When they did finally return, though, it was exciting. The second that I heard Sean’s voice from down the hall, I sprinted down to meet them. It was so exciting all being together again- in Europe!
We took about an hour for everyone to get settled and then it was off to the supermarket to buy food and wine for the rest of the day, and we waked, even though it was chilly. I love being able to wear warm coats and scarves again! Before we went to the store, though, we had to stop at McDonalds to get Sean a latte… typical Americans. Sean is soooo embarrassing here! He REFUSES to even attempt French, which I think is rude in itsef. I absolutely hate when people speak Spanish to me in Miami- to me, its just as offensive to speak English to people in their own country when French is their native language. Anyways, after McDonalds, we stopped at Subway, because I was absolutely craving vegetables. All I had eaten since I had arrived here was bread and cheese and wine- I need REAL food, and Meghan assured me that I would not be able to order any decent salad at a real restaurant. So I also had to be a typical American and stop at a chain store. But it was totally worth it.
After that, we finally went to the store. We bought a lot of French wine and more bread and cheese (of course). I bought blueberies, even though Meghan yelled at me, because “fruit is too expensive.” Honestly, I’d rather pay extra money to have good, healthy food than eat carbs and dairy all day…
We took the tram back from the store and took some time to eat some of the food that we just bought. My sub was AMAZING- I don’t think that I’ve ever enjoyed a pure veggie sandwich as much in my life. Before we knew it though, Meghan was forcing us out the door to begin our first day of excursions in Paris.
Our first stop was Montmartre- a beautiful neighborhood at the top of a steep, STEEP hill, with amazing views of the city. At the foot of the famed Sacre Coeur, we looked out across the illuminated city, pointing out monuments that we recognized like Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. My favorite part was the little French puppet show being perfored in the clearing, recounting the story of Creation. Hoards of small French children, wrapped in scarves and wool coats, surrounded the makeshift stage, sucking on chocolate and candy canes. It was something that I woud expect to find in a classic Christmas storybook.
We then went into the Cathedral itself, which was amazing. I absolutely love churches, and I have been to several very special ones in my life. But this one- wow. It really made me appreciate how blessed that I am to be on this trip in the first place. Sean lit a candle for someone, and I lit a candle for my dad there- I think that he would have liked that.
Soon, we left the Cathedral and returned to the streets of Paris. Meghan brought us to the Moulin Rouge to take pictures outside. We also stopped at Starbucks (American, I know), and I (finally) used my French for the first time to order un tea verte. I was long overdue for tea at that point, so it was worth it.
Then, we walked along the streets in the cold, taking it all in. There were markets and stores and artists lining the streets. Finally, we stopped at a restaurant to have dinner. Meghan did most of the talking- I’m still nervous to use French here- and we ended up enjoying a really good meal. Meghan and I insisted on ordering les escargots (snails) for an appetizer, and we tried to make Kim and Sean try them too. Kim did. Sean refused, because he is no fun. I actually really enjoy escargots, though. I’ve had them before in Canada, and I don’t think that they are bad at all.
After dinner, we proceded to walk back to the metro. It was COLD! But we made it back easily, and decided to relax and have a bottle of special French holiday wine. Since we have to be up at 9am tomorrow in order to follow Meghan’s busy itinerary, we decided to stay in tonight and go to sleep. Four of us to two twin beds with two pillows… should be interesting. Everyone is asleep now, but I’m typing. I feel like there is so much to say and that I’ve left so much out! This is only the second day of the trip and already, it’s amazing. I can’t wait for tomorrow!
Au revoir de Paris <3