Friday, June 4, 2010

french friday - part onze

For lack of a better topic, I thought I would revisit my trip to France in a series of posts.  I spent nearly a month there in 2000 with my friend, Laura.  We spent the first week exploring Paris and then the rest of the time in Angers, studying at L'Université Catholique de l'Ouest.
French words will be translated below - sorry, no pronunciation video this time.
*WARNING* - this trip took place 10 years ago... photos of narrator may be slightly... um... outdated, but trust me - she was super fly.*

The following is taken straight out of my journal.  You always wanted to read my journal, didn't you?  Well, today's your lucky day.  Don't worry, I edited out all the embarrassing boring parts.

Saturday, June 24, 2000:
Well, we're actually in Paris and I can hardly believe it!  When we finally flew into Paris, we had a difficult time trying to handle all of our luggage (I guess we over-packed) and figuring out how to get to l'hôtel using the metro.  We were tired, confused and just wanting to get to our room.  A friend had recommended this hotel to us, so we were sure it would be fantastique.  However, we forgot that "fantastique" from a male's perspective is quite skewed.  When we finally arrived at the hotel (after walking what seemed like several miles with our burdensome bags), we were very disappointed...  
When I opened the door, I saw a tiny, dirty, dark, dreary room with a very small bathroom and no toilet!  (The toilet was located in the hallway - to be shared with our neighbors... Ick!)  By this time I was so tired I just began to cry.

Thankfully, Laura was still level-headed and assured me that we could find another hotel somewhere else.  And we did.  Luckily it was just a few blocks away.

The room is very small, but at least it's bright and clean and we have our own toilette!

After all that turmoil, we decided we needed to eat so we found a little café and had our first real French sandwiches.  
They were big.  And hard to eat since the bread was so tough.  After trying to wash it down with water, I soon discovered that it was mineral water and also discovered that je déteste l'eau minérale!  Needless to say, I am experiencing quite a bit of culture shock.

After a long day, and a not so great meal, we knew that we couldn't end our first day like that, so we took off for Notre Dame.  By this time, it was raining.  But we were fine with that... after all, "it always rains your first day in Paris," right?
Once we got there, we knew all the trouble was worth it.  It was magnifique!  And that was just of the outside!  Once we got inside, I had to fight back tears because it was just so beautiful.  It was a Saturday night so there was mass going on and a huge choir was singing  It just echoed in the cathédral and made the most beautiful sound.  Laura and I were both speechless for a few minutes and just stood there soaking it all in.

After taking in all of Notre Dame, we visited a few shops and headed back to the hotel.  Back at the hotel, a wave of homesickness came over me (I forgot to tell you that I was engaged to be married just a week after our trip ended).  I missed Chad so much and just wanted to talk to him, but we couldn't figure out how to dial to the US.  So I went down to the front desk with tears pouring down my cheeks to ask for help.  The man was so sweet.  He said, "Why you cry?  When you cry, it makes me cry."  And he actually had tears in his eyes.  No kidding.  He taught me how to use the phone and I finally got ahold of Chad and my parents.  That was all I needed.  Chad assured me I just needed some sleep and would be fine in the morning.  And he was right.  I read the Bible to gain my peace and slept soundly.

l'hôtel - hotel (obviously...)
fantastique - fantastic (again, a no-brainer...)
toilette - toilet (do you see a trend here?)
je déteste l'eau minérale - I hate mineral water
magnifique - magnificent
cathédral - I'll let you figure this one out

Au revoir et Bon Weekend!


This Heavenly Life said...

What a fun trip!! And I'm loving the story about the man at the hotel with tears in his eyes. So sweet :)

peter marie said...

Sounds so fun!! I might have to steal this idea from you. It's so fun to look back at travel journals!

Elizabeth said...

Awwww...precious! What a fun story! And you know, you look exactly like you did 10 years ago! Chad is pretty lucky that you didn't find a smokin hot frenchman during your the guy at the front desk!?! Hahaha! Can't wait to read more out of your journal!

Amy@My Front Porch said...

How fun! And I must say, you don't look any older now than you did in those pictures -- you must be one of those lucky people that ages beautifully ;)