View of the city from the Sacre Coeur

To start off, Paris was pretty great. I had a really good time. We were only there for two and a half days, and I felt like I was going at a dead run the entire time. Even still, I barely scratched the surface of the city.

To get there, we took a train through the chunnel. I was looking forward to that, but I ended up falling asleep on the train, so I didn’t really see it. I made a point to stay awake on the way home though, for that exact reason. It turns out the chunnel was pretty anticlimactic since it was just long and dark like every other tunnel in the world. Disappointing, I know. But the rest was good.

On day one I went to a huge church called Sacre Coeur (or something…pardon my French) which means ‘sacred heart.’ I climbed up a bazillion stairs (please note, this is the beginning of a pattern) and got an awesome view of the city of Paris. Then we climbed back down, did some window shopping on the way back into the city. We walked down the Champs d’Elysses (this huge street that’s famous for all of the expensive stores on it) and saw the Arc de Triomphe. It was amazing. More to come on it later. That night we ate steak and frites (those are legit French fries) for dinner and saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up. At the steak and frites place, our waitress was incredibly rude. It was the most expensive meal of my life, and she charged us for an extra plate. But most of the rest of the French people were nice so I am trying not to judge the whole country too harshly. After the Eiffel Tower we were exhausted and accordingly returned to our hotel rooms.

Allie and Me at the Arc de Triomphe

Outside steak and frites, prior to rudeness.

Tour Eiffel at night

On day two we went to the Palace of Versailles first thing in the morning. It was huge and grandiose and adequately gilded, as all palaces should be. The grounds were also quite huge and immaculately manicured. So bottom line: I really liked it and would like to live there someday. After Versailles we went to the Latin quarter (a small part of the city, much smaller than a quarter, where they’ve been learning Latin for centuries. I was expecting Mexican food. I was wrong) and ate crepes (so good) and we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was beautiful on the inside. I climbed about two bazillion stairs to the very top of the tower and, once again, got an awesome view of the city of Paris. Also, I saw the one of the bells (it was huge) that Quasimodo used to ring. No wonder he had back problems. All those stairs, plus having to move those bells? That must have been before fair labor laws. After the cathedral I bought a painting from a street vendor and then we went to the Louvre for a few hours, which, by the way, is not nearly enough time for the Louvre. But I saw the Nike Winged Victory of Samothrace, and I almost cried when I saw it, so it was a great experience. That night I took a boat tour of Paris on the Seine river. We even floated past this huge obelisk that has been erected on the site of the guillotine. Cool, but a little bit creepy.

Inside Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors

Notre Dame Cathedral

A Gargole, or something like it

On a bridge over the Seine

Inside the entrance to the Louvre

On day three I went to the Musee d’Orsay which is a giant train station that’s been converted into an art gallery. It was also, very cool. In the afternoon we went back to the Arc de Triomphe and, after climbing a bazillion more stairs (please don’t ask me what the French have against elevators. I don’t know.) I got an awesome view of the city of Paris. Shortly thereafter we returned to the train station and came speeding back home through the chunnel.

The Musee d'Orsay


The Sleeping Beauty

Tonight we went to the Royal Ballet Company's production of The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House. It was pretty amazing. We got a great deal on tickets, only six pounds! But you get what you pay for...and I paid for about 1.5 feet square of standing room on the top balcony. On the bright side, we had a really excellent view of the overall production. Plus, about halfway through the people sitting in front of us left, so we migrated into their seats. It was a lot of fun.


"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" - Winston Churchill

For a couple of weeks now little red poppies have been popping up all over London. Today at 11:00 all across Britain people were silent for two minutes in memory of all the people who fought and are still fighting for freedom.

I am so grateful for my freedom. I hope you also take a moment to pause and remember those individuals that have helped to secure your right to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'



I have a roommate named Jennifer. She is so great.

One day we were bored between dinner and family home we watched an episode of the TV show "Glee" that she had on her computer.

My life will never be the same. It's hilarious, weird, awkward, and full of great musical numbers. My entire room is now so hooked on "Glee" that we spend inordinate amounts of time contriving ways to get our hands on more episodes [Hulu doesn't work in the UK.]

I felt like no account of my life in London would be complete without making some mention of this habit that we just can't kick.

And now if you'll excuse me...I'm off to download episode seven...


Les Miserables

On Tuesday night I got all dressed up and went to dinner at Zizi's with Jennifer, Allie, and Andy. After dinner we went to watch Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre.

It was an amazing performance. Our seats were to DIE for...front row of the first balcony. Les Mis is arguably the best musical ever written. I am so glad I had the chance to get to see it while I was here. I might just go again before I head for home!