Joyeux Noel in Paris

Bonjour Paris, I’m back!

I guess it’s a bit selfish to go to Paris twice in one year, but it felt like a completely different city this time around. Paris in March is sunny, warm, and full of tourists. Paris in December is traditional, festive, and freezing. I can’t decide which I like better. In the spring, after a few months in Denmark, I remember seeing a Starbucks and literally sprinting towards it. A similar event occured this time, except it had only been about a week since my last one, so I wasn’t as desperate. I wanted to get a Christmas drink but I was too nervous to be super-specific (Half-sweet peppermint white mocha, soy milk, extra shot of espresso) in French. I had a few hours to myself so I walked around drinking my coffee, buying some Christmas presents, and enjoying the sun.

I swallowed my pride and took a self-photo to capture the Christmassy vibe of Montparnasse.

I spent a few hours of Emily time aimlessly walking down streets around the Montparnasse area, getting a few Christmas presents and checking out the French department store, Galeries Lafayette. I can’t actually afford anything there, but I loved the Christmas spirit. I kind of forgot Christmas was coming until I walked in.

This is actually in Toulouse, because I don't have an exterior shot of the store in Paris. It's what I assume Macy's is like at Christmastime.

The beauty of consumerism!

Me and Court met up later in the afternoon and decided to tackle the Eiffel Tower. Last time, it was too late for us to go to the Summit (the top). Even if I had been able to, I don’t think I would have gone. I hate heights. Courtney made the decision that if we were waiting in line for hours (which we did) we were doing all or nothing. At the time, I hated her. Now, I am so happy she made me do it! It was incredible. The view was amazing, but I was more excited about doing something that I find so terrifying. We also had about three hours to play the most fun game ever invented: “What would you rather?” I highly advise it for any long-waiting situation. It quickly gets out of hand.

The start of our exciting night at the Eiffel Tower!

Us at the top. My face says that I'm happy, but I was shaking and begging to get down.

It will never get old! I just love the Eiffel Tower, no matter how dirty and touristy it is. Full moon, too.

Not a bad view.

From here, we embarked on a three-hour journey back to our hotel room. We were staying at the airport because Court basically had her entire life with us since she was moving back from exchange, so it was easier to have it all in one place before our flight on Monday morning. We were starving after all the waiting we did at the tower, so we got three “flams,” which is basically really thin crust pizza with a thick cream on it. We were scarfing them down and hopped on the RER (train). Unfortunately, because of our flam distraction, we got on the wrong one. Two hours later we made it to the airport, and met a group of Dutch people who were also waiting for an airport hotel shuttle bus. Of course, ours had stopped running, so we had to ask their driver to take us. He had Indian music blasting, and was going probably about 140 down the freeway, which I guess is pretty normal in France. The three-hour commute was definitely worth it to get to our big king-sized bed and crash for the night.

Day two in Paris was mostly about me getting my dad’s Christmas present sorted out. Last time I went, he asked me to take a picture of Jim Morrison’s grave. Since I was on a time limit and hadn’t slept in days, I didn’t go. It’s on the far East side of Paris, at the Pere Lachaise cemetery. It seems like the majority of the time I was in France, I was at cemeteries. But this one was by far the coolest. Every grave stone was different. It took us a while to find Jim Morrison’s grave, but when we did, it was the only one surrounded by people paying respects. It was covered in flowered and even had a bottle of whiskey on it.

Creepy. I love it.

Me in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. Loving it.

Jim Morrison of The Doors' grave. The most visited spot at the cemetery.

After getting all the good vibes from the graveyard, we had a killer French lunch featuring the best French onion soup! I’m not very familiar with French onion soup, but Court tells me that her mom’s is WAY better than the one we had… which means I have to try Lyne’s!  Regardless, this was pretty incredible.

Don't mind the awful quality of this picture, but I wanted y'all to understand how delish this was.

The rest of our time in Paris was pretty chill… the weather was shitty and we didn’t have much of a purpose. I think by this point we both wanted to get back to the warmth of the hotel room (hoping that the commute wouldn’t be as long this time) and relax with some wine and Bounty bars. We made a quick stop to see the Arc de Triomphe, then a quick shop down the Champs D’Elysees and the biggest/busiest Lafayette ever.

Arc de Triomphe. Freezing my butt off.

Christmas at Galeries Lafayette. Go big or go home!

I’m glad I got to experience another country during the holidays. I’m even more glad that I am home in Canada for a grey, non-white Christmas.

Until we meet again, Paris. Au Revoir!

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