For one thing, I went to Paris, which was amazingly magnificent! I saw the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre (complete with Mona Lisa herself), the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe (sort of), and Notre Dame. I also saw (and ate) a WHOLE LOT of bread, cheese, and Nutella. Honestly, I'd have to say that breakfast at the hotel was one of my favorite meals. They had salami, cheese, and delicious bread every morning, along with chocolate cereal, more Nutella, and chocolate chip croissants. So yummy!
I also ate at an outdoor cafe (which had a TV showing a special about Justin Beiber--go figure) and bought ice cream and a sandwich from a street vendor stand thing. I bought some art, too. So get ready for that to go up on our wall next year, roomie. :)
Some other highlights of the trip were getting semi-lost on the way to Versailles (and seeing a kitty), eating Chinese food (I tried duck soup) at a super posh mall and then sunbathing on the rooftop terrace, and celebrating my friend Kenzie's 21st birthday by shopping, sightseeing, and a toast at midnight. I got to meet her friend, Adam, who's interning in Germany this semester, since he came to visit for her birthday. He was really cool and we all hung out on Saturday and climbed the Eiffel Tower that night. What an amazing view!
We went to the Lock Bridge, too. It was a really gorgeous sight: a bridge full of locks with couples' names on them, symbolizing eternal love. The keys to those locks have been thrown into the Seine. Their love will never be unchained.
Also, in Paris there are a lot of people selling things in the streets and trying to get you to donate to things and sign petitions. One of them, upon finding out we were Americans, simply said, "Obama! Hakuna Matata!" LOL.
Even though there are things like that where people kind of bug you, and it's easy to get lost, and we got to the Rodin Museum right as it closed, Paris was remarkable. I've discovered since going to D.C. in high school and going to a lot of cities here that I really like big cities. Don't get me wrong, I love the sprawling space and peace the countryside offers, but there's just something electric and magical about big cities. There's always something going on, something to be a part of, whether you're aware of it or not. For instance, in Paris, I saw people filming a commercial and a music video, witnessed the end of a marathon with runners going up the Eiffel Tower, watched a bride get wedding photos taken, and heard musicians who randomly hopped on the train playing a saxophone and an accordion. It's moments like these between all the touristy stuff that really brings traveling to life. You can see the Eiffel Tower on a postcard, but when you actually go there and see all the vibrancy surrounding it, that's when you truly get the international experience.
And that was Paris. The weather there was amazing, and thankfully I returned to England to some more excellent weather. It has been so gorgeous outside lately! I had a class outside this afternoon, and then a bunch of us went out at dusk to play capture the flag. It was a pretty intense game, and it was particularly epic because right before we started playing, one guy announced, "May the odds be ever in your favor!" and a couple of people did the District 12 salute.
Which brings me to my final point of the week, I FINALLY SAW THE HUNGER GAMES!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, I was so excited. You all know how obsessed I am. Well, a couple of my friends and I went to see the movie on Tuesday and went to the carnival fair thing they had in Grantham. It was a great day. Oh my goodness! I would have seen it on the 23rd in Paris but the theater only had it in French (and the ticket seller guy made fun of us). But now that I've finally seen it...I want to see it again. It just seemed to go by so quickly. I need to see it again to fully take it in. Also, I will probably be writing a movie review of it soon in the And Etc. section of our website, but I was going to wait until you had all seen it.
So, for now, that's all I've got to say about that. Now I'll leave you with a picture of a couple on the Lock Bridge in Paris...