paris by the numbers


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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris
September 7th 2008
Published: September 7th 2008
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FYI: i have a terrible internet connection which is why i cant update as much as i would like so this entry will be long...

this past week was the end of the summer semester at school. once again we had soiree international which was fun as reika dressed up in her new african ensemble and kiki wore reika's kimono. haha i definetly just wore a party dress. we didnt end up staying for the whole thing though because we were all tired and the next morning we had to move to our new homes.
reika left for her new school in dijon and kiki left for her new family from the foyer, which she hates haha. the family is just a lady and her daughter but the women is an over-environmentalist and thinks that by having internet in the house her childs brain will wrought away to nothing. although im sure this could happen, chances are it wont, but nonetheless kiki has no internet until she buys some herself. so my family never showed up that day and i couldnt get through to them on the phone until like 6pm and it turns out they were at the hospital all day because the woman sliced her foot with an axe....classy.
so then they were like you cant come stay here tonight lalal i ended up in a hotel. which for all its bad points was good because it had a huge tub in it and it had been almost two months since i had a bubble bath.
the next morning kiki and i left bright and early for joyeaux paris.
the train ride is short, only an hour and a half and god bless kiki for bringing a baguette with her for this.
the plan was to meet reika in the train station as she was comming in from dijon. and when we got to montparnesse we discovered that she was in deed no where to be found....so we went to the info booth to make them call her name over the loud speaker which is where we discovered that her train didnt come in to montparnesse but actually Lyon....minor details that should have been discussed prior to departure
so kiki and i rushed to the subway to get to lyon and literally as we were "walking" along the moving sidewalk reika was comming in the other direction!!!
crisis averted.
so then once we were all together we figured out that we should probably just take a cab to the hotel as it was far away and well we're girls.
so we get to the hotel which is in behind a giant outdoor market and i couldnt help but notice that it looked like something out of an adult film. what with its red velvet carpeting and gold trim....not to mention...it was the wrong hotel.
so back into a cab and we found our real hotel which was much nicer andddddd when i stepped out onto the balcony...monsieur tour de eiffel was right in front of us
plus it was only 55euro a night for a double room which is like a steal in paris
most places start at 85 a night....translation 150$canadian
so we unpacked and took turns daring each other to use the washroom and left the hotel at about noon.
first stop...eiffel. a staple in any parisian outing.
i guess i always knew what the tower looked like from pics and stuff but once your there, in the park underneath, its a whole differen't experience. this thing is absolutely massive.
oh and that saying that you can see it from everywhere you are in paris. is sooooo not true.
note to self: learn your hotel address and not just remember that ur close to the tower next time u r in paris
anywho we danced around underneath for a while then decided we should climb to the top.
it takes about a half hour to get to the very very top which that day was a tad crowded with tourists but still exciting. from the second story - which is like 25 stories of steps up - you have to take an elevator type thing the rest of the way so we all got in line to do this.
and just as we were waiting there was this mother in front of us with two children - a boy and a girl - about 7-10yrs old and just to back story a little, reika loves talking in an english accent and she does so alllllll the time and anyway these people were english so right away we started listening to what they were saying like the creeps that we are.
and i dunno what happened but we think the little boy tripped and stepped on the back heels of his mom and tugged at her dress to hold himself stable or something but annnnyway she turns around and pounds her fist on his shoulder like 20 times and yells at him in front of like 300ppl and i was taken aback by this but his little sister didnt seem fazed by it all but the funniest part of the whole thing was the little boy then turned around and in his english accent yelled "mommy. id appreciate it if you didnt hit me in public. its embarassing" hahahaha it was the quote of the day
anywho we got to the top and ran around for a while then went back to the second floor and had lunch. which consisted of some form of french sausage, fries, and pigeons.
the pigeons in france have serious attitude. one jumped right up on our table and tried to steal fries off our plate!!!! crazy bird
when we got down we walked up the center ville which is home to a huge fountain...and the great parisian carousel....you know i rode the carousel. we all did. it was a must do
then it was realllllly hot that day so i took off my shoes and got into the fountain. which is basically an olympic size swimming pool with jets.
