So. I'm hanging out in my quaint hotel room in Paris! It's midnight, the window is open and the breeze feels amazing. I can hear the voices of the partying crowd right outside our room but it doesn't bother me. We are on the 5th floor (which by European standards = windy floors that are more like 1.5 stories each - no elevator!), and if you look out the window you can see the lovely streets.
My flights went off without a hitch! First Dallas to Detroit, then to Amsterdam (I was able to nap a bit on that one), then to Paris. The highlight of all of the plane trips was the free Heineken I got en route to Holland! I was lucky enough to get window seats on two of the three flights. Coming into Paris my heart skipped a beat as we flew by the Eiffel Tower. It's funny, because that is not something I was incredibly excited to see, but it says "Here you are, you're in freakin' Paris!"
After Bert and I met up at the Notre Dame Cathedral, we trekked to our hotel. This place is hilarious. The room is tiny, and has a standing room shower IN it. Then there's a slanted sealing right above the sink, which is practically begging me to hit my head on it.
After we got settled in, we went and had lunch at an amazing bistro. I got a salad with duck breast, mushrooms, a lemon dijon dressing, topped with toast and a foie gras torchon. And the best café au lait I've ever had! Aahhhhh!!!
Next, we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral. The beauty of it was overwhelming; I even may have teared up a bit. The stained glass windows were incredible. Regardless, we didn't stay for too long and continued with walking around Paris. I hit some shops and then sipped on some wine with Bert. We caught a live pops/jazz band in the Chatelet area. They were all young, college aged, and played hits such as "The Austin Powers Theme" and "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps."
THENNNNN we had something incredible called a Nutella Panini. Oh my goodness. It's two slices of French bread stuck together with some Nutella, then grilled. It was soooooo good.
We saw a live orchestra after that, and I forget what the exact orchestra was- I only know they were from Spain. It was really cool hearing a European-style oboist playing. She was great, but she held her oboe out almost 90 degrees. I don't know how she sounded so good - she moved around a LOT. She made Chad Burrow look like a robot. They played Stravinsky's Firebird and the Rimsky-Korsakov piano sonata no 2. It was a unique experience. Europeans seem to get way more enjoyment out of both playing and listening to symphonic music than I have ever seen in the States. After the pianist performed his concerto, he followed with not one, but TWO encores. The same thing happened at the end of the concert - the audience went completely wild (someone even yelled Go, Spain!) and the group played two encores. The audience was cheering and begging for more but the maestro had to turn them down. I imagine the Europeans' love of symphonic music is rooted in national pride. The Europeans invented Western art music and therefore, maybe the highly enjoy it the way Americans enjoy rock music. Just a thought.
So, then we went walking around a bit more. We stared at the Seine for a bit. It is breathtaking at night. I had a egg, ham, and cheese crepe for dinner and it was amazing. I love the Frenchies and their food.
The only obstacle so far has been the language barrier. For the most part, the Parisians have been very polite, and most do speak English. It's frustrating, though, when someone refuses to even try to understand you or even acts snide about it (here's a shout-out to you, Monsieur Hair Gel). But whatever. I can understand people being angry when someone comes to their country and doesn't know the language, but the tourists are pumping money into their economy so they just need to get over it. J
And now it's time for bed! Big day tomorrow: Eiffel Tower, Catacombes, Musee d'Orsay, Arch di Triomphe, and the great Theatre Champs-Elysees! <3