Family Arrives 6/14/2012
To recap: On 13th or so, my dad (by himself) arrived to Paris for a conference and we spent a few days together before my whole family (except Emi) arrived in Paris. Like always, we walked around Paris and enjoyed the parks and beautiful sights. On Friday evening (the 14th) we went on a boat dinner that his conference had set up for them. It was really great - we rode with his coworkers on a boat which was essentially a nice restaurant, where they served us champagne, an appetizer, the main course, desert and even coffee at the end! We ate and talked as we rode past all the famous spots on La Seine; it was very beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t have the pictures of that, but my dad does, maybe I’ll post them later if I happen to get them.
That same night my mom, sister and Adam got to Paris and we met up with them after the boat ride; they had come from Italy, where they spent most of their vacation (Paris was the last branch of the trip so to speak). It was really nice to finally meet up with my family again; it was then that I noticed that I had actually missed them a lot - something that I had yet to really experience in my life, since I’m always close to them and I see them every week. It was a huge relief and it made me happy to finally be with them - not to mention the fact that I was with people, period! I had been alone for almost a month, which is nice for the most part, because I get to do whatever I want and stuff, but I had missed socializing, interacting, and other things. It was great to finally talk about my experiences, ask about theirs, and just even watch TV and laugh about things.
Anyways, as you read on the last post, the next day we went to Giverny. The day after that we started doing a ton of sightseeing in most of the famous spots - something that I had not done yet so that I could specifically do it with them. On the second day together we decided to start off walking and see where that took us. The apartment that they were renting was in the north (by Republique), and very close to the famous Centre Pompidou - a modern art museum (which I have yet to see…), so, naturally, we went to that area first. Like all of Paris, this area is full of small streets which are very old and traditional, which was very nice. Right next to Centre Pompidou, there is a big pedestrian street with bistros, cafes, book stores, and all that jazz; we walked around that area after picking up some amazing pastries and sandwiches at a nearby local patisserie (bread/pastry bakery). I think that that is my favorite characteristic of Paris - the fact that there are many places like that, which are (but not restricted to) pedestrian streets lined by cafes, bistros, and small local shops - it’s such a nice thing to experience and observe. There’s nothing like having a small coffee on the sidewalk with somebody and just talking and people watching, it’s almost like a French past-time :-P. It’s a great way to enjoy the people, the architecture, the fresh air and weather (hopefully enjoy it), and everything that we tend to ignore when we are stuck inside of our house with our AC’s blasting because of the heat. Enjoying the outdoors and the city’s (or garden’s) beauty is something that I have learned to do here, and appreciate very much. I find myself wanting to go outside and loath being inside on my computer (to my fairness, it’s late right now so it’s okay that I am spending a lot of time on the computer writing this post! haha).
After that area, we ended up at the famous Opera, which is an enormous and beautiful building located in the north side of the river (North West Central Paris? Haha). It was actually very, very impressive because, not only was it very beautiful and well-kept, it was huuggeee! It amazed me that there was only one stage in that entire building, haha. Upon further inspection (in the Musee d’Orsay they have a model of it with a cross-section) I realized that a large part of the Opera is comprised of fancy “pre”rooms, big rooms where I’m sure parties were held and such. The stage is an extremely huge structure too; it has a basement and top area which are about 3 stories high each (my estimate, could be completely wrong). The area in which the Opera is located is also a pretty chic part of town, so it was cool to see all of the fancy clothing and jewelry stores, as well as the famous Galeries Lafayette shopping mall.
From the Opera, we walked to the Jardin du Tuileries, which is a giant park/garden (much like the Jardin du Luxembourg) in front of the Louvre Museum. This garden is so big and so beautiful (Again, sorry for the number of times that I use the word “beautiful”)! It really surprises me as to how large, yet well kept, these gardens are; they are such a nice touch to Paris, which can sometimes be too much of a large city. They are a great place to get away from it all, sit back, and relax/read a book while enjoying an incredible view.
Thus concludes my first two days with the family. I will be posting two picture sets that correspond with this post! Then I have to post about the last days and upload the corresponding pictures (should be the same format - one written part with two uploaded sets). After that, I start posting about when Josh came! And THEN Portugal! So much to do! Anyways, I hope you are enjoying these!