Monday, March 15, 2010

I Hope You Don't Mind, That I Write Down In Words

I'm officially the worst blogger! So sorry for the lengthy wait between the posts. I try not to sit at the computer too often, which I suppose is a good thing. But, I have realized that this little blog isn't only for your benefit, but is for mine too, a sort of e-diary. So much has happened though, so here goes:
Caroline and I attempt to be tourists as often as we can, to be able to experience the city fully and to have little hidden gems to show friends and family when they DO visit. We headed to the Champs Elysee about a week ago to see the Arc de Triomphe and stopped into McDo for a potty break. Did you know they have a pastry store there!? Macaroons, cappuccinos and all. Quite expensive too, and its only at that one McDonalds. I thought that was quite an interesting fun fact. Anyways, the Champs is gorgeous, of course, and the Arc never fails to be awe-some ( as in leaving me in awe. This word has been utilized a lot in my vocab since I have been here. It still doesn't do justice explaining ANYTHING in the city, but its getting there). 
Last wednesday the whole building went to the France v Spain futbol game. It was so much fun to really meet everyone from the building and see who actually lives here. The game was a little much for me. No roof with 40 degree weather at night time is not ideal. And not to mention I thought it would be indoors. It was still really cool to see it and be able to say I went to a real live futbol game. Definitely recommend it to anyone who gets the opportunity. Last weekend we went to the Loire Valley. It was not my favorite thing because we went to one really small castle and spent WAY too long there, but we did go to Leonardo da Vinci's which was interesting, but it was the only day I have been homesick, so of course, I was a bit of a debbie downer. Sadly.  
On the bright side, the day after Caroline and I headed to Sacre Coeur for our Sunday adventure. It was SO crowded, and we went inside in perfect time to listen to the organ and watch Sunday mass. That was quite a cool experience, but I was a lot more interested in what was happening outside. So many street performers including a puppet show and live music. We met some really cool people and ended up sharing a bottle of wine watching the sunset. Sacre Coeur instantly became my favorite place in the whole world, and Caroline and I decided to make it our Sunday ritual. 2 for 2 Sundays so far.
Wednesday I spend my night at the Louvre. It is open until 10 rather than the normal 6 o'clock so I head over after class for my weekly alone time and work on a floor/wing every time. I had to do a presentation on it last week for my class and found out SO MUCH about the history of it and even some cool little secrets. Here's a picture I took at sunset last Wednesday. Again, awe-some. Period.  
This weekend came and went like crazy. Caroline and I went to the Rodin museum, which has to be my favorite in the city. It has the Gates of Hell (here), the Thinker (below) and many other statues scattered throughout the small garden. And not to mention the gorgeous view of Invalides AND the Eiffel Tower from anywhere on the property.    Afterwards we headed to Angelina's, which may have been a mistake seeing as it was the opening day of the new macaroon shop, but we were seated within 30 minutes and had one of the best meals we had in a while. Drinking chocolate, onion soup, and fries. YUM. (Thats for you Ma and Grandma)
 After we walked over to the Madeleine, I hadn't been here since my first trip to Paris and remembered that it was in a really pretty area, and about a block up from the Tuileries, where we were for lunch. I like this church on the inside the most I think. And on Saturday's  they have tribute concerts to all the classics. This Saturday it was Mozart, but 20 euros for a student admission didn't get me too excited for it. Maybe another weekend.
My friend Harmony visited this weekend from Aix- En- Provence so we went to the Orsay on Sunday and FINALLY stumbled upon the Locks of Love bridge. This bridge is my favorite in the whole city. It is two levels and people put locks representing their love on the railings. The Orsay is in the background of the picture, and even though it looks freezing, it was one of the warmer days of the month so far. After walking for a while mindlessly, we ran in to the Opera and had a yummy croissant at Brioche Doree before heading to the Moulin Rouge.  
Sunday sunset at Sacre Coeur ending up being even better this week. The sunsets get better and better every night. Of course my camera does not do justice but the whole sky lights up bright pink, purple and orange for about an hour. Yet again, awe-some. After sunset, caroline and I headed to Chat Noir, a restaurant i've been dying to try, right next to the Moulin Rouge and had THE BEST meal of my life. We decided to splurge and sat for a good two hours with our steak, fries, grilled veggies, everything! My first real balanced meal all month. Oops.  
Our little adventures really motivate me to keep on the lookout everyday and not be tempted to head straight home after school. Today Caroline met me at St Michel after school and we had our first real sidewalk/cafe experience! It is starting to be tourist season so Notre Dame was bustling with so many foreigners, it was so nice to sit and take it all in. We also bought touristy postures to decorate our rather drab apt. I also found the perfect present for the brother's birthday. Can't wait to put it in the mail!  We killed time at Gibert Jeune, the Barnes and Noble of France, flipping through travel books to get ready for our spring break! Cant wait! Headed to Athens, Rome, Barcelona and ending up in Amsterdam for Queens Day festival. Going to be the trip of a lifetime.  Shakespeare and Co called out our names so we flipped through all kinds of book. Everyone who works there is English, American, or Canadian. Maybe i'll ask if they're hiring? It IS right next to school. Monday nights I guess they do readings at 7. We missed it tonight but next week is a read of Simone De Beauvoir's The Second Sex so I MAY just have to sit in on that one.  
I have been meeting some great new people. A cute Parisian girl stopped me at the market last week and ever since, we have been helping each other, she tutoring me in french, and I, helping her with her english. It is really great to have met her because she invited me to a party at her house this past weekend were I got to meet even more Parisians, as well as people from all around. She is in her mid 20's and knows a lot about the neighborhood I live in and also really helps me understand not just the grammar I'm learning, but small, important things like mannerisms of the French and such. Another exciting adventure has been meeting a boy that i've really started to like. He has taught me, already, so much about just keeping my eyes open and letting the world take me wherever it wants. He is so interesting and inspires me everyday to keep an open mind and just think, "I'm in Paris. What's not to love about life." 
Not to mention he makes me feel beautiful whenever i'm with him :)

