Have I seriously not updated you guys on Paris since June? Excusez-moi! First of all, I can't believe how awesome that trip was. I've been to Paris more times than most people because I am extraordinarily lucky to have jet-setting parents and relatives and friends around the world. This last time was extra special because I was with D. It is so much fun traveling with a significant other! Anyway, on to Paris Day Two! Day Two was Louvre Louvre and more Louvre. Mon oncle Jean-Claude had bought us tickets beforehand so we could go in a special entrance and wouldn't have to wait in the giant line that forms outside of the clear triangle entrance that The Da Vinci Code has made so famous. Instead we went in a lesser-known side entrance and there was no line. It was awesome. We planned to spend most of the day in the Louvre and I even snuck in some contraband peanut butter crackers for endurance. I'd been to the Louvre before but it was back in 2005 when I was there with my family. D, of course, had never been there but was stoked to visit. We got the English version of the map and sat down to talk about what we absolutely had to see. It kind of blows your mind but you really can't see all of the Louvre in one day. It's just that big. Crazy, right? It is ridiculously gigantic and kind of a sensory overload. D really wanted to see the underneath parts, where there used to be a moat of some kind or something?
That's a really thrilling picture, right? Pretty thrilling in real life too.
But then we went upstairs to look at some Art. I was excited about the Art. The main thing I wanted to see was the king's quarters and some jewelry. D wanted to see statues and the Mona Lisa. Here is Hermaphrodite:
And a blurry photo of Winged Victory because people kept jostling me:
The ceilings in the Louvre are pretty freaking amazing:
We saw the Mona Lisa, whose bulletproof glass defies any attempt at a good picture:
And in case you were wondering, this is what Mona has to look at all day:
We were really fading by about 3pm
And by "we" I mostly mean me. We ducked out of the Louvre after confirming (in French, natch) that we could leave and return in the same day if we held on to our tickets. We went to this little cafe around the corner that the guidebook told us about and it was perfect. We got a little plate of hams and cheeses and a salad and croque monsieur. Mmmm I could eat a croque monsieur every day. Pair all of that with two very cheap glasses of white wine and it was the perfect late lunch/afternoon pick me up. There was something on the meat/cheese plate that looked and tasted kind of like catfood, so D was in charge of eating that. Stomach of iron, that one.
Then back to the Louvre for my favorite part...the Royal Apartments!
They were incredibly ornate and garish and wow. D has most of the best pictures of those so I'll spare y'all. After that we were finally kicked out of the Louvre at closing time. We got ice cream and took a stroll by the Seine. You know, no big deal, hanging out by the Seine, eating French ice cream. Yeah actually it was a really big deal.
We walked from the Louvre down to the Arc de Triomphe, which my uncle later told us was about three miles. It was a beautiful walk along the Champs-Elysees with all the fancy stores lit up at night. Almost none of my one bajillion pictures of the Arc de Triomphe turned out but this one is acceptable...kind of.
I remember years and years ago when I first went to the Arc with my family. We were not entirely sure how to dash across four lanes of traffic at the point where twelve streets converge in a roundabout and emerge alive. Luckily, someone showed us the underground pedway. I felt so old hat when I showed D the stairs to underground tunnel that takes you to the Arc. First of all, the place is huge. HUGE. You look at it in pictures and you think its what, a story and a half tall? Maybe on scale with the entrance to a stadium or something? No no, it is so much bigger than that. The most recent pictures I have are terrible and don't really do it justice but if you walk right up underneath it, the top of the inside of the Arc is still many many stories above your head. Here's a picture of me and my sister at the Arc de Triomphe in 2005 that might show its scale a bit better. We were standing on one side of it instead of straight on.
Anyway, after spending 8+ hours in the Louvre and then walking 3+ miles to the Arc de Triomphe, D and I went back to my aunt and uncle's apartment at about 1am and fell gratefully in to bed. Tomorrow, or in the near future, Day 3!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Last night I had plans to see a movie in the park with some friends. Loose plans that were quickly abandoned when we realized what the movie was (Psycho, which I've seen about a million times) and that we needed to get there 2+ hours early to get a spot (no thank you). One person decided to stay on the northside to meet up with her fiance, one person decided to do something else, and I decided to have a proper night at home. I have been scheduling activities like crazy in hopes of distracting myself from the fact that D is across the country for three more weeks. This has led to very little free time. I have not done my taxes yet (heh, oops). I have not started packing. I have not tackled anything on the long to-do list I started back before I graduated, to be tackled when I had "free time." As an aside, does free time even exist in adultland? Because I thought I'd have so much time to do anything I wanted once I graduated and yet all of my time has been eaten up like whoa. Anyway, the thought of tackling all that stuff last night made me tired just thinking about it. Yesterday was kind of a frustrating day at work so when I got home and kicked off my uncomfortable shoes I decided to make myself a drink and settle down with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and abandon all thoughts of running or doing more responsible things. I started re-reading the 6th book after D and I saw the movie a couple weeks ago. Can you even believe how much stuff they cut out of the movie? Especially Dumbledore's funeral?! Gah. I knew the book was much better and merited another read (I hadn't read it since it came out in summer of 2005). I've been tearing through Harry Potter 6 and yesterday there was nothing more I wanted to do. I read for a good two hours and then finally put the book away to make dinner. Then I decided I needed to make chocolate chip cookies. And fix another drink. So I didn't actually get anything done last night (other than the cookies!) but it was definitely a much needed evening of R&R. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this living alone thing. I hate hate hated it when I first moved in by myself almost two years ago but now, I think I'm totally ok with it. It helps that I love my second apartment and hated the place I lived by myself in Austin. I'd still rather live with someone else but logistically that just hasn't been in the cards. I still worry that I'm going to choke or fall and hurt myself or something (like Miranda's choking incident in SATC) but I just try not to think about those things. And I do try to be extra careful. It is still kind of weird to get home and not talk out loud to anyone until I get to work the next morning but hey, I'm kind of used to it. I don't really talk to myself but I text and chat on gchat with enough people that I don't feel totally isolated, which is what I really have a problem with. This transition back to the real world after school has been hard but it has not been nearly as hard as it was when I finished undergrad. Maybe I'm getting better at dealing with myself and knowing what makes me happy or upset. Maybe I'm getting older and more mature and self-aware. Maybe I'll get so used to living by myself that if I ever get married and have to live with a hubby I'll want my own bedroom! Just kidding on that last one. I don't need my own bedroom as long as I have my own closet.