The Paris [as a student abroad] bucket list

10) DAY TRIP TO GIVERNY
Monet’s home and gardens—site of the famed lily and bridge paintings. Kathryn, Katie and I took a day trip out, renting bikes to get from the Vernon train station to the Giverny home. And while my bike riding skills have yet to improve, I loved the bike ride, breezing through the sunning countryside views. We stopped off at a grocery store to purchase a picnic lunch. I mistakenly bought beurre (butter) rather than brie—the President label proved quite deceiving.
Top: A recreation of the famed Monet bridge. Bottom 1: bike riding to Giverny. Bottom 2: Site of our afternoon picnic.

9) TRACK DOWN PARIS’S REPLICAS OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
During each of my grandparents visit to the states when I was younger, William (my, now, 18- year- old brother) and I always requested our grandfather read us a book on Frederic Bartholdi, the artist behind the Statue of Liberty. For whatever reason, my grandfather’s pronounciation of Frederic Bartholdi left the two of us in hysterics, and over the years it became a regular tradition that my grandfather, during each visit, would pronounce the famed name. Ten years later, I've made it my goal to track down all the Pars replicas of the Statue of Liberty-- sort of a build off from the stories my grandfather read to us as kids. Beginning with dragging my friends to the Jardin du Luxembourg back in February—right at the beginning of our time in Paris when the weather sunk to unprecedented cold temperatures-- we circled the gardens in attempt to find one of the four statues. Until we discovered the statue had been moved-- our frozen selves were out of luck. It's been four months and I’ve finally found each of the three statues. One on the Pont de Grenelle, two in the Musee des Arts et Metiers, and one of lady liberty's torch, located above the entrance of the Pont de l'Alma (the tunnel in which Princess Diana died). 


8) APERITIF ON A BRIDGE
Public drinking—no biggie in Europe. Sharing a bottle of wine on Pont Alexander: check.

7) CLIMB TO THE TOP OF NOTRE DAME
We read Victor Hugo’s description of the view from Notre Dame for our first reading in my Paris Civilization class. Climbed to the top of Notre Dame the day after my last Paris Civilization class. Nice full circle.

View from Notre Dame. Pantheon to the left (had my Art History class close to there). Montparnasse Tower to the left (live a 10 minute walk from there, in addition to having my French Grammar class a 15 minute walk from there, each morning). The park in the front right is where we often ate lunch. Had my phonetics class in the building to the right of the park. 

6) CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE EIFFEL TOWER AT NIGHT
But by climb, I mean take the elevator up to the second viewing level.


5) REVISIT THE SITES; FRENCH STYLE PICNIC AND/ OR DRINKS AT ALL
Back to the steps of Sacre Coeur. Back to Buttes Chaumont and Jardin de Tuileries. Wander through Musee Rodin, and Musee de l’Orangerie (a museum with eight of Monet’s lily paintings—neat to have gone after our trip to Giverny). An evening on the Champs de Mars and lunch on the roof of Galerie Lafayette.
Jardin des Tuileries
Buttes Chaumont
Bois de Boulogne
Gabrielle, my AEPHi pledge sister, in town for a visit! Early evening in Jardin des Tuileries.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Roof of Galerie Lafayette
Steps of Sacre Coeur
4) TRYING SOMETHING NEW
Ending a day on the Ile Saint Louis (a small island on the Seine a 15 minute walk form Notre Dame). Having lunch and dinner along Rue Mouffetard. Finally visiting Place des Vosges.
Ile Saint Louis
Place des Vosges
3) STREET CREPES
Used to get one daily after first arriving. Lost their novelty eventually. But two months without one gives good enough reason to get back on the trend.

2) REVIST THE FIRST BOULANGERIE I WENT TO AFTER LANDING IN PARIS
I ate my last meal in the states at the Potbelly’s in Dulles airport. A whole wheat, floppy sandwich, layered with tuna and veges—a bit of cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. Comme ci, comme ca—not too bad, not too great. My first meal in Paris, after depositing my four suitcases at the first night’s hotel, was at the boulangerie across the street.  I ordered a baguette and camembert… and then melted, because no way would I ever eat my potbelly’s tuna vege sandwich the same, ever again. The taste: incredible. I went back to the boulangerie that evening to purchase a pear tart. The reaction: the same. To this day, that boulangerie wins for best camembert sandwich and tart. And seeing as the boulangerie is slightly out of the way, I make an effort to stop in if I happen to be in the area.

1) DINE OUT
With my group of American friends leaving Paris, I seized the last two weeks to dine out. While the range of typical Parisian food that I can eat (kosher, so no meat and I tend to stick to only salmon or cod for fish) proves limited, the dining experience forever remains exceptional. A close sorority sister came in town for the weekend, and the two of us ate lunch at a marvelous crepe place right opposite the St. Paul metro stop. Erica, Kathryn, Katie and I ate dinner at an Asian restaurant along Rue Mouffetard in which we watched them create the noodles from scratch.


2 Response to The Paris [as a student abroad] bucket list

January 14, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Wow this is great! I'm planning a trip to Paris this Summer so thanks for all the good ideas!

January 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

No problem! Have a WONDERFUL time in Paris. It's a beautiful city!!!

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