Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Growing up Beauty and the Beast was my favorite movie. I would walk around the house in a blue dress, chiming, "Bonjour!" "Bonjour!" like Belle does in the opening song of the movie. Needless to say, I have always wanted to visit France.
My desire to go to France, and Paris especially was engraved in my heart after watching Carrie finally achieve her dream of going to Paris in the two part finale of Sex and the City. And just as Carrie's Paris trip did not go exactly as planned, neither did mine.
Ok, so I wasn't abandoned by my Russian lover or slapped by him or find my true love on a bridge at night in a couture dress, but I did break my camera in the Lourve 33 pictures into my trip and lose my leather gloves I got for Christmas. Coincidence? I think not.
But besides those two tragedies, Paris was the stuff of dreams. As we drove by the Eiffel Tower on the way to our hotel, I found tears coming to my eyes. I couldn't believe I was actually in Paris, the place Rick and Inga would always have, and Marie Antoinette let them eat cake. My excitement only intensified when we got out of the cab in front of our hotel and turned around to the sight of the tower a mere five minutes away, standing tall and proud in the distance.
I honestly can't put my finger on my favorite activity in Paris.
Was it singing Disney songs in inappropriate places? "God Help the Outcasts" while touring through Notre Dame, "Beauty and the Beast" when walking down a similar staircase like the one in the dance scene at the Lourve, and of course, "Les Poissons," from "The Little Mermaid," which I sang randomly in the streets.
Was it walking down the Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triumphe, people watching and looking at boutiques where I couldn't afford at button?
Was it finally seeing the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo and tearing up at the sight of both of them 1) because I was in the presence of such magnificent art and 2) because my camera had broken before I got a picture of them?
Was it walking down a random street of Paris and running into my dear friend Cat Williams? That was definitely a highlight of my trip. (AOT)
Was it going up in the Eiffel Tower? No. I hated every minute of that. I've had a fear of national monuments since 9/11.
Was it taking pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower? I have always seen people's pictures in front of the monument and thought to myself "Oh cool, you have a picture in front of one of the most famous landmarks in the world." Now I have one. And it is cool.
No. My favorite part of the entire trip was...eating.
Eating everything. The shortlist includes croissants, pain au chocolats, croque monsieurs, baguettes, champagne, chocolat pepits, lamb chops, canelloni, and the best french fries I have ever tasted in my life. Which was odd, since I heard those were created in Belgium. But above all were the macaroons from Laduree. There were actual French people waiting in line for those macaroons, which tells you something about how good they are.
The entire trip was unforgettable and incredible, and I barely even saw half of what the city has to offer. I hope to go back and see the Paris Opera House, sight of one of my favorite musicals, "The Phantom of the Opera," the catacombs, Versailles, the Latin Quarter, Bastille, Sacre Coeur, and so much more.
Though I have to say, I still have yet to find a place to rival London in my heart. Madrid is up next in two weeks with Kaylee!!