“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”
- John Hope Franklin

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We're Here!!

We finally made it to Paris Friday night!! The apartment we're living in is absolutely gorgeous and our host family is so nice! We're living with Béatrix and Quentin Le François and they are extremely welcoming & very personable. She teaches studio art at a local high school and is a free-lance painter, and he is the chief of development of a large company. They have two grown sons, Martin & Mathieu, and we had the pleasure of meeting Mathieu, his girlfriend & their 2 year-old son Oscar yesterday. As I had posted earlier, we live in the 20th arrondissement, and on the 8th floor of our 9 story complex. Our whole neighborhood has a very hipster/artsy vibe, filled with lots of modern buildings, bustling cafés & tons of shopping. Here's a peek inside our place...

My room! Complete with floors made of hemp
Other side of my room
The view from my window
Eric's room - he may have a larger window, but I definitely have the larger closet!
Dining room/ Béatrix's art studio
The living room
The kitchen, which is surprisingly roomy for French standards
Our balcony & favorite spot to have dinner
Other half of our balcony - so spacious & tons of plants! Even have an olive tree growing up here!
The view off the balcony

Also, we have our own toilet & bathroom (not as exciting to take pictures of!), so that makes things very nice as we can leave all of our stuff right in there and don't have to cart it back and forth like in dorm showers.

Our host family gave us a detailed tour of our neighborhood yesterday morning, making sure to point out the best pâtisseries, cafés & bars, and helped us find all the local metro stops and secure some metro passes for the weekend. Since I'm here for the semester, our program hooked me up with a Navigo card, which has my name and picture on it, and lets you recharge it on a weekly or monthly basis to save on metro fares and to eliminate my need to have a pocket full of metro tickets all the time. With this card, you can use all types of public transportation, making city life very easy.

After our buzz around the neighborhood & a delicious home-cooked lunch, my housemate Eric & I headed off to do some exploring in the 90-degree heat. Since pictures are worth 1000 words, I'll let them speak for themselves....

La Tour Eiffel!

The Seine!



Strolling along the Champs-Elysées

L'Arc de Triomphe
One of my favorite sculptures, on L'Arc de Triomphe, by François Rude

Even got to see a military parade up to it as they were preparing to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier below 
We had a great seafood-themed dinner with fish soup, baked white fish & roasted tomatoes, red peppers & onions, and then took the metro over to our friend Kasey's house to spend the evening with her and our other friend Kaitlin. We enjoyed our giant bottle of chardonnay that cost a whopping 4.20 euro & was absolutely delicious, then took the metro back to our house for the night. All in all, not a bad first day in Paris!


  1. Hey Rach-
    Looks like you scored...no toddler bed there!
    Keep up the bloggin!
    Love, Aunt Wen
    P.S. 39 days and counting!

  2. Hi Rach,

    Your new place looks absolutely beautiful and I can't wait for a tour of it soon. Always great to see what you've been up to. Are you actually going to have to take classes while you're there or just planning on being a tourist til December??

    Love you tons and tons :)