In May 2009, my younger sister and I went on a 12 day trip to London, Paris and Rome. I was like a kid in a candy store pretty much the entire time because of my strong desire of always wanting to travel abroad. When I was 9 or 10, I asked my grandma if we could travel to China. Of course she told me yes, and now at 23 years old I’m stilling waiting to go on my trip to China. Each one of the city’s we visited probably deserve their own post, but for time’s sake I’m just going to condense it a little for now.
Of course we couldn’t see everything, being in each city only for a few days each. London was my favorite city by far. Maybe it was because people spoke English? I loved everything about it—the accents, the brick streets, the culture, the history, the public transportation system, everything. One thing I enjoyed the most, besides all the normal London tourist attractions, was the Absolute Vodka Ice Bar. The entire bar was made of ice [chairs, tables, glasses], and we wore parkas. I made the mistake of wearing sandals that evening and my toes were numb by the time we left.
Paris was nice too, but to me, it didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded the city. Don’t get me wrong, I saw some incredible things there and ate great food, but the people there were something else. Parisian people [in my experience] don’t communicate with foreign people unless you make an effort to speak French. They’re very protective of their language and culture. Plus the city is full of gypsies—annoying. Being an art & design major in college, going to the Louvre and Versailles was heaven. It made me realize how much I actually learned in my art history classes. It was so rewarding going to the Louvre and being able to explain the mysterious background story of the Mona Lisa painting to a complete stranger. The day we visited the Eiffel Tower was dreary, cold and rainy. No one in our group cared. We all embraced the fact that we were in Paris and Eiffel Tower was at our fingertips. Kaitlyn and I made our way to the top and were amazed at how much of the city we could see. It’s definitely a better view than what you see from St. Louis’ Arch.
The visit to Rome was also sub-par compared to what I expected. Maybe I just went to Europe with too high of expectations? I hope not. Our hotel was gorgeous compared to the last two cities, but was far away from all of the attractions. The Colosseum was, of course, awesome to see. We had a tour guide and had to wear these annoying ear pieces. Kaitlyn and I pretty much turned ours off and did our own thing. The rest of our time in Rome was filled with Italian food, visiting the Vatican City and a trip to the Mediterranean Sea.
Ask Kaitlyn about the overnight train ride from Paris to Rome…this is the sole reason why she may never return to Europe.