magic really started. I somehow managed to be allowed to skip the entire line of people waiting to get in. I have no idea why... really. I asked a guy where the entrance was, he said some French garbage and then led me to the front of the line. These Italians got really mad and started yelling at me, but I just completely ignored them. From here, I started my super speed Masterpiece tour of the Luvre. I bought a crash course tour that I downloaded to my ipod that led you to the "10 most important masterpieces" in the luvre. I went to the original medieval castle walls, the statue of venus, the victory of Samothrace, Napoleon's Coronation, the Mona Lisa, the Marriage of Cana, the Beautiful Gardener, the Raft of Medusa, Liberty of Paris and Michalangelo's Slaves statues. I was also supposed to see some horses, but the exhibit was closed. I power walked from each exhibit to the next and took pictures along the way (I thought you weren't allowed to take pictures in the Luvre but aparently you can...) and ended the tour/ticket buying/line waiting process in about 1.5 hours. Amazing.
From here I walked through the gardens in front and then down the Champs Elysees. I got a chocolate and banana crepe as I was walking (Natalie... they really are the most amazing things I've ever tasted) and almost made myself sick I ate it so fast. I bought myself some new boots, a new hat and a new scarf (Happy New Years to ME) and then ended up at the Arc du Triumphe.
Heading South now, I walked along a cute little shopping stret which led me directly to the Eiffel Tower - which is just as magnificent as I had always imagined. It was so huge and so amazing. I spent a little bit of time marvelling before I caught a cab back to the Boulevard St. Michel and then walked around in the 'burbs to get some supplies for later. I got a couple bottles of champagne, some cheese, ham and bread and then a couple pastries for desert. I went back to the hotel, ate my New Years Feast, watched the Simpson's in French for about an hour and then decided it was time to be social. So here I am, being social... HA!! I really am leaving here though... and going straight to be social.
Well, I hope everyone has a fantastic New Years Eve!! I love you all and give you all a cyber-toast from way over here!!
Oh and just to rub it in, my really awesome bottle of authentic French Champagne cost $3.40. Muhahaha.