Hey everybody! I didn’t have time to write last week, but that’s because I had the most fun weekend here yet…I went to Paris with two friends for the 14 Juillet, French Independence Day!
At first I thought I wouldn’t have the money to visit other cities in France because I know how expensive hotels are in Chicago and I figured that for the most popular tourist destination in the world, the prices would be even worse. Luckily, my friend Wendy (the one that I stayed with for the first few days) is Superwoman and found us a cheap RBNB for the weekend! I had never heard of RBNB before, but it’s a system where apartments are rented out for cheaper than hotel rooms, and ours was not too shabby if I do say so myself. The Parisian who rented it to us even stocked the cabinets with bread and cereal for the mornings!
Our room for the weekend
Here are some of the highlights, because pictures are always more fun:
We maaaade itttt
We found the Moulin Rouge by accident! We looked up and this happened to be our view
Our RBNB was a 5 minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe!
Taking pictures while in line for the Palace of Versailles...we waited 2 and a half hours, but it was well worth it!
There were an endless number of rooms with intricate murals on the ceilings.
I secretly wanted to see what would happen if the chandelier fell down...
It's kind of hard to see, but someone spilled a can of Pringles on the floor of the palace. Somehow I don't feel like such a tourist anymore...
Gold, gold, and more gold
Marie Antoinette's bed
Bed so big I couldn't fit it all in one picture
There was a grand hall of giant paintings...This was my favorite, because the title had "Saint Louis" in it...my hometown!
A cloudy day for the Eiffel Tower
We got to see a parade on the Champs-Élysées for the 14 Juillet, which was fun, but when it came time to leave there were so many people in the same place at the same time that it was absolutely impossible to move for almost 20 minutes!
Marie Antoinette's backyard
Apparently Parisians are just as crazy for 1D as we are
I found the stereotype that Parisians are unfriendly to be both true, and not. At the metro station, we asked an employee (in French) at the information desk which line we should take to get to Versailles. Instead of answering, she simply rang up 3 tickets for the metro and had us buy them. When it came time for us to sign our receipts, we asked if she had a pen. She slammed her pen down as hard as she could and gave us a lecture about how she didn’t know how anyone could leave the house without their own pen.
...But there were also really friendly Parisians. The first night, my friends wanted to eat dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant in Montmartre. I preferred a $3 crepe to $20 pasta, so we agreed to separate and meet outside the restaurant at a certain time. While I was waiting outside the door, I had not one, but three people stop and ask if I needed directions. I probably looked like a lost tourist in my jean skirt (also because I wasn't smoking a cigarette), but I was pleasantly surprised that so many people would take the time to help me.
I've always been a big city person - while I like Arles, it's hard for me to be in a small town for 6 weeks - so Paris was a nice breather. I wish I had been able to spend more time there (we didn't even go to the Louvre!), but I'm thankful that I got to take a trip that I didn't think was possible for me in the first place.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Jessica Castellanos is a freshman at Northwestern University majoring in Slavic Languages and Literatures and International Studies with a minor in Religious Studies. Even though her major revolves around the Russian language, Jessica loves the French language and French culture and she hopes to become fluent someday and use the language in her career. In her spare time, Jessica likes to run, volunteer with animals, and read.</p>