An American in Paris
I have returned to the great city of Oxford and couldn't be happier. Spring break, you were good to me, but I am ever so glad to be back on the island of cloudy skies and cold air. I love this place.
Thank you to those who read my late night sappy homesick thoughts a few days ago. I'm glad to tell you all that I'm feeling much better about things and can now share about how great the last week of traveling Europe has been.
We begin with France.
On Friday March 6, I made the 3:00 a.m. trek to the bus station, heavy backpack in tow. One bus ride and flight later, I made my grand arrival to Paris fashion week, sleepy-eyed and messy-haired. See here is the thing about traveling. I have all these plans to look like an awesome cool hip European every time I go on a trip. And honestly, I just haven't nailed down this look yet. The first reason for this is that I have been wearing the same clothes for 2 months now. The second reason is this: how good can a girl really look when she got 1 hour of sleep and had to roll up to the airport at like 4:00 a.m. Answer: not that good. Moving on.
Anyways so we show up in Paris, figure out that it actually is Paris Fashion Week, and set out to find Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (obviously). (Spoiler alert: we didn't find them.) Despite our failed search for Kimye, we did manage to find the exit for the Dior fashion show at the Louvre. We stood with our cameras proudly next to all the fashion magazine paparazzi, trying to snaps some shots of designers whose identities we would never know. It was such a fun way to start our trip.
And now, a brief interlude about this French couple I discretely photographed.
Here's the deal. I always had in my head this idea of what a perfect French couple would look like. There would be a dog involved and dark hair and good outfits and nice smiles. And guess what. I found them. This couple exists. I could've stared at them forever and I wanted to be friends with them or at least pet their dog. But I was too shy to ask to formally take their picture. So here they are, the French couple you've always imagined, polka dot pants and all. I can't stop looking at them.
The French couple was only the beginning of why I fell in love with France. All the other reasons have to do with pastries and Julia Child. I watched the movie Julie and Julia whilst in Paris and I must now make a shameless plug for this delicious movie directed by none other than my favorite, Norah Ephron. If you don't know what other two movies she directed that are my other two favorite movies, you should learn this because it is important to our friendship continuing.
Okay quick summary: watch Julie and Julia and (two other movies starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks) and then go to France and eat pastries and go on a bike ride. Tell me you don't love France after that.
If that didn't work, I have one more solution. Laduree.
Now here's the deal. There is no place that can better capture everything you've ever imagined a French bakery to be. The pastel rows of macarons in every flavor are appealing to all senses. They are so beautiful. The lighting, the smell, and add in light pink boxes gilded with silver and you too will be swooning over the exorbitantly priced cookies. But oh how special and magical and French the little macarons are. Almost enough to make you forget the price.
Continuing in the line of advertising for things you must do in Paris, I would also like to include Fat Tire bike tours. Since we only spent two days in Paris, we wanted to see all the big stuff. And thanks to fat tire, we checked it all off the list. If you ever find yourself in Paris, check these guys out. You get a great feel for the city, your tour guide will tell you things that you would've otherwise never known. (Like where the alternate entrance to the Louvre is, thanks Robine). And any bike tour that can get me through without falling or crashing into something I'd say is pretty good.
Paris was quite a whirlwind. It made me want to speak French and go to culinary school. I don't speak French, but I do know the lyrics to one French song, so I would recite the lyrics to feel like I was saying something. Ha. I am weird.
Well, seeing as I have already written quite a lot about a short amount of time, I will spare you temporarily from Italy, part II of spring break. I'm still recovering from all the pizza I ate in Rome over the last week.
I'll leave you with a few more pictures. Be sure to check out my facebook for more later this week.