sheez, it´s been a couple of days since i posted. i dont have hellza time to
post now either.. but i´ll try to throw some stuff together..
i was still a little sick that day, but since i was feeling at least somewhat
better, i decided to try to go out anyways. we didnt go see a bunch of stuff,
but just kind of walked around near the latin quarter. for dinner that night,
we finally went to the “on the back of the whale” restauarnt. it´s the
restaurant that natasha lived over when she lived in paris back in the day, and
it was hella good. the place was kinda fancy, and luckily dinner was paid for
as a birthday present from natasha (thanks!). the food was really super good,
although being a bit sick, i wasn´t able to taste it as well as i would have
i had really wanted to go to the loire, and even though we had bought train tix
to go, ´we had to not use the tix since i got sick… *sigh*… but i came up
w/ a new idea. this morning we got up early and rented a car to get to the
loire. having our own little car was such a blast! but really scary too!
driving around paris isn´t easy… it´s totally crazy here. first off, there
are no lanes. cars just squich into the road as much as they can and you never
know how many cras across it´ll be. second, the street signs are not any place
where they would ever be able to be seen by the people driving. they are tiny
little blue signs on the sides of buildings, and they definitely make the city
look nice…. but they are absolutely impracticasl and worthless when driving.
thank god i had caryn navigating or else i would have never mad it out of
but soon we were on the road, and it was such a rush! we have our own car! and
we´re driving it through the french countryside at a 130 km per hour (whatever
that is)!! we have no idea what a lot of the traffic signs mean! it was like
throwing all caution to the wind and playing a new video game where you didnt
read the instruction booklet before. so fun!
in the loire valley, we checked out two cities: blois and chambord. blois was
ok, but really nothing spectacular. a town that was… i dunno… just too
city-like for me…. i had come with the vision of a castle in the middle of
nowhere with maybe a few small picturesque homes near it, but instead it was a
small city like any other. the chateau itself was nothing to write home about
either. but chambord… was a different story entirely. the town (described
as a “tiny pin-prick sized village” in LP) was really quaint and had tiny
narrow streets w/ cute houses.
the chateau itself was absoilutely incredible. just like the castles you see in
the movies… except maybe even *more* impressive. the cahteau was based on
italian architecture that the king of france had admired, and thus was really
intricate and crazy. walking around inside, all the rooms were decorated
really cool, and there was this insane “double helix” staircase designed by
leonardo da vinci in the middle of it. it´s basically two staircases that wind
around a central axis for 4 sories, but never meet at any point. sooo cool!!
after that, we drove some more to the town of orleans for dinner. we went to this small restaurant where they served “regional” food. caryn got a cock in a pot (coque a vin), which ended up being super good. i got some french oninon soup which rocked, but my main course was only so-so. afterwards, the place served us a “magic potion” (this raspberry liquer w/ a respberry in it) that was hella good.
getting back through france was hella difficult. we barely were able to find our place, and then… we had no idea how to figurte out if where we parked the car was ok. we ended up walking to a police station and trying to ask them if we had to pay for parkinbg where we parked. they barely understood english, but luckily, i was able to get my point across in borken-ass french. next thing we know, the cops motion us to get in the back of their police car…. WHAT?? we were a bit nervous now… were we in trouble?? were they gonna try to get a bribe from us? in the end, it ended up nothing bad… they just drove us to the place where we were parked and then told us that we probably didnt have to pay for parking. phew!! it´s pretty crazy that we got to drive in the back of a police car though!!
the police were really nice to us… and really, so was everyone else. it´s odd to me that people in the US think that the french are rude, or mean, or hate americans… cause everyone that we ever asked *anything* was super nice to us. in fact, practically everyone that we interacted w/ in france was very friendly and helpful.
when we finally got back to the apt that night, it was kinda sad that it was our last night in paris. we happened to getb in right around 1am-ish, which is right about when the lñast sparkly thing happens at the eiffel tower. i dont think i mentioned this before, but at 1am, it´s the best sparkle show at the eiffel ever. they turn off all the regular eiffel tower lights, and all there is left is the sparkles. it´s extra nice, and only happens once a night. for the next 10 minutes, caryn and i just chilled in the apartment viewing the best, and last, sparklevision ever…