Posted by: Flannery | February 3, 2011

My first 2 days in Paris

**Disclaimer! This post is way too long! Feel free to just skip to the pictures if you want 🙂

Hello all you American-type chums! (That’s a little shout-out to my sister Maddie haha) I just finished my second day in Paris and decided it was time for a blog post! So here you go. Let me start out by saying that jet lag is the WORST. For some reason I didn’t realize that a 7 hour time difference is in fact a significant difference. And I also thought that I would be able to get a good night’s sleep on the plane…and I ALSO forgot that when I’m extremely tired, I can do almost nothing except melt into a puddle of tears. So, ignoring all these little pieces of info, I went enthusiastically into my first flight at 2:00 Monday afternoon. I flew to Philadelphia, landed at 5:00 eastern time, and promptly inhaled a piece of pizza and ran to the shuttle bus because my next flight was supposed to board at 5:30. When I got there though, the flight was delayed until 7, so I had time to sit down and actually meet several of the girls on my flight who are also in my study abroad program! So we waited for the flight, which eventually boarded and turned out to be half empty, which was lovely because everyone got to spread out. When it was time to sleep, I got to lie down across a few seats and get about 4 hours of sleep! At the time I thought that would be plenty, but it didn’t last me very long. We landed at 8:00 Paris time (so, 1:00 in the morning to my body clock), wandered through the airport until we found Café Terrasse, and met up with one of our resident directors Melissa. At 11:00 we got on a bus that took us into the city to our hotel in the 1st arrondissement.

I was so happy that the travel portion of the trip was over! I dropped my bags, called Brad, and told him I had officially arrived. He met me about 20 minutes later at the metro stop near my hotel, and we had lunch at a little café near my apartment Café Benjamin. Brad ordered a cheeseburger, and I ordered a ham crepe, which I promptly cried on. By this time it was about 5:00 in the morning to my body clock, and I was an absolute mess. I was strangely afraid of Paris, I felt like I didn’t know a word of French, and I apparently thought that every Parisian who glanced at me thought I was a complete idiot!! But alas, this is the insanity that happens to me when I’m tired. So I was being completely irrational, which Brad told me, and I agreed to, and started to feel a little better. And then we solidified my better feelings by going shopping! We trotted over to H&M and Brad got 2 shirts. Then Brad walked me back to the hotel and headed off to class. I had orientation at 4:00 that evening, so my roommates and I headed down for that after a little while. We got introduced to the API center, got our Navigo cards for the metro, and we got our tickets for the ballet and the circus! We also had some lectures about doctors and metro safety, during which most of us were literally falling asleep because we had been awake for so long! Legit falling asleep too, I’m talking head-lolling-to-the-side-and-then-jerking-back-up asleep, and it was pretty funny. Then after that orientation session was over, we had a welcome dinner at a café called L’Amazonial, which is right by our hotel. Our program paid for the dinner, so we got appetizers, a main dish, and desert, which were absolutely delicious! Then at about 9:00, the dinner was over and we were finally allowed to go to our rooms and sleep, which I did immediately in order to salvage what was left of my mindset.

So I woke up today at 9:00, after having 11 hours of sleep, which was absolute heaven. (The only fly in the ointment is that part of our hotel is under construction, so I sort of woke up at 8:00, but oh well) Then today we had more orientation from 10-12, and then I went with a few people over to a store called Monoprix, which is sort of like a cross between our Walgreens and Target. We explored that a little bit and then at 1:30 went back to our program center for our metro orientation, where we rode the metro for a few stops and practiced making a transfer, so that we wouldn’t get ourselves hopelessly turned around and never find our way out. After that, my roommate Rachel and I went to a café near our hotel for lunch, where we made our first official exchanges in French with the lady behind the counter! She understood us and smiled a lot even though my French was a little shaky at times (how do you say bagel in French? Sesame seed? HONEY MUSTARD?! Who knows.) Anyway, so that lady did a lot to disprove the whole “French people are rude” stereotype—she was very friendly and understanding, which was a huge comfort. Then we ate lunch and decided to shop a little bit. Again I found myself at H&M (I’m sure I’ll branch out at some point haha) and on this trip Rachel and I each bought a dress, and I also got some gloves for 1 euro out of the bargain bin near the cash register! So that was a very successful trip. Then we came back to the hotel, I changed into my new dress, and we headed back to L’Amazonial for our housing orientation, which was fairly short. After that we had a boat tour on the Seine! It was freezing cold but really fun, and I got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower! It was a little overcast out so it actually looked kind of creepy, but hey, the Eiffel Tower is the Eiffel Tower haha. Then after the boat tour we were free for the evening, so I hopped on the metro and headed down to Brad’s apartment for dinner. I still can’t adjust to being in the same city for school, much less being in PARIS, but I have a feeling I will definitely get used to it!!! We had a very fun night, complete with personal pizzas from Picard Surgelées, which is like a frozen food chain here in France. Picard’s food is much better than our normal American frozen food, it really was quite tasty! Thanks to cousin Stephanie for the tip about that place 🙂 So when it was time to head back to my hotel, Brad rode the metro with me the whole way since we didn’t know if it would be really sketchy after dark. Turns out, it’s not! Just a whole bunch of other normal people also trying to get home lol. So I got home totally fine, and now here we are! I’m sitting on the floor in our little hotel room, with my other three roommates, and we’re all on our computers updating people from home.

SO!! There were my first two days in Paris. Sorry if this was an annoyingly long post (and thank you for those of you who made it all the way to the end haha) but I am just WAY too excited and I want everybody to know exactly what I’ve been doing at every second of every day so that you can all be excited too lol!! Maybe I’ll calm down in the days to come, and these posts will be much more concise…but maybe not!

Again, thanks for reading, and I’ll post again soon!


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  1. hey flan!!!!!!!! It’s libby right now. I actually made it to the end! I am so excited for you and i hope you are having a lot of fun! I really miss you and love you!! I cant wait until we start to skype.

    An update at home is…
    Mark- he is sick and has been out of school practically all week.
    Libby (me)- I caught the cold and got out Thursday and Friday.
    Maddie- (not that sure) but i do know that she is leaving for competition Friday.
    Mom- Same as usual and still working from home. except on wednesdays
    Dad- annoyed at the kids in his classroom but still going to work!! later is going to quit!

    P.S. sox- still alive and hopefully having fun in general life. And believe it or not but i am trying to train her to do tricks. Not working out that well. But thats okay!
    I love you! Have fun! (I will keep reading your blog even if it is INSANELY long!)
    P.P.S. I am in love with the pics!!
    Okay i think i am done now!! Just remember that i miss you SSSSOOOOO much. But i am glad you are where you want to be.

  2. Oh i forgot to say BUT Brycelyn and i think we know who is stealing our lunches. We told Ms. Sullivan but she said she couldn’t acuse her of doing it because we didn’t have any proof. But she and Mr. C are going to keep an eye out to see if we can catch her doing it. LOVE YA AND HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. One last thing- “sandra, family” is everybody at the house.
    I think i am having a lot of fun so i keep thinking of things to say HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!
    But i am definatly (how do you spell that?) done now!!

  4. flan – thanks for the detail. it was like sitting next to you, listening to your stories! have fun. love u, miss u – maj~

  5. I’m so glad to hear from you and to know that you are settling in. I’m jealous.

    I loved reading your blog and will be looking forward to the next one!

    Love you,

  6. 1) I’m glad you appreciate jet lag now, IT’S SO MISERABLE
    2) That was not an annoyingly long post, it was perfect 🙂
    3) Do a better job at posting than I did, I trust you will
    4) I just got a Paris travel book
    5) 30 days

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