I’m going to take a pause in my regularly scheduled blog to quickly jump ahead and tell you I finally got the macaroons I always dreamt about even since seeing Gossip Girl (the highly addictive TV series). It was amazing. All I ever wanted. I teared up.
It happened. It really happened.
OK So back to where I left you as I had just been pick pocketed in Rome (still annoyed) and I would like to restate that I think the Sistine Chapel is still one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I’ve been waiting for myself to feel less harsh about it, still don’t.
So our night in Rome we had our final supper with our study abroad group and said our sad goodbyes. The meal (of course) was accompanied with the restaurant we went to’s world famous wine, that they have named “Sexy Wine”.
It’s dessert wine so it’s incredibly sweet, strawberryish, and probably has a total of .00005% alcohol. It was awesome, and such a cool and fitting way to send everyone off. After the dinner we hurried home (while everrrryone else went out) because Jason and I’s taxi to the airport left at 5:30 AM. On the way home to our hotel we always pass the Trevi fountain, and as we were walking down the street it is on we passed three extremely old women. Over hearing we spoke English two of them stopped me and asked for directions to the fountain. I was soooo flattered (and impressed, because I totally knew the way) and I told them they were on the right track, only a block away, to which they replied “Everyone keeps saying that but we’ve been walking for miles!” Later down the road we stopped at an ATM and they caught up to us right before the turn in the road where you come to the fountain. I cheered them on and pointed to the bend and I said “it’s right past there you can do it!” Seeing the old woman (I’m talking HAD TO BE 80) finally making it to the famous fountain really made an impression on me. Europe is sooo much walking, and the fact that they had done it probably despite what everyone had told them, well I was very proud and very impressed.
The next morning traveling day and early wake up were B R U T A L. I mean, think of it from our point of view. We haven’t had a single day on our trip yet that we weren’t traveling, or been cramming in our summer classes. On class days, yoga starts at 8am (and Mamie DOES NOT appreciate lateness). On traveling days, sometimes we don’t leave until 9am, but on the other hand sometimes it is more like 7am. Between 12 hour class days (literally) and traveling upwards of 15 cities in and around Italy, it’s been absolutely non stop (even going through weekends). By Rome, we were so physically and emotionally exhausted we could barely keep moving (and we are still like that now). So we got to the Rome airport (after a VERY scary Italian drive, they never cease to amaze or nauseate me) and stumbled our way around checking in and finding our gate. We got our very last italian cappuccino (RIP you will be MIIISSEEEDDD- already shaking from withdrawals) and muffin (they are SO much better in Italy I can’t even describe) and went and sat to charge up our phones and such. While waiting we met these three frat boys (even in Europe, you can’t get away from them) and hearing that we were speaking American sounding English they talked to us until we boarded our flight. The three of them had been wandering around Europe after they graduated, and had all sorts of crazy ridiculous fratty stunt stories to tell us about their time in Europe already. One of them had even fallen off of a rented Vespa and broken his shoulder. When we left them, they were googling how to say “Can I hook up with you” in whatever language of the country they were going to next. Ohhhhh frat boyysssss
So as we flew out of Rome I waved goodbye to my now favorite country and home away from home. So incredibly sad to leave it, but could not have had a better time. For the most part (I’m looking at you ROMANS #stillbitter) the italians were some of the sweetest, most welcoming people. They were interested in our stories, and helped in whatever way they could. The food was 10000 times better than America (I mean it was straight pasta) and the general kindness everyone has is overflowing.
And all this and more is why I was terrified for Paris.
We had heard a lot of bad things (they hate Americans, won’t speak English with you even though they all know it) and I was too tired to be able to fight with the French that day. As we flew into Paris I just thought to myself, well here goes nothing.
This is our second day in Paris, and it has been amazingly incredible.
I wish I had more words to describe everything we’ve seen and heard since we’ve been here. We got here, of course tired and hAngry (what’s new) and confused about where we were. We got off at the wrong train station for our hostel and the only way I can describe it is to compare it to in Harry Potter where Harry tries to get to the beautiful Diagon Alley, and gets off one stop short and ends up in the evil side streets of Knockturn Alley. We got off and I could just see Jason like oh my God what have we gotten ourselves into. I’m pretty sure we wheeled our suitcases through pee under a bridge, everything smelled, and it was looking REALLY sketchy. When we finally found the correct spot, and then our hostel, it was like a freaking magic palace. The hostel we are staying at is SO nice (but also on the expensive side considering we are sharing a room with two other people and it’s dorm style bathrooms) but sooo worth it. It has a bar and restaurant in the bottom of it which gives us 25% off all food (which is GREAT for our budgets) and it’s all American food (single tear). We also discovered Paris has a Chipotle. Needless to say, we are pretty pleased. I mean when we sat down for our first meal and the water was free (and not 4.50 Euros) I thought we were both going to cry from being overjoyed.
