l’Amour et l’Amitié

September 27, 2009

After nearly 5 months apart, I finally met up with Colbert. We had a whirlwind tour of Paris, during which my relationship with my host family could be summed up in one sentence: “Every time I see you you’re leaving!” (as phrased by my host mother this morning, but translated into English).  A goodbye in the afternoon as I left to get Colbert, a hello in the morning before meeting him for breakfast, a very brief introduction to my 4th host sibling before changing and calling out a goodbye as I was on my way out again, and another hello/goodbye this morning before meeting Colbert for breakfast and church. As I’m sure you can imagine, I am eating at home tonight and the rest of this week! But really, they didn’t mind, and now I have lots of things to talk to them about during dinner!

So what exactly did this weekend entail, and how could I have been that busy? Explaining everything in detail would be exhausting for me and boring for all of you, but I will give you a general idea and then just talk about a few of the best and most interesting parts!

Starting with Colbert’s arrival at 4:30 on Friday afternoon and ending with his departure at 5:00 pm today; we visited the outside of Notre Dame (twice), saw the outside of the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, walked through the Jardin des Tuileries and Place de la Concorde, saw the Pont Neuf, ate dinner outside at a café, saw the Tour Eiffel at night, went to a marché, ate lunch and relaxed in the Jardin du Luxembourg (twice-once with fresh French apples and pears from the marché), explored the famous Shakespeare & Company English bookstore, ate lots and lots of crêpes (one of them for free!), watched various street performers (juggler, dancers, drummers, puzzle man…), ate ice cream at Berthillon, saw an art exhibit of recycled art (mostly refridgerators) on a pedestrian bridge, drank wine au bord de la Seine while the sun was setting, ate fantastic Mexican food (really!), went to the famous Frog and Princess bar, attended Catholic mass in French at Saint Etienne du Mont, saw the Arc de Triomphe, walked the Champs Elysées, and visited the Madeleine...did I mention that I had to take a 2 hour nap this afternoon before I even thought about attempting to update this blog? Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling I am fighting right now!

In front of Notre Dame-Colbert looking very French in Aisha's hat!

In front of Notre Dame-Colbert looking very French in Aisha's hat!

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Sitting by the Seine

Sitting by the Seine

Sunset by the Seine-Caroline and Andy

Sunset by the Seine-Caroline and Andy

Aisha in the sun

Aisha in the sun

Alanna's hair!!!

Alanna's hair

The 4 above pictures describe better than words how magical it was to sit with friends by the river in Paris, enjoying the perfect weather and each other’s company, so I will not add to that description, other than to say that I highly recommend it as a part of any trip to Paris!

However, what I will describe is our amazing luck in finding a delicious Mexican/Latin American restaurant in Paris! El Sol y la Luna is situated on the rue Saint Jacques, and as one of the few Mexican restaurants in Paris, (and the only one Alanna had read about) it was packed, but we were determined to try it! We didn’t eat dinner until about 10 pm, which is a very European thing to do, as there were still many people eating at that hour! We sat in the basement, listening to a guitarist and singer perform traditional music, while eating chips and guacamole, and we instantly knew that we had made a marvelous decision! As a note, corn chips are something that the French do not eat, so the tiny basket of crunchy salty corn goodness was such a treat! The food was traditional, definitely not Tex-Mex, and it was all Frenchified a little! The presentation was a bit fussy, the rice had a strange consistency, and there were no free refills of chips, but it didn’t matter at all! Though it was no Sagebrush Cantina, I still enjoyed my dinner of Chorizo, black beans, a sort of coleslaw (?), and guacamole very much! However, after over a month without spicy food, the chilies made my mouth burn for quite a while after we had finished eating! But in spite of the burn-or maybe because of it-we’ll definitely be going back very soon!

Mmmmm....

Mmmmm....

There are so many other things to describe! I could talk about the bar running out of ice and the flavors of ice cream we tried or how beautiful and confusing mass was this morning, or even just how nice it is to walk with someone holding your hand, but I don’t even know where to start. Frankly I am very much in need of sleep, and seeing as I have class tomorrow, I am going to unfortunately leave the rest up to your imaginations. It was a beautiful weekend, I smiled the whole time, and I couldn’t have made it more perfect. La vie est vraiment belle! A bientôt!

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