These four months in Paris have been beautiful, but Spring Break couldn't come soon enough. I've learned that I am so much stronger and so much more independent than I ever thought I was. That being said, as soon as I saw my mother in the terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport, I immediately regressed back to the child, clinging to her familiar mom. I missed my mom, but I didn't realize quite how much until I got to spend a weekend with her and my sister, along with my aunt and uncle, who came all the way from Vietnam.
Having my relatives over gave me the opportunity to re-do all the touristy things I did at the beginning of the semester. This time however, I was the tour guide, no longer a tourist. It felt great to know where all of the landmarks are, and I couldn't help but giggle when I thought back to how lost I got in Montmartre the first time I came here. The highlight of my day, however, was when I asked for directions, and the shop owner told me, "Tu parles français très bien!"
Because my mom was only in Paris for the first week of my Spring Break, I tried to fit in as much sightseeing as possible. Think of these next few posts as your guide to Paris in a week.
We started our whirlwind tour of Paris in Montmartre, one of my favorite quarters. There's something about the steep hills and the winding roads that make this quarter feel like the Paris that we see in the movies. Montmartre is a very tourist heavy quarter however, and it's a good idea to be extra careful about your belongings. I wore a small backpack to keep my arms free for taking photos, and ended up wearing it in front of me for most of my time in Montmartre. Not a good look.
We spent about half a day in Montmartre, and had lunch there. We ate at a traditional French restaurant, and shared amongst us some well known dishes.
Our next stop was the Eiffel Tower. I am of the opinion that the Eiffel Tower is a little overrated. You are more likely to find me in a small, obscure museum, or walking aimlessly through small parisian streets, purposely getting lost than visiting the Eiffel Tower. That might be why I enjoyed small outdoor market right at the foot of the tower much more than the tower itself.
For a good view of the Eiffel Tower, I recommend taking the metro line 9 to Trocadero. From high up the building here, you have a clear view of the Eiffel Tower, as well as the beautiful fountains and architecture of the Palais de Chaillot.