Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day Four: Mona Lisa's Smile

June 3, 2011
8 a.m.= Bonjour. I grabbed Grace and we headed out of the hostel in search of Paris’s Opera house. From the Opera, we walked to the place Vendome, a ritzy square equipped with fancy stores and ornate windows in every attic.  From there, we hit the Place de la Concorde that is home to the Obelisk as well as the guillotine that killed Marie-Antoinette, among countless others. Claire, one of our ESA professors, took the group on the scenic route. We crossed the Siene River and strolled through the gorgeous Jardin de Tuileries before entering the Louvre. The Louvre was absolutely unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to quite a few museums before, but WOW. I understand there’s no way I could completely appreciate the pieces of art showcased there and my knowledge of art is limited, but nonetheless- I could have easily spent days in there. And yes, I will confirm that Mona’s half cracked smile and eyes follow you wherever you go. The Mona Lisa itself was much smaller than I imagined from the numerous prints and copies, but it is definitely bigger than your typical 11X17. Stunning. However, I must admit that Nike was my favorite piece. After the Louvre, we had a touch of free time, so a bunch of us trekked back down by the Opera in search of a cafe, crepes, and shopping.  Claire reached her Parisian goal; then, we sat down for a bit in a café for a banana/chocolate crepe and water. Not from a tap though, oh no. Even though we distinctly asked for it three times. Typical. Next, we wandered into H&M- where we all scattered; I ended up finding Hannah, so we scooted off into the LaFayette Department Stores. I bought a coral, keyhole top in Zara (thanks for the heads up Katie! Their stuff is super classy:]). After, we navigated the metro to the Crimee stop and St. Christopher’s where I rearranged my suitcase, chilled, updated, uploaded, and chilled.  BREAKING NEWS: We found out that Claire was in a pharmacy by the Opera, as a male tried to rob it for drugs… absolutely crazy. For sure. I was just relieved she was okay. We ate at 9- then after we all planned to go out to a bar/club. We trekked down to a bar that part of the group went to the previous night. However, the majority of us were sadly disappointed with the bar; we headed back to the hostel- others tried their luck with a salsa club a local Parisian told them about. At around 2 a.m., some guys knocked on our door (I’m sure whichever girl opened the door thought it was some our girls who decided to go to the club trying to get back in) and said they were looking for “Natasha”- Brandy got out of bed to show them the door when their “Natasha pleas” got out of hand. Those guys wouldn’t leave our entire floor alone for quite some time… that lasted until about 4 a.m. Sweet dreams, eh?

“Guess who took one in the Louvre today” – BLD

Grace and I makin' moves by the Obelisk

Nike of Samothrace

Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

Texas A&M.

The Louvre

Department Store in Paris

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