Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Well, we are back from our first real excursion from Bulgaria.  Paris was amazing!!  We had such a nice time!  We enjoyed "civilization" for a couple days and were able to see some sights and most importantly, eat some GOOD food!!  We also enjoyed seeing some real diversity which we don't get to see too much in these parts. It was hard to come back. 

We booked our flight on a cheap airline and had to fly into an airport about an hour outside of Paris.  We then hopped onto a bus to make our way into the city.  But, before we left Bulgaria our flight was delayed for about an hour. It felt like an eternity.  The terminal was freeeezing cold and something out of the 1960's.  There was NOTHING there and time ticked by.  We were finally boarded onto a shuttle bus that took us to our plane.  Boarding was mass chaos.  What we didn't realize is that there are no assigned seats on these flights and you board both from the front and back of the plane.  People were literally running up the stairs to the airplane to get the "best" seats.  People who boarded from the front of the plane made their way to the back and vice versa.  As I said, chaos.  We made our way to the middle of the plane where there were plenty of empty rows of seats.    We learned both on our way there and on the way back that the entire plane erupts into applause when landing.  Not sure why, but it sure makes me wonder....We didn't check any bags and on the way back, in France, they made me put my carry on suitcase into the little bin to be sure it fit.  I have NEVER EVER had to do this before? Have you?  What bag actually fits into that little bin?  Anyway, there were very serious about all of these rules and Matt had to wear a blazer and 2 coats through security so that we would only have one carry on each (that fit into the little bucket.)  If you have a purse, that's considered your one carry on.  Crazy. 

Anyway, so once we actually got to Paris everything was amazing.  This is the view from our hotel room:

We saw most of the top sites and visited the Louvre in record breaking time.  We were in and out in about an hour.  Ha.  Apparently we aren't cultured enough to truly appreciate art.  We saw everything we wanted to see, and didn't rush but it just did not take us long to see things.  At the Mona Lisa, we even walked around the room to see if her eyes were following us.  I'm sure people thought we were crazy! 

 We went to see Notre Dame but we didn't make it up to the top for the city views and a closer look at the gargoyles.  We were both bummed about this but the line was too long and we were hungry.  The cathedral has gargoyles jolting out from all of the church...I thought this was really cool.  Of course, I dot zero pictures!!

 We visited the Eiffel Tower and even went in/on it.  For some reason the very top was closed (which was totally fine with me!)  Except, I so badly wanted a glass of champagne and a photo from the top.  We weren't able to find champagne on the second level.  Such a bummer!!

We had amazing food as well.  We went totally french our first day and started our morning with Cafe Au Laits and Crossaints, we had baquettes for lunch, a fresh eclair in the afternoon and a real french meal for dinner.  My dinner included chilled herring.  Very interesting.  By the next day we went totally American.  We went to Hard Rock Cafe and we were like kids in a candy store!!  I must say that I used to think it was silly for people to go on vacation and eat at a place like Hard Rock, but when you live in Bulgaria and don't have access to such delicious food it's totally on!  We enjoyed every bit of our entirely over priced real fountain sodas, Coors Lights, nachos, sandwiches, etc.  Then that evening, we had Thai food!  It was all so yummy!!

Some of the highlights/interesting parts of our trip were:
  • Seeing a high speed chase between a guy on a little scooter and the cops
  • Seeing two young men run after another younger men (I'm thinking because he tried to steal something?)
  • Seeing a true lovers quarrel outside of our restaurant on the first night that lasted for probably close to an hour
 Funny Story...while we were there I was obsessed with going to Hermes just to see the beautiful scarves in person.  I secretly thought it would be a great little souvenier to bring home with me-right? On our last day I went into the store to look, the sales clerk was surprisingly nice and pulled out at least 20 scarves for me to see.  Matt was waiting outside with our luggage.  I tried on scarves, held them, looked at them, I was in love!  I then told the gentelman helping me that I need to go get my husband to get his opinion.  I went outside to get Matt and he thought that I would have purchased one, but I just didn't have it in me.  They are certainly pricey.  But I didn't know what to do, how to go back in to tell the man that I appreciated his help but that today just wasn't that day that I was going to purchase one of his beautiful and exquiste scarves just before I hopped onto my tour bus to make it to the airport for my budget airline flight.  So, what is the reasonable thing to do?  Just walk away and never go back.  I felt like such a poser and talked about it for the rest of the afternoon.  That lovely man at the beautiful store is probably thinking "cheap American who wasted my time!!"  Maybe one day I'll have one of the beautiful scarves, and when/if I do, I shall wear it always!!  I still feel stupid about just leaving....

Oh well, now it's back to reality and time to get back into the swing of things.  Although, I'm secretly wasting my afternoon away daydreaming of our next European weekend away!!