14 juillet-- Bonne Fête Nationale!

Paris Travel Blog

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Today is a national holiday is France (known to English-speakers as Bastille Day), somewhat similar to the Fourth of July in the US. No school/work, lots of stuff is closed, people are out everywhere celebrating, etc. The best part: Fireworks! and not just fireworks, but fireworks over the Eiffel Tower! We're going around 8 or 8:30 to stake out a spot to watch them from. It doesn't get completely dark here until about 10:30-11pm, so we will have at least 2 hours before they start. It will still probably be really really crowded though.

As for my weekend:
11 July-
I already somewhat posted an update of the 11th, but stuff happened after that post. Namely, I fell down the stairs at the Louvre Friday night. Yes, you heard right. I knew all these slippery marble stairs would get to me at some point. I also fell down some stairs earlier in the week at school, but didn't hurt anything then. Unfortunately, that was not the case Friday night. I actually thought I might have broken a bone or two. We eventually (slowly) made it back to the dorm (all the while with me muttering to myself about how much I hate this country and their MFing stairs everywhere). However, the nuns were very concerned for me when I got back and actually managed to scrounge up some ice for me to put on my foot (they really don't do ice in France... like you really can't get it anywhere in stores or anything). Of course, then I had to go up to my room on the fifth floor which was a bit of a trek to say the least. Of course, I called my mom being pitiful on the phone to her.

12 July-
Fortunately, I woke up Saturday and my foot was in much less pain than the night before. The head nun woman (Sister Mary Joseph) also apparently fell down the stairs here a few weeks ago, and she recommended me to a pharmacie to get a wrap for it to keep the swelling down. She told me to go immediately on Saturday because everything here is closed on Sundays anyway, and of course, most stuff was closed today too for the holiday. After that, we had really good bread and cheese for lunch and went to eat it at the Jardins du Luxembourg. Unfortunately, the weather turned a bit poor (got cloudy, cold and windy all of a sudden) so we left and came back to the dorm. Otherwise, we didn't do much. However, we did go and reserve tickets for Amsterdam so we are most definitely OFFICIALLY going! Hooray! That is going to be SOOOOOOO much fun!

13 July-
Yesterday, we went to Giverny which is Monet's estate in Normandy. It is about a 35 non-stop train ride from Paris. It was absolutely gorgeous! His gardens are magnificent and the water lily pond was lovely. There are many pictures up on Facebook here:
His house was pretty cool. The dining room is entirely yellow (and I mean entirely: the tables, curtains, chairs, walls, even the dish designs and the cabinets) and the kitchen is entirely blue (except for the old iron stove of course). It was pretty neat. One of the rooms upstairs is easter-egg blue with lavender furniture. Was Monet perhaps a little gay?

After we got back from Giverny, Marie and I were both tired and Marie had started to get a migraine on the way back so she felt really crappy. We got back around 7pm to the dorm (left at 9am) and both of us promptly passed out til about 9:45 pm lol. There were some small fireworks last night, but neither of us felt much like going out and doing anything still. We stayed up until about 1 then went to bed.

14 July-
I woke up about 10:15 this morning, and went downstairs to the basement to watch the parade on TV. It was magnificently boring as all get out. It's basically just a military parade, with brigades marching and such. The only cool part was the tanks, and then the parachuters who landed in front of the Place de la Concorde where President Sarkozy was sitting. He, also, look rather bored during the whole thing whenever the camera would zoom in on him. I swear I saw him yawn once. Anyway, I got a bit of pictures off the tv of the parade and those will be on facebook later tonight, or tomorrow. Later this afternoon, Marie and I went to the Jardins du Luxembourg again, and it was much nicer today so we actually got to enjoy it. It's really pretty there, and it was nice and sunny so we got to lounge around a bit in some chairs and then we walked around. We had an ice cream cone. Eventually, we heard a tuba coming from somewhere and decided to investigate. Turns out, there was a little jazz band on the sidewalk outside the gardens and we listened to them for about 45 minutes. They were pretty good. The trombone player must've lost a bet because he was wearing a skirt, and a blonde wig. (Also, Marie and I decided it's quite possible he wasn't wearing anything under that skirt... there was a bit o' jiggle going on.) Then we ate at this place called Quick, which is like a french fast food place. It was decent, I had some pretty good chicken fingers, but Marie had this random burger called (no joke) the Omar and Fred burger. It was really weird. They also had Omar and Fred cheese sticks which were in the shapes of O's and F's. We decided that Omar and Fred was apparently this place's mascots. (ETA: I googled them and apparently they are like a comedy duo in France or something? I dunno, whatev)

So that has been my long weekend! Hope everyone in internet world is having a great day as well!
Au revoir!
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photo by: Sweetski