When I left you last I was heading into my Parisian weekend with Matt and his parents. I am home now, which is bittersweet. I enjoyed the French way of life so much while I was there and leaving was disappointing. On the other side, Matt and I have put together a little home in Dublin, so I am happy to be back with the things I find comfortable. Still, I must chronicle my last weekend in Paris, and fortunately I will get to relive the moments in more than one post.
Matt’s parents came back from their trip in the Loire Valley on Thursday to spend the next few days with myself and Matt. They arrived a few hours before Matt did, so we grabbed a bite to eat and then I went shopping with Nancy. My time alone was spent mostly sightseeing and museum-hopping, so I was looking forward to “window-licking,” as Nancy told me the French called it. There were a couple souvenir items on my list to fulfill: a new “Parisian” scarf for myself, a birthday present for my mom, a clutch purse for my sister, and a little something for my friend Ashley (for some reason I think “Paris” when I think of her apartment and style). Though I didn’t acquire all of this in our short shopping adventure, I did before the end of the week, and we had a great time checking out the cheap stuff on Rue de Rennes, while admiring the expensive stuff on Saint Germain. What a difference!
Matt finally made it in that evening on the later side, so we just grabbed a bite to eat, visited, and then rested up for our trip to Versailles the next morning. What a spectacular site to see! I am so glad this made it into our list of things to do. The grandeur of the palace far surpasses anything I’ve ever seen, and we only saw a portion of it. Trimmed in gold, glass chandeliers, and tapestry on just about every wall, Versailles really is a home fit for a king. I couldn’t get over the intricately painted ceilings in every room, the marble, the statues of Louis, and the enormity of the whole thing. I’m pretty sure my jaw physically dropped when we walked into the hall of mirrors. Oddly, there was some sort of Japanese exhibit featured in the palace, which looked so out of place, and if you didn’t ignore it, it killed the ambience. Matt asked a museum employee what the deal was, and they said from time to time they feature an exhibit from another culture to bring in more people from that region. The display had been up for 3 months and was about to be finished and replaced with real armory from the French Revolution period. I would have much rather seen armory from centuries ago than the bright colored, sunflower inspired, random Japanese art. I just pretended it wasn’t there as I ogled over the rest of the palace.
With the palace successfully toured, we made our way outside to the gardens. Unfortunately, it was raining, so meandering through the gardens was less of an option, as it was muddy and difficult to enjoy. However, the view from the palace out into the “forest” was breathtaking. It seemed to go for miles. And then the intricacy of the flowers, bushes, statues, and fountains was incredible, as well. Matt and I are fairly accustomed to rain, and his parents didn’t seem to mind, so we took a few pictures and sauntered into the dense overgrowth. We found a little cafe where we enjoyed a snack and warm coffee under the covering of an awning in the garden while the rain fell around us. Perfect.
Versailles is a longer exhibition, so when we arrived back in Paris, we were wet, cold, and a little tired. Instead of going out, we bought a couple bottles of wine, some cheese and crackers, and just sat in the comfort of the apartment talking and enjoying the company. The windows were open, allowing us to feel the cool breeze while listening to the rain, and it was exactly what we needed for the end of our day. On the agenda for the next day…well, you’ll just have to read and find out!