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HCJMU Abroad: An American Girl in Paris

First thing's first, I need to establish my obsession with France. I am determined that I was definitely French in my past life. My blood turns to glitter at the mere thought of the Eiffel Tower. I am utterly fascinated by the language, the culture, the food, the wine... essentially everything! My number one goal in life, besides somehow managing to score a decent job after graduating, is or was to go to Paris. I listen to French music. I watch French movies. My apartment has approximately seven pictures of famous French attractions. I've studied the language since 7th grade. All of these things combined (if you haven't figured it out) means that I am French, whether it's on my birth certificate or not. Therefore, with extreme self-containment, I barely held in my excitement for this past weekend's trip to the most romantic city in the world: Paris.
We arrived late Thursday night. Besides the fact that our hostel was no where near any points of interest, didn't have a Parisian feeling at all and wasn't anything that I had hoped for, nothing could make me think negatively about the city. I knew French citizens absolutely detest everything and everyone not French, don’t appreciate anyone trying to speak their language, and absolutely hate Americans; however, knowing these aspects allowed my expectations to not exceed themselves. I could have gotten my purse stolen, but I still would’ve loved everything about Paris. To ignite my excitement, the group met outside Notre-Dame the following morning.

Being in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral, in the middle of the Île de la cite, was nothing but surreal. (I've also come to the conclusion that this whole semester is "surreal," I just can't think of a better word.) We walked (I skipped) to the La Louvre and like most of the tourists, walked straight to La Joconde, or the Mona Lisa. The rumors about Mona Lisa actually being a portrait of a man were shot down. She is a woman and she is the most famous painting in the world. Her eyes follow you wherever you stand in the room… creepy, but intriguing. We spent approximately two hours in the Louvre, which is almost an insult. One could spend at least five in there and not even see half of the exhibit. After the Louvre, we walked to the La Tour Eiffel.

Everything in Paris is farther away than it appears. You can see the top of the Eiffel Tower from the Louvre; however, by no means whatsoever do you want to walk to it from there! Unfortunately, that is exactly what we did. My feet felt like nubs by the time we reached the tower. Numbing the pain was the tower’s light show every hour for ten minutes. The French hate it, but the tourists love it. In my honest French opinion, it's absolutely beautiful. I may have had one glistening tear the first time I saw it.
You know how some things never get old? For example, looking at Tom Brady? Well looking at the La Tour Eiffel never gets old. I took over 300 pictures in three days and if I have to guess, 100 of them are of the tower. Afterwards, we ate dinner at a cute cafe with a nice view of the famous attraction. Consuming bottles of wine and a nice meal, we saw the light show three times!
The following day, we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and overlooked the city. Depressingly, we joined all the honeymooners and romantic couples everywhere. To make things worse, at the very top you can buy single roses and glasses of champagne. We also visited other attractions such as the Musée D'Orsay, the Arc de Triomphe, Le Sacre Cœur, Montmartre, and the famous street Champ Élyées. Ironically, I spent the least amount of money in Paris. My only purchase besides food and wine were golf tees in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Everything was beyond beautiful though. Indescribable. What are describable are the food, the wine and the people.

Smoking and espresso… That is why everyone is so skinny in France. Hell, we know it isn’t the delicious bread and savory cheese! Not to mention that French fries are actually better in France. And yes, the McDonalds sell beer. French food is the best in the world. I may be a little biased, but they definitely know how to cook. I tried duck for the first time and it was cooked so perfectly it fell off the bone. My mom makes the best French onion soup that I've ever had (better than Panera), but now I've realized that nothing can top the real stuff. Basically I tried everything essential to try: duck, chicken, fries, French onion soup, macaroons, crepes, crème brûlée, and wine! The wine went down like water. No wonder why my master plan was to meet a dark and handsome man that owned a vineyard. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and I will be returning to the states in less than 20 days. Meanwhile, I will be in London for the remainder of the time. London may be my home, but Paris stole my heart.
Au Revoir xx

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