Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where in the World Wednesday: Paris, 2002

It's Classy in Philadelphia's Where in the World Wednesday!

The idea of WITWW is to post a picture of you in someplace in the world... it doesn't have to be somewhere foreign or tropical. Just a picture of you somewhere that you consider traveling. It might even be somewhere in your own hometown!
After my MSU study abroad program's day trip to Wales, I was anxious to get back to London to prepare for another trip--this time a weekend jaunt to Paris for Bastille Day, July 12-14, 2002. After going to France in high school, getting back during my study abroad trip was a priority of mine. That I was able to plan my return for a holiday weekend and get twelve other people from my program to come along was an added bonus.

Unfortunately for us, things didn't go well on this trip. On the first day, one girl forgot her passport and had to get a later Chunnel train, our hotel flooded necessitating a move to a different hotel, and we got lost late at night when the Métro had shut down and our cab driver dumped us off in the rain at some random street corner nowhere near our replacement hotel.

That day had its nice moments, though, like chilling on the grass near the Eiffel Tower:

Please do not judge me for my seriously questionable choice of shirt.

The whole France group minus the girl who was taking the picture.

We did eventually find our way back to the hotel that night, after I took charge of the situation and used my superb linguistic skills to get directions at a McDonald's. The night had deteriorated to the point that one of the girls was about to have a panic attack and another was falling-down drunk, so we were all glad to just go to bed.

The next day started out well enough, with some sightseeing, shopping with the hoity-toity people on the Avenue des Champs Elysées, and dinner at an Italian restaurant, but things quickly soured when we went out that night to see the Bastille Day fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. I somehow lost my Métro ticket on the train over there and got slapped with a 20-euro fine that I had to borrow money to pay. When the subway police finally let me go and we got up to street level, the crowd was out of control and people were throwing little exploding noisemakers at us. We found the other half of our group, who'd been waiting for us at the Eiffel Tower, and they said things were even worse there--they'd had firecrackers thrown at them and one guy had nearly gotten into a fistfight. Were we that obviously American? To this day I can't figure out why we were targeted--it was before the U.S. military invaded Iraq, French people started hating Americans, and the U.S. House of Representatives changed French fries to freedom fries. Needless to say, we hightailed it back to our hotel before any more trouble could find us and we were all happy to say au revoir to Paris the next morning.

I still love France, though, and I'll never forget that weekend, the good and the bad! Plus, I took some of my favorite pictures of the whole trip there:

I'll be back Paris, you wait and see. And next time, I'm bringing my husband. Stockpile your firecrackers.


Anonymous said...

I weep, I weep...

My husband and I were also in Paris in 2002 - but in August. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CITY!!

We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night, and I CRIED MY FOOL EYES OUT.

I will also get back there someday, maybe you and me can meet and share a bottle of wine at a nice cafe somewhere... :-)

Angela Noelle said...

Paris is my latest dream destination... I just feel so certain that I would love it!

Bayjb said...

I don't judge the travel abroad fashion. I saw a picture of me overseas in 2000 and nearly passed out from the bad decisions. Love the photo looking up into the Eiffel Tower!

Classy in Philadelphia said...

Wait, I missed this one too?! Wtf is wrong with I seriously missing these or did you not add your link? LOL. Sorry!

Oh Paris, I do not like. I got food poisoining there :(