Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Friends in Paris

This weekend, Jenna and Hannah, two of my best friends from camp, came to visit Rebecca and me. It was truly an incredible weekend. How did we get so lucky to get to spend a weekend together in Paris? 

Thursday night, Rebecca and I picked up Jenna and Hannah from the train station. On my way over, I was hit on by two men. This doesn't often happen so I was quite taken off guard. The first instance happened while I was standing on the platform of the metro by my apartment. I was listening to music when the man next to me leaned over and started talking to me in French. I, of course, said sorry I don't speak French. He asked if I spoke English and I said yes. He then proceeded to tell me that I was beautiful for him and then said if I wanted to show him some fun, he would like that very much. I said thanks for the compliment but told him no thanks for the fun. The second instance was when I was waiting outside the train station before Rebecca arrived. I was sitting on a bench when a man came over and started speaking to me in French. As always, I said I don't speak French and he said perfect, that he's looking to make some English speaking friends. He then told me that he was meeting some people in the bar down the street and didn't want to go in alone so he invited me with him. I told him I was actually waiting to pick up my friends and he said it was fine and asked the girl on the other side of the bench instead. 

Seeing Hannah and Jenna walk through the turnstiles was unreal. Rebecca and I both screamed and we all hugged. It was quite the moment. We went back to my apartment to drop off their stuff then all went out for a midnight snack which consisted of meat, french fries, and crepes. Friday, I unfortunately had a lot of things to take care of. I met them part way through their day to say hello at the Louvre. As we were sitting and talking, I realized I couldn't find my phone. After a few minutes, I looked behind me and saw that the phone had fallen into the fountain. It wasn't the nice fountain with all the water flowing out of it, it was the disgusting fountain that wasn't running and the phone had fallen into a little crevice. We asked a security guard to help us whose arms weren't long enough and had to run around the outside of the museum looking for someone to retrieve my phone. Lucky for me, the phone survived and is doing fine. That night, we went out for a fun dinner at Restaurant Chartier, which has the best vibe, and then out to Cafe Oz for a crazy night of dancing. As we were at the bar, I realized that it was the first time we had all gone out together. We felt like such adults. 

Saturday was an incredible day at Versailles. None of us realized it was going to be in the middle of a town. We all thought it was going to be secluded in a countryside but it wound up being down the street from a Starbucks. Lucky us since it was a freezing cold day. The palace was amazing and we are all ready to move in whenever there's an opening. The inside was grand an beautiful and the sun was setting outside as we were passing through the Hall of Mirrors. We took some fun and cold pictures in the garden after the palace closed. After Versailles, we headed to what Jenna calls her favorite meal of all time. We went to a tiny fondue place that services you wine in a baby bottle. Sort of a strange concept, but just kind of their thing. We were squished at a long table with a bunch of other people. The walls are covered in graffiti and we all desperately tried to find someone related to us. We found a few Santa Barbara, sorority, and travel related things. I SWEAR I saw an IU trident written on the ceiling, but other than that, nothing that applied to any of us specifically. Rebecca had made plans for us to go out that night to a club she had registered us for, but we were all pretty tired from Versailles and spent the rest of the night cuddling in my bed. Couldn't have asked for more. 

Sunday was a lovely day as well. We went to Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, Laduree for incredible macaroons, and sat at Trocadero staring out at the Eiffel Tower.  Hannah, unfortunately, had to leave on Sunday, but Rebecca and I had Jenna for an extra day. Monday, we went shopping, had falafel, and said our goodbyes to each other and to an amazing weekend together in Paris. 

This is the secret part of the blog post that you'll only get to see if you had read the whole first part. This trip is turning into something so unexpected. I was thinking I would be having fun every day, loving life, and going crazy all the time. But this has turned into a journey of self discovery. I may not be backpacking my way through Southeast Asia or working with orphans in South America, but I am learning so much about myself and growing so much as a person. I had no idea soul searching could happen on its own in a first world country. I've found housing and moved into an apartment in a foreign country, planned four trips to other foreign countries, and so many more things, all things I never knew I was capable of doing. I've experienced my first anxiety attack and felt emotions I never knew I had. So many things have happened that I never ever expected. I have just under two months left here. I wonder what's in store for me. 

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