Oh the neglect of this blog. Poor thing. I just got back from Paris though. PRETTY AWESOME. I basically had one of those vacations were everything was super cool and worked out perfectly. 11 days of Parisian culture was exactly what I needed. I didn't think I'd be able to relax in another country where they don't speak my language, but maybe it's the calm nature of the people that helped us along. I've never been so happy as I was just walking the streets of Paris. The weather must have known we were coming-it was 70 and sunny EVERY DAY NO JOKE. I've also never walked so much in my life. It really came in handy because Matt successfully named the vacation "Megan's French Pastry Tour". And it was a TOUR! I honestly didn't hold anything back. When we saw a patisserie or boulangerie, we stopped and bought something. Oh and ate it practically before we were down the street. By far the best things we had were the street food (crepes, sandwiches) and the pastries. I have one piece of advice for foodies in Paris: if you see it, eat it. No questions. My sister gave me that advice and it was the best thing she could have told us. Not to mention it's true that French people aren't fat-they're all pretty petite actually. And very put together. I've never seen so many well dressed and tailored men in my life. Smelled good too.
As for museums. Naturally all you hear is how awesome they are. Don't get me wrong, I love art and all, but before we left it wasn't the thing I was looking forward to most (it was the food. Could you guess?) BUT! I'm not kidding-the art you hear about truly is stunning. Stunning! It's so much better up close! I think one of my favorites was Winged Victory at the Louvre, and Monet's Water Lillies at L'Orangerie. He created this whole section where it's stark white rooms with the massive paintings on the walls. It truly makes the colors come alive. Oh it was beautiful. Also, Notre Dame was amazing, and the Eiffel Tower, being something I wasn't too eager to see, was actually super cool and so much better up close! It's huge. And have you heard of Versailles? You know, King Louis the XVI and Marie Antoinette famously got pulled from there and sent to the guillotine? Ok well you can take day trips to see that palace and the grounds. Just so you know, that palace is famously the most excessive, self-indulgent, and ridiculous palace ever. And it was just a residence. It was a symbol of the utmost frivolity, then and now. Anyway, the palace was cool and all, but if you go, go to the grounds and the Hamlet. The Hamlet was where Marie Antoinette built a small "peasant village" to wear she could "escape the hardships of palace life" and act like a peasant. (crazy I know) It was one of the coolest things we did. It was so utterly beautiful! Just walking around was so peaceful and picturesque. You also need to see the Petit Trianon. Quite possibly the quintessential French house (er, palace actually?) you would all think of. So darling.
One of my favorite things though was this. We got to see the Bolshoi Ballet at the Paris Opera House. You guys it was a sold out show! I tried getting tickets three months before we left and they didn't have any! It seriously was the biggest stroke of luck. I wanted to check if they had any cancellations and what do you know-they did. So happy I tried! It was amazing. We also got to see Sweeney Todd on stage as well. Turns out the Broadway revival was touring in Paris the time we were there and we scored tickets. Matt was like a little kid waiting to go into that one. So excited.
Some quick advice for people traveling there, the bathrooms leave a lot to be desired. They are NOT sparkly clean! And I never saw more than 4 stalls in any bathroom at any time or in any building-Louvre included! (the Louvre is probably the biggest place ever). And to make matters worse there was constantly a line for the women's. I've never been so tired of waiting in lines in my life. It makes it real hard be an adult when you're constantly going into hot muggy stalls all the time! ha!
Best vacation ever.
ps. I also found 50 euros in the Metro. Score! And yes I tried to find the owner, but seriously, what would you do if you didn't speak the language and some crazy American (yes, it's true, they aren't super fond of us) comes up to you and you don't know what the crap they're saying and they're waving money in your face? yeah.