Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My 20th Birthday in Paris

        Well, well, well, what can I say?  It isn’t everyday that one gets to spend their birthday in Paris, with their friends, AND with their parents.  Not to mention, visit Versailles, the Louvre, and go to the tope of the Eiffel Tower.  However, I was lucky enough to do all of the above and more.  

        My day actually started quite interestingly.  Gladdus knocked on my door before breakfast and gave me a darling card and necklace.  I then had a continental breakfast at the hotel and then headed with the entire group to Versailles.  The plan was to walk to the train station and then get on a train to Versailles.  However, it turned out that Soper accidently took us on a 45-minute walk of industrial Paris before finding the station.  I was amused when we passed the ghetto hotel we stayed in last year with Windy, but was even more amused when Lisa Harris (P.A.) tripped and “sprained” her ankle.  It was quite dramatic and only became more amusing/dramatic.  Once we finally got to the station, we boarded the train (yes, Brooke did get left again), and were at Versailles within 45-minutes.  Versailles itself is very beautiful, yet it is quite sickening to think about the harsh living conditions of French at the time, while Louie was busy living in such an elaborate estate.  The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite part of the estate and I also really liked the art and different wallpapers inside.  While we were walking around, we discover that P.A. had conned a few of the girls into pushing her around in a wheelchair.  I wish I could say I snapped the below picture of her, but the credit must be given to Annie.  Even Soper found the whole wheelchair act quite funny.  After touring the inside, we headed out to the gardens.  The gardens were pretty, but not as pretty as they were when I saw them last summer.  Kacey, Laura, Bev, Abby, Annie and I decided to walk down to Marie Antionette’s House.  However once we walked all of the way ther, Kacey and I were really tired and decided to wait outside for them since we had already seen it last summer.  We waited thinking they would only take about 20 minutes, but after 45 minutes of waiting, we decided to head back into the city.  However, while we were sitting there we had a lot of fun reflecting on out lives and memories we have had together.  Being at Versailles really made us miss Jeff and David, considering that the last time we were there it was with them. 

Hall of Mirrors

Versailles Gardens

        Kace and I grabbed a DC and some potato wedges as a little snack (they are so good in Europe) and then jumped on the train.  We got off near the Louvre and got a pizza/bread type of thing at a little bakery before heading over to meet the other girls at the Louvre.  When we got to the Louvre, Abby informed us that she has been “coat-picked” by one of the keychain guys at Versailles.  It was sad, but we couldn’t help but laugh.  We then headed inside and attempted to find our way around.  The Louvre is so big, but we managed to find our favorites as well as complete out Humanities assignments.  My very favorite piece was “The Winged Victory of Samothrace.”  I don’t know what it is about this piece, but it is breathtaking.  

Enjoying the Louvre in every way

Outside the Louvre

Mona Lisa

Coldplay Painting
        After touring the Louvre we were all exhausted, and some a little grumpy, but Kacey and I headed to my hotel to freshen up before dinner.  It had only been about 24 hours since I had seen my parents, but it was so good to see them again.  As I mentioned, I felt as though I was experiencing separation anxiety from both my parents and the girls.  

        For my birthday dinner, Kacey, my parents, and I went to a delicious French restaurant with a view overlooking the Eiffel Tower.  I had some French Onion Soup and delicious salmon (2 of my favorites).  It was so fun to be with three of my favorite people and have the chance to talk with my parents all about our experience on Study Abroad.  

Outside the Restaurant 
        After dinner the four of us headed down to the Eiffel Tower to meet Abby, Annie, Bev, and Laura.  We lucked out because there was no line and we headed right up to the tope.  We first stopped on the first level and then worked our way up all the way to the 3rd level.  It was very windy on top, but the view was incredible.  We had a fun time taking pictures, finding the flags of other countries, and looking at the entire city.  This moment on top of the Eiffel Tower with my friends and parents was one I will never forget.  As we were heading down, everyone decided to sing “Happy Birthday” to me.  This was extremely embarrassing, as I hate attention being drawn to me in public.  However, all of my friends did get a kick out of “Fried Ham, Fried Ham” when my parents sang it to me.

Platform Views of the Eiffel Tower

Atop the Eiffel Tower with my Dad

With the Parentals on the Eiffel Tower

Love Bayles

Chateau Bass Residence
        After the Eiffel Tower we stopped for delicious dessert crepes.  I had a banana and Nutella crepe and boy was it good.  Once we all had our crepes, we walked up to the viewing platform and towards the hotel.  It was then time for the girls to get back to the BYU hotel, so we said bye and then headed back to our hotel.  When we got back to the hotel my mom and I decided to watch You’ve Got Mail.  My dad was sweet and swapped me beds, so my mom and I could have a sleepover/watch our movie.  I may be getting old, but I will never be too old for a sleepover with my mom.  I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better day and am so thankful for such amazing friends and parents.  Thanks to everyone who made it such a wonderful day.

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