Being a "Ratto" for 3 days...

10.02.2009 a lot of fun but requires high, high, high energy.

I spent the beginning of this last week (Sunday-Tuesday) with Tom, Mark's dad. I met him in Paris on Sunday morning at 9:30 am (more like 10:30 because I got lost!) and we spent the day running around Paris, sight-seeing, eating and ooh-ing and aah-ing at how beautiful Paris is. On Monday morning, we took a train back to Lyon and spent the day sight-seeing, eating and ooh-ing and aah-ing. Then, Tuesday afternoon, Tom was on his way back to Paris to catch an 8 am flight on Wednesday morning. It was a very quick weekend for us but we did so much in such a little time that it was perfect in every way.

On Sunday, when I finally arrived, we went to breakfast at an omelet place which was sooo good. If I don't cook eggs for myself for breakfast, I never have eggs. I'm sure this place was touristy since they served eggs for breakfast but it was delicious. After that and a café créme, we were off to start the day. We headed to the Louvre first. We walked around the museum (which is HUGE so by "walking around," I mean "walking around for hours") and saw the Mona Lisa, Napoleon's living area, various paintings by Spanish, Italian and French artists. It was wonderful but after a couple hours, we were ready for something else.

[outdoor market along the Seine]

[Tom in front of the Louvre]

[Napoleon's bed...]

[Napoleon's dining table]

[Tom in front of one of the many EXTRAVAGANT rooms of Napoleon]

[Another picture of Napoleon's monstrous dining room]

[The unimpressive Mona Lisa (sorry Da Vinci)]

We walked around a little in Le Jardin Des Tuileries (the garden in front of the Louvre). But we were so hungry so we decided to cut it short and find something to eat. It was rather difficult though because on Sundays, everything is closed. Thankfully, we found a little place near Musée d'Orsay in the Marais area and had 2 great salads.

[Yours truly in a striped shirt looking very French]

After being re-energized, we went to Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, the Seine river, Centre de Pompidou and much, much more that I can't remember right now. After complete exhaustion, we separated (me to my hostel and Tom to his hotel) and took a much needed nap/break/rest. After about an hour and a half, we headed back out for dinner. We ate at this delicious restaurant near the Luxembourg gardens and I had zucchini soup and prawns and Tom had this steak tartar. It was absolutely delicious but unfortunately, I didn't take a picture because I would have felt weird and unsophisticated if I did.

[Me and Tom in front of the Arc de Triomphe]

[Tom under the Eiffel Tower!]

After dinner, we went to the Eiffel Tower and tried to take the elevator to the 3rd floor (top of the tower) but tickets were sold out and the only ones they had available were to the 2nd floor which we decided wasn't worth it. We called it a night and decided to get a good night's rest for our full day in Lyon the next day.

We took a 2-hour bullet train back to Lyon and we had amazingly delicious meals (of course). We probably walked EVERYWHERE in Lyon...our legs were dying. After sitting momentarily by the river to rest our legs, we were up again doing the next thing on the agenda. In the evening, we decided to look for movie times and see what was playing--it was a great way to end an exhausting but action-packed day. I convinced Tom to watch Julie & Julia because it was totally appropriate--a New Yorker in Paris, France. We went and got dinner before the movie and it was probably the most delicious thing ever. I got a pork rib that was so tender, it melted in my mouth. Tom got some lamb dish that had the perfect sauce for dipping French baguettes in. With full bellies, we hurried over to the theater across the street and fully enjoyed the 2-hour break and super entertaining movie.

He left the next day which was another sad day--I had those homesick heart dips again but I realized, it's part of the territory. It's inevitable and I have to accept that these feelings will just happen...any time friends or family (which is what I consider Tom) visit, it's going to be difficult when they leave.

Being in Paris actually taught me a lot, or I should say, opened my eyes to a couple of things. First, I realized that I really have improved in French. It's hard to tell when I'm going to difficult classes and sitting next to smart French students who speak French impeccably. But in Paris, where you don't have to speak any French because everyone speaks English, my growth/process became very apparent. When I did speak French, the Parisians responded with enthusiasm and thankfulness. Then, I had a confidence boost and my French got even better. The second thing I realized is how "at home" I feel in Lyon. I didn't feel like I was really comfortable in Lyon before I left for Paris but being there and not knowing where I was going or what was in Paris, Lyon suddenly felt like "home" which was something I really needed.

It's Friday and I feel great. Right now, I'm going to the mall (uh-oh) and then, tonight I'm having a few friends over to celebrate the end of the week. Tomorrow, I'm going to an outdoor market and then a hip-hop exhibition. It should be a great weekend in Lyon :-)

Until next time, ciao.

bisou <3


Mom said...

Ummmmm. Do you ever eat anything that isn't wonderful, amazing, unbelievable, delicious, etc., etc.?

So not fair!

Susan said...

I wouldn't mind a shot of "Ratto" about now. Much to do but not enough energy. Got any bottled?

eileen said...

liz! I absolutely love your blog! you are a great writer and when writing about Paris, it's def worth putting off the reading for my rwanda class! When you get back we must def. chat! :) my summer trip to paris and your amazing trip to lyon has def. inspired me to study abroad next fall! I'm trying to decide: Lyon vs. Bordeaux! hope you continue to have loads of fun, eat lots of yummy food and keep bloggin! :D take care! p.s. your apt looks magnificent! :)

yojamie said...

great post, miss you liz so so much. glad yoru having such an adventurous time! and with marks dad! how amazing! take care of youself beautiful!