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21st in Paris

Written on: Sunday March 18th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen Exchange

Last weekend, I turned 21.  Spending it in Paris with Chris and my parents made it even better.  Leaving Rouen on Friday morning, I was a little disappointed that it was raining as that would make it harder to explore Paris but it ended up lightening up for the afternoon.  Mom and Dad met Chris and I at our lovely hotel (The Regent in the St. Germain area).  After settling in, we went to Ile de la Cite, had some delicious sandwiches and then walked pasted Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle.  Mom also treated us to Berthillon ice cream which was incredibly chocolatey.  After a short break, Chris and I went to the Louve (because it is free for students Fridays after 6pm). We saw the Mona Lisa and wandered around for a bit, but weren't too entertained.  The plan was to meet up with mom and dad at Angelina's cafe where they are supposed to have the best hot chocolate in Europe. (I would hope it's good if they're chargin 6 Euro)!  Unfortunately, it was closed so we went to another restaurant where I became addicted to chevre chaud salads. 

The next day, we spent the morning at the Salon International de l'Agriculture.  Basically like the Royal, but sooo much bigger.  The best part was the food area where they divided France into each of its regions and we could wander and sample the spcialties from all the areas of France.  I had lots of cheese, macaroons, spreads of some kind, and just a bit of wine (these samples you usually had to pay for).  That afternoon, we wandered toward the Opera house which inspired "The Phantom of the Opera".  Unfortunately, the concert hall was closed as a result of rehersal so we wouldn't get to see the 8 tonne chandelier, the stage, or the box seats.  As we were all tired, we went back to the hotel for a late afternoon break before heading to the Effiel Tower.  We got to the tower shortly after 6pm and I was amazed by the length of the lineups.  We got in a line and, about 45 minutes later, had our tickets.  Then we had to wait in line for the elevator up the tower.  It was great to be at the tower during sun set - mom to a great picture (see below).  We finally made it to the top and got to see the view from there which was spectacular at night.  We left the Effiel around 8 or 8:30 and headed to Cafe du Marche for a fantastic dinner to finish off the day. 

The next morning we got up early to drop Chris off at the airport and pick up the rental car to begin our adventures in Normandy.