Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving!

My life is complete. Whenever I order hot chocolate at a restaurant, I'm always expecting some unbelievably rich concoction that tastes more like molten chocolate than a drink. I am always sorely disappointed. Until today.


This hot chocolate was the best thing I've ever had. I had two and a half cups, and I'm sure I could've had more. It's very expensive (6,80 a cup) but completely worth it. The place is called Angelina, as you can see, and it's at 226 rue de Rivoli across from the Tuileries gardens.

After we got hot chocolate, we made our way over to the Hard Rock Café for a good Thanksgiving meal. It was a LOT of food. I mean, I really think that I can eat quite a bit for my size, but I could not finish my plate, and I was absolutely stuffed. The appetizer was corn chowder soup, which had crispy corn chips and cheese and was very good, followed by the main course of turkey, stuffing, broccoli, and mashed potatoes (which were made with a good amount of brie), with gravy and cranberry sauce. Dessert was traditional pumpkin pie, and the meal was served with a glass of chilled red wine (odd, but true). It was good.

Personally, I really like the fall holiday season. You've got Halloween, which means costume parties and chocolate, then Thanksgiving, which means lots of good food and normally, Uncle Phil's lobster, and then the mother of all holidays, Christmas, which means lights and ice skating and presents and magic and snow, and New Year's Eve wraps it all up with a nice clean cut from one year to the next (theoretically). It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Louvre, at last

Thank God Graham and Nadine are visiting, because if they hadn't come, I don't know how much longer it would've taken me to get to the Louvre. I must say, I do not understand why the Mona Lisa is such a big deal. It's just a small portrait of some random androgynous-looking woman. I don't think art historians think it's a big deal, and if they don't, then how did it even become famous? I don't get it.

We actually did a lot today, I think, especially since we walked the whole way. I met them under the Eiffel Tower after they had come down, we got lunch at a bakery around school, we checked out Invalides, took pictures of the Musée d'Orsay, went inside Notre Dame, got Berthillon ice cream, went to the Louvre where I got my free pass, walked up to Montmartre and had dinner, then eventually got to Sacré Cœur, which is even prettier at night. Then we walked around the Place de Tertres, which is actually kind of nice when there aren't so many tourists you can barely walk. In between dinner and Sacré Cœur, I met this family I may be babysitting for, but I need to get some kind of work permit, so I don't know if that will really pan out. We'll see. Anyway, here are pictures.

This is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which Napoleon had built to celebrate a military victory (I don't know which one).

Candide is enjoying his spot by the fountain in front of I.M. Pei's glass pyramid.

Candide doesn't understand why she's such a big deal either. I mean, when you see this picture, you notice Candide first, right?

Venus de Milo

The Louvre again, at night. Or rather, when it's dark, since it was only 6:00 I think.

Sacré Cœur at night

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pub crawl

Ciara came to visit over the weekend, and it was amazing. We saw Supergrave (which makes it the 4th time I have seen that film) and went on a pub crawl. We got very drunk. In fact, Ciara fell down while we were running to catch the Metro, which was stupid to begin with, since it was definitely after service had ended. Ciara's solution was to cut in line at the taxi station, which I went along with and am thankful for. The other people on the pub crawl with us were pretty nice. There was a group of 3 friends that we were talking to, which was interesting because they were very diverse: Alex (Irish-Italian-Canadian), Eduardo (Spanish), and Nicolas (French). So at various times, I was speaking Spanish, French, and English, and Ciara was speaking French and English, and briefly, German. There were also two law students from Texas, who told me that it's your first-year grades but your second-year summer that matter, and some guy from UNC. Good times were had by all, and now I have a list of bars to check out in Dublin.

I am both excited and anxious about visiting 6 countries in the next 6 weeks, because while it will be the best experience I've ever had, I will also be extremely exhausted.

I don't want to go to school tomorrow. The thought depresses me greatly.

Also, this is the one (1) clear picture I took from the Gogol Bordello concert. It is from the end of the concert when half the audience was on the stage and had lifted the lead singer in a crowd-surfing way.