Saturday, August 02, 2008

american in paris

Nothing like an alarm clock at 3:50 am! I jumped out of bed and rambled around my room in a wide-eyed stupor. I knew I had to be awake for something, but what was it? Where are my pants? What did I get up for? Why won’t my contacts go in? What time is it? Why did I wake up? Oh, yes. Paris.

Two chipper cabbies picked us up from Manson Place precisely at 4:15 am, and we packed inside and headed for the Eurostar at St. Pancras. The Eurostar, in case you don’t know, is sometimes called the Chunnel, because it’s a train that goes under the English Channel in a tunnel. So that’s a cute name. And speaking of cute amalgam names, I was wearing a cardigan this morning and Joe asked me if there was a “party in my cardigan” and I told him that yes, there was, and that what I was wearing was actually a “pardigan.” And we laughed, because everything is super funny after three hours of sleep.

We made it to Paris and our hotel, the Hotel Ajiel (please don’t tip the Paparazzi), is on a quaint, tree-lined street south of the Seine. The rooms are clean and not as stuffy as our London digs, and I’m nervous that some of the students may not actually want to go back. Everybody was excited to be in the city of love, so we celebrated that by having a delicious meal at McDonalds! If you think that sounds lame, it was! And we enjoyed every bite.

After this I took everyone to the Trocodero, because everyone should be introduced to the Eiffel Tower at the Trocodero. The Tower looked magnificent as always – it’s one of the only architectural icons in the world that actually looks bigger and more impressive in real life. Also, SPOILER ALERT!, it twinkles at night-time.

We went to the Musee D’Orsay, which is full of impressionist paintings and tourists. I would be lying if I said that Joe, the Whitings, and I did not spend a good 30 minutes of our precious museum time sitting on a bench playing the “have you seen my” game. Basically the game goes like this. You find someone wearing something really ridiculous, like the man with the orange Capri pants or the girl with the super short shorts, and you say, “Has anyone seen my orange Capri pants? I hung them on the line this morning and they’ve disappeared….”etc. And everyone tries to find the pants. I’ll play it with you sometime. This blog is already way too long.

Following the Museum we saw some really awesome roller skaters, and a homeless man who pretended like my head was a crystal ball. We walked up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumph. It’s always very impressive, and we climbed to the top of it; something I have never done. The city was amazing from that view – all the roads leading to the Arc, and the sun was setting over La Defense. It looked fantastic.

Finally we finished the night at the Eiffel Tower. Mostly we wanted to see the twinkling, but also have a nutella crepe. And meet a family from Layton who I spotted a mile away. I have super Mormon-spotting powers.