Greetings from France! Definitely not in Italy anymore but I want to remember my visit to France. If I don’t blog now, I won’t remember a thing. HAHA! Recap time!
Paris is beautiful! But I can’t remember much of what I saw. My aunts are feeding me desserts like crazy! I’m rolling on mountains of delicious French pastries that I’ve always wanted to try but never could, like at Jean Philippe, which is in the Bellagio in Las Vegas (chocolate eagle and chocolate fountain!). Éclairs are so much better here—no matter where you get them. My aunt can easily buy a 4-pack of chocolate éclairs and they’re easily better than éclairs in the States. oh MACAROONS. Macaroons. Good lord, they’re amazing! I don’t remember ever trying one in the States, but I know I won’t buy any because they’ll never compare to ones in France. Macaroons have a soft, delicate shell and a delicious ganache inside. The best one I’ve tried were in St. Calais. My aunt and her family lives above and next to a bakery and they had chocolate macaroons are huge and roughly 1.6 Euros. It’s such a bargain to what you see in Paris because they have a smooth and thin layer of chocolate ganache inside. The ganache inside is ginormous and really fluffy. It’s really good. :) I miss it already! When I raved about how good it was, the next day, my uncle bought me another one. Haha!
First week: I’ve visited a lot of monuments so far. In St. Calais (on Monday and Tuesday), I visited St. Michel and Chateau de Chambord. On Wednesday, I visited the Eiffel Tower and got spit on right when we got onto the bus. Good first experience. Haha! On Thursday, we visited Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame, and I ran into my friend, Brenee, and her mom outside! At night, we headed to Champs Elysse and the Arc de Triomphe to check them out. It was pretty fun, minus the rain, like watching the street dancers performing and . On Friday, we visited Chateau de Versailles! It is sooooo beautiful! I wish I lived there! I am a sucker for French architecture because of the gilding on gates, walls, doors, everything. If it weren’t tacky to have gilding outside of my future home, I’d definitely have some on my door. We didn’t have enough time to check out the three homes/gardens outside because we ran out of time! None of us realized how little time we had left and we spent way too much time inside the Palace and listening to our audio guide. It would’ve been awesome to see Louis XIV’s gift of “flowers” to Marie Antoinette. Instead of flowers, he built her a garden of flowers and another palace. Haha so cool. I need to marry a king. :D That weekend, at 2am on Saturday, we took an 11 hour drive to Lourdes, which is super religious and definitely not my thing, but it was amazing how many people were there! I guess there was some kind of ceremony taking place and there were really cute football players (at least we think so) participating. We took home water inside of Virgin Mary jars to give to my mom, so hopefully a few jars fit in my luggage. I’ve already accumulated gifts from my relatives and I need to use my tetris skills and common sense to fit everything in my suitcases and not have to pay weight-overage charges!
On Monday, I just relaxed at my aunt’s house, which is a little farther than Paris and went to the mall and ate good pate in a French baguette (and one of my rubber bands came off and the wire kept scratching inside my lip but I fixed it with the help of tweezers. I’m slowly recovering from the continual scratching I still feel, I don’t know why..). She made a spread of different cheeses and meats for me to try. I love sausages. HAHA. :D and pate. It’s so easy to prepare a sandwich and eat. :) On Tuesday, I came back to Paris with my aunt, who lives less than 30 minutes walking from the Eiffel Tower. She’s nearby everything! That day, we attempted to go to the Louvre and it was closed! We visited La Opera and took pictures outside a garden/park area and went back. On Wednesday, I hung out with my two cousins and her boyfriend. My girl cousin took us to Rivoli, which had a lot of shops that are inside and a huge shopping area outside. The stores were HUGE! It’s amazing how big the stores are! Many of the big ones, like C&A, Etam, and Zara were 4 stories high! We also went to Champs Elysse and the Arc de Triumph and this time, I was able to take pictures of the Arc and the 4/5 story Louis Vitton store since it was brighter (in Paris, brighter would be cloudy). :) On Thursday, we went to Sacre Coeur and it was pretty cool inside. Sadly, it was raining and my feet were getting pretty wet since I only brought sandals to wear. But on the bright side, we took a mini-train tour around the town and drove past Notre Dame and Moulin Rouge. Later, we went to the Louve, really late, and spent the last 1.5 hours to see the Italian painting and sculptures, since it’s fresh on my mind. The Mona Lisa was crowded with tourists but I pushed to the front and took a picture with her. :) On Friday, we went to Grand Palais and La Petit Palais. The Grand Palais was made out of metal and looked really cool. We went inside La Petit Palais to see their museum and it was free! (YAY for my aunt because she’s been buying my entrance ticket anywhere we went!) That night, we went to Lille to visit my two uncles and their families for the weekend. On Saturday, we went to Belgium and it was pretty cool! There were chocolate shops on every corner! One of my aunts bought me chocolate! :) many thanks to her because it would’ve been easily 7 euros for a few grams of chocolate. It was a quick visit but luckily, I got to try their fries with ketchup, mayonnaise, and sautéed onions. Their fries are crunchy, big, and light! I like. :D And there were Fanta ladies outside one of the intersections giving out new Fanta “Zero,” which tasted pretty decent. The next day, we went to Amsterdam; when the wind blows in certain areas, the scent of weed fills the air. My cool uncle joined us! He really is cool. Haha! There were a good amount of shops selling weed, bongs, and the lot. Haha! That night, we had a big family dinner and it was really fun! It’s like our last supper because we all wouldn’t be able to eat with each other again!