ok cheesy

Life is about to get real crazy real soon. Im going to promise at least one picture a day!!!
until next time


  1. Oh Caitlin.... worth the wait! I feel like I just took a fabulous two week vacation in the city with you (and Caroline). Your pictures are great as is your commentary (although I hope that you were wandering aimlessly and not mindlessly). So glad that you got together with Harmony, pretty cool to continue a friendship that started in line at the french consulate in West Los Angeles. Love Love Love and Miss you!!!!! MOmma

  2. We did wander mindlessly! We chatted about how to make it possible to make our stay permanent, absentmindedly walking whilst talking. hence the absence of my mind

  3. My sincere apologies!!!
    btw CaitieLadie, love the title of this post. Have been singing the song in my head since I read it.
    Locks of Love = very cool!
    Gates of Hell , wish that I saw that when I was there, thanks for sharing, would love to see that up close and personal someday.

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  5. Oh Cait, I agree, so worth the wait!! I am living my adventure through you, as I have NO current plans to travel outside the US. Keep us posted!!

  6. Glad to hear that Linda! I suppose it was quite selfish of me to not post a least a little something every now and then! My point exactly is to share this experience with everyone, and hopefully inspire at least one person to do something they never thought they would be able to! As I ever thought this trip would REALLY be in the cards for me, and now look where I am! It really is so awe some!
    Miss the moms, cant wait to see all of you in the summer!

  7. amaze-ing, little sister. i'm happy to see that you're covering so much ground with your free time. so proud of you. but, i have to say, these are all "touristic" places (as the euros love to put it). i want to request that your next post be about "locals only" secret spots. ask those french friends to take you out. wander around on your own. you've checked a lot of things off the tourist list, so now it's time to find your own paris.

    take some close-up photos of strange things. capture the "texture" of paris. challenge yourself to a scavenger hunt. find your favorite piece of street art and photograph it. it will look great in a frame on your wall one day. look for a costume shop with naughty masks, and a glass hallway filled with old letters from soldiers to their girlfriends.

    happy treasure hunting!