Thursday, May 17, 2012

G-bergs in Paris, and they Goin' Gorillas

Bonjour from Paris, France! It’s now the evening of our second day in the city of lights. We arrived by EuroStar train yesterday from London. We had a great ride through the chunnel, and even fit in a game of Monopoly Deal on the train — Carly’s favourite card game. Driving through the narrow streets to our hotel yesterday was like moving through a painting of Paris. I’ve always imagined what the city looked like through paintings, movies, and photos, but actually seeing it before my eyes is incredible. Every street corner is beautiful, and each rue (road) ends with a magnificent building or church. I don’t think I’ve stopped saying “Wow!” since we arrived.

The first day, Carly and I went for a walk from our hotel down to the gardens by the Louvre. Naturally, we purchased a crepe the moment we found a crepe cart. After the important business was done, we walked on a bridge across the Seine and took in our first breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. The structure was incredible! We joined the masses of people taking pictures on the bridge, including just-married couples. The sun lit up the Seine, and the blue sky made the Eiffel Tower pop on the horizon; it was the perfect afternoon in Paris!

Since it was my parent’s 30th anniversary, we had dinner at a very nice French restaurant. I’m ashamed to say I was still too scared to try escargot, but the poulet (chicken) I had was delicious! The waffle dessert we ordered by mistake was amazing too. And, the fact that there was a cat freely wandering through the restaurant was nice.

What I failed to realize when coming to Paris was that no one in my family speaks French. I always believed my mom was semi-fluent or maybe proficient in French, but my family quickly discovered that her 7th grade knowledge of French really won’t take us too far in France (sorry mama, we all still love you!). Thankfully, we have a book with common French phrases. With the help of the book, we were able to tell the cab driver “This ride is more fun than Disneyland!” and the waiter at dinner “You are an angel from heaven above” — obviously the necessary phrases we need to thrive in Paris.

Sacre Coeur
Today, our family took a tour of all the most famous and historical sites in Paris. We started at the Sacre Coeur, a beautiful basilica that sits on Montmarte hill in Paris. We had a gorgeous view of the city below, and the architecture of the building was incredible. After touring the church and the market nearby, we drove around some of the famous museums and governmental buildings in the city, including the Arc du Triomphe. We reached the Eiffel Tower during the last bit of sun today. The tower was even prettier close up, and we took some great pictures of it. We ended the day by touring Notre Dame, and we stumbled upon a bread festival in front of the cathedral. They must have known the Goldbergs were in town!

Carly and I fit in some shopping before our family went to a brassiere for dinner tonight. The French fare for dinner was great, but the Nutella crepe and café au lait for dessert was even better. My family and I enjoyed our after-dinner treat at a café sitting outside of the La Madeline church. Looking out at the historic and beautiful building with the most delicious crepe in front of me, I felt like I was in a dream. I can't wait for more Parisian adventures tomorrow :)

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