Par-ee thus far.

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Paris

So I figure it’s been a while since an actual update on my life and what’s been happening.

Lately I’ve been through the worst exam week of my life, and it’s not quite finished yet. I’ve got one more to go next week, but it should be ok given that I’ve got some space to breathe now. For those of you not in the know, or that I haven’t whined to, this was my exam schedule for this week:

9am-10.30am US Literature (Puritan literature, really)
11.30am-1.30pm US Civilisation

11.30am-1pm Commonwealth Literature
1pm-3pm British Civilisation

11am-12.30pm US Photography and Painting

So since classes finished the week before on Wednesday, I basically spent Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, Friday and Saturday inside, hitting the books HARD. Here’s hoping it paid off. So far I’ve managed to wing myself an 82.5% in US Civilisation, but I don’t know when I’ll get the rest of my marks back. It might not be until I get back to New Zealand in July.

Before all the exams started crowding in on me I managed to see a couple of good friends when they dropped by Paris – both at the airport, and both from Antipodes Travel. Helene and Cedric swung through Paris a while back, and then after that Mathieu dropped in for a couple of hours. I met all of them out at CDG on separate occasions, but it was really good to see them again.

In addition to this, the boy dropped in for the second week of my holidays and we had a great time. It was the first time he’d been to Europe, so we did quite a few touristy things, but that meant that I actually got to do stuff in Paris, so that was pretty cool. We did 2 days at Disneyland Paris (he works part time at Walt Disney World in FL, so that means he gets free entry over here), and then 1.5 days at Versailles. The .5 day is the day he arrived, which we spent wandering the gardens and didn’t actually go into the chateau itself. Both days were reeeallly hot, and I got a sunburn on the first one, which was surprising (to me, anyway!). I also found out that black boots aren’t the best thing to wear if you’re traipsing around a the dusty Versailles grounds, and consequently had to invest in some shoe shine, which my lovely, wonderful, amazing boy then used to shine my boots for me 🙂

Amongst other things, we also managed to walk through the Tuileries, get some photos in front of the pyramid at the Louvre, go up the Eiffel Tower, see Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame and then wind our way through the (still creepy) Catacombs.  It really was an amazing week, and I loved being able to show Jon around where I’m currently living. I just hope I get to do the same for him in New Zealand one day!

Nothing else to really highlight but those things, I’ve spent a good amount of time in my apartment studying and reading, but now that the weather is picking up I’m looking forward to going back to a couple of places and taking some photos with my lovely camera. Also, a couple of weeks back I booked a 10 Night cruise with Disney in the Mediterranean, and I’m looking forward to that sooooo much it’s probably illegal! Here’s the Itinerary for those curious:

Day 1 – Embarkation, Barcelona, arrive somewhere around 10am in the morning.
Day 2 – Day at Sea (ie lying out in the sun, reading, swimming in the adult’s only pool)
Day 3 –  Valletta, Malta (doing a tour of Vallette and Mdina as well)
Day 4 – Palermo, Italy (I finally get to go to Sicily!! Yayyyy! Planning on doing a self guided tour of the city, and hitting up the Capuchin Catacombs)
Day 5 – Naples, Italy (doing a tour of Pompeii at this stop. Epic!!)
Day 6 – Citavecchia, Italy (Tour of the Vatican and the Coliseum.. making up for spending most of my day at the police station last time I was there with my parents ;)! )
Day 7 – La Spezia, Italy (Boat cruise of Cinque Terre XD)
Day 8 – Ajaccio, Corsica (Self guided, probably just a walk around town and then relax on the boat)
Day 9 – Villefranche-sur-mer, France (Going to train it over to Monaco and take a look at some pretty cars and casinos)
Day 10 – Day at Sea (as above, book, poolside, sun, swim etc etc)
Day 11 – Disembark, Barcelona, fly home.

After I get back from that I’m probably not going to have much money left, but I’m going to troll around Paris and take photos, and hopefully get down to the South of France and across to see Marie and Helene if the train tickets aren’t too expensive. Would really like to see my host families again, and also my friends from Antipodes Travel.

I leave Paris on the 28th of July somewhere around late afternoon (4pm if memory serves me correctly), fly into Heathrow and then across to Newark (where Sam is hopefully going to meet me at the airport!!). Best thing about those two flights is that I’m flying BUSINESS CLASS on British Airways, so yet again.. I’m intensely excited about that as well, hehe. Thank you soooo much Mum and Dad.. if I didn’t already love you as much as I do, that would’ve sealed the bargain 😉

I’m spending the 28th of June through to the 6th of July in New York city, then I fly out for Los Angeles (from La Guardia, I believe) and land at LAX late on the 6th of June. Staying in LA (let’s be honest here.. Anaheim) for roughly 2 full days, then I leave late on the 9th of July and head HOME!!

By that time I hit Dunedin, I will have been out of New Zealand and away from home for exactly 1 year, 5 months and 26 days. That’s 46,828,800 seconds, or 780,480 minutes, or 13,008 hours. Rounded down it comes to somewhere around 77 weeks.

By that time I will have lived in 2 different apartments, in 2 different cities, in 2 different countries and I will have held 3 different visas (all in the same passport, and definitely confusing for customs officials). I’ll have added 4 new countries to my count (making it 29 countries total visited). I’ll have been to 3 (potentially 4) States in America that I’ve never been to before, worked at the World’s leading Entertainment company for a year and made countless new friends. I’ll also have completed one semester’s worth of work at Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense, the same university that Nicolas Sarkozy (the President of France), Francois Mitterrand (Minister for Culture and Communication) and David Guetta went to.

Makes you stop and take count. I wouldn’t call my life ‘charmed’, but I’d still call it pretty damn good.

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