Today started early, well actually is was a continuation of Thursday considering I never went to bed. I had to wake up at 3:30 AM to catch a bus so I figured I was best off to just stay up rather than sleep through my alarm. I caught a bus at 4:00 AM and arrived at St. Pancres Station at about 4:45 AM. I then enjoyed the free Wifi before loading the Chunnel to Paris at 5:30 AM. I slept the entire way, making the 2.5-hour ride fly by. I was so excited to see my Mom and Dad, but first had to get unload my huge suitcase and duffle off of the train. Once settled, I couldn’t move fast enough to get to my patents. They were waiting for me right at the end of the train and I almost wanted to cry when I saw them because I was so happy. One of the biggest surprises to me about being away is how much I have missed my family. I knew I would miss them, but I have missed them even more and it was so good to see them. They both looked so good and it was so good to hug them slash had my heavy bag over to my dad. From the train station we loaded the Metro and headed to the hotel. On the way to the hotel we picked up some yummy pastries for breakfast.
Once to the hotel we relaxed/caught up and then headed out to explore Paris. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather; blue skies and about 60 degrees. Our hotel is right by the Eiffel Tower and so we walked to the tower and then got on a bus to tour the city. We got off in Marais, picked up some sandwiches and Diet Coke (actually Cola Light, which isn’t as good), and then ate it in a darling little park called Place De Vosges.
After lunch we went to the home of Victor Hugo (author of Les Miserables and Notre Dame). We then did a walking tour of the area and stopped at the Carnavalet, which is a museum about the Revolution. Next stop was the wall honoring people who saved Jews during World War 1. We then headed over to Notre Dame just in time to see the stain glass windows right as the sun was behind them.
Outside Notre Dame
By this point my dad was quite hungry to we walked along Seine to Rue Cler where we ate dinner at Cafe Du Marche. After dinner we walked home, passing the Eiffel Tower (it looks completely magical at night) and listening to French street music. By the time we got home and looked at a map, we realized we had walked clear from the East side of Paris all the way to the West, yet it was so beautiful it hadn’t really seemed like it. Considering I had been awake for about 36 hours straight, I was exhausted and decided to take a nice long bath before going to sleep by 9PM. I’m so excited for my parents to be here and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Paris in the Fall, a personal translator, fabulous food, beautiful weather, great shopping, exquisite architecture, my parents, great hotel, and many laughs/stories. I don’t think I could ask for anything better.