A belated Happy Mother’s Day…

Posted on May 15, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

With 16 days left in France, I believe I am at what would be considered the final countdown stage of my year here. And in this final countdown mentality, in addition to driving myself a bit mad trying to get in all of my favorite Paris things as well as study for finals, I feel oddly compelled to make sure I document every little thing so that I don’t forget, even though I’m already starting to. Thus I bring you the week of a post a day until I finally catch up to where I am now, and where I’m about to be.

I had originally intended to post about my mom’s trip to Paris in February on Mother’s Day, but I unfortunately have been without a computer for the last two weeks, which, no, wasn’t stressful at all, thanks for asking. Advice to anyone living abroad used to the wonderful, wonderful, live-saving, worship-deserving US Mac store people, don’t ever try to get your  computer fixed abroad and expect the same level of service. It doesn’t exist, and that makes me very sad.

Anyways, back to the momma’s trip to Paris. She officially came in as my big 21st birthday present, because I decided there was just no way I could live in Paris for a year without her coming to visit me. The first night, a Monday, we stayed in Hotel Residence Henri IV in the 5th, which I would highly recommend. Very nice rooms and in a wonderful location for not so very much. We pretty much just hung around in that area, since my mom was so jetlagged. The next morning, we moved into my wonderful host family’s apartment, as my host sister was out of town for the week on a school trip and my host mom decided to take advantage of the free time and spend the week in Barcelona.

After getting settled in, we picked up Champagne, whose host family was also gone for the week, and headed off to the Musée d’Orsay, which continues to be my favorite museum in Paris, if not the world. My mom was equally impressed. After grabbing a quick lunch at the amazing museum restaurantm we went over to Notre Dame, which was as neat as always.

On Wendsday, we decided to follow (against my attempts to fit in and at least not look like a total tourist) Rick Steves *shudder* walk around Montmartre, which I actually hadn’t made it up to yet. I think Sacre Coeur may be one of my favorite places in Paris, but the area in general was a bit too touristy for my taste. It was weird to be in Paris, but hear more English than French.

I really enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and imagining what it must have been like in the days of the impressionists, back before it became a mass producing tourist mecca. Also seeing where Van Gogh lived was pretty cool.

Thursday was Champagne’s 21st birthday, so we decided to make it into a giant joint birthday extravaganza. After picking up pastries at Ladurée the day before, we headed over to my favorite little lunch place a block away from my house and got several tasty sandwiches. A bottle of champagne from Champagne’s voice teacher completed our picnic and we headed out to Versailles for a day filled with pastries and champagne. And here’s the birthday girl!:

It was more dark and rainy than our previous bright and glorious experience, but pretty darn cool nonetheless. I mean, how many people celebrate their 21st birthday with a view like this?

Although we missed out on the fountains because of the time of year, we did indulge in something Champagne and I hadn’t the first time around: RENTING GOLF CARTS!!! Or more properly, just one, to take ourselves down to Petit and Grand Trianon, the smaller private royal residences nearby. They were both much more liveable than the behemoth that is Versaills, so that was pretty cool. That evening we had dinner at the AMAZING Le Restaurant in St. Germain, where we all shared a 4 course tasting menu of scallops, some sort of asparagus soup, a white fish and several wonderful small desserts. SO GOOD!

Thursday, I decided to get myself some mom-time, so we headed over to the Louvre and pitifully attempted to see EVERYTHING! We made it to everything I wanted to see, but unfortunately spent a bit too much time wandering around the Louvre and didn’t make it to le Musée de l’Orangerie in Jardin des Tuileries. We did however have a nice walk around the gardens, and I got to take some pretty cool pictures of the Champs-Elysées.

After a very long day, we took a bus down the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe and then headed home for some delivery food Indian (I would sell my soul for some nan au fromage right about now). Mom’s last day was spent wandering around the Marais, going to Beaubourg, and then heading off to see the Eiffel Tower. All in all a wonderful trip…

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