Passport to Paris

Courtney Smith
November 25, 2013

Off to Paris we went after classes on Thursday.  Paris was a must see on my list while studying abroad in Milan and my dream has finally come true.  Friday morning Emily and I headed out to get breakfast at a cute little cafe we found where we got chocolate croissants, orange juice, and coffee.  We then headed to the Musée d’Orsay where we met up with Haley, Olivia, Maddie, and Nicole.  This was my favorite museum of the trip as the 5th floor is all impressionist paintings.  It was amazing to get to see works from Monet, Manet, and others up close and personal that I have only seen in my art history classes.

Maddie, Haley’s friends, then showed us around the city a little bit and brought us to Angelina’s.  This is a famous place to eat, get sweets, and get a hot chocolate on a cold day.  It was absolutely freezing in Paris and I was not prepared for the cold weather so this was the perfect afternoon treat.  The hot chocolate at Angelina’s was very rich and in small sips was delicious, but now I know why they gave me such a small cup.  Upon adventuring around the city we came upon Christmas markets that were lined up and down the street and it really made me miss home for all the festivities that have begun.

There were crafts, food, and music playing as we walked the streets and of course since I have been craving a crape for weeks i caved and got one.  It was a fresh made crap with Nutella and bananas and boy did it ever hit the spot! After walking quite a ways we finally reached the Arc de Triomphe, yes another tourist attraction, but hey im a tourist for the weekend.  Nicole and I decided we wanted to climb to the top and see the view and cheers to being a student and going up for free!  After climbing a spiral staircase for a good couple of minutes we finally made it to the top.  We got our workout for the day thats for sure. The view from the top was spectacular! You could see the whole city from each direction and were even able to see the Eiffel Tower. Even on a cold and cloudy day Paris is still beautiful.

We decided to stay close to our hotel for dinner that night and found a little spot where we shared a bottle of wine and each got the special of the night, beef bourguignon.  On a cold night this hit the spot and warmed my entire body.

Saturday came all too quick as we ventured to the Louvre for the morning.  Our main mission was to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of Mona Lisa and explored a couple of other exhibitions before heading out for the day.  The Louvre is an amazing building that is huge and would take a couple of days to see the entire thing.

Instead of heading to go and see the Eiffel Tower next we took a slight detour and headed about 30 minutes away to the town of Versailles. In Versailles we were able to go and tour the Palace where Marie-Antoinette lived.  The Palace was beautiful, but the grounds and gardens of the estate were my favorite.  The grounds are huge and everywhere you look are gardens, fountains, trees, and elaborate decorations.  My favorite room inside of the house was the hall of mirrors.  It is a long room where both sides of the room are mirrors from top to bottom alined with chandeliers along the whole ceiling.  The bedrooms were also all furnished elaborately and each with a different theme.  I could be quite content in this palace if need be.

The Eiffel Tower by night was our last stop of the evening as we headed back to Paris and boy was it everything I have ever imagined.  So large and beautiful by night! We took tons of photos and then headed off to dinner.  After searching for the right place we settled at a place where we all got a meal that was delicious and we were craving.  For me it was spicy beef and mashed potatoes and a nice glass of red wine!

Cheers to Paris and I will be back to visit again

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Courtney Smith

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Courtney is a senior at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington majoring in Graphic Design. In her free time she loves to go out and explore new places, never leaving home without her camera and notebook to document those moments. She also loves to play volleyball and do craft projects. She is catching the travel bug after traveling to Dubai earlier this year and is excited to study in Milan and travel around Europe. Photography and writing are a true passion of hers and she hopes to share her adventures and thoughts while in Europe through this blog.</span></p>

2013 Fall
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Pacific Lutheran University
Graphic Design
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