Sunday, July 24, 2011


I'm a mere three weeks late on my closing Europe post- much better than my 6 months or so for Hawaii.

The wind ensemble tour, even though it was as part of a big tour group, was one of my best Stanford experiences (as all of my Stanford abroad trips have been). Traveling with other students and having access to Stanford's resources overseas (i.e. our private tour in Florence), is something I won't forget anytime soon. And the tour was a great way to end my time at Stanford.

The second part of my trip was just as awesome: the hospitality we received in Como and Paris was unbelievable. And my traveling buddy was pretty good too.

I can't believe Europe was only about three weeks ago! But I'll be back.

The next post will be about where I am now: New York!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Saturday morning Jenny and I woke up at 6, took the train back to Milan and then flew to Paris, arriving at Jenny's aunt's apartment around 4 o'clock. We started walking around Paris (a HUGE city) and we ended up at the Arc de Triomph around sunset to catch some beautiful views.

And what a cool staircase!

We also got our views of the city's trademark, the Eiffel Tower of course!

After the Arc, we caught a picnic dinner and then had a lovely picnic in front of the well-lit Tower.

Sunday we got up early to go wait in line at Versailles, although we did finally get in to see the Palace and then the gardens where they had the fountains running!

We then headed back into town and headed to Chez Hannah in the Marais District for some delicious Mediterranean food. We also caught another Paris landmark at night.

Monday we saw several of Paris's most famous landmarks starting with the Eiffel Tower, where we went up to the 2nd floor (we didn't want to wait in line for the top!).

And since it was Jenny's mom's birthday, we also snapped some shots at our favorite Paris spots for Jenny's mom. Happy Birthday Jean!!!

Next we headed to a delicious crepe place and then to Our Lady, Notre Dame.

We finally headed up to Montmarte up on the hill overlooking the city. Definitely one of my favorite spots.

From the top of Sacre Couer we had great views of the city!

Monday night our gracious host, Jenny's Aunt, Barb, made us a delicious Moroccan dinner, and a good time was had by all. Yet another example of the fine hospitality we encountered in Europe.

Tuesday we ended our time in Paris with Les Invalides in the morning, including Napoleon's Tomb and the Musee D'Orsay in the afternoon (sorry no photos).

Our farewell dinner Tuesday was as French as Jenny and I could make it: escargot, beef tartare, duck confit, and a creme brulee. The snails were actually pretty good- similar to squid.

All in all, the lines in Paris were a bummer, but while I'd rather travel in Italy, I'd much rather live in quaint and lovely Paris. Thanks to our gracious host- hope to see more of Barb! And thanks Paris! More reflections on my complete trip to come when I'm less jet-lagged! A closing shot of the quirky but awesome Paris Metro: