Finally in Europe!

Paris Travel Blog

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Finally here!
So I'm finally here! It feels crazy to say that "I'm in Paris." Yeah, it just looked weird when I typed it.

I left Atlanta about 6:00 on Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday was a very stressful day trying to get everything ready! But though I was running a little late, I got to the airport in plenty of time and everything was fine. It was sad to leave, but nonetheless, I was excited to go. These past few months have not really allowed me much time to think about the fact that I was going to Europe because I've been so caught up in school and my recent triathlon with Team in Training. But it wasn't sinking in as I boarded the plane and flew to Paris.

On a side note, the "new Delta" is great! I was really satisfied.
This is my "I'm excited to be in Europe after the longest flight ever" look.
The flight was good, but loooong as expected. I couldn't sleep more than hour, so that did not help with the whole jetlag scenario. We got to Paris Thursday morning at about 9:00 here. It took forever to get out of the airport, but once we did, we drove straight to the hotel. The hotel is very, very nice! It is a little chic, modern botique hotel and I am very happy with it.

After arriving at the hotel, we explored the neighborhood it is in (as it is several miles from the city center) and got some lunch. A few of us immediately went to a genuine French cafe. It is funny though because to finally get there, we passed several Japanese and Chinese places, as well as McDonald's! I have realized since getting here, there are several brands and American things you just can't escape from (Office Depot, Starbuck's, etc.
The beautiful little neighborhood surrounding our hotel.
..).

What has made me really happy and excited since I got here is how much French I remember from my 5 semesters in high school and 1 at Tech. I have been able to speak to the natives, especially when ordering or asking where things are. It is really exciting and fun! Several people have been asking for help in ordering food and reading signs! I'm embellishing while I can because the rest of the trip I will have no idea what's going on when we're in different countries. The French also seem to really appreciate when you make the effort to speak their language. However, to my disappointment and sadness, they can easily tell I'm an American and will answer in English even when I speak in French. Oh well!

So after a nice lunch in a cafe, we met back up with everyone else to go on a bus tour of the city.
A quaint little church in the neighborhood.
It was absolutely exciting and very surreal to see everything. I learned a lot (thanks to Mr. Falls) in high school about everything in Paris- from the major sites (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc) down to the things like the Galeries Lafayette (large department store) and history behind various districts. I've also studied a few buildings in my architecture history classes and so it was cool to see them too. It was weird to go from looking at pictures of things to actually seeing it in front of you. It was hard to believe that I'm actually here! So it started to sink in.

However, we were ALL extremely jet-lagged on the bus tour, so many of us fell asleep. There was nothing I could do to stay awake- even with loud announcements and frequent stopping for traffic. Therefore, I remember seeing the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, but have absolutely no recollection of Notre Dame or Museum d'Orsay.
Another view. It's so nice!


After the bus tour, we had some free time before our 'welcome' dinner so everyone pretty much made run for the rooms to take a nap. I needed a phone card, so I went through our neighborhood and asked for one and bought it completely in French! I have to admit though, there is a quick limit on my language knowledge as I could not read the procedure on the back of the card. This resulted in me accidently calling the police at one point. Eventually though I was able figure it out and it was very comforting and refreshing to hear the American voice of my mom back home. I did go to take a nap though and fell asleep hard for 2 hours.

We then went to a restaurant not even 100 feet from the hotel for our 'welcome dinner' (we have one in each city). This time it was actually at an Italian place and I admit that the food was not that good and it was disappointing to be in an Italian restaurant.
What does Craig do when he's jet-lagged and wants caffeine? Buys a Coca-Cola Light, of course! (Diet Coke in Europe)
But they served French bread- which I absolutely love. I could seriously eat French bread all day. In fact, I kind of have since. That and croissants.

After dinner, we had a quick meeting were we got our schedules for Paris and we got some basic procedural things told to us. By then, it was fairly late so we couldn't really take the Metro (subway) anywhere as it closes at 12. So a group of us walked into a nearby neighborhood and went to a bar. Since I have not really ever aquired a taste for beer, I had a glass of white wine and it was great. Being exhausted, I immediately went back to the hotel and got plenty of sleep.
emmllerg says:
Enjoy your next vacation to Paris
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
brett72 says:
I am so happy to see you jumping in and finding your routine -- which is remarkable similar to the one here at home.
Posted on: May 26, 2007
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Finally here!
Finally here!
This is my Im excited to be in E…
This is my "I'm excited to be in …
The beautiful little neighborhood …
The beautiful little neighborhood…
A quaint little church in the neig…
A quaint little church in the nei…
Another view. Its so nice!
Another view. It's so nice!
What does Craig do when hes jet-l…
What does Craig do when he's jet-…
Bus tour- Champs Elysees
Bus tour- Champs Elysees
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
You know what this is.
You know what this is.
Pantheon
Pantheon
Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde
Glass of wine after dinner.
Glass of wine after dinner.
Paris
photo by: Sweetski