Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Adventure a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?

The very best thing about being in Paris is that every day is an adventure. Sometimes it is a deliberate adventure, ie you have to create the adventure yourself. But this fact applies to every place you are. It really is true, everyday can be a little extraordinary. I plan to continue this tradition even when I am back in the States. Just because I happen to be in an exciting city doesn’t mean the excitement began when I got here and will end when I leave. I have always been a fan of going out and doing stuff (the movie ‘Yes Man’ kind of changed my life. Pathetic? May be, but don’t judge). PA, NE, UT, AZ (all states I’ve lived in at some point during the last two years), all great states if you are a little creative, some more than others (NE, AZ: must be extremely creative. UT: great for bus adventures and indie music. SLC is one sweet city if you explore it a little bit. PA was awesome without even trying)

So you may ask, what adventures have you gone on this week? Two words: Banque Postal, aka the post office. Who knew that sending packages with a language barrier to boot could be so exciting? My roommate and I had to tromp all over our beloved Le Vesinet to find an open post. Then Maddie had to go in search of packing tape and boxes whilst I guarded the precious candies and berets to be sent to her dear friends and family back in the States. Getting concerned looks from the postal workers, braving the awkward looks from the natives and then being offered a room in which to prepare the packages was quite the event. We finally got everything squared away and successfully sent 4 packages to travel the open sea and deliver their packaged goodies to a lucky few. It only took about 45 mins plus walking time and also gave us an extra 7,000 steps to add to the pedometer Maddie dutifully wears each day. And so every adventure can include a step count. Today’s would be right around 11,000 adventurous steps around the greater Paris metropolitan area.

Me trying to tame the packages in the corner Maddi and I took over in the post

Success! 4 carefully tapped packages ready to go

An adventure just isn't an adventure with out some fake tattoos. Complements of what I assume to be the French equivalent of Bazooka bubble gum
All inked up, Maddie and I
Another wonderful thing happened this week. I got to meet up with friend who I have not seen in 4 ½ years. When I was 17 my family and I had a foreign exchange student stay with us. I spent every day of that month with Arthur and have kept in contact with him ever since. I’ve been planning to come to Paris ever since I took my first French class sophomore year of high school, and now that I’m here in his home town I finally got to see him after years of only communicating by email.

We met just on the other side of the street from the L’arc de Triomphe. I was surprised that I recognized him! He looked the same only a little older. I’m sure he thought the same thing. It was amazing getting to see the city from the top of the Arc and being shown Paris by a native Parisian.

At the Arc. Crowded as always
Huge! Did you know?
La Defence: the business center of Paris. The square building is called the Grand Arch

Arthur pointing out all the goodies in the city
Lovely avenue in Paris

Arthur and Me. Just like old times

Eternal Flame for the Unknown Soldier
He showed me the church he has been attending since he was a little kid. A beautiful cathedral with incredible murals, not to mention stained glass.
Gorgeous! I never get sick of walking into cathedrals!

Then he showed me his home, which really is only a short walk away from the Arc de Triumph. One thing that struck me as I wondered around his flat was a proud connection with the past. My friend Arthur didn’t just have current family pictures hanging in his home, he had pictures of his grand, great grand, and even great great great grandparents. He even had a coat of arms. Legit.
Adorable garden on Arthur's street

The view Arthur gets to wake up to every morning. Needless to say, I am completely jealous

Arthur's own personal Coat of Arms
Arthur's Great Great..... Grandpa
Another even more Great Grandpa

I love this shot. Classic decoy duck set in front of an original still life
I love it here. Even well into my 4th week, I still wake up every day excited to take the RER into Paris. The novelty luckily has yet to wear off and it really feels like it never will. So, here’s to Paris and an adventure every day.

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