Today, we attempted to go to Musee de Rodin and Musee de D’Orsay but Rodin was closed and the likelihood of D’Orsay being open was slim. We ended up going to Olsen (?) and Lafayette and shopped! :) I finally got to try Laduree macaroons and it was soooo good. Yummy yummy in my tummy! We also got some Pierre Hermes macaroons and chocolates to try. :D
I am headed to Dijon to visit my cousin and her family who lives there. My aunt is riding with me and it’s roughly a 1.5 hour ride. Not bad! It’s a fast ride so we won’t be tired compared to driving there. :) My ears are popping more often than regular trains I’ve ridden in Italy. Haha! It’s essentially like a plane but it’s a train. It runs at 300mph. I believe that’s fast. :D
My brain is getting unused and I can’t even type a good sentence. I definitely need to make time to read and work out my brain! The only thing that works is my conversion of Euros to dollars, hypothetically with a 1.5x increase for the Euro.
- Need expandable luggage because it’s useful in case you really end up bringing more than you thought you were (like I did)
- Must diet beforehand because you will gain weight from eating delicious food
- Cleanliness is not a given.. and that’s when Purell comes in handy.
- More to come when I can think of more..
Time for bed. sadly, it’s 2:37am. D:
Places I’ve been to so far are:
1. Arezzo (of course!)
11. Perugia - Perugia was really pretty! and so much prettier than Cortona. I did not feel like I was under the Tuscan sun! I couldn’t tell where they might have filmed parts of the movie. Who knows! But all the sights from each city somewhat meshed together (predominantly when you look over the city from a distance), except for Perugia! I went with my friend on Monday, when we had a day off, and it was beautiful! The sights were gorgeous and when you look out to the city, it was nice and hilly, with huge houses on top of them. It was quite modern since it was a university area. I was so surprised to see SO many asians! It was like I was in UCI all over again! haha! We definitely got lost coming there, but saved a lot of money. We wanted to go to the main city center and we hopped on a city bus that the driver said would take us near there. Some lady told us that we wouldn’t be dropped off there and we should ask an tourist info desk. We end up getting off of the bus and heading towards a random section that should have people, but it felt as if we were deserted! Eventually, we made it to the city center, but couldn’t try the “recommended” restaurant that our lonelyplanet advisor said we should do. We did end up going to a different restaurant that was pretty decent and had cool cafe drinks. I got a chocolate milk drink that was sooo good! I loved it!
more about my thoughts on the other cities coming up! :)
I guess it really was just a tower. When others who went to check it out last week, they said it was just THE tower. I wanted to see for myself and to make sure it was. It WAS. But I definitely don’t regret going there! I have always wanted to take cool pictures with the tower and try to make some cool action shots. :)
Back in Florence! :) Our program took us to Florence for our Friday “excursions” that we have each week. I really enjoy being in this city because the sights are gorgeous and there are SO many places to check out! When we started our “walking tour” of the city, we were walking near the Duomo and my friend and I were completely separated from the group because we stopped to take a few pictures in front of the duomo/ cathedral near the train station and we weren’t sure where the group went, so we took a left around the corner because we saw a line to get inside, but no one was there! and we spotted a monument that looked important and we power-walked to it but no one was there either. We spotted a cathedral in the distance and it was green, so we started walking towards it. Yes, it would’ve helped if we had a map and had an idea of what our walking tour of Florence entailed, but we had neither so we went on hunches to get us through it. We ended up walking to a dead end (due to construction) and found a hotel that could tell us where we need to go, which was the place that I’m presenting on later that day. Luckily, we got there JUST in time when my art history teacher was introducing the area and my partner. I did horribly and wasn’t sure what I was even doing and making so many mistakes.. but it’s okay. I feel okay because of the fact that I’m taking the class pass/no pass. NO WORRIES! :)
We went to the Galleria dell’Accademia where Michelangelo’s David is located. When we walked in, I was in shock of how beautiful he was! The muscles are perfectly sculpted, fourteen-feet tall, short and curly hair… ahhh.. amazing. But there were a lot of security-like personnel telling us that we can’t take pictures, yelling “No foto, no foto” the whole time. I avoided getting kicked out and took a few good pictures of David. I practically got one from every angle. I’m so proud. haha! :D At the very end, my friend and I went snuck behind a tour group and grabbed our last and best picture of the frontal view of David. It was awesome seeing the statue! It’s really cool that I get to see places, monuments, and artworks that I’ve always wanted to see in person. This trip is definitely making some of my dreams come true. :)
We got to eat at PizzA’ again! It was just as good as we remembered. Of course, I got gelato in Florence, near H&M, and totally didn’t get my monies worth of gelato. I paid 2.5 Euros for a small cup of gelato that was scrapped to the brim of the cup. Evil ladies. But I felt better after going back to Arezzo and we got gelato from our usual place, L’ Antica Maniera Gelateria. I love their strawberry gelato. Sadly, when you ask for strawberry, they always put that flavor on top and only give you a little. :(
CUTE PUPPY! :DDDDD
i have wayyy too many puppy pictures.
gaaaaaah so cute! :)))
yes, i want a dog. haha.
my blog IS about italy.. but right now, i’m looking at weheartit.com’s puppy pictures IN italy. :) ahahahaha