Paris

There is a video at the end of this post!

To start, I have a little disclaimer: Paris has never been the list of places that I was dying to visit. I was never sucked into the whole “romanticism” of Paris. However, I was very excited to go. Who wouldn’t be? I’m not completely crazy.

So that being said….
You could say that I wasn’t Paris’ biggest fan. Shelby, please don’t kill me.
BUT I did have a lot of fun and I’m really glad that I was able to go.

Polly, Nick and I arrived in Paris on Thursday night. We managed to make it to our 2 star hotel (I know, soooo fancy) using the RER train system from the airport. You guys should know that public transportation isn’t my thing, so I’m going to go ahead and put this one in the win column. As soon as we settled in, we headed straight for dinner. The waiter was not impressed with our lack of French skills, and was not polite about it. Sorry ’bout it, dude, but we only hablamos español and english. Our bad? The food was good, so I guess we will give the French that one. Then we headed to McDonald’s because at this point tensions were high and we were all in need of a good ole McFlurry. I know, I know. So American. Once again, the McDonald’s worker was less than pleasant and messed up all of our orders. Which we didn’t complain about because we are nice people. And we weren’t in the mood to deal with her anymore. Except when we tried to leave all the doors were locked. Ummm what? Isn’t that a fire hazard? Someone let us out of this place! We managed to escape and run back to the comforts of our hotel.

Speaking of the hotel….if you need hotel/hostel recommendations for Paris. Ask me. Because I’ll tell you where NOT to stay

After the long, stressful day we decided to go to sleep early and prepare for the next day.

We woke up somewhat early and headed out to the Eiffel Tower. The line was way too long to climb to the top, so we decided to skip out on that part. I imagined the Eiffel Tower being a lot prettier, but it was rusty and dingy up close. I still loved being there. Definitely one of my favorite parts about the city. Plus, the weather was absolutely perfect and we spent well over 30 minutes posing for pictures and just hanging out around it.

Then we tried to find the Notre Dame. We walked for 1.5 hours and then the hunger pangs got the best of us and we gave up in search for food. So typical. Polly’s friend recommended this falafel place in the Jewish district, and it was SO delicious. Plus, I got homemade hummus and pita bread. AND VEGETABLES. I’d almost forgotten what those were since I’ve been living in the no-vegetable land of Spain. Are you guys getting that I loved the Parisian food more than the actual city?

After lunch we stumbled across the Louvre, but didn’t go in. It looked super cool though, I’m just not an art/ museum person. I’d love to be able to really appreciate that kind of stuff, but I fail as a human in that aspect.

Next on the list was the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees for the rest of the afternoon. Polly insisted that we stop for macarons from Ladureé while we were there and I’m glad she did. Yummmm.

Before sunset, we took the metro to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. This was probablydefinitely my favorite thing that we did all weekend. There were people EVERYWHERE, and the view of the city was unbeatable. We made it up there just in time to sit on the stairs and watch the sunset while an Italian man serenaded us below with songs like “Let It Be”. It was absolutely perfect.

Paris at Sunset.

On Saturday, we took a train to Versailles. If you are a student studying in the EU, you get tickets to go inside for free if you have your school ID! Being a responsible student, I brought my Universidad de Salamanca ID to Paris. And then accidentally left it in the hotel. So I ended up paying the $18 euros for a ticket. I was kicking myself the whole way to the billet machine. Lesson learned.
Versailles was gorgeousssss. Like absolutely stunning. Besides the fact that it was freezing cold that day, we had a blast. It still amazes me that people were able to build stuff like that.
We ate at Angelina’s inside Versailles and it was excellent. The waitstaff was super friendly and the food was amazing. They are famous for their hot chocolate (Audrey Hepburn and CoCo Chanel frequented this place), so we split a seemingly overpriced hot chocolate.
Not overpriced. Totally worth it. Also, apparently the other server waited “too long” to bring it out to us, so our waiter gave us an extra hot chocolate for free. After the meal, dessert and one cup of hot chocolate we were all STUFFED. But who in their right mind would turn down a free hot chocolate? Not Nick. He said to bring it out, so we all tried to drink that one as well. Never has the term “food baby” been so accurate. We spent the rest of our time wandering the immense gardens before deciding that we were way too cold, and headed back to Paris.

Before I left for Paris, my friend Anthony told me about this place called La Grande Epicerie, so we decided to try and find it after Versailles. It was kind of like a Whole Foods (you guys know how much I love Whole Foods, right?), but about ten times bigger and more crowded. I was in heaven. I could have stayed there for three more hours, but I decided to buy a delicious spinach and cream cheese wrap and call it a day. We went back to the hotel and hung out for the rest of the night. We had to wake up at 5:45 for our 7:00 am flight back to Salamanca. This was also somewhat of a disaster, but we managed to survive.

As you can tell, the Parisian food was the highlight of this trip. Did I seriously write like three whole paragraphs about food?
I didn’t fall in love with the city like I did with Lisbon, but I’m definitely glad that I went.

Here’s the video of trip that pretty much sums it all up:

PS- the irony does not escape me that the lyrics are “oh, you look so beautiful” when I’m making the most obnoxious face at the camera.
Also, can anyone figure out why I chose this song for the video? There’s a reason!

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