Two days after my parents left, I woke up at the crack of dawn and took a taxi to the airport again. This time, however, was to catch my own flight: a 6:30 AM one to Paris to see my best friend from ISU, Chelsea! She and two friends had flown into Paris right after Christmas and immediately headed down to Spain to see a few different places. Before flying out of Paris, Chelsea had one day and night to see the city, so I flew up to spend time with her and show her around!
I got into Orly at about 8 AM and then took a tram and a train to get into the city, where I then hopped on the Metro to get to the train station where her night train from Madrid was getting in at 9:30 AM. I made it there in plenty of time and waited at the track so that we couldn’t miss each other. Not gonna lie, I cried a little bit when we hugged! I hadn’t seen her since August.
The four of us went to the hostel first to drop off our bags, then headed to the Champs-Elysees. We saw the Arc de Triomphe:
and had savory crepes for lunch, then headed back to the hostel. They wanted to shower after being on the train for 15 hours, and I needed a nap after my 4:30 AM wakeup call! After that, Chels and I headed out just the two of us to see a few things. We went to see the Louvre first:
then went right near there to the Pont des Arts, the bridge with all the locks on it. We found my parents’ lock!!
After that, we walked along the Seine to get to Shakespeare & Company, a bookstore that Chelsea had read about online and wanted to see. It was especially perfect for us to do, since 1) we were both English majors, 2) we both love reading, and 3) our first outing together was to a bookstore! We’re nerds, I know.
The bookstore was small, with lots of twists and turns, neat touches like a piano or a typewriter sitting in random corners, and books EVERYWHERE.
Then we went to meet Chelsea’s friends and some of their friends and some of THEIR friends at a cafe for dinner. It was DELICIOUS; I got soy marinated chicken and it came with green beans and rice. Strange for a Parisian cafe, I know, but it was soo good. The cafe was really cool too; it was three floors, but there was a big open area that went up through all three floors and was decorated with huge paper stars.
After dinner Chelsea and I went by ourselves to go see the Eiffel Tower at night. It was her first time seeing it and only my second, and it was so fun to be there together! At a little crepe shack near the Tower, we stopped to get a Nutella and banana crepe. The woman making it took a liking to us (our constant smiles probably helped) and heaped a TON of Nutella on there. We just kept laughing and she kept spooning until we told her to stop! Then she cut a whole banana on there, and I told her that it was Chelsea’s first crepe in Paris (first street crepe, anyway). She then grabbed another banana and cut up half of it into the crepe. When she folded it up, it hardly stayed! She said when we come back to Paris we need to come there.
I took waaay too many pictures of the Eiffel Tower, but it was just so pretty!!
We got to see the sparkles!!
SO COOL to be in front of the Eiffel Tower with Chelsea. Never would’ve guessed we would ever be there together!!
After that, we moseyed back to the hostel to get some sleep. Btw, that hostel was the best one I’ve ever stayed in before. St. Christopher’s. Check it out.
The next morning, we got up early and took the RER train together to Charles de Gaulle, where she was flying out of. We waited in the LONGEST LINE EVER to check in, but after about half an hour a nice CDG employee took us out of the line and printed her boarding passes since she didn’t have any luggage to check. I had to say goodbye to her at security, but not before giving her the “gift” I bought for her- two rolls of fruit Mentos! Those are her favorite and we always used to eat them together. I was surprised they sell them in France!
I had awhile to kill before my train back to Nice, so I took the train back into the city and hopped on the Metro to go to my favorite restaurant: Chipotle! Yes, I’ve mentioned it before here and here. SO SUE ME I LOVE IT.
After my satisfying lunch, I headed out to see Moulin Rouge, which I had never been to before.
I still had awhile before my train, but decided I really didn’t want to miss it. I grabbed some snacks for the 6-hour train ride at a nearby grocery store then took the Metro to the train station where my train was leaving from. It was a big train and pretty full, but I got lucky and the seat next to me was empty, so I got to stretch out and…you guessed it…SLEEP! However, I did wake up to take this beautiful photo of the sunset from my seat.
I didn’t sleep the whole six hours; I ate and wrote some postcards too! It was a looong ride but for several reasons it worked better for me to fly there and take the train back. Before I got off the train in Nice, I snapped a few pictures of the inside of the train car. It was a double decker and I was on the second floor.
As you can see, the train was pretty empty at this time! Nice was the last stop. I was glad to be one of the last off because I had a HUGE hole in the crotch of my jeans that I forgot about awhile into the train ride, and I took off my coat to walk to the bathroom. Pretty sure everyone saw, so that was great. Shenanigans, I tell you.
Anyway, I got into Nice EXACTLY on time, which was great, because I had plans to babysit precisely 34 minutes after my train pulled into the station. I ran home, dropped off my bag, changed pants, and rented a bike to go babysit! It was a crazy weekend but I’m SO glad I went. I was debating because it was for such a short amount of time, so soon after my parents left, and the tickets were kind of expensive, but it was worth every penny!
(What will be the post after the next one?? Vote in the poll on the right to help me decide!)