21 in Paris

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Dec 24, 2006

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

I know I've been bad about updating...it's been kind of busy. But I'm going to get caught up on everything.

For my 21st birthday (Friday the 22nd), after a nice birthday lunch with the Bodets complete with a cake and "Joyeux Anniversaire" (that's "Happy Birthday" sung in French), I took the afternoon TGV (train a grand vitesse...train that goes really really fast) to Paris to meet up with Alec. I came out of the metro just as he called and said he was getting out of class, so I was standing around waiting for him. I must have looked especially Parisian because a French person came up to me and asked for directions. Luckily, he asked for directions to the one place I knew how to get to - the metro stop I had just come out of - so I pointed him in the right direction. After some time at the AUP student bar, which was refreshingly American, Alec and I had some cheese and bread at his apartment, which was just about the tiniest apartment I've seen in my entire life, but was in a great location close to Montmartre. We had dinner at a great fondue restaurant in Montmartre where they served us red wine out of baby bottles - don't ask me why. It was delicious, though. And no rude French waiters here - they were friendly, lively, and joking with us and everyone constantly - it was a great, fun atmosphere. We met up with some of Alec's Paris friends at the Eiffel Tower to celebrate my 21st with a bottle of wine on the lawn in front of the tower, which is lit up with a light show at night. It was a wonderful and memorable way to celebrate my 21st birthday.

The next day, we visited Sainte-Chapelle, which is a chapel built by Saint Louis in the 13th century as a resting place for what he believed was Christ's crown of thorns. It was absolutely spectacular...definitely the most incredible stained glass I've seen in any church. Finally, we had a leisurely lunch at a Parisian sidewalk cafe near the Forum des Halles. Definitely a great weekend.
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