21 and in Paris (part 2)

March 8, 2010

I still can’t believe that Lauren was here and that she’s already gone! My last post ended with Monday night…but our week was just beginning!

Tuesday we relaxed. We had a picnic in the Jardin du Luxembourg with Caroline and Gina, complete with fresh baguettes, cheese, fruit, and sunshine! The park was full of students celebrating the weather and a week off from school, so the people watching was fantastic! After lunch I took Lauren to Thanksgiving (an American grocery store). I was tempted by boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese but I managed to stay on target and only walk out with pancake mix and maple syrup; two of the main components of the American Breakfast that Lauren and I planned to make my host family (for dinner!) on Wednesday night.

Students in the Jardin

On Wednesday Lauren and I did everything. We started the day with a visit to the breathtaking Musée Rodin, which boasts a beautiful collection of works by Camille Claudel, Van Gogh, a Renoir and a Monet, and of course Auguste Rodin (the sculptor who created “The Thinker” for those of you who don’t know). The museum is in an old house complete with fantastic gardens and a partial view of the Eiffel Tower. Every detail is looked after-and each sculpture is placed with care not only in regards to other sculptures, but in regards to the windows and architecture of the house and the paintings on the walls. In a word? Lovely. All of it is just lovely.

Musée Rodin

Lauren overlooking the gardens

We continued the day by walking all over Paris! We saw the Tour Eiffel (up close this time!) and the Arc de Triomphe and we walked all the way down the Champs Elysées. We met up at my apartment that evening (after we each took a nap!) and we started cooking. I will preface this by saying that I have never before and never again plan to spend two full hours preparing breakfast, even if it is for dinner. Our menu of one dozen scrambled eggs, homemade hash browns, banana nut pancakes with strawberry infused maple syrup and a fruit salad seemed a lot less ambitious when we planned it on the metro. Even with Ariane and Line (a friend of the family) helping out by making fruit salad, Lauren and I were still a little bit stressed! The grater in the kitchen was too small for hash browns so I decided that cutting up fingerling potatoes for 7 people (that translates to a LOT of potatoes) into paper thin slices with my beautiful Christmas present knife would be the next best option. The good news is I still have all of my fingers. The bad news is I spent at least one of those two hours cutting up potatoes. In spite of the lengthy preparation time, or because of it, the dinner was a huge success and everything was devoured on the spot! It went over so well that Tiburce and his friend Erowin even did the dishes for us!

Line and Ariane, sous-chefs extraordinaire

Teamwork on the stove

I had my internship on Thursday so Nick ‘babysat’ Lauren for me all afternoon. However, I wasn’t ready for her to leave without one last memory, so that night Lauren and I celebrated the end of her trip in the best way I could think of: Medieval Dancing! She and Nick (who came along) were skeptical at first. But once they tasted the spiced wine and heard the musicians they hardly ever sat down. We all danced and laughed and stepped on everyone’s feet and had a wonderful time together. Nick wants to come back with friends, and I was so thrilled that Lauren was able to go, in particular because she met France, Gaspard, and Loïc!

Waiting for the musicians to begin...

It was really hard to say goodbye to Lauren at the end of the night. We split a nutella and banana crêpe and listened to Motown hits on the metro together. It will be a while before we see each other again, but she should be interning in D.C this summer and so we have plans of meeting up in the airport when I fly back from France…for now I’m just incredibly thankful that she came to Paris. I think that we both feel like we fulfilled our high school dream, except it was even better. Now no matter what we can say that ‘we’ll always have Paris’!

The last photo of Lauren in Paris!

Gros bisous et à bientôt!

ps. I am making this blog into a hardcover book to keep forever when I get back to the States-comments too! So if you want your words immortalized don’t be afraid to leave me a note!

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