Where: Paris, France
This is the second time I’ve been to Paris.
The first time was in the winter of my seventh grade year. My parents took our family to London and Paris while we completed a move (in the middle of the school year and right after my birthday) from Plano, TX, to Westlake Village, CA. While I loved London, Paris was a different story. I was sick, my family was fighting, the food was terrible, I got lost in the Louvre, and spending New Years at the Arc de Triomphe was, in retrospect, a terrible idea.
While I didn’t hate Paris, I was never really excited to go back. So when a friend and I decided to meet there, my enthusiasm was decidedly less than hers. But, I thought, how bad could it be?
The answers is: not at all! Since both of us had already been to Paris before, the only truly touristy thing we did was going atop the Eiffel Tower (and take some great pictures). The rest of our time was spent wandering around, eating and drinking, while making liberal use of our EU Student status to get into any museum we wanted to for free. It was a fun way to spend my final “free” weekend, before classes really start up again.
On the subject of French, I find that the French people speak considerably less English than most other European nationalities. However, they are generally still friendly when you speak English to them, be it to ask for directions or to order another round. Hand gestures and pointing are highly encouraged to get your point across.
So, in the end, my thoughts on Paris have swung from mildly negative to firmly positive. It may not be as great as some people make it out to be, but it’s definitely worth a trip.