I'm writing this blog post from a hostel on the Rive Gauche. Tomorrow I will be back in Aix, trying my best to finish up these last few weeks filled with presentations and papers. I'd be lying if I told you I'm not freaking out about it... there's a reason why I wrote all my deadlines on post-its I stuck onto my bedroom wall. I have this constant need to keep thinking about the future, and at first it sort of got in the way of my full enjoyment of Paris - I even did some reading during my second night here. And like, okay, I'm probably going to do some reading again tonight, but still. Vacances. My mind kept going back to that poster at the Marseille-Provence airport, which said something along the lines of "Oubliez la crise, faites la valise!"

So eventually, I started to let go... though I think I got a little too lax about it. I was so lax that I uh, ended up overdrawing on my checking account. And my credit isn't doing so hot after finally purchasing my return flight home so yes, I was definitely in a bit of a pickle. But surprisingly enough, even with all of the stress from school and finances, I can safely say I had a wonderful time in Paris. However, like a lot of big cities I've visited (which admittedly isn't very many), I can only take it in small doses.

This past week, I found myself constantly in awe of all that Paris had to offer. It was my first time in the city of lights, and it was the same thing for many of my travel mates (comprised of the very lovely Adelaide, Sarah, and Allie - who are all fellow bloggers!). So we took the first full day in Paris to do the whole Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées thing, along with some Musée du quai Branley stuff since we were in the neighborhood. We also spent some time in the Jardin des Tuileries.

The next day we went to the Louvre, the Notre Dame, and took a walking tour of the Latin Quarter. The day after we went to Montmartre and checked out the Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge, walked to the Opera, ran into the Place Vendôme, ate lunch in the Jardin des Tuileries, visited the Musée de l'Orangerie, visited Sainte-Chapelle, walked to the Bastille, stumbled into the Place des Vosages, looked at the outside of the Centre Pompidou and the Kandinsky fountain, then walked along the Seine to watch the Tour Eiffel sparkle.

Needless to say, my feet were not pleased by the end of that particular day. And yes, we could just use our metro tickets, but they were perfectly allocated for our entire week, so. Yeah. Anyway.

After that day, which we planned to be our "chill day," we took an actual chill day. Allie, Sarah, and Adelaide went to the catacombs while I decided to take a closer look at the Centre Pompidou, which was so, so wonderful. I got a real kick out of the modern art museum in Nice, so I definitely wasn't disappointed here. I met up with everyone at the Musée d'Orsay, where I spent most of my time at the L'Ange du Bizarre exhibition. Dark romanticism is some cool stuff.

As for today, we spent most of our time at Château de Versailles. It was very, very shiny and proper and pretty much degoûtant in its excess. But it was a good time, eating our lunches right outside of the golden gates of Versailles.

It's so strange, thinking I've done all of this stuff in a matter of days. I picked up a few souvenirs, took some photos, and I feel that as far as first visits go, this one was pretty much a success. I didn't pick up any postcards, though, and I think it's probably because I'm already trying to plan my next visit back.

There I go again, my mind already planted in the future.

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