Friday, June 19, 2009

8:00 AM- On the bus that will take us to Spain
The train last night was quite an experience. Actually, all of yesterday was an experience. The first thing we did yesterday was tour the Musee Orsay. It was phenomenal. One of the best moments was seeing the Seurat exhibit and that the exhibit contained reproductions of part of The Grand Jatte. It was such a sense of pride to know that the Art Institute of Chicago has the original. It’s kind of a cool feeling, knowing that we in little old Illinois “out-Seurated” Paris. Hah!
All the exhibitions that I saw were smattered with famous and highly recognizable paintings: Degas, Matisse, Monet, Manet…all just divine. Bubba got to see the Monet painting that she loves: the one of the poppy fields. I was so excited to see paintings Monet did and to know exactly where he stood to paint them in his garden. Seeing those gardens was definitely a high point of this trip.
After the Orsay we toured Notre Dame. It took 200 years to build that church. Can you believe that? Not one person who started the project would have lived to see the fantastic results. It just blew my mind: the craftsmanship, the artistry….it was just superb.
On our way to lunch, we walked through the Jewish part of Paris after touring Notre Dame. We reached the Pompidou Center for Modern Arts. This area was by far my favorite part of Paris. Overall, I was not very impressed with the city, but that region of town was adorable.
Bubba, Jacob, Kera, and I had a nice long lunch at a cute little café on the corner by the Pompidou. My lunch consisted of a raw beef salad (yes raw beef) Seasoned with balsamic vinegar. The dish was weird, but good. It was kind of funny how I ended up with that meal, too. I had no idea what I was ordering! Oh French language, so confusing. After lunch we did some shopping together in the cute little streets of the Jewish quarter. All-in-all it was an incredibly enjoyable time.
We met the rest of the group around 5 PM and walked back past Notre Dame and into the Latin quarter (so named because at one point it was the main area for the latin-speaking intellectuals to hang out) for dinner in a Greek restaurant. Before we got to dinner, Bubba was accosted by a gypsy who called her, “bossy-bossy-bossy!” Haha, it was so funny.
For dinner we had chicken and potatoes with popcicles for dessert. I was hoping for something a little more ethnic: I am getting so tired of chicken!!!!
We went back to the hotel, loaded the bus with our luggage, and headed for the train station. One hour later we were at the station and some of us were waiting in line to pay to pee (.50 Euro to pee! But the restrooms were nice). We boarded the train and tried to get organized. I think it was around 2 AM before I fell asleep. I’m feeling VERY tired now.
We got off the train this morning in Toulouse, France. The bus took us to a restaurant called Flunch for breakfast. It was a meal of bread and coffee. Not quite filling. We are now back on the bus and en route to Carcassone, France to the medieval walled city there. I am very excited about visiting this place.
But for now, I ought to sleep. Tata.

10:56 PM- In the Hotel Santa Monica outside of Barcelona, Spain
Today has been such a totally wonderful day. The medieval village was so adorable. The street were like Italy, the people were actually nice….The whole town was just absolutely darling.
We rode the bus for a few hours to get to our hotel. This one is in one of the suburbs of Barcelona, only 45 minutes or so from the main center of town.
We went to the beach as soon as we got to the hotel. I got to SWIM in the SEA!!!!! It was marvelous. The rain was pouring down like mad and oh, it was just so perfect.
There are some drunks downstairs and the four of us (Kera, Jessica, Ashley, and I) are watching them from our balcony.
Will I ever sleep?! Tomorrow is going to be good.

Good night,

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