April 15, 2015

The first 5 hours in Paris

I think I should preface this little bout of narrative by saying that Brooke, Lindsey, and I absolutely adored Paris. While I think we all were equally excited to go there, I particularly was a little wary of it, simply because I had heard various things about smelly streets and snobby Parisians. During our brief romance with City of Light, however, we had a nearly entirely enchanting experience.  

I say "nearly" not because we had any kind of Barcelona-esc trauma, but rather because our first evening excursion in Paris, after a quick flight and a long taxi ride, was so incredibly comical. 

While there is no photographic evidence of the first part of this story time, I can supply one iconic image to pretty much summarize what occurred within our first hour of wandering the airy Summer streets of Paris: 

We like to call this story "Kenna's Marilyn Moment", but that is actually incredibly inaccurate considering that the lady above has composure and is at least making an attempt to hold down her dress.

As self-designated map reader, I was entirely engrossed in my job of getting us to the Eiffel Tower (because that is obviously the very first thing you go to see upon arrival in France), as the three of us walked down a wide street, where a very quaint, populated Farmer's Market was going on. Unbeknownst to me, was what we were approaching, as I buried my nose further in the map. It seems Brooke spotted the peril first, then Lindsey realized what was happening and used her free hands to secure her dress, but neither of them realized I had no idea what we were walking over until it was far too late. 

I was no Marilyn, my dress flew clear over my head, but the Parisian men of the Farmer's Market thought I was, as they proceeded to holler at me, "Oo la la, Marilyn Monroe!" The only saving grace was that I had decided to wear tights that day, though unfortunately they were far more opaque than black. I  skittered away with my embarrassment and bright red face as quickly as possible, while Brooke and Lindsey were dying of laughter, tears brimming in their eyes. 

The phrase "I see London, I see France, I see Kenna's underpants" has never been truer. 

After we all finally regained control after the hysteria of the subway grate incident, and figured out how to get around the Place Charles de Gualle, we finally arrived at the our destination (thanks to some excellent map reading by yours truly).  

Our next trials of the afternoon were actually something we had experienced several other times in Europe. You get Lindsey and I together, the two blondest kids on the block, and we stand out a bit. "Standing out" to foreign men seems to be enough of an okay to photo bomb like no other. 

One challenge of traveling is eying people you don't think are going to run away with your camera and asking them to take a picture for you. Trying to get the three of us in front of the Eiffel Tower we spotted a group of young men that looked awfully American, considering one of them was wearing an American baseball cap and the other had a puka shell necklace. 

We were wrong: they were Russian boys, who were all too happy to take a picture for, and with, us (note our wtf faces). My real question is, what do these people do with the pictures they now have with us?? I don't think I actually want the answer, and we never really figured out a way to say no, so here, for your viewing pleasure, is our random Russian friend:

We couldn't get enough of La Tour Eiffel, since it made us all giddy with "I can't believe we're in Paris!!" enthusiasm. This, of course, led to more pictures. 

I can't remember what some men yelled at us as they passed by, but considering B's face, I get the feeling it was offensive. 

Fortunately, the outrage was followed by giggles. 

Apparently a bit of indignation runs in the friendship as I gave this handsy man my own look while Lindsey and I tried to have a photo op'. 

And let's not forget Mr. Handsy's creepy companion off to the left, "oy with the poodles already"

I would like to adamantly state that is was not the creepy men that drove us away from our beloved tourist attraction, but rather, unsurprisingly, the need for food. 

After some very hangry wandering, eventually we found a teeny restaurant, where they literally blocked us into the wall with the table, to end our evening hi-jinx. 

After struggled translations and an in-training waiter we harassed endlessly, we were served a délicieux meal, and more importantly, wine. 

Of course story time doesn't end with wine, it only begins. 

The first dessert we ordered was so delectable, we decided to splurge on another: Baba au Rhum. 

Now everyone please just look at the photo below and tell me what you would do if a restaurant served you sponge cake and then handed you a bottle of rum and left you to do what you pleased.

Let me just say, what you're not supposed to do is pour a copious amount of it on said cake and then try to consume it. BLECK! What you are actually supposed to do, is still a mystery to me. 

The walk to our temporary home, though long, was surprisingly uneventful, after such an eventful evening. 

We passed the Moulin Rouge and everything on the way back, but still no debauchery occurred; at the time we were relieved, but looking back I'm a little disappointed in us. 

Fret not, we still had more days in Paris. 

Yours, Kenna

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