7.21.2014

prepping for paris

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Paris. It's so often dreamed of, spoken about fondly by both those who have visited, and those who can do nothing but wish to. It's hard, at least for my un-traveled mind, to realize that it's actually a real place-not just a set in a movie or paintings on a museum wall. I find myself wondering what it will be like to actually be there. To wake up, see the morning sunshine, and think... I am in Paris, I am actually here... what is that like? Surreal? Nerve wracking? Just another day in the life?

I cannot wait to find out, quite honestly.

Preparations for a week in Paris (along with a week in both Denmark + London) have started to be a little more serious now with only 2 months until go time. Two months. I can hardly believe it--this is a trip my friend + I have been looking forward to for now a year and a half, and it's all beginning to be real. Excuse me while I do a quick happy dance. And freak out a little.

Planning could become my full time job. It is rather time consuming and almost overwhelming at times. So much information! So many ideas! I've had great fun so far though, definitely not complaining about the opportunities that lay ahead--only of my own limited knowledge and expertise. Good thing there are well traveled people out there to help me out. And the internet. And pinterest. ;)

With just a week in each city essentially,  there is no possible way that we can see + do it all. I don't even want to try. So I've spent some time imagining what my own dream vacation is, and what it would involve. Setting aside the tourist-tip-sites (which are wonderful) and all other outside expectations really helps with narrowing down what I'd like to spend time doing in Paris.

My ideal trip is one that goes past only seeing the normal attractions (though doesn't exclude them entirely) and delves deeper into the Parisian everyday. Going off the map a little, and experiencing a little more than standing in line and paying too much for admission. I'd rather pay too much for a pastry. Or two.

I can see myself strolling almost leisurely through streets hopefully not too crowded, making my way past outdoor markets and happy patisserie shops. Sitting quietly in a park, watching the people go by and hearing foreign conversations (oh, French) float around, journaling of the surroundings-the smells, the people, the colors. Then turning around and doing the same things only with a croissant and mug in hand at a cutesy cafe, while music and scents of sweetness fill the air. Biking across the river seine, taking time to smile at the boats that run underneath and to myself after noticing the excitement the other travelers are experiencing & noticing  that same excitement in myself. Browsing through antique shops and more bakeries because I wouldn't want to lose weight from all that walking, y'know. (Lets face it, I'm just excited about the food when it comes to Paris. I only want the food. And I want all of it.) Picnics to be enjoyed slowly, baguettes + cheeses, learning the ways of the subway, photographing the architecture and whatever else surrounds. Watching, looking, finding. Seeing the tried + true attractions; The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Arc de Triomphe, Montmarte, Musee d'Orsey, you know the drill. Kodak moment paradise, for realz, y'all. (Nobody says 'kodak moment' anymore, do they?) I'm excited to get to the top of the Eiffel tower, excited to attend mass at Notre Dame, excited to walk around with artsy folk + tourists (well sorta) through the museums. I look forward to the little moments, and unexpected scenes that will occur. I hope to remember to document those as well as the check-list things.

I've dipped my toes into learning French (I can say four words. Top that.), prepped my wardrobe into looking slightly more European, (black, black and...oh more black.), getting a credit card (terrifying) and starting to get out and walk often to prepare my poor legs to the trauma they'll eventually endure.---I'm still trying to decide if it's worth it to walk up the Eiffel Tower instead of paying for the elevator.... On one hand...bragging rights, on the other hand.... I can barely get up 20 steps without almost dying. Hmm. I mean, you get a break after step number 300 or something. Totally doable right? Also, I've decided that watching the Hunchback of Notre Dame + The Red Balloon count as travel planning. Anybody out there have more recommendations for movies set in France? They're pretty fantastic for...research... ;)

So that's been my spare time lately. Using trip adviser to the max, pinteresting it up (actually not that much because I hate pinterest.) and exploiting the patience  + knowledge of every experienced traveler I know. Learning what I can, enjoying it  all like you wouldn't believe & counting down the days until it all becomes more than ideas and plans. Today we're at 57.

13 comments:

  1. I'm dying over here - SO excited and happy for you! And also wishing we could be travel + photography buddies and traverse Paris (and London!!!) together. I think it goes without saying that you need to take an insane amount of pictures. Are you studying abroad or vacationing? Have fun!!

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    1. If we were traveling partners I'm afraid the world might explode from an overload of awesome...so we'd have to watch out for that kind of thing, but otherwise, FOR REAL YES. (Oh and your fashion tastes would way put mine to shame, but it'd be a great opportunity to learn humility & I'm all about that. Well, I like the idea of it anyways. )

      Pictures, pictures, pictures... You know me, Grace. That won't be an issue. :D

      (Just vacationing! So excited!)

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  2. How thrilling! Have a beautiful holiday. :)

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    1. I KNOWW!!! So incredibly excited!!!


      Thanks so much, I certainly hope too. (But then again, with Europe is there anyway for it to be anything less than beautiful?)

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  3. BUY AN ELEVATOR TICKET, MARIAH. xD Seriously. You'll be walking SO much. (And black. Always black, a good idea. Chic.) Anyway, Mariah, gosh. ♥ I know what you mean about the whole "I can't believe it" thing... when I was going to Italy, I'd look at the globe, spin it from the Midwest in the USA (hah, humble roots, yeah) all the way to Italy, and just wonder A) why the world was round B) why the heck the world was round, and how it was round C) that we're flying from one side of its roundness to the other. Mind-boggling. Anyway. I'll pray for you, and you'll have a lovely, lovely time. ♥

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    1. Attention world: The above comment is my top favorite in the history of ever.

      Peregrin, OKAYY FINE. I'll get a stupid ticket. ;) Seriously though--I have enough black clothing to choke a Parisian. I think that's probably a mortal sin or something so that's an issue. Wonder if there is a patron saint for that....

      You made me laugh throughout that entire comment, but the roundness part had me doubled over from laughing so hard.
      On a seriouser note, not only is it's shape completely overwhelming, but the SIZE! How big earth is! How big all of creation is! I cannot wrap my head around that.... so big....so much world.... wow.

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  4. Watch "Funny Face" with Audrey Hepburn (it's on Netflix). So much Paris. And it's also utterly ridiculous, which is a bonus.

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    1. PERFECT. I'll make a movie night out of it then!! Thank you! ♥

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  5. Oh my gosh, I am so excited for you!!! I've only been to Europe once, and just Italy, so I reeeeaalllyy want to go back and see places like London and Paris! Oh man... the FOOD... that would seriously be the highlight for me too. :) It sounds like you will have a glorious time!!! Isn't all the planning just so exciting? I love that part about trips. So much to pack and plan and dream about. Aaah, I'm dying now... and those pictures. ♥♥♥ Praying that you and your friend will have a safe and awesome trip!

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    1. Katheryn, you are NOT allowed to say "just Italy". ---JUST?! Nuh uh, girl. ;)

      I loved reading through your posts on Italy some time ago. It was your tidbits about Assisi that sent me over the edge and I decided that I absolutely MUST go there at one point. Hopefully within the next couple of years that will be a reality!!

      The planning IS so exciting! It's so fun to come up with little ideas and just imagine how it will all be to BE THERE... to see more than just beautiful pictures off the internet, but to find beautiful things yourself. (and then take pictures of course ;) )

      Thanks for your prayers!!! ♥

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  6. Oh my wordy! How exciting! I've heard it's amazing over there. Two months? That's coming up fast!

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    1. I KNOWWW! Time goes by so quickly.... it scares me a little ;)



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  7. you're gonna love it girl! enjoy every second! I wish I could visit again!

    imsarahgrace

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