Sunday, May 30, 2010

saying goodbye :(

hey all!

the past couple of days have flown, but i wouldn't have it any other way!
i have loved every minute of this trip, and am so grateful that casey and maria do this for us!
it's been an incredible experience!

we're leaving for the airport in about half an hour, so i just wanted to say a quick goodbye!

thank you for keeping up with us!
{but i will admit that i'm ready to go home!}

i also wanted to share some pictures from the last couple of days!

oscar wilde's tomb:

leaving my mark :)

that coral lip print belongs to me!
{& my initials are in the red}

the opera house!

being inside the opera house was absolutely fantastic!
{especially since phantom of the opera is one of my favorite things ever!}

at the top of the eiffel tower!
i'm terrified of heights, so this was quite the accomplishment!

arc de triomphe!

the conciergerie where marie antoinette was held before her execution.

i most definitely did color at dinner last night!

so that's it for me :(

i'm running to buy one last croissant, and then i'll be on my way to the airport.
bittersweet, yes.

but i'll be back here one of these days!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hey guys, this is my last night in Paris so I'm just saying a quick hey before i crash.  This trip has been totally amazing and quite an experience, one I will never forget, and hopefully will enjoy several more in the future. I'm thankful to Cobb and Maria for the opportunity to see this country and see all the things we've been able to see. I doubt there is any other school-sponsored trip anywhere that would see as many things of historical and cultural value as we have in such a short time period. It has been awesome but I'm so ready for home, my own bed, family, and my Ragan.  Well here are a bunch more pics from the trip, thanks to everyone for keeping track of us, Peace.

Doug's last day in France

The past two days in Paris have been a great experience. Yesterday we saw the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides where Napoloen was buried. While there I had an opportunity to speak with a few cadets at the French military academy. Then in the evening we went on a night cruise. The Eiffel Tower at night is spectacular. Today was our last day in France. We saw the Arc de Triumph and the tomb of the unknown soldiers. I was exhausted climbing all those steps. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was another sobering experience. Paris is an incredible city to tour. There is so much to see and learn. 

Our last day in Paris

Well it has been a great trip! I hate to see it end, but I am also so ready to get back home. The past few days have been crazy! We have had alot of fun though. The first day here in Paris we went to the Louvre, it was amazing. Huge is the real word to explain it. Then we went to Notre Dame. It was so beautiful. Its weird to see all these things that you have heard about your whole life. It still seems unreal that I am actually experiencing it. The next day we went to Versailles and we got there and it was closed due to a workers strike....sorda depressing actually.

We went through the Gardens which were very very well maintained, and then as we were heading out toward the gate they opened back up!! We got very lucky that we got to see it. That night we went to eat at the Hard Rock cafe! It was great!!
It had rained those first two days and it was starting to get old. Yesterday though the weather was beautiful. We took advantage of it and headed to the eiffel tower. We went all the way up and I was so nervous because of the elevators...but I made it and it was so cool. Today we finished up with everything by going to the Arc of Triomphe and finished up shopping. Tomorrow is fly home day! I am so ready to get back to my family!!! Overall though this was an experience that I will be grateful for, for the rest of my life!!!!

Chelsea L. Smith
                                                                                   Smith & Smith

Friday, May 28, 2010

Un autre soir dans Paris...

Today, we went to Pere Lachaise, a famous cemetery in Paris where we saw many graves including James Morrison and Oscar Wilde. After that we went to Napoleon's Tomb at Les Invalides. Then we went and saw the Eiffel Tower. We went to the tip top and got some great aerial and ground shots. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't want to give them to you right now. During the night, we went on a river boat cruise and saw a good portion of Paris. The only picture you can have are the ones I took on my iPhone. Sorry y'all. Anyway, now it's almost 1:00 am and I am going to bed. Good night everybody!!!
Chelsea M. Smith
Smith & Smith

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Adventures in Paris!

Well, what can I say about this great city that hasn't already been said!!! I've been here probably close to 20 times and it never ceases to amaze me!! We've had a little drama since arriving in Paris. First, we dealt with the pouring rain. It's so fun dragging luggage down a street while trying to locate your hotel in such conditions. Yesterday, we finally solved the mystery concerning Zach's was shipped back to Atlanta! Then, today, we arrive at Versailles (in the pouring rain again!) only to find out that a national strike closed it!! At first, we were only able to visit the gardens and by the time we were ready to head back, the palace reopened. So, we stayed and visited the beautiful palace after all!!! (Amanda was relieved!)

Anyway, despite it all, it's been great and we hope to have a great final two days in Paris, especially if the weather clears up as has been predicted.

Kerri, Kacie, John Aidan and Carolina...I miss you all more and more each day! Carolina, I appreciate the fact that you want me to "take a break off of France" and it won't be long until Anut Mia will see you and give you a big hug (plus some presents)!

Mom, Nat and Michelle, I love you very much and miss you too!


today, we went to versailles.
and it was amazing.
that's about the only way to sum that one up.

i've loved marie antoinette since i was around 10 or 11, for reasons i'm not actually sure of.
getting to see where she lived?
absolutely amazing.
that's all there is to it.

after a brief snag of parisians being on strike and being told versailles was closed...
{i was majorly sad}

we went ahead and toured the gardens, since they were open for whatever reason, and then...

we found out they were opening the palace.
and i was happy.
and crying tears of joy instead of tears of sadness :)

before i found out i could go in:
{me being pathetic and taking pictures through the gate}

after i actually got in:
much better!

i had a crick in my neck from looking at the ceilings by the time we were done!

chandelier in marie's bedroom

me in the hall of mirrors!

{the next round of photos i thieved off maria's camera, since a lot of her pictures are prettier than mine!}

marie anotinette's bust

plus, i got to have starbucks for the first time in 5 years since i've been gone before we went to the palace!

then tonight for dinner, we went to the hard rock cafe in paris!
it was the first time i had ever been to one, and it was a lot of fun!

only two days left, and i can't wait to see the rest of the monuments and must-sees on our list!


Paris in the Rain???? .... NO COMPLAINTS!!!!!

Some of you may think that spending your first couple of days in Paris with rain might be a drag - NOT I (I state emphatically)!  What's the best way to spend a rainy day (even in the States)????  A museum, of course!  AND boy'o boy, PARIS has THE museum to give any rain cloud a silver lining!  I've had the fortunate pleasure of spending 2 days at THE LOUVRE and I'm here to tell you... even that is NOT nearly enough to take in all that the Louvre offers; but it definitely gives you just enough of a taste to make your head swirl. 

Let me PROVE the 'spectacularisms' I saw...

Seated Statue of Ramses II

Venus de Milo (along with the Bejing posse)

ummmm... don't remember the name of this one - but there was a really, REALLY long line to see her, so I assume she's someone important.

Just to document the fact that I WAS THERE!!!  :)

ouch!  Didn't know they expected blood to see the sights.

I must backtrack just a smidge - yesterday during a break in the clouds we were able to take in Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame- words cannot describe the beauty!
Stain Glass... in France???  :) 

Notre Dame - looking in for Quasimodo

I'm so happy I'm here!