Day 2: Do you think the Eiffel Tower has Wifi?

3 Jul

So Becca and I dropped our bags off at the hotel.
We had the hardest time getting the internet on both her laptop and my tablet.
She finally found a code, so we shared one computer to tell our families that we made it safe.
During this charade, I saw this girl who was speaking French and looking at a map.

I then took it upon myself to try and practice my French skills by telling her “you can tear the map and take one for  yourself.” She then responded in this speedy alien French that had never been spoken when I was learning it.
My retort?”Uhh… Parlez-vous anglais?”
It turns out the girl, Aarti [pronounced Ah (in British accent)-tee] is from an island near South Africa and can speak French as well as English.
Her flight was delayed and she had never been to Paris –  so we asked her if she would like to come with us.
So we talked, Aarti is so incredibly sweet. We had a wonderful time with her even though as soon as we got to Notre Dame she had to leave. (The RER train is SO SLOW in France, The Metro is much faster.)

Notre Dame!

After we took a picture of Aarti at Notre Dame (to show that she had been to Paris), Becca and I waited in line and went inside.
I continued to look for opportunities to practice my French and tried to ask people if we had to pay anything, 1st person’s response “Speak Russian” 2nd person was from the USA. But apparently it was Free to get it, everyone just had to be quiet because mass was going on.

Inside was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. So many details. (Check out my Facebook album  A Michigander in Paris for the rest of the pictures)
So Becca and I went around the church, then left to get a jambon, fromage crêpe at the street vendor nearby. It cost 5,20 Euro but we didn’t know where any other food was.
The vendor did not speak English (FINALLY I get to use my French) we told him that we were from MI and he said that he’s been to Chicago because he’s Dutch and there’s a huge Dutch population there. (Go figure.)
After our adventure at Notre Dame we took out the map and started to see how to get to the Eiffel Tower. We sat down at the cafe nearby and this waiter yelled at us for not buying anything, so we moved.
Now, Notre Dame is along the Seine river as well as the Eiffel Tower. It’s a long walk, but after unsuccessfully finding a metro that would take us to the Eiffel tower, we decided to walk.
My shoes, (that had Dr. Scholls insoles, that I also bought specifically for this trip so my feet WOULDN’T hurt)had decided to become a lot tighter after we had walked around Notre Dame. My Band-aids were unfortunately back at the hotel, so I just toughed it out.
*TRAVELING TIP* Keep Band-aids in your carry-on.
*ALSO* Don’t wear new shoes on a trip to Europe, even if they have Dr. Scholls insoles.
We took a pathway near the Seine, I almost lost my shoe in the water while attempting to take a jumping picture.
shoe-less
It was so nice and peaceful walking by the water, kind of helped me take my mind off of my feet.
We continued walking and stumbled upon this place that I had seen on Pinterest, but didn’t know it’s exact location in France. (SCORE.)
The Lover’s Lock Bridge. Apparently  the locks are symbolic of eternal love/love never dying.
Lover's Lock BridgeEach lock had initials or even names, (Example: Sally & Biff) usually followed by hearts. We saw a bride and groom taking wedding pictures, so adorable.

We passed by the Musée d’Orsay and a few other monuments before my feet decided they didn’t want to walk any further. So we found a metro and took it directly to the Eiffel tower. Once we got off the train.
Courtney: WE’VE BEEN WALKING FOR SO LONG MY FEET ARE SCREAMING, WHERE IS IT?
Becca: I don’t know!

Courtney: Wait, I think that’s it.
Becca: No, that can’t be it we just got here.
Courtney: NO LOOK! That’s totally it! *snaps picture from under the trees*
Becca: I don’t think so Courtney (continue walking a little further)
Both: OH MY GOSH

Eiffel Tower!

It was so beautiful! We didn’t have tickets to go up the Eiffel tower and my feet were still very upset with me so we just sat on the lawn, and looked at the Eiffel tower. I took about a bazillion pictures (literally) and wanted to have the cliché Instagram/Facebook Eiffel Tower picture. So I turn to Becca,
“Do you think the Eiffel Tower has WiFi?”
we laugh and then:
Wifi Eiffel TowerAnswer to the proposed Blog title question: Yes.

We continued to marvel at the Eiffel tower while I fidgeted with the WiFi, figured out a quick way to get home, and tended to my foot wounds. Oh yeah, about that…
Suffering for ParisThe things us girls go through for the Eiffel Tower.
After we spent time at the Eiffel Tower it was about dinner time, we headed back to the hotel. Ate there and promptly fell asleep after our first big day in France.

Culture corner:
Before going I had heard not to smile, that guys will hit on you if you just smile at them. I was super cautious but when Becca said something funny, I laughed. There were a couple of guys that spoke to us in French about joining them on the water but we just said “no” and walked away.  Later on, I asked a guy (who was like 50) for directions the other day and he asked me to go out to coffee. I said no, (twice) and he just shrugged his shoulders.
*TIP* “Laissez-moi tranquille” is another good phrase (pretty much translates to leave me alone.)
French guys are more persistent than American guys, they aren’t as hurt when you say “No, thanks.” I mean, most American guys I know wouldn’t ask me out after I asked them where my next stop is.
My advice would be to enjoy your time in France, feel free to smile. Just try to ask women and people in families for directions. Staying away from the guys is the best bet if that’s not the reason you are in Paris.
All the Parisians (except for the waiter who was doing his job) were SUPER nice and helpful. Because it was our first day most of the time we asked Parlez-vous anglais? Very few that we met in Paris spoke only French, it’s more outside of Paris where they don’t speak English.

Back to the blog post:
Tomorrow’s plan? Meet Becca’s friend Iris and head to Sacre Coeur before I meet my Au Pair family!

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