The rest of our first afternoon we mostly slept, ate, and tried to recover ourselves from hideous Rome travel (sorry Rome, I still dislike you). Today, we slept in, for the first time in ALMOST A MONTH and ate a good lunch. It is at this time that I would like to remind you that I got sick just before Rome, and considering my lack of down time or rest or sleep or anything remotely like it, it’s just kind of been sticking around getting worse and worse. I can almost equate it to when you drink a lot one night and have a hangover the next morning, but you go out again that night anyway and as the days continue on the hangover almost starts compacting itself over and over and over again on top of each other until you’re in complete in total misery.
Anyways that’s just what my friend that drinks told me.
So all this going and no rest has just been compounding my sickness, and today after lunch it was roaring it’s head trying to kill my Paris vibe. By the time we had made it to the Louvre it had started raining, and I was went and shivering from walking all the way in the rain. As we went through the Louvre, which by the way gets an AMAZING review from me and I only made it to 1/18th of the exhibits, I started to feel worse and worse, until eventually I barfed in the bathroom of the world’s most famous museum. I think this should earn me some type of barfing in famous places award. I then bought the most expensive Diet Coke I’ve ever bought in my life, a 4 Euro (like 5.25 American dollar) cradled it against me in my time of need. If there is anything that can get this white girl through a rough time, it’s a diet coke (or as they call it in Europe ‘Coke Light’). Despite my sickness the Louvre and everything in it, (including the paintings and exhibits but also the building, ceilings, and structure) were astounding.
So much better I might add, then the Sistine Chapel. We did get to see the famed Mona Lisa, and it was very cool but once again, a tinsy bit overrated. I of course, took a selfie (ignore my ratchet rain hair and everything about my face. Just don’t look directly at me at all, kind of squint your eyes and look at the picture from the side)
Afterwards we walked through the gardens (stunning), saw the big pointy thing that looks like the Washington monument (I’m a terrible American tourist and forgot the name), walked down the huge main roads and saw all the famous shops, and eventually ended by visiting the giant arch (of also which I think is incredibly stupid)(but still not as bad as the Sistine Chapel). The entire city was just immaculately beautiful and perfect in every way. I can’t believe there are people that say that all of Paris is dirty and ugly. I’ve been here for a very sickly and rainy day and a half, and it’s already one of my favorite, if not my favorite, city of all. It has a certain charm that screams elegance, all the men look PHENOMENAL (fashion here is perfect) and everything smells like a cologne add. Jason and I even ventured into the giantest Sephora ever known to man today, and I swear my jaw hit the floor. Once we fully recognized where we were we quickly ran away out of shame in our suUUuper non fashionable sneakers (paired with leggings for me- sooo the new thing) and settled with ourselves that we’re pretty sure we are the ugliest people in Paris.
We’ve now met both of our roommates in the hostel, one of them’s name is Phoenix (a boy from Oregon that is overwhelmingly nice and gave us a magnet of Oregon to remember us by on the first night of meeting him), and a girl from Australia who’s name I’m pretty sure is Kit (also extremely nice and very funny). Overall we’ve been very lucky in the roommate department, which is good because I was worried.
-the metro here is terribly confusing. We’ve taken in several different times and we still can’t figure it out.
-Paris cappuccino’s suck in comparison to Italy’s. But Paris has Starbucks (I did tear up when I saw it for the first time in almost a month)
-OH RIGHT. I also was going to mention that the French people have been absolutely nothing but nice to us, and completely opposite of the TERRIBLE reputation we’ve heard about them. We heard so much bad stuff coming here, that I practically was expecting to have to talk with a Canada accent (which I cannot pull off) and get kicked in the street if they found out I was American. When in actuality, they even helped me when I was stuck in the metro! Jason and I LITERALLY bought the same ticket, but for some reason he went through the gate first and was fine, while we I tried to go through it rejected me. I was then stuck on a separate side of the barrier as him (and like he is the directional guru I just follow) and I was like dear God this is the end of me. Just as I was about to just sit down and join the hobo’s collecting money an extremely tall and beautiful french man tapped me and said ‘follow me’ and then led me over to the handicapped entrance (so we could both enter) and let me follow him through his turn onto the train platform. I had never been more thankful, nor felt so bad for believing a stereotype that I myself had not even witnessed. So from this girl you’ll hear nothing but good things about the French. (but don’t ask me about the Romans that’s FO SHO).
-Because we have been in Italy so long, we can’t seem to switch from Italian to French. We keep accidentally replying to the French people in Italian, which then makes them think we speak fluent Italian (which we are so far from it hurts) and so then it’s this whole long awkward why did the Americans just try to speak italian to a french person ordeal. Very awkward. I feel very stupid.
-Tomorrow we conquer the EFFIEL TOWER!!! and Jason locks his love for me (mwuahahhaha) forever on the bridge of love outside of Notre Dame. Wish we had more time here, but also am sooo happy tomorrow is our last day in Europe. I am very, VERY excited for clean clothes, my cat, and make up and a hair dryer again. I look the worst I’ve probably ever looked in my life.
Until next time, CIAO!
ps. Really contemplate this for a minute