Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Along the Seine

It is officially spring in Paris and I am loving it. I have always heard that spring is the most beautiful time of year in Paris so I've been (not so) patiently waiting for it to arrive since I came to Paris. The wait was worth it because when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, I can't help but spend every moment until the sun goes down outdoors.

Enjoying my lunch and the sunshine in Jardin Viviani.
We luckily have a park just across the street from our building, with a pond and a large grassy area, as well as plenty of benches along its many paths. It's so beautiful and there are always people milling about, of all ages, which makes it a fantastic place to people watch (one of my favorite pastimes). It's perfect for days full of class and work because once I return home, I can grab a book or my journal and head just across the street, without the hassle of a metro ride. I walk around and relax on a park bench until the sun goes down or my stomach starts grumbling, my cues to return home.

One of the first warm and sunny days. Can't you tell I was excited? ;)
On days when we have large chunks of time free, we've started congregating by the Seine to soak in the warm weather. Our first time doing so was on a Sunday and I think everyone in Paris had the exact same idea, the river bank was packed!  We stopped over at Breakfast in America for coffee (I was able to exert some control and only drank three cups this time) and then headed to the Seine to eat lunch and "study."  I was really excited because Taylor told me about this sandwich/crepe stand by Notre Dame that was very cheap. I hadn't had a crepe since my first week in Paris and had finished my Nutella (not allowing myself to buy it anymore.. it's an addiction) so I skipped right over the sandwich and went straight for a Nutella and banana crepe. Wise decision if I do say so myself. Which I do. Wholeheartedly. We meant to study for our art history exam, we really did, but then the sun was shining and we just kind of lost track of time. Ah, well. C'est la vie.
Hey, Notre Dame. (still never gets old.)

Taylor, me, Silvia, Justine, Brigitte, and Owen relaxing by the Seine and Notre Dame.
Can you say 'Yum'? I can't, my mouth is too full of Nutella and banana..
Another group shot by the Seine. This time: Michele, Taylor, me, Silvia, Justine, and Brigitte.

My view while sitting by the Seine.

But I preferred laying down. Look at that vibrant sky and those blossoms!

People flock to the Seine when the sun is shining.

We moved to follow the sun. Possibly even better on this side of the Seine.

Taylor, Silvia (asleep), me, and Owen enjoying the last bit of sunlight of the day.

This is goodnight and see you later, not goodbye.

The weather fluctuates between absolutely beautiful and pretty nice (yet chilly), I know it's a real struggle when the temperatures drop to 55F, but we're survivors. ;) On those absolutely beautiful days, we don't waste any time in relaxing in the sun. Luckily, one Wednesday a couple weeks ago fell into the absolutely beautiful category. It was lucky because on Wednesdays I only have class until noon and then the rest of my day is free.

On this particular Wednesday morning, I packed my bag for both class and profiter du temps and didn't return home until the sun went down. After class, I walked through the Latin Quarter and found a cheap panini stand (just like the one from last time) and was able to get a panini, Nutella crepe, and soda for just four euros. I sat in an adorable park by Shakespeare & Co. and ate my lunch while waiting for the others to arrive. After that we sat by the Seine, right below Notre Dame for the whole afternoon. It was a perfect and relaxing afternoon (besides the one hiccup of a pigeon pooping on my backpack.. I knew there was a reason I didn't trust those birds).

We stayed by the river until almost sundown, deciding to return home once it started to become chilly.  Rather than taking the metro back, a few of us decided to bike home. Paris has bikes all throughout the city available for rent by the half hour. You can go up to any Velib station to rent a bike and then can return it at any other station within Île-de-France. Pretty awesome.  We were all excited and terrified at the same time.  I hadn't ridden a bike in so long and this probably wasn't the best time to pick it back up. It is such a great idea and I adore bike riding, just not in a highly populated section of Paris during rush hour traffic. It really wasn't that bad, we were just really nervous and inexperienced riding a bike in a city.  Nonetheless, we survived and made it back home safely, with our adrenaline pumping. Velib is something I totally want to try again, but in a quieter neighborhood during non-peak hours.

If you need me, I'll just be here as long as the sun is shining (and pigeons aren't pooping on my backpack).

Owen, me, Michele, Taylor, and Ceci by the Seine.

Zack, Owen, and I at the start of our Velib adventure!
I'm loving all of the adventures we're going on now that the weather is getting nicer so there will definitely be more updates to come!

Until Next Time.

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