Saturday, December 17, 2011

Family in Paris!

My parents and aunt, uncle and cousin just left after visiting Paris for a few days, and what a great few days it was! I was excited to have them, because previously the only other places I've lived besides Bordeaux that I should show off were Irvine & Newport Beach, CA, and they just don't have the same draw (I mean, frozen bananas, but that's pretty much it). Also, I've only ever visited foreign countries while traveling with my family, so it was  nice to already be established here so that I could make sure we did what I knew they'd like.

It was a complete WHIRLWIND, and we got sooo much done that I couldn't possibly recount it all here (plus I can't remember much of what we did), but here are the highlights!

Day One:

For my parents' first full day (and first visit in the daylight, since they had arrived the night before), we started with St. Chappelle (Aunt Sarah's favorite) and the Conciergerie (lots of Robespierre-related stuff). We also ended up at the Jardin du Luxembourg (it was raining lightly but still nice), the Cluny Museum (my mom loved it) and Notre Dame. I also insisted that we each eat Nutella crepes, obviously! Then at night, before meeting the rest of the family back at their hotel, we walked under the Eiffel Tour when it was all lit up (very cool).

Day Two: I met my parents at their hotel, and then we headed towards Pere Lachaise (because what Epstein-Merwin trip would be complete without a tour of a cemetery??). We met Aunt Sara, Uncle Ross and Matt there, and Matt arrived with a friend and his mother (who works in the same hospital as Aunt Sara!) who also happened to be visiting! They had run into each other on the metro. 

After Pere Lachaise, we separated and my parents and I headed to Canal St. Martin. I had never been there before, so it was nice to see something new. We went to a bakery that my mom had read about, and it was (obviously, duhh) good. I left to go work, but my parents went to take a tour of the Opera Garnier, which apparently they liked because they can't stop talking about it.

Day Three: 

Everything is kind of hazy, but I'm pretty sure Day Three is the one that started with a good amount of rain (so much so that my umbrella was useless and had to be thrown away before I had even left my suburb). Mariene came to Paris with me to hang out with all of us, and after we met my parents at their hotel, they walked us by Rue Cler, which they really liked and had eaten most of their breakfasts in. It's funny that my parents got to "show off" a part of Paris to me that  have never seen before. We decided to walk to the D'Orsay, which included a stop in the courtyard of Invalides, and a trip over the Pont Alexander III (VERY COOL). By the time we made it to D'Orsay, it was POURING and the line was VERY LONG. Mariene decided to leave, and my parents and I debated for a while before we decided to find Aunt Sarah (who was supposed to meet us but whom we couldn't get ahold of) and head to The Marais. We don't normally mind rain, but my parent's clothes were soaking wet and would be uncomfortable in the museum. By magic, we found Aunt Sarah in the metro station, and headed to the Musee Carnavalet in The Marais. It was surprisingly sunny when we arrived. We looked at some of the museum (not as much as mom would have liked), looked at Place Des Vosges, and finally ate falafels, mmmmm. After that, we found Uncle Ross and Matt and got coffee at what turned out to be a really nice cafe.

Later that night, we took an excellent hour-long cruise of the Seine, and that met up with Pascale for dinner in the Latin Quarter. I had scallops, yay! But before that, I had wanted my parents to see the St. Germain area, so we walked from their hotel, past the front of Invalides and down Rue de Babylone. I made sure we stopped at Hugo & Victor so that they could try real French macarons (from France). It was dark and pretty out, so we continued down towards Blvd St. Germain, visited the church (oldest in Paris! A must-see, even though it's super not-interesting from the inside), and then walked through a Christmas market, through the Latin Quarter, and to our boat. I was really proud of myself for choosing a route that took us by some many things through so many different areas. It feels SO GOOD to live somewhere and have the layout of the city finally click :) 

After dinner, it was VERY COLD, and we ended up on Rue Moufftard, so we ended up having noisettes in yet another cafe. That was the New Yorkers' last night, and it worked out that we were able to take the same metro line towards both of our directions, so that was nice. However, the Transilien hours had just changed, and I ended up arriving at Montparnasse at the precise moment that meant I had just missed one train and would have to wait the full thirty minutes until the next (at 12:05AM, errrrr). Plus I had to walk home after that, but it was fine (if cold). I was working the next day, and normally, Lise can wake up as laaaate as she wants on Wednesdays, but of course the one day that I really needed her to sleep in (so that I could sleep in!) she ended up waking me up earlier than she would on a school day (no school here on Wednesdays). But I made her climb in bed with me and "take a nap" for another 20 minutes, so that was good, even though she didn't close her eyes the entire time and insisted on counting down the 20 minutes. But at least I could stay horizontal. 

I watched Lise until midday, and then when her grandma relieved me, I went to go meet my parents, who had woken up early and managed to fit in both highlights of the Louvre AND the D'Orsay since it was their last day (go them!). After more noisettes in a nearby cafe, we wandered around and eventually had dinner in the Latin Quarter, at a place with the perfect formule (yummy mussels, beef bourguinon AND a crepe for 10 euros!). Then we had to say goodbye and it was sad, but we made plans to see each other on Skype in a few days, so that was good. We all hopped on Line 4 in opposite directions at Saint Michel and they were off! I was sad to see everyone go, but we had such a good time, so I was all smiles. I was a little more homesick than usual the after after everyone was gone, but July really isn't so far away, so I think I'll manage until then. Especially when I remind myself that nutella crepes aren't available on every street corner in America they way they are here. 

So, in conclusion, this is why people should come visit me! Macarons and noisettes! And a guide who can finally (kind of) find her away around a big bustling foreign city :) 

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to having you as a tour guide. We need to coordinate exact dates.