Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday 5/16/2011

Again, I am transcribing this entry directly from the journal I kept while I was on my trip.

Monday 5/16/11

It is 8:48 p.m. in Paris. Today we basically got straight off the plane, onto a bus, to our quaint little hotel with twin mattresses and spiral staircases covered with old purple carpeting, then straight to our activities. We grabbed lunch at a cafe. I had a jambon et fromage ( ham and cheese) sandwich. Then we got groceries at a Carrefour City store around the corner. We were all falling asleep, but I took a quick nap on the floor of two other girls' rooms since mine and Chantal's room had yet to be assigned. Then we were off to a boat tour on the Seine River. The cold air and beautiful bridges woke me up and made me able to stay awak for our dinner at Chez Francoise at the Air France building downtown. We had eggplant which everyone at my table could not choke down, then chicken with potatoes, and poached pears with ice cream. Chantal and I also ordered a glass of red wine which was spicy and strong. Our waiter was young (22 ish) and seemed very embarrassed because he could barely speak English. But who cares? We are the ones who can't speak French in France.
This morning when I was tired and we were walking around the area of Paris where our hotel was located, I was not impressed. It seemed dirty & crowded and the men were lewd, making breast grabbing gestures at our group.  Once we went on the boat tour and saw the nicer parts of Paris, I was much more enthralled with the potential of Paris. The buildings are old and beautiful with cafes at every corner and adorable French couples cuddling and kissing by the Seine and on the sidewalks. I loved seeing the bridge where couples bring little padlocks and "lock their love on the bridge for eternity and throw the key into the Seine" according to our boat tour guide. Oh Paris, je t'aime!
On the boat tour

My roommate, Chantal and I, on the streets of Paris

On the boat tour, our first view of the Eiffel Tower

Some of the old architecture on the banks of the Seine

One of the love lock bridges

Off the boat and standing in front of the Eiffel

A glass of wine at Chez Francoise, after a loooong 36+ hours being awake. We fell asleep at 7:30 that night. Best sleep of my life. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Beginnings of My Trip- Sunday 5/15/11

Hello Everyone. If anyone can remember, I told you all about a trip I was taking to Europe the last two weeks in May. When I got back I went straight into taking two classes, working two jobs, and being a counselor at Fashion Camp. If you convince me, I might tell you all about it sometime, but first I thought I might catch up on my trip...even if it is two months later. It is better than three. I thought the best way for me to tell this tale would be to copy what I wrote in my travel journal with a few blanks and some pictures added as well.

Sunday 5/15/2011
We are traveling to Paris today. Lubbock to Houston, a 6 hour layover, then a flight to Charles de Gaulle. I'm having a hard time because Uncle Todd is basically dying this week. It's rough, but I'm trying to enjoy this trip.

A reminder for Old Lady Hannah: I'm traveling with 30+ girls and Dr. Fowler for an International Retailing class after my second full year of college.

11:10 p.m. CST or 6:10 a.m. in Paris
We're  about 2 hours from touching down already. The flight has been good but long since I can't sleep well on planes. I'm sitting between two women. One just sleeps and the other is a sweet Ukrainian woman who was visiting her son in Houston while he works at a research hospital for a year. She teared up a little when she said she would miss him. She also speaks 4 languages. Ukrainian, Polish, Russian & English. When I asked her if she thought in Ukrainian and translated to English, she said no, she is basically fluent. She laughed when she told me how she didn't realize "How are ya?" (in a Texas accent) was a way of saying hello. Her name is Galina and she is so very naturally beautiful and has kind eyes. She told me I did not look very American and that she could see the Norwegian and Swedish in me. She also said it "does not matter if you are Swedish, Ukrainian, or American as long as what is inside is good." Perfect travel companion.

So here is a plane photo. My right eye really starts to show the sleeplessness.

Tomorrow is Paris. Get excited.