Monday, March 30, 2009

Highlights from the Niece's Trip

My 15 year-old niece came to visit me last week in Paris over her spring break -- something I promised her six years ago when I first left home to go to university. I was really excited for her to come and I was desperate to show her around Paris, and still blissfully unaware of the burdens of guardianship.
As the week wore on, I discovered exactly how difficult it can be to manage a teenager. God bless my mom and sister for making it through the whole parenting thing alive; at this point, I'm fairly certain it's not for me. However, there were a lot of great things about having her here. I really did enjoy taking her to new places and introducing her to new foods, drinks, and practices.

Of course, we did the standards - the Arc de Triomphe, La Defense, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. But I think she'd agree with me when I say that some of the best parts of the trip were the things we did that were off the beaten path or that took just a little longer than the average tourist is willing to spend on one sight.

1) The Conciergerie: a palace-turned-prison, famous for housing thousands of criminals during the French revolution; notably Marie Antoinette.

2) The 80 bus ride: a great bus route that shows you some of the most beautiful sites of Paris for practically nothing. We rode it by mistake but didn't regret a minute.

3) A walk through Chatelet: it's really quite beautiful above ground and it's right next to the Centre Georges Pompidou (which is also worth a stop).

4) Taste testing macarons: though hard to find in the United States, these little babies are
definitely worth the search. For those of you with access to macarons, you already know how delish these are.

5) A post-Louvre stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries: if you can hit this place at the right time, there's no better park to visit in Paris.

6) Dinner at St-Michel: while the food isn't great, it's cheap and the spectacle is worth the trip. There are so many shops, restaurants, and people milling about that boredom is a physical impossibility.

7) The Mesopotamian area of the Louvre: possibly coolest, most laid-back area I've visited in the Louvre. I highly recommend this.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Five Things That Happened This Weekend (in brief)

Ok, we'll go ahead and start this blog with babysteps.

Five things that happened to me this weekend:

1) I forgot to get groceries on Saturday, so on Sunday when all the stores were closed, I was forced to eat plain tortillas for dinner. Actually, it wasn't as disgusting as it sounds.

2) The cat that lives with me tore the cover off of my new book. This is book #2 that he has severely injured.

3) My 15 year old niece analyzed my wardrobe and found it "old-ladyish".

4) After taking my niece to visit the Eiffel Tower this weekend, I led us to the busstop for the bus going the wrong direction, which I did not realize for at least 5 stops.

5) I did my taxes (and I'm getting a refund!)

Trying Again

I have tried unsuccessfully to keep a blog twice. Third time's the charm, right?