Mike´s Travel Diaries: Part 1

Just a warning before you read: This travel diary is pretty much just an itinerary of things I’ve done in Europe, with unneccesarily detailed accounts of the food I’ve eaten and my ignorant thoughts about Europeans. All of this is unedited from my travel journal, much of which was written while intoxicated. Theres really no reason you should read this.

Day 0: That day when I flew to Paris
I’m hanging out at my Parisien hostel right now and I feel that I should  start this journaling thing already. I started my trip Wednesday night, when I left for the airport with my cousin Alyssa. We didn’t have enough time for Chili’s to go so we hit up cafe zoot for those subs with the Italian dressing on them. I immediately spilled mustard on my shirt and when I took my seat on the plane, I realized that I already left my journal outside the gate. Shit. The flight started and I watched the inflight entertainment a bit. That Bradley Cooper movie where he takes drugs and gets superpowers was awful. With the crappy voiceover, the 30 minutes that I watched seemed like a drawn out commercial for itself. Also, cut it with the montages. I get that its a clever storytelling device and it looks stylish, but it gets annoying fast. I fell asleep for like an hour but was wide awake after that. I listened to some podcasts for the rest of the ride until we arrived in Paris at 9:25 am.

Day 1: That day when I was really tired in Paris and saw Gwen
We got off the plane extremely tired. Alyssa got probably an hour more sleep than me but she was just as beat as me. We bought our tickets on the RER out of Charles de Gaulle and made our way to the hostel. We left a metro stop somewhere near our hostel and proceded to get completely lost. We got to the hostel at half past noon, just as my good friend Gwen arrived. We threw our bags in the very insecure luggage room and took the metro deep into the heart of Paris. We got off at a busy streetcorner and after Gwen found a menu that wasn´t ridiculously overpriced, I sat down at my first Parisian cafe. Per Gwen´s advice, we each got “Le croq-monsieur”, which is like an opened up grilled ham and cheese sandwich with butter. I regretted my choice after I learned that there is a “Le croq-madame”, which has a poached egg on top. Oh well, those feelings instantly vanished when I took a bite and had probably the best meal I’ll ever have in my life. We drank from our tiny glasses of water and chatted about what to do in Paris and how Gwen has been getting along there. Why are the water glasses in Paris so small? I get that people think they´re cute and stuff, but they´re so impractical. You pour wine into a good size glass, do the same for water. And why is it that when you don´t drink water from a shotglass, you drink it from a waterbottle roughly 5 times larger than my bladder. Just settle on a reasonable sized please. Anyways, we excused ourselves from lunch and went to check into our hostel and take a solid 3 hour nap. Refreshed, we took the metro out to the nunnery where Gwen was living for the summer. She was out shopping, so Alyssa and I hung out in the peaceful garden for a spell. When Gwen got back, we went to the supermarket to grab some pretzels, crackers, prepacked chicken sandwiches, and some warm beers. Because it was Bastille Day, fun stuff was going on at the Eiffel Tower, so we headed off to some gardens with Gwen´s friends from school. The garden was probably about a quarter mile away from the tower, and though the trees blocked most of the view, it was still amazing. We relaxed, drank champagne, quoted Mean Girls, and watched the fireworks above the Eiffel Tower. We took the train back to the hostel, gave Gwen the ol’ “We´ll always have Paris!”, and went in for the night.

Day 2: That day when I was still really jetlagged and I went to the Louvre
I did not sleep well that night. I probably managed about 3 hours of sleep, but I was wide awake from 5:30 til 8. I pulled Alyssa out of bed and we went downstairs to get our free breakfast. I had some decent cereal, coffee, and a croissant. We packed our bags and made our way to our next hostel. After dropping off our bags, we started to make our way to see the Louvre, and stopped at a cafe on the way. I got some beef and potatoes, which tasted great (no croq-monsieur though) and got to eat the hard boiled eggs from Alyssa´s salad. We paid our bill and walked to the Louvre to get our art history on. We bought our tickets for the museum but not the special Rembrandt collection (I´m not paying 8 extra euros to make toothpaste jokes for 15 minutes). Navigating the museum was a nightmare. I reckon that I walked at least 6 miles in the 4 hours that we were there. We hit the statue section first and got to see that sculpture of that woman who didn´t have any arms. That was a stupid Venus de Milo joke- it was actually a great piece of art, I´m really glad that I got to see it. Then we found the section I was most excited for: Italian paintings. Lotsa great paintings, but the highlights were those paintings of the faces made out of vegetables, cool Jesus paintings, that badass angel painting by Raphael, and of course DaVinci. Two things about his section: 1. No one was freaking out about Madonna on the Rocks. That painting is awesome and deserves more reverence. 2. Everyone always says about the Mona Lisa “Its really small and its just not as great as I´d imagined.” I had really low expecations and was ready to be disapointed. But no! Its still a wonderful painting and its very reasonably sized. How big do you want this painting to be? People also whine abou not being able to get close enough. Wrong. I was like 3 feet away from it, thats plenty close. I don´t have to lick it. Oh also, at the cafe before the museum, we totally watched a woman yell at another lady for like 5 minutes because she had let her dog pee on the street. It was awesome. Anyways, after we finished up the Italians, we went upstairs to see some French, Germans, and Dutch painters. I saw that famous corronation painting which was unbelievably huge. I also really dug the still lifes that the dutch fellows did. After the Louvre, we hung out in the gardens outside for a bit. There were cool statues all over, a sweet view of the Eiffel Tower, and really, really, remarkably perfect grass. I cannot overstate how nice this lawn was. Alyssa sat while I took a tasty nap. It was very peaceful. We then decided we should get a better view of the Eiffel Tower. We first stopped for at a cafe where we talked to an obnoxious American family. The wife claimed that she saw Spike Lee at the tower in the 90´s, I didn´t belive her. I got another croq-monsieur which wasn´t as good as the one the previous day. We started walking again and about 40 minutes later we were at the base of the tower. Alyssa had already been up and I just wanted to relax, so we just hung out on the lawn and watched Parisians try to sell champagne, roses, and Eiffel Tower keychains to stupid Americans. It quite satisfying when the cops showed up and made the buskers leave. We spent the rest of the day walking the city and ended it with doners from a turkish fast food joint.

The journey continues in Part 2…


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