After three beautiful days in Brussels, all 48 of us boarded our double decker bus for an easy six hour drive to the city of love and lights. I had been to Paris before with my dad during my junior year of high school, so I knew (sort of) the ins and outs of the city. Such as: the metro is the most efficient/fastest in the world, the Mona Lisa is very small, and crepe stands are the late night death of students.
Exploring with my dad versus exploring with a group of college students is unequivocally different. Although traveling with my dad allowed me to eat as many crepes and snails as I wanted to, I preferred Paris the second time around a little bit more (sorry Dad, don’t cut me off). There is just something inexplicably beautiful about being in Paris with 48 of your new closest friends. And there are some things that you need to do with those friends and not your dad. Like:
- Eating Chipotle: The minute we got off the bus in Paris everyone made a mass exodus to the mecca of all things American: Chipotle. I’ve never seen so many smiling faces and upset stomachs in one hour in my entire life. Also after only two months abroad I can safely say I have eaten (and craved) more fast food than my time in the states. I’m sorry body, but sometimes everyone needs a little taste of ‘home.’
- Drinking wine under the Eiffel Tower: With our stomachs full of authentic American-Mexican food, a bunch of us made our away to the Eiffel Tower for an evening of cheap wine, good conservation, and clear skies. There are some things that aren’t better in person—the Eiffel Tower is not one of them. Drinking wine under the tower with friends was the perfect re-introduction to Paris.
- Express site seeing: After an IES sponsored trip to Versailles, a few friends and I set out (rather ambitiously) to conquer Paris in 6 hours. Beginning at the Arch de Triumph, we scampered down the Champs de Isles where we stopped for delish macaroons (thanks to a suggestion from a friend’s mom!) and baguettes. On schedule, we hopped on the metro to the Louvre. We had carved out two and a half hours strictly for Paris’ famous museum. My friend who had taken a few art history courses immediately became our docent, explaining and clarifying the significance of the paintings and sculptures. The Mona Lisa, the Wedding Feast, Venus de Milo — a whirlwind of history was in front of us. Headed to Notre Dame to meet up with a few of my friends from Skidmore, we left the Louvre in awe. We had done it: four major landmarks, six hours.
Natürlich there are other things that are sweeter with friends, but I don’t want to bore my readers or lose my job.
On Wednesday, four friends and I set off for five days in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. But before then I have to plow through midterms and catch up on all the American TV shows I’ve missed.
PS: It’s been two months since I left home. Only two more months left. Does anyone know how to make time stop moving?