Picturesque Paris!

Hola amigos,

So I’m about a month and a half behind on the blog, but figured I should finish it up before I head off to Asia for the summer or I will never ever catch up haha. For this blog post, I’m going to talk about the last leg of our Eurotrip from April 22nd – April 25th in Paris, France.

Paris was awesome.

Ollie, Sean, Kari and I took an early morning bus ride from Amsterdam to Paris. The bus was 7 hours long, and we were extremely excited when we finally arrived at around 5pm. In Paris, we were fortunate enough to be staying at Nick’s apartment in Paris. Was so glad we had the opportunity to stay at his place, and that his parents were there as I believe it really made our trip to Paris so much better than it would have been had we been staying in a hostel again.

Since I found out freshman year of college, Nick and I had always talked about his place in Paris and how we were going to go party there at some point. It was one of those things that I figured we would always talk about, but never thought would actually happen. As you can imagine we were super excited to get there and check his place out!

We took the metro from the bus station over towards Nick’s house, met up with Hirsh, and then headed off to see the Pendery Palace!

Right off the metro, We’re in Paris!

The neighborhood the apartment is in is lovely, and on our walk over to his place we ran into Nick’s parents, Beth and David, who happened to be in Paris at the same time as us. They were sitting at a little café, which we quickly learned was their favorite spot. Was so glad that the Pendery’s were in Paris at the same time as us, as they were incredible hosts and helped make our trip to Paris as special as it was.

Our gracious hosts Beth & David at their favorite cafe!

The apartment was on the fourth floor, and after what felt like a million stairs in the spiral staircase, we made it up to the apartment. It was a cozy 1 bedroom apartment, that had been beautifully decorated and re-modeled over the course of the 40 years that the family has had the apartment. Upon entering, for the first time since I had been in Europe I felt at home, and was excited to begin exploring Paris.

The Pendery Palace

After serving us some French baguettes and delicious cheese, the Penderys generously offered to take us on a sunset boat cruise of the city. As with the rest of our eurotrip, we were blessed with absolutely perfect weather during our time in Paris, and this evening was no different.The boat we went on was the famous tourtist boat called the Bateaux-Mouches.

Nick’s dad David had actually gone to high school in Paris, and comes to Paris for nearly 3 months of the year making him pretty much a local. As a result, he played tourguide for us on the cruise. He did such an awesome job that a random lady actually joined our group and started asking him questions about random buildings that he happily answered haha.

Gorgeous sunset

Government building?

Awesome

Does anyone know what this structure is?

Eiffel Tower at night!

After the boat cruise, we headed back to the Pendery’s and got ready for the evening. Shane, Gavin, Nick, Sean and I were all staying at Nick’s place, while Ollie and Hirsh were staying with a friend we made in our friend Trixie who we had met in our hostel in Italy. We all met up, and then went with Trixie and her friends to a couple random bars, bought some overpriced beers, and had a good time. At some pointon our walk home to Nick’s place, we engaged in a drunken political debate and Gavin grabbed my camera and went nuts. He took something like 75 pictures of us during our discussion which were rather amusing to go through the next morning haha.

Cheers to Paris and good friends!

Amigos!

Outside Notre Dame!

Day 2

The next afternoon, Nick’s parents had planned a lovely lunch for us. They made delicious sandwiches made with French bread, some fabulous cheese, and much more and we headed off down by the river to bask in the sun and eat our sandwiches. To make things even better, they had even brought us cold French beer! While we were eating, Gavin and Shane managed to sit in a wet spot by the river which was pretty amusing as we quickly determined that the liquid had to have been urine based on the foul odor they were carrying around with them for the next hour or so haha.

On our way to the river

Doesn’t get much better than this

After lunch, Nick’s parents went to check out an art museum, and we took off to see paris. We went to les Champs Elysses, which is an extremely famous street in Paris that I have always wanted to visit after watching the Darjeeling limited (An Owen Wilson/Jason Schwartzmann movie about India and brothers) because they played this awesome song called Les Champs Elysses that I’ve been obsessed with ever since. We went into the Swarovski and Mercedes stores to look at items we can’t quite afford just yet, and were thoroughly entertained by the line forming outside the Louis Vitton store, providing a quick reminder that we were in one of the fashion capitals of the world haha.

