The View From Above

When we arrived at our hotel, we couldn’t believe how close our hotel actually was to the Eiffel Tower.   When we left our hotel room to go to lunch, we saw that the Eiffel Tower was diagonally across from us where we could see the whole structure, and not just the top of it.  Unfortunately, none of us have that kind of view from our room, but it is still incredible when you walk outside and it is right there.  It certainly is a great landmark and reminder that we are in fact in Paris.

After we got settled into our hotel rooms and took a short nap, we all met up to go visit the Eiffel Tower.  We then walked the two blocks to the entrance of the tower and waited for the hydraulic lift to take us up to the second level.  When we got out of the lift, which was an experience in and of itself: being packed like sardines into a lift as we ascended the tower.  It was certainly one of the fastest elevators I have been on for the number of stories it was going up.  On the second floor there were many people, but we were still able to make our way to the sides of the tower where the view was simply magnificent.  We could see the entire city which we had already begun to get familiar with along with some of the outskirts along Paris like Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.  At ever side we saw more and more of the city and we were even able to find our hotel.  Several students and friends of Bay Path decided to take the lift all the way to the top floor where they said that the view was also spectacular, but also a long way up on the lift.  When we returned to the ground, we headed back to the hotel for some down time before we made our way back downstairs for our welcome dinner.  We had a lovely buffet dinner of different chicken and fish dishes, cold salads, bread and cheeses.  Then there as a delicious selection of desserts: éclairs, mouse cakes, fruit tart, small bonbons, fruit, and different tarts.  We all took turns trying everyone’s desserts and  took a brief break in between bites to see the Eiffel Tower light up in “sparkly” lights for ten minutes on the hour.  We made sure to come back later to get more pictures before we settled in for a much needed rest.

See you tomorrow Paris.

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The Three Hour Tour…

And thus began our three our tour from the drive into Paris and around the sights.  It is somewhat disappointing when you finally leave the airport grounds and except for the signs and smaller cars, and no snow, it looks like you haven’t left any other city, but soon we realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore when we came upon the bridge that brought us into the heart of Paris.  Our first stop was the Paris Opera House, the original.  The majesty of building was incredible for something built at the end of the 18th century.  I was surprised how empty the city was, but then again it was a Sunday morning at about 8:30.  Then we drove past the Louvre which we will be visiting tomorrow, I am so excited to see Leonardo’ Mona Lisa and many more paintings.   We drove past Les Invalides, the Concierge, Notre Dame, and spotted for photos at the Arch de Triumph and Les Invalides and took a nice leisurely walk through the Luxembourg gardens and all before we checked into our hotel.

Stay tuned to the Paris channel. :)

P.S. Our internet has been temperamental so I apologize for the late postings.  We are having a splendid time and taking in every moment and opportunity that Paris has to offer.

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Off into the Great White Somewhere

When we finally boarded the plan at 5 o’clock, we found ourselves being taken down an escalator and then onto a long ramp before boarding our Boeing 747-400.  I was amazed to see that the plane had in fact two levels and everyone was so friendly on board.  I had a great seat- at the window near the wing so I would be able to hopefully see the night sky and next to me was an alum of Bay Path College, Jane and her husband John.  We finally lifted off at 5:40 leaving behind the melting snow and tiny islands off the Cape.  We headed North towards Nova Scotia and New Foundland before turning out to sea.  We soared through the giant fluffy white clouds like butter as we increased our altitude and the outside air temperature decreased.  We were served dinner at 6:30 with a choice of salmon Sheppard’s pie or chicken and potatoes all served with a tuna and rice appetizer, a roll and cheese, tapioca pudding and a cranberry –orange cake.  The food was really good considering the bad rep airplane food gets.  I spent most of my time reading and trying to sleep in between the turbulence.  Then at around 4:30 the flight attendants came around with a breakfast of yogurt, orange juice and a muffin.  I was a much needed pick me up for the next half of our journey.  Our descent began at 5:15am and had us touched down and docked by 6am.  After the mass exodus of the plain I was pleasantly surprised by the artwork that decorated the walls highlighting Paris’ famous artists whom I had learned all about in Nations and Cultures and Fine and Performing Arts.  Once we made it through boarder control and claimed our luggage we met our tour guide or the week Nicolas and Isabella and headed to meet our tour buses.

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And the Waiting Begins

My journey began this morning in our friend’s room where she french-braided our hair and then we made a Dunkin run, of course.   Then we left Bay Path College at noon with two buses full of eager students, parents, professors and friends bound for Logan International.  We arrived at the terminal with beautiful weather.  I am so thankful for this wonderful weather after last year’s terrible rainstorm and winds that delayed our flights.  After checking in our luggage and getting our boarding passes we headed through to the security checkpoint where many of us partook in the new full body scan.  When we came out on the other side we were at our gate.  We just saw our enormous airplane pull into our gate.  Now I’m getting really excited, I think it is starting to set in now that we are really going to Paris.  So now we get to wait a little longer before we begin to board the plan.  This will be the last time I’ll write until we check in at our hotel in Paris tomorrow.  Don’t forget to move your clocks forward :)

Take care and I’ll talk to you in Paris. Au Revoir!

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The Many Adventures of our Flat Friends

In elementary schools across the country they read the story of Flat Stanley.  It is the story of a boy who one day wakes up and finds that he is as flat as paper and goes on all sorts of adventures by being mailed around the world.  After reading the story, many classes make themselves “flat” and mail themselves to relatives who gets to take their “flat” relative on all sorts of trips.

As a bunch of early childhood and elementary education majors my friends and I are rather familiar with the story.  Well, one day  some of my friends who won’t being joining us on our trip to France decided to make themselves “flat” so they could go with us.  So be on the look out for our “flat” friends, you never know where they might pop up.

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Paris– Here We Come!

Bonjour! I can’t believe that as I am writing this, 24 hours from now we will be in the air.  It is just mind boggling.  I remember sitting at the first meeting back in September, when school was just beginning and now is Spring Break.   I am so excited and nervous all at the same time even though this will be my second time traveling abroad and the second time with Bay Path College. It seems that we have been waiting for this day to come for so long and we just can’t wait. We’ve made our lists, packed, gone shopping for last minute things and are now planning our morning before we depart for the airport.

My friend Hannah and I are so excited to see all the magnificent sights that we have studied in our Nations & Cultures class taught by Professor Burns.  We can’t wait to share what we’ve learned with our friends and find some of the famous spots like Shakespeare & Company and the house of Nicholas Flamel (yes he was a real person, not just someone in Harry Potter).  It was a great way for us to learn about the culture, history, sights and individuals of France, now we can only hope I’ll remember some French. Merci.

This year there will be 60 students, staff, faculty, alums and friends that will be journeying with us to the home of the French Revolution, Notre Dame, Chartres Cathedral, the Louvre and of course the Eiffel Tower, along with visiting the homes and birthplaces of many more great people and places.  I’ll try to blog every night or whenever I have a free moment so stay tuned. Au Revoir!

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