When I first came to Italy I knew I would be here for Christmas. I have never been away from my family during the holidays, and the thought alone made me cringe. I think you can tell by reading my posts that I am very close with my family. Christmas is my mom’s favorite holiday, therefore, has now become my sister and mine as well. Growing up, my mom went CRAZY decorating our entire home. She even takes pictures of the house so that we know where every single decoration goes the following year. My dad and I literally spend hours looking at photos and going through 15 bins of stuffed animals, little shiny balls, and peppermint sticks to put inside candle containers. You can just smell Christmas with my cookies baking and brandy mixed creations flowing.
Every year on Christmas Eve, my whole family stands around our table holding hands and says their Christmas wish. Every year we all shed tears and laughs, grateful to be with each other around a beautifully decorated table with little elf nametags. EVERY year my mom has the same wish, “That my girls always find their way home for Christmas no matter what.”
Man am I an “a** hole” or what! I have broken the only wish my mom ever has! I knew I needed to go somewhere spectacular for Christmas so I wouldn’t think about the fact that my family would all be crying and simply not having ANY fun while I was away. That’s what happened right mom? Just kidding!!!!!
I booked my flight to Paris weeks after landing here Italy. I planned my Paris itinerary with fun things to see and do to keep my mind busy. I even uploaded my iPod with all the classic Christmas songs so I could sing and dance in my hotel room.
The trip started off not so jolly. It took me 32 hours to get from Bologna, Italy to my hotel in Paris, France. I had to go back to Treviso to fly out of their airport and the Venice fog caused our flight to be cancelled after hours and hours of waiting. I was living in a Christmas movie where everyone is trying to get to Paris for Christmas and we all speak different languages, all have different reasons to go, but we need to get there somehow. There was an American woman who missed her $1,500 non-refundable connecting flight to Mexico. There was a French boy who missed his cruise with his family!! I just simply wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. Luckily after being at the airport for 10 hours they got us a hotel room and we had to start all over again the next day. Guess what happened then? Yep, there was even more fog Christmas Eve than the day before! After awhile everyone on the flight knew who spoke English, French, Italian, Italian and English, French and English. hahahaha It was also funny when I had a huge backpack on my back and a broken purse :) After awhile they put us on three big VIP buses to take us to Venice where we would fly out of their airport. We finally got to Paris and I was off to find my hotel. Did you know Paris is huge? I didn’t know how big it WAS! Their metro system is freaking awesome; seriously, the easiest metro system to understand ever.
First stop after buying a new purse was to eat dinner and drink some wine. I had a really good dinner, but the French fries and bread were my favorite. Their bread is out of this world. Then the man made me a wonderful French coffee for desert. Feeling a little tipsy, it was now time to go to church! Just kidding. I did go to the Notre Dame to watch the choir sing some Christmas Carols! Notre Dame was beautiful. There were a lot of people there and they actually sang some American Christmas carols. I loved it. At that point it truly felt like Christmas. On Christmas day I walked and walked all over. I also went to a ballet at the Old Opera house that evening. Wow!!!!!! The Opera house is just like the one in Phantom of the Opera. It has the most beautiful chandelier and the marble stairs are gorgeous. The ballet was nice, but the music was really weird. There was a stupid American family behind me though. The daughter was a teenager and was complaining they were too far away and he eyes were hurting. After the first act she didn’t even come back in! Her parents just let her complain and complain. I wanted to turn around and tell her that she is in one of the most beautiful Opera houses in the world! You’re in Paris watching the Opera on Christmas WITH your family!! I now know why some people hate Americans.
I stayed at a hotel 10 min from the Eiffel Tower and 2 min from a Starbucks! I had a chai tea soy latte every single day. Heaven. The Eiffel Tower was one of the coolest things I have seen on this trip so far. I just stared and stared at it forever. It lights up during Christmas… That was my favorite part. I went to the top which was cool, but I liked being at the bottom looking up at it more. There were lights hung and booths selling food all over the city. I went and hiked up this hill that has a church at the top where you can overlook the entire city. They also have painters set up selling their work. I ate the most delicious raspberry pie/pastry thing. France really does make desserts into art. I think about that raspberry pie very frequently :)
Here is a video below of Notre Dame
Now, I am not going to tell you that I wasn’t a little sad on Christmas because that would be a lie. No matter where you are in the world, there is nothing like being with family. I missed them so much. Christmas day was a hard day for me, especially seeing everyone walking around Paris with their family and friends. I was able to skype with my parents and sister and so fortunate for this experience.
I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story, because honestly I don’t really feel like writing today. My student made me dinner last night and we had a little too much wine. My head is killing me!
|Long trip :)|
|Yahoo I'm here!|
|Opera house on Christmas Day|
|Yes, I know I wore the same hat. Lazy hair person.|
|It was a little windy on the top of the tower|
Our family-friend, Shawn comes to Italy in 8 days!!! I will be ending my journey here, traveling to Ireland and finally get to see Rome! YES YES YES!!