So cool

Woo woo

“Very bad trip 2″…the French name of the Hangover haha

After our long day exploring, we were excited to get back home as David and Beth had planned a dinner party for us at the apartment. David made a delicious lamb stew, and the Penderys had invited a couple of their friends over who lived in Paris and the party was on.

Lamb Stew!

No this is not a photo…Nick’s dad painted this!

Their friends were a mother daughter combo, unlike any other I’ve ever met before in the most outrageous/best possible ways and I was happy to have met them. We must have gone through 8 bottles of wine between us all, making for some solid conversation. Hadn’t really drank with parents before, but really had a great time exchanging stories. God only knows how much food we devoured as we were stuffing our faces with healthy portions of pasta and stew, along with the savory French cheese and baguettes. We all had such a great time that the night actually got me rather excited to start having fancy dinner parties at friends houses as we get older in the near future.

Dinner PArty!

After dinner, we went out to meet up with our friend Trixie and her amigos from Paris. We went to a whack Irish pub that I couldn’t get into due to potentially racist black bouncers, which I found rather interesting. Following that whole fiasco, we went to a small bar and grabbed some mugs and hung out there for a while before heading back home.

Day 3

On our 3rd day in Paris, we had to say goodbye to our dear friend Gavin who had to get back to Vienna, Austria. It was an amazing experience getting to meet up with him after 8 months, and at that in Europe! Him being fluent in French definitely helped our Paris experience, and I’m looking forward to seeing him again in the US after I get back from Asia.

Peace Gavin!

After saying adios to Gavin, we had to hit the one spot in Paris we hadn’t seen just yet. The Eiffel Tower. We met up with Ollie and Hirsh, and began our climb of the tower. As you’d expect, the area was flooded with tourists and so while we were waiting in line I picked up a pair of sweet sunglasses from an illegal street vendor.

Eiffel Tower!

New shades!

The tower provided some absolutely stunning views of the city! We stayed up there for a while soaking in the sights, and then headed back down.

Maryland in Paris

Sitting on the Eiffel tower lawn were our friends Trixie, Isabella, and Laura waiting for us, and so we all plopped down on the lawn. We must have been out there for nearly 3 hours. Sitting on the lawn looking out at Eiffel tower, IN PARIS, with hundreds of people around all enjoying the afternoon, was an absolutely surreal experience.
Perfect day

Saw a wedding!

Trixie had asked the guy sitting a few feet from us if we could borrow his guitar so that sean could play us some songs, and he happily agreed. After some prodding and peer pressure, Sean ended up playing a few songs, and then Shane did the same!

Sean playin some tuness

Shane’s turn

The guy who’s guitar it was and his friend came over and they were really interesting awesome people. I believe they were from Argentina, and were traveling around Europe just as we were, albeit without a study abroad program. Once our new Argentinian friend got his guitar back, he gave shane maracas that he randomly carried around with him, and started busting out some awesome Spanish songs. At some point he played some Manu Chao, one of my favorite Hispanic artists, and we were all singing and jamming along to the songs.

Argentinian friend

Surreal

The experience was absolutely unforgettable, and impossible to describe in words. It was one of the moments where it hit me what an incredibly blessed life it is that I am leading, and how fortunate I am to be able to have such incredible experiences such as this one.

We headed back to Nick’s after the lawn, and got ready for dinner. As it was Ollie, Sean and my last night in Paris, we figured it would only be right for us to splurge a bit on a traditional French dinner. All of our meals were delicious, and after dinner Nick, Ollie and I stopped at a picturesque French café and sat down for beers at a table outside.

Dinner

My meal!

Goodbye, Paris!

The whole day was a perfect ending to a perfect vacation at the Pendery palace in Paris!

Cheers!

-Sahil

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