In the summer of 2016 I received my first stamp in my passport and you would have thought I won the lottery! Yeah, just a stamp to some, but to me it was like getting a collectors pin from Disney World!
Arriving in Europe was truly a culture shock, as soon as our feet hit the ground the American language disappeared and the beautiful French language flowed in and out of our ears. Thank goodness I had been studying French mannerisms, a little bit of the language (I find it fun to try to speak their language and I also I think they get a little enjoyment out of it also) and how to properly act when eating.
I downloaded this app called TrackMyTour and checked into each place my family visited, that way when we were back home in the states we could relive and see each step of our trip, another awesome aspect was I could share our map on Facebook and all of my friends could follow along in our journey also! The fun part is as you document it, you can write little blurbs about what you did at each location! This is just our map of Paris…
What my family loved the most about Paris was the wandering around, we didn’t go with a destined plan, we walked around side streets, ran into the cutest cafés and explored every nook and local spot we could find! We avoided every tourist place we possibly could to really obtain the culture of the French!
I truly fell for the Eiffel Tower… I mean how could you not?
There are so many amazing pieces of work in Paris especially the Eiffel Tower, the most Iconic land mark in Paris! There is so much more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, you see Paris really brought all of my art classes to life because for so long I have studied art and I allowed me to see so many amazing master pieces in real life!
Paris is incredible, its the fashion icon of the world and the hidden treasures are miraculous. They have taken an incredibly condensed city and found little crevices to place happiness. They have small green areas that only locals know of because they are crammed through an ally that opens up into a beautiful green space (Picture 1). They grow plants on the side of buildings because they understand how important plants are in a big city. Without plants, there is no air filtration system and the air becomes stale and filled with pollution (Picture 2). They also appreciate and admire the beauty in nature and preserve it as much as possible! They have the oldest tree in Paris with a little fence around it because they want to keep the tree as long as possible, they find value in the little things and preserving what they have left (Picture 3). It is truly pushing every boundary possible when it comes to creating a modern city. Not only is Paris modern but it still has its old roots, which truly show in every corner you turn. It’s a place where old school can meet new school and work together in harmony. They accept change, but in a way that won’t disrupt their roots, which is how we should all accept change…
In the wise words of Audrey Hepburn…
“Paris is ALWAYS a good idea.”
Grace Madeline Dirig