Armistice Day 2014

IMG_5554Today I was able to check another item off of my Paris Bucket List. And this was a pretty big one.

I attended a church service at Notre Dame.

Last summer when I studied abroad in France, I had the privilege of walking through Notre Dame while they were holding a service and I was able to see the beauty of it as a guest. Just being a random onlooker brought me to tears and I made it an immediate bucket list item to attend a real service one day.

And today it happened. I was a member of the congregation during an Anglican service put on by the Royal British Legion, which means that not only did I get to be there, but I was also able to understand the service in its entirety. The experience moved me to tears.

Notre Dame was by far my favorite thing about Paris last summer when I visited for a few days and it’s one of my favorite things about Paris as a whole while living here. So to actually take part in something so full of history and beauty during a special service to remember those fallen on the battlefield was breathtaking. I remember I just kept thinking to myself, “Is this real? Is it? Thank You, God. Thank You, God.. Thank You.”

I’m still in awe hours later and know that this experience will live within me for the rest of my life. Words can’t describe how humbling it was to be there. I know I’m truly blessed.

Thank You, God.IMG_5542

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Catacombs!

IMG_5336So I just got back from hanging out with six million skulls.

I finally went to the catacombs in Paris today! The day before Halloween! Perfect timing!

So this was yet another thing to check off of one of my bucket lists. Anyone who knows me knows that I love scary things. Scary movies, scary books, scary places (I hang out in the cemeteries here in Paris just reading horror novels, yeah I’m creepy) and anything else weird/odd/creepy. So touring the ancient catacombs of Paris was absolutely amazing.

But honestly, I have to confess something. I’d never even heard of the catacombs until my baby brother (he’s 20, and like 6’1″ so he’s definitely not a baby at all – but he is to me) told me about them this past summer. He told me about the movie about to come out, “As Above So Below,” and that it was an actual thing in Paris and asked if I was going to go while I was here. Well, today I went. And I couldn’t help but think the whole time that I wish he was with me. It was just the kind of thing that we would do together. We always went to movies together when I was living in the US and we’d call them sibling dates. Okay, well I would call them that but he wouldn’t. Anyway, we’d go see comedies, kid’s animated films, scary movies.. things like that. And it never failed, when we would go see a “scary” movie, afterwards we’d both be disappointed because we don’t really scare too easily. I love that about that kid. He matches my creepy-weirdness to a T. From our love of scary movies, to our sci-fi passion, this kid is totally my partner in crime. We always used to play Star Wars outside together. BUT! I’m getting off track. That’s a story for a different time. Basically all I’m saying is that my little bro is the bee’s knees. And that the only thing that could have made my tour of the catacombs better today would have been if he were at my side.

And now without further ado, please enjoy some creepy photos.IMG_5260 IMG_5265 IMG_5270 IMG_5275 IMG_5281 IMG_5286 IMG_5288 IMG_5289 IMG_5290 IMG_5294 IMG_5295 IMG_5300 IMG_5306 IMG_5312 IMG_5317 IMG_5318 IMG_5326 IMG_5327 IMG_5328

Yeah, I would. And I did. And yes, I wore that shirt on purpose. Of course.

Bucket Lists!

It has occurred to me that after living in Paris for seven weeks, I should start a bucket list. Or two. So, I’m starting two. I think that having a specific list of things to explore and admire while living in Europe will make this experience even more wonderful.

Here are my two bucket lists that already after only 30 minutes of brainstorming have numerous items and multiple pages of things to cross off.

1) Europe Bucket List – Which includes things such as visiting the Isle of Skye, Scotland and skiing in Switzerland

2) Paris Bucket List – Which includes things such as attending a show at the Moulin Rouge and finally making it to the top of the Eiffel Tower

I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to complete all of the things on my Europe Bucket List but I’m determined and therefore WILL complete all of the things on my Paris Bucket List. Even if I don’t finish Europe, I’ll come back one day with my same list and it’ll be finished before I die. I know it.

To go along with the lists, I’ll be taking a photo every time I complete an item to document and share. I’ve also made two new categories for each list here on my blog to make it easier to follow these adventures! This should be a pretty fun game.1489126_10153216788498465_932246146810501952_n