The Most Romantic of Valentine’s (And Then Some)

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I almost think I could leave this post as simple as just the picture above and you would understand what a great time I had in Paris this past weekend.

 

Six of us John Cabot girls (Elizabeth, Savanna, Bronte, Jasmine, Hillary, and myself), Maria (my friend from home), and Kirsten (Elizabeth’s friend from home) spent the weekend trying to explore in every inch of Paris possible in our short trip. We only really had two full days as we flew in relatively late Thursday and left early Sunday. And boy does Paris have a lot more to offer than two days worth of sightseeing. 

We began Friday with a walking tour through the city center. The weather wasn’t ideal, a bit chilly and rainy, but we saw so much and got a lot of great information that we wouldn’t have otherwise. I don’t even know if I could list all of the things that we saw again but some of the biggies included views of Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel, the Arc de Triomphe, the Love Lock Bridge, the Place de La Concorde, St. Michael’s Square (seen below), and so on and so forth. 

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After the tour Hillary, Maria, and I decided to retrace our path a bit as the sun was coming out and we wanted to soak up the sights more fully. Stop number 1 was the Love Lock Bridge. On Valentine’s Day. In Paris. No better reminder of singleness than that. But the three of us were cheesy together, put our initials on a lock, and threw the keys over our shoulders into the river below anyway. And then I found my true Valentine: Nutella Crepes. Maybe it was the spirit of Valentine’s Day, tiredness from traveling, or sugar from the crepe but we were pretty obnoxious and dramatic about it all. Definitely some great laughs on the bridge.

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We ventured then to the Louvre (which I just realized I’ve been spelling wrong all other times before now). We didn’t go in, but took the classic pictures outside.

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It was a good try ^. Place de la Concorde was next, seen below.

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We had signed up for a boat cruise that evening and the port was just near the Eiffel tower. We started our trek over with plenty of time to stop along the way, explore a bit, and most importantly see more of the city. This is when the first picture of the blog was taken. The sunset that evening was my favorite part of the trip. The Eiffel Tower is spectacular on its own, but throw a purple, pink, and orange painting behind it and you’ve got a masterpiece. It was amazing.

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The boat cruise offered another view of the city that was just as wonderful as the rest. They aren’t lying when they call Paris “The City of Lights.” We saw many of the same attractions that we had seen earlier in the day and got a new commentary and view from the boat.

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We finished the night with a romantic Valentine’s dinner for 6. Everyone splurged a bit on steaks or pasta, wine, and dessert. (My first time eating red meat in 1.5 months so it was picture worthy.) 

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13 hours out and about. It was a relatively early night since we knew Saturday would be just as jam-packed. 

Everyone had different itineraries so we split up into pairs. Maria and I spent the day exploring Versailles, the Arc De Triomphe, and Champs Elysees.

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I couldn’t believe how extravagant and huge Versailles was. Maria and I kept talking about how unimaginable it would be to live in such a place. I have heard that the gardens are one of the most amazing parts about the old palace, but unfortunately for us, even though it’s not as miserable of a winter, it is still winter here too. No flowers or fountains this time of year. Bummer, but I’m still happy to be able to say I’ve been there and seen it.

Next was the Arc, which I accidentally overlooked when we got off the metro at it… Oopse. It was a very windy day and we were exhausted so we unfortunately did not climb to the top. But it was just as beautiful from the ground.

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We then strolled down the Champs Elysees looking at all of the stores that we can’t afford. We did make a few small purchases, though. The best being my (and Maria’s) first macaroons!!! I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on them for 21 years. Life changing moment. (Too dramatic.) But they were seriously super delicious. 

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That evening we attempted to do a pub crawl that our hostel had information about. After struggling to find the right starting point, we missed the crawl, we followed the group anyway and were not overly impressed so we bought some crepes and headed home. The nutella and bananas were the highlight of my night.

Us at what we thought was the meeting point…….. wrong.

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Sunday’s flight was relatively early so after hostel breakfast we checked and headed to the airport. Unfortunately for you, but luckily for me, I don’t have a wild cross country adventure to share this week like I did after Barcelona. The flight home was a quick one and we arrived back in Rome with a bit of the afternoon left to enjoy.

The streets of my neighborhood were hopping and the weather was beautiful so after dropping my stuff at the apartment I headed back out to stock up on groceries for the week, a task I normally detest but found myself happy to do with all the energy in the streets that evening. 

 

This week has been a bit more challenging than the rest for me. Thursday was the 2 year anniversary of my friend Lauren’s passing. It was hard to be away from friends and family and made me miss home quite a bit. Today I visited a church nearby and lit a candle in memory of Lauren. Thinking lots of friends and her family. ❤

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Last night Kailee and I had a little date night, because we’re lazy and don’t like to cook. When in Rome, right?

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A big group of us also went to watch our friend Claire sing at an open mic night nearby. She’s amazing. Check her out on Facebook if you get an opportunity! It was a lot of fun to see her, and the other artists, perform. 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Claire-Kelly-Music/310061732342557

 Today I set out on a little solo exploration of Rome for the afternoon. The day was a beautiful: sunny and mid 50’s (sorry to rub it in Minnesotans.) I headed to the Trevi to do a little people watching, did a bit of unnecessary retail therapy, and walked through Villa Borghese, a beautiful park. 

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It was a great day and awesome to find new corners of Rome that I haven’t seen yet. I’ll post the rest of the pictures, and also pictures from my adventure of getting lost in the Roman Forum on the way to art history class, on Facebook later this week.

 

Tomorrow I’m up bright and early to head north to Venice for Carnival. It’s apparently Venice’s version of Mardi Gras. People wear elaborate masks and costumes and roam the streets (canals?). I’m not really sure. I’m letting the day be a surprise. All I can tell you is that I’m a little nervous, only because masks kind of (really) freak me out.

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AHHHHHH.

Pictures and a blog post to come!

Thanks for reading about my adventures. 

XOXO

 

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