there are pictures of me in the fountain jumping up in front of the eiffel tower somewhere on one of my 6 disposable cameras....
then we walked up to the concert in the square and danced about a bit like cool kids.
the concert was in front of town hall, which is beautiful , and filled with lots of street kids. who preform acts of grace and magic in front of your eyes
after that we started our trek to the arc de triumph
i had no idea it was realllllly that big. like its huge. and they had a massive, and i mean massive, french flag flying through the middle of it that day which was beautiful
the arc is really pretty but very difficult to get to because its in the middle of the scariest roundabout known to paris. seriously there are six lanes in the thing!!!!
we tried to cross a couple of times but it was just too terrifying.
plus it costs like 8euro to go to the top of the thing and well we had just paid 12euro to climb the tower and our legs had had enough that day.
then we were there....rue de champs de lysee
the most expensive street in europe.
it is here where i experienced the first "satisfaction overload" of the trip.
pantheon would be the second
why yes children, i went to my first three level louis vuitton boutique....pure majestic bliss
annnd then to the Paris st germain soccer boutique to pick up some goodies for the boys.
on the way around we passed the royal palais and the little palais which i dont really care which one you give me as long as i can have one because the little palais is like twice the size of buckingham...and has mooooorrre gooooold
after we discovered that it was a two hour walk from the palais to notre dame we experienced our first parisian metro trip....pretty neat.
actually it smells bad and the seat have never been cleaned by the looks of things but you know, thats why kiki keeps disenfectant wipes with her.
on the walk from the metro to notre dame we stopped by at the palais de justice....definetly would love to be a lawyer for france....the place is once again gorgeous and magnificent and i'll just say this....the french, understand luxury.
even for criminals.
so notre dame. ok. wow. the inside isnt thaaaaaat impressive after seeing things like the basilica in lourdes but you know it has its place. its the outside that shows the magnificence of the place.
the carvings on the front of the 12 men ( i forget what they are right now) are amazing, the doors are made of quilted leather, and the gargoyles hahah soooo cute.
and of course belfry. which cost another 7euro to climb up to....what is with the french and making us pay to climb stairs?
is this there version of a gym?
anywho when we were done we walked along the seine to the old latin quarter cafes where the likes of hemingway spent his afternoons lounging and writing.
its nice, but like the jewish quarter - which ill talk about soon - its losing its identity to buckets of souvenir stores and chain restraunts
but we ended up finding a cute little french eatery that night.
gotta love the 10euro specials
i definitely ordered frogs legs. and ate them. all of them.
they're delish
although im not a fan of the fact that they come with the spine still attached...i guess its so you can hold on to them easier??? hahaha
that was the end of day 1, we took reika to the train station after that as she had a test to write the next morning at her new school so she had to go.
then kiki and i may have possibly gotten on the bad subway line that was dug up for three of its stops along the way so u had to change to a bus for that part...
and ok, its our first time in paris and we r doing pretty well up until this point all things considered.
but i may have possibly forced us to get off at the wrong bus stop....
so we had to walk a little ways through the night in paris. in a neighborhood we probably shouldn't have been in at night....
sooo day 2 we woke up a little late at 9 cause we were exhausted from the perils of the night before..
first stop of the day was the louvre
and wow.
it was beautiful. we saw almost everything that we had wanted to see in 3 hours there
which is good considering that was only one wing of the place..
we of course gave a visit to the following:
lady liberty
napolean
louis the IV's crown jewels and apartment
mona lisa
venus de milo
michealangelo's statues
da vinci
the girl with the pearl earing
annnd the four seasons
it was a good attempt at a satisfaction overload...
then on the way out of the louvre we had to stop for candy cause i had severely low blood sugar and was about to punch a tourist.
they had fudge. life was then good again.
kiki had marshmallow chocolates. very yum.
we then hopped on the metro to the pompidou center
on the way there we stopped at this chain resto for lunch called flunch.
