Skip to main content

Parlez vous Francais?

Took a fast train from Germany to France. Had previously booked a hostel so we just had to find our way to it. Hopped on the metro. But wait, halfway to our stop, the train stops and someone tells us we have to leave because the train can go no further. BUT theres a bus to catch upstairs. Okaaayyy. After walking around for 5 minutes we find the bus stop (essentially directly in front of us), and ride the bus for 20 minutes, get out and just start walking in the general direction we suspect to find our hostel. We turn the corner, and BAM! There she is: The Eiffel Tower, lit up and beautiful.

We find a map of the city and make our way to our hostel. There we find a sign that tells us about the Eiffel Tower light show at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm. Voila! We know what we are doing for the evening. :) We grab our cameras and head towards the World Famous Tower. Ahhhhh! It's silly, to feel such excitement and joy at a structure the french people do not even enjoy. But I did. We took random posing pictures in front of the tower and then again at the light show, when the tower was ablaze with glittery lights - FANTASTIC! Walked along the seine for a while, looking at local art displays. I do have to say though - I'm begining to feel the cold. Brrrr!

Day 2 - Paris - Free Breakfast! I repeat, Free Breakfast! And not just toast and jam. Oh, no, not in paris... they served muesli and baggettes and coffee (not that i drink it) and hot chocolate and orange juice! De-lish! Then we went on a Free Tour of Paris: Saint Michael's Fountain, Notre Dame Cathedral, Seine River, Louvre, Christmas markets (lovely!), Arc de Triomphe, musee d'orsay and so much more! Again, fabulous to know the little stories, the monuments you wouldnt normally notice, the stories that even the Parisians do not know: the drunken faces of King Henry IV on the bridges, the curse of the Knight of Templar as he was burned, and my personal favorties: eternal flame at the Arc de Triomphe - australian boys roasting hot dogs on it AND later, one mexican boy PEEING on and extinguishing the eternal flame. Both boys deported to home countires, with a stamp in their passports DO NOT EVER ALLOW BACK INTO FRANCE, mexico government also had to issue a formal apology to France- hahhaha)

That evening, to relax a little, we decided to go see New Moon at theaters!!! Such a horrible, cheesey movie but i absolutely adored it!

Day 3 - Paris - took the metro to the red light district, Moulin Rouge, and the Sacre Couer Cathedral. Fun day! Then actually went into the Notre Dame Cathedral. I think i enjoyed the outside better than the inside. Then went to the Shakespeare n Company Bookstore (where struggling writers can have a place to sleep in exchange for a few hours of work in the bookstore).

Decided to take a night train to Toulous where Meghan's cousin lives (kim, with her husband Guyom and their 6 month old son, Timeo). Sent her an email. no idea if she received it.

8 hours later we arrive in Toulous, walk up the stairs, prepared to crash in the waiting room until we hear from her and Voila! There she is...waiting at the top. Oh. The joy i felt at seeing her cannot be written.

Toulous: crashed until noon, then we went to Kim's friends house where we baked cookies. Mmm...wonderful. Oh...i forgot to mention that Kim and Guyom are circus performers. Guyom and some quebec guys had a show the upcoming weekend and so he was hosting them at his mothers house where they were fishing. So we headed over there BUT kim decided to take a short cut to the lake - we had to go through someones fields, which included jumping TWO 5 foot high fences. Kim...acrobat, remember? Jumped these wire fences with Timeo strapped to her chest by a scarf. IMPRESSIVE. That night, the guys came over to Kim's and we ate a traditional, french, meat, bean stew casserole thingy. De=LISH! Seriously. It tasted...tres excellent.

Day 2 Toulous: Slept in a little while, did some laundry. Then kim took us shopping! She bought us roasted chestnuts and macaroons. Mmm! Never had, so quite good! Walked around the Christmas markets. Then went grocery shopping. She kindly paid for our groceries as well as dinner that evening. I couldnt imagine a better way to spend thanksgiving away from family than Kim sharing her family with us. Actually spoke to the family for 10 minutes - miss them!

Took another night train (it's the perfect way to travel) heading towards BRUGES (or Brugge) in Beligum!


Popular posts from this blog

All Roads Led To...Houston?!

One year ago today, I hopped on a plane to Phoenix, Arizona, to begin a life of travel. I had just quit my parks and recreation job (3 years, 10 months…new record!), put all my possessions in storage (after selling/donating/trashing over 60% of it) and was jobless, homeless, and ecstatic about the unknown future. So, what made a 31 year old woman quit her job, vacate her townhouse, and say good bye to her friends and the life she’d known for the last 7 years? Maybe it was my navy brat childhood and moving every year. I developed a love to travel, to explore new places, meet strangers. Luckily for my addiction, my 20’s were all about traveling...working on cruise ships for two years, backpacking through Western Europe, visiting Central America, taking monthly trips when I settled down at a 9-5 job. I entered my 30’s and was content with a flexible job, recreational soccer/softball, and a good friend base. Work was great, but wanted more responsibility. So, I applied for

Big Bend National Park: A Stargazer’s Paradise

Living in Houston, I don’t often look up at the sky. Maybe if I realize it’s a full moon, I’ll find time to sit outside and enjoy the beauty. But the other days of the month? Stars don’t exist inside the 610 Loop of Houston. Which made our venture out to Big Bend even more spectacular. A perk to working for myself is that I’m able to schedule my days off whenever I want. So, when a nurse friend tells us she has 10 days off and wants to travel somewhere, we decided to go big. We narrowed down our destination to either northern Arkansas or Big Bend National Park. Then when vacations days were settled for the other 2 friends to take 6 days, we decided on Big Bend. You don’t happen to drive nearby or randomly decide to detour to Big Bend. The only reason you’ll  travel anywhere near the park is because you purposely decide to make the trek to west Texas.  It’s 9+ hours from Houston (not including stops for gas, food, or detours to Del Rio for scenic routes), or 200+ miles if you decide t

My Lightweight Pack

I’ve never bought and returned so many items in my life. Trying on clothes, trying to find those perfect sandals, the best dress. The most lightweight shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t make me itch.   Luckily, I had a lot of backpacking supplies from when we trekked down to Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon and when I backpacked Europe in 2009. Oh! Forgot to mention that…we’re backpacking. It’s like a flashback to my 20’s. Why am I doing this again?  ;) The name of the game is Ounces. I need all supplies that enter my backpack to be as light as possible but of the best material so that it can withstand being worn often. The Camino Powers that Be recommend carrying only 10% of your body weight and since water weighs 2.2 pounds per liter, I’m not left with much room to carry clothes and supplies. Plus we have to account for all weather possibilities: hot, cold, rain, potentially snow. And cold weather gear takes up so much space/weight.  Truly, my main concern is the first two d