Mom & Dad Take France, Pt. 1: Paris

I FINALLY SAW THEM! Eight long months after leaving my loving parents, we were reunited in Paris! I gotta say, that long wait at the front of the greeting line at the airport was quite tense for me.. Waiting, watching for those two faces while grasping a fresh baguette and doting a black beret and striped tee, I was ecstatic and all over the place to say the least. I’d waited so long for them to finally arrive and these last few moments at the airport were tough. I can’t even imagine what all the Frenchies around me were thinking.. “AMERICAN,” “Idiot,” “Who’s this weirdo making fun of us?” “I feel bad for whoever she’s waiting for,” but I didn’t care! I looked like a stereotypical American idiot but I was overjoyed that Mom and Dad were about to arrive in the first country outside of the U.S. that they’d ever been in and I wanted them to have the best greeting ever.    Therefore, the costume was very much needed. Trust me. So anyway, I’m waiting at the front of the greeting line for them and then all of a sudden the military guys come over and start yelling at everyone to get back and they shove all of us away from the gate. “BUT NO BECAUSE MY MOM AND DAD ARE HERE AND I DON’T CARE WHAT’S HAPPENING, JUST LET ME SEE THEM.” Then, I realize why we’re all being pushed back and it’s because a large black bag has been left in the middle of the area where I’d been standing and the police are treating it as a bomb. “Oh.. Okay.. Well. Maybe this was a good reason to shove me away from the big black possible bomb bag.. BUT STILL.” A few minutes later, everything is okay and turns out it’s just a regular suitcase someone dropped and we’re all allowed back at the greeting gate. I rush over to the front again grasping my now not-so-fresh baguette and wait. And wait. And wait. And then I receive a text from my Dad stating, “We’re taking turns going to the bathroom, be out in a few minutes.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME, GUYS!? I’ve been waiting 8 months for this and you’re wasting time in the bathroom!? COOOOME ON. So, I wait. More. Then.. THEY’RE HERE. I duck under the bar and run to them in front of everyone at the airport and grab them both in a baguette-filled hug. I’m sure all the Frenchies now understood that this was a big deal and they all got a good heartfelt reunion showing. Despite what everyone probably thinks, surprisingly no tears were shed. We were all too excited about the moment to cry. So, we shuffle ourselves over to the side and what do we do? We take a selfie. Yeah, first thing we do. Take a selfie.   After the selfie, I proceed to lead them through the airport to the metro where they take their first metro ride in Paris. It was full of horrible stares at me, English speaking tourists and plain just full. My parents got their first taste of Parisian life on that metro ride – so many stares at them. My Mom didn’t like it one bit. But they learned to get over it and ignore all the looks throughout their time here just like all the other Parisians do. During their time in Paris, we went to all of my favorite places, met most of my friends, ate crêpes, drank wine and champagne, met my host family, had picnics, explored all of Versailles and climbed to the summit of the Eiffel Tower.               

Speaking of climbing the Eiffel Tower.. I’d never been to the tippy top. I was saving this bucket list moment to experience with my parents. And boy, am I glad I did. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m terrified of both heights and elevators. Sooooo, going to the top of the Eiffel isn’t exactly an easy feat. BUT! I’m not the type of person to let fears control my life and I have no problem with conquering my fears. I never hesitate to try new things and escape fear. So, I climbed the Eiffel. It was terrifying sure, but I had my Mom there to comfort me when I started to have a (teeny tiiiiiiiny) panic attack at being 300 metres high. Even so, I walked to the edge and stared over the bars onto my beautiful home of Paris. I walked along the entire perimeter of the edge and am so proud of myself. I finally conquered the Eiffel! Thanks to my parents.        During their time here, my parents both embraced French life. If you know me, you know I love wine. Like, loooove love wine. I want to work in the wine industry. I love wine. Anyway, if you know my parents, you know they don’t drink. Like anything. Ever. I think I’ve seen my Mom take a sip of wine twice in my life and those two sips are the extent to which I’ve ever seen her consume alcohol. And I’ve never seen my Dad drink before in my life. So, when I saw them embracing French life in the form of wine and champagne, I was overjoyed. Mainly just with the fact that they were trying to see what it’s like to live like me and that they were open to so many more things.   They both enjoyed the wine and champagne that France had to offer them in addition to so many more things. They tried foie gras (without knowing what it was), they tried all kinds of French cheeses and they let me show them around Paris as a true Parisian. They were truly open to broadening their horizons and I couldn’t be more overjoyed with them. To sum it up, I had the most wonderful time with my Mom and Dad while they were here in Paris with me for two weeks. Saying goodbye yesterday at the airport was harder than I thought it’d be but it will only be two and a half more short months before I see their shining faces again.   I am one happy American girl in Paris.

Side note: I crossed two things off of my Paris Bucket List. 

 

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My first weekend in Paris

I suppose I shall recap the wonderful first weekend that I had in Paris.

To start things off, Tessa came into the city around noon on Saturday and from there we had a lovely time. The first thing we did was obviously the most touristy thing that you can do in Paris – we went to the Eiffel Tower. And had a picnic on the lawn. It was beautiful. There was a man blowing bubbles for the kids, a dog running around, people everywhere and it was just beautiful outside. Just people watching in this city is wonderful. Speaking of, there was a completely adorable little boy obsessed with the bubbles who couldn’t contain his excitement around them. He would run up to a gigantic bubble and want to pop it but then got himself so excited that he just couldn’t bring himself to do it, so he’d scream at it with happiness. Absolute cuteness overload.

"We look like unicorns!"

“We look like unicorns!”

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Bubbles!

Bubbles!

After this magical picnic on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower, we decided to wonder around. We found ourselves drinking wine on the Champs Elysées and having a grand ole’ time. And then it began. The horrendous harassment that I remember from last summer here. Cat calls and whistles and oogly eyes out the wazoo. Not so much that we couldn’t handle but just enough to get us on edge for something to go wrong (don’t freak out over that Momma, we’re big girls). Arriving at dinner at a cute little cafe near my apartment, we decided to get some dinner before going out. Little did we remember that dehydration is terrible here considering all of the wine and beer that’s drank at every meal, with little to no water. Therefore, the going out part of the weekend was a fail – thanks to me. Sorry Tessa!

Anyway, dinner was quite fun, especially considering that the waiter and bartender fell in love with us and told us their work schedule so that we would return. They were absolutely adorable.

And now for Sunday.

Sunday was absolutely breathtaking. We began our day at Montmartre and walked up the 300 stairs to get to the top instead of being weak and taking the transportation like everyone else. That being said, my legs are KILLING ME today. But still, we did it. And once we got to the top, we could see the entire city of Paris and even though it was incredibly foggy, it was still beautiful.IMG_4473

Then after lunch, came my favorite part of the day…

We went to the Montmartre Cemetery. And anyone who knows me knows just how in awe I was over seeing such an old Parisian graveyard. I felt like I was in a movie and was so excited that I Facetimed my parents and woke them both up just to see it. Seriously though, it was my favorite thing I’ve done/seen so far in the week that I’ve been here.IMG_4511

After that and dinner, it was time to say goodbye to Tessa for the week. We had such an incredible time together and I can’t wait for next weekend with her to have some more amazing adventures! So thankful to God that I have someone here to share in this experience who gets everything I’m going through. Our lives are identical right now in so many ways both here in Paris and back home in the States, it’s crazy. So I’m so thankful and grateful that she’s here with me.

And now I’m ready for this second week in Paris to begin and to see what awaits me now!