June 15, 2011
la fin (the end)

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to finish this! I knew I said I didn’t want to write once I got back to the States, but I ended up staying out my last night until the metro reopens at 5:30 am and then had to leave for the airport at 7 am, so I didn’t have any time to write. And since I have been back, it’s been crazy busy! 

But here’s a recap of my last day in Paris. I spent the morning at home cleaning and packing. I was actually really impressed with my packing abilities and didn’t have to buy any extra bags! And when I got to the airport, my checked suitcase was 0.1 kilograms under weight! Go me! My dad was so proud! After my morning at home, I was ready to get out and see the city for one last day. I took a guided tour (in English) of the Opera Garnier, the home of the Paris Opera Ballet. It was such a beautiful building!! I just walked around, pretending that I was a ballerina getting ready for rehearsal. It was magical! I also think I was the youngest person in the group by 30 years. Ha..I have an old soul. 

After the tour, Armando met up with me by the Opera and we ran some last minute errands..most important one was buying some macarons from Laudree to bring home for my family (and me)! Mmmm so delicious! Eventually, we headed over to La Defense, the “skyscraper” area in Paris. It was a bit disappointing actually. It didn’t feel like you were in Paris at all. And it made us so sad to go home because we knew that was what we were going home to. So we were there for maybe 30 minutes before we decided to go back to the “real” Paris, as we referred to it. 

Once back in the “real” Paris, we wandered around the Champs-Elysees and I enjoyed my last French crepe. I was trying to absorb as much as I could, storing it in my memory forever. We then parted ways to go to our respective homes for dinner. And my dinner with Gersende and Alex was fabulous, as I knew it would be! I noticed just how comfortable we all were with each other, which is such a great feeling. We enjoyed a fantastic Gersende meal, which I’m really going to miss! Because it was a special occasion, Gersende brought out this secret bottle of alcohol that I had never noticed before. Her and Alex explained that it was called Mirabelle, and it was illegal. It was pretty much pure alcohol, only slightly tinted with an apple flavor. It was intense! I’m not surprised it is illegal! But those French find a way around everything! We had planned on going out for a drink afterwards, but we were all pretty tired, so we decided to have “family game night” at home. It was perfect! We played Taboo, in French! And let me tell you, that game is not easy to play in your second language! But I feel like I did pretty well and it was really fun!! Eventually, Gersende and Alex went off to bed and I got ready for my night on the town.

Earlier that day, Armando and I decided it would be a good idea to just stay up all night and watch the sunrise. Why not!? I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Paris again and sleep is for the weak. We invited our two Danish friends, Isabella and Caroline, and we met up at Notre-Dame around 12:30 am. We wandered around the St. Germain area which has great late night eating. Everyone, but me, got some delicious looking pitas and we ate them by the seine. After a little relaxation time by the river, Armando and I walked the Danes home, which was by the Opera, a decent walk from where we were. Once we dropped them off, it was around 3:30 am and we had about 2 more hours until the sun would begin to rise. So we walked back to the St. Germain area and found a 24 hour cafe (I didn’t know those existed in Paris until that day!). We enjoyed some hot chocolate and omlettes while the sun began to lighten. By the time we were finished at the cafe, it was time to watch the sunrise! We walked along the seine, taking in the sights and the sounds of the city, for the last time for me. It was a really great way to spend my last night in Paris.

Once the metro opened back up, I had to head home to do a few last minute things and then head off to the airport. It was so hard saying goodbye to Gersende. Especially when she started crying! I know I will see her again though..I can’t stay away from Paris for too long. My flight went well with no issues. And now I am back….wow.

Thank you to everyone for reading my blog and partaking in my amazing adventure abroad. It was honestly the best experience of my life and I can’t wait to go back. Paris will hold a very special place in my heart for the rest of my life. It is an amazing city with it’s own heartbeat. I fell more in love with it than I had expected. I will always consider Paris as my European home, which it did become. And Gersende as my European mother (albeit a very young mother!). I didn’t want to leave, but every amazing moment must come to an end. And I will forever be grateful to my spring in Paris.  

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