does this stand for fun-lunch? fried-lunch? what? what is the meaning of flunch?
we still have no idea.
anyway its like the sizzler buffet style...which was awesome cause we were both starved
afterwards i went to the pompidou which is the museum of modern art in paris and kiki went back to notre dame because she was all arted out. and she goes to the university of notre dame in the states so it was like magic for her being there...
so at the pompidou i witnessed the following first glimpses of:
monet, pollock, warhol, picasso, argent, and that big red rhinoceros
for a building thats outside is completely fascinating, the inside leaves much to the imagination. i was actually completely unimpressed with it. and wished that i had of gone to the orsaly instead. but i mean the art work was fantastic. just not well presented for what it was.
the pompidou is still technically in the outskirts of the bohemianesque latin quarter of paris so there were tons of street vendors and buskers out that day which was amusing. afterwards i met back up with kiki and she had to call her mom for an hour....so i went back to the latin quarter and visited st michel which is the massive water fountain napolean had erected after one of his victories...
then i went to the old jewish quarter..
the reason i wanted to get there was because france has been criticized by its lack of an attempt at saving this area from being destroyed as its the old ghetto where thousands of deportees were housed while waiting to go to the concentration camps during the holocaust.
so there isn't a lot to see there, simply a few kosher bakeries that are left, and bits and peices of buildings still left in tact after the war. nonetheless definetly worth a visit
as we soooo ate kosher pizza. just to fit in.
after that we called it a day and got on the right metro home.
where we ate some more delicious pizza from speed rabit...they use bbq sauce instead of tomato. sooo good.
day 3...our last day
we headed first to the palais of luxembourg and the gardens, which is closed, but the gardens are always open and this was absolutely beautiful
the gardens at the palais of luxembourg are the same gardens you see in all those romantic comedies that take place in paris....they really are gorgeous. and massive. it would take a whole day to walk through them
then we headed north to the pantheon and wow if you ever get to paris it is a must.
the paintings on the inside alone are gorgeous but it also happens to be the very place where the time-space continuum was proven so the large pendulum is still there and still swingin.
but when you get close to the pendulum they have this little french movie that consistently plays the whole day that has this music...and ok the music sounds like armaggedon .....you know the tune.
and it plays reallly loudly all over the pantheon. so as you stand there admiring the painting of saint germain whos head was decapatated...which forced him to then pick it up and carry it to a church and cry out for sanctuary....yepp. you hear this armaggedon music.
it really just makes the experience that much creepier.
in the basement of the pantheon is the crypt
ohhh scary. it is where marie and pierre curie are "buried" as well as a million of important french people i dont have time to get into know.
the best part of the crypt though is getting to stand alongside the giant columns and embarass kiki by playing the crpyt keeper
does anyone else remember that show??
"goood evening boils and ghhouuuls, welcome to the crypt mwahahahaha"
no? ok. well i have pictures.
on our way back to the hotel we decided one last stop at eiffel was in order
so we went and rode the carousel again while eating our yummy ice creams and walked along the seine once more and it really was the perfect ending to paris.
i love the city, its gorgeous and i want to live there. just not during the tourist season because you think the waterfront is bad during buskers? its like that everywhere you go in paris!!!!
and i mean everywhere.
even at the cemetary where jim morrison is buried, theres like a half hour line up just to walk by his grave.
marilyns line was like 3 hours
so no i didnt get to see it.
but yeah since then school has started again and life is back to norm
im with a new family now cause the others were crackheads
and this place is awesome, i think i live in what is considered to be a mansion. for real.
i have a whirpool tub and stand up rain shower with jets on the side to myself
and they cook the most delicious meals made completely with vegetables from there own garden
and the man tells me that his garden use to provide a certain type of flower to the anger's flower market.
which is like famous all over france,
they spend all day in there gardens. its lovely.
and for breakfast, if its not served to me in bed, they leave it on the balcony for me under the big willow tree.
cest la vie
much love
k



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