Je suis en Paris!!! *nose up* unh hohn hohn!! (that was a sort of nasaly scoff in case that didn't come across)
Wow. It's uber surreal to be here. I mean we went to the Louvre today, the freaking LOUVRE!!! I SAW IT with my own eyes!!! It was so cool...Although SO FRUSTRATING to try and navigate!! Holy crow, I mean it was amazing to see all the of the famous artwork like the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and Venus de Milo, but I will have no problem never going there again. SO MANY PEOPLE who either go about 1 mile an hour in front of you for no reason, or just stop and you have to get around them or they're constantly pushing you.. BAHH it drove me insane. And the map system is totally wacked out. It was bonkers. Totally awesome in theory and once we found the pieces we were looking for, but totally bonkers...
Anyway, we arrived yesterday morning in a fit of exhaustion, jet lag, and anxiety. Ok, well I think the anxiety was really only on my end, my mom seemed to be doing just fine. See, whenever I go to a new place that's a lot different than what I'm used to, I kind of get super stressed and on edge until I get my bearings. Fortunately, I know this is how I am so I can sort of mentally prepare for it. Unfortunately, knowing that it will eventually get better doesn't really help me at the time...bummer.
So we get to the apartment we're staying in and crash for a few hours before heading out for food. I'm still pretty tired and pretty stressed/nervous about what to expect in the surrounding area. I've heard all types of stories about the french and how they are rude/selfish/will laugh in your face/etc. So the fact that my french is tres sub-par and my mom knows zero has me on a bit on edge you might say. But man was I wrong!! Everyone we came in contact with was so nice!! I was shocked! People were smiling, wanting to please, and those who didn't speak very good english were almost apologetic about it! I was so amazed. So that issue was totally squelched in my book. Stress gone. Katie=happy camper.
Now for a hilarious story from traveling yesterday, the humor may or may not translate so just bear with me: So we were advised to take the metro from the airport to the apartment for financial reasons, as taxis are super expensive. So we get on the train and it gets pretty crowded. It was about 7am and the morning rush was in full effect. Now my mom and I tried to pack light, but it's freezing here so we have a ton of warm clothes. We have two huge suitcases and one other small roller bag (briefcase size). So we make it through the metro and we got off and are going through the turnstiles to get out of the station. Now, my experience with subways/metros is limited to the Washington DC metro system from our 8th grade field trip, so A. that was quite some time ago and B. That was only one city's version of a subway system. Therefore, it didn't even occur to me that I would need to insert my ticket in the machine to get through the turnstile on the way out. I don't recall this being the way it went in DC anyway... So here I am, still paranoid about being seen for what I truly am: an American tourist who speaks hardly any french and is terrified of making a fool of herself in front of a seemingly surly nation of people.
See if you can picture this situation. So I have this huge bag, right? And a backpack. I am now trying to force my way through an unmoving turnstile with all this stuff. Greatest fear: achieved. There were two guys waiting on the other side just watching me, CLEARLY trying to suppress their laughter. Awesome. So I make it through a locked turnstile which probably makes me a fugitive or something. BUT it turns out it's a good thing I didn't use my ticket to go through because then it's my mom's turn. She also has a humongous bag plus her little roller bag plus herself. So her advantage: she knows she needs her ticket to get through. Her disadvantage: she ends up needing both her and my ticket because of all her crap. That's right. One ticket for her bags, and one ticket for herself. Even better. It was hilarious about 5 minutes after we were out of the metro station.
So I think that story was a lot funnier if you could have seen it happening, but hopefully you can visualize it enough to see the hilarity of it all. Needless to say I was mortified for about 10 seconds and then I was just like, well screw it. Who cares...
So that's all for now! Oh, ps after dinner tonight I had Mousse Chocolat (chocolate mousse for those who can't put two and two together) and it was seriously the most amazing thing I've ever eaten. UGGGHH SO GOOD!! And the bread's not too shabby here either if I do say so myself.. :) Au Revoir!!