Category Archives: Travel

France and Italy Trip — Day One

As I promised… :)

June 9th, 2011:
After about an eight hour plane ride from Newark, we arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at about 8:00 am. I didn’t get hardly any sleep on the plane, so I was already feeling pretty tired, but we had a full day planned ahead of us. We were running a little late though; our tour guide, Paolo, had a delayed flight, but once he arrived about half an hour later, we loaded the bus and headed to the hotel.

Our hotel was located in a little square with a post office and a bunch of little boulangeries and patisseries. It was really cute. ^^ We were on our own for lunch, so we stopped into a little shop that sold some sandwiches and other little light snacks. It was my first opportunity to talk to a native French person (I thought it did pretty well! :)) and it was also the first time I tried French bread.  :* Let me tell you, I never want to eat American bread again.

Our whole group then headed to the metro, which was just down the street and around the corner, and headed to Notre Dame Cathedral. It was absolutely beautiful.

Notre Dame Cathedral

For a small fee, you could climb to the top of the Cathedral and look out over the square, and ultimately Paris. It was pretty funny because as our teacher, Madame Scott, went to pay for tickets, they thought she was French and that we were French students, so we got a huge discount! :P We then began the trek up the 402 steps to the top. It was a winding staircase and I started to get dizzy, but it was totally worth it!

Veiw from top of Notre Dame

There were also tons of gargoyles that you could see up close; I though they were pretty cool so I took a bunch of pictures of those, too.

Gargoyles Gargoyles

Everyone’s legs were shaking after the climb back down. :P

After that, it was shopping time! I loved going into all the stores, even if they were just souvenir stores, and seeing all the different stuff they had. I didn’t really buy a lot the first day because I wanted to make sure I had enough for things I wanted later on in the trip, but I bought a Paris hoodie, and two miniature Eiffel Towers, one for me and one for one of my aunts.

By this time, me and Becky were on our own and away from the other group and we just kept saying over and over, “We’re in Paris!!” It was like we were in a dream; we just couldn’t believe it was actually happening! We just continued walking around and started drifting into the streets that weren’t very tourist-y, and was more like what Paris was like for someone that actually lived there.

Our whole group met up again at our meeting point and we headed off to dinner. I don’t exactly remember the name of the restaurant (I think it might’ve been ‘Hippo’, which is what I wrote down in my journal, but I don’t think that’s right…) and they served us Ratatouille and quiche.

Uh… Yeah… This was probably one of the only dinners that I didn’t like on the trip. Though I didn’t like it, I still liked the fact that it was an authentic French meal and it was something new to try. I didn’t want to come to France and not eat French food. That’d be lame. 8)

I was so exhausted by the time that we had gotten back to the hotel. We threw our luggage into the room, and I organized my things a little bit because I’m a freak, but then I just crashed. It was a good first day. :)

 

Back in the Lou

I’m baaaaackk! :D

Thank you all for the well-wishes on my trip; it was absolutely amazing! I really have no idea where to begin with it; so much happened in the twelve days and they were all jam-packed with things to do. It really was a great trip, and it was so cool to see all the things that I did see, yet it was very exhausting.

We landed back in St. Louis about 8:45 p.m. on Sunday (June 19th) night after about 26 hours of traveling. We woke up that morning at 3:00 a.m. to be able to get to the airport in Rome by 4:30, which we were exactly on time. We were to take a flight from Rome to Frankfurt, Germany, then to Philadelphia to St. Louis. This is what we saw when we got to the airport:

I was so upset. I was exhausted, I was missing home, and I just wanted to get there. All flights to Frankfurt were cancelled for the day because of some bad weather, so we didn’t even know if we would be able to get home that night or not. We waited for hours before they were finally able to book us for a flight directly to Philadelphia, and then another couple hours after that because they accidentally double-booked us and couldn’t transfer our information. Or something. It was an absolute nightmare. Dx

Overall, we were at the airport for about 8 hours and still barely made our flight. By that time though, I was just so thankful that I was heading home. Everything went smoothly after that. I was so happy to be able to use my phone again when we got back to the States, and my mom, dad, and Andrew all showed up at the airport to pick me up. Andrew was supposed to be a surprise, but he told me he was  coming. ;)

I’ve got some serious jet lag right now, though, which is why I am up at 6:00 a.m. writing this post (which I would never be up this early on normal circumstances in summer!). I didn’t even sleep in yesterday! Craziness!

So, this is just a short little post to let you all know that I wasn’t taken (I’ve got funny stories though) and that I had a great time. I’m thinking about doing a little blog mini-series where I write a post about each individual day since we did so much. I kept a journal so I wouldn’t forget anything. Would you guys be interested in something like that? I’ve also got tons of pictures (835 of them) to do something with. So far they’ve just been uploaded to Facebook. :P

p.s. It makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one that hates packing.