Happy Holidays/Back in Glasvegas

Happy Holidays everyone. I am back from my adventures in London and Paris and the two cities were both incredible. I had been to London before but this time I received a tour from a local. We hit up the Portobello Market, the Campbelltown Market and the Imperial War museum just to name a few. It was interesting to see a British Christmas (the family was also Irish) and what stands out in my mind is Mince pies and the television show Sharpe. I partied with my hosts’ extended family and heard the conversations that occur at every family gathering including drole stories about the ‘nuttier’ relatives. As I was dropped off at the train station to make my way to Paris I received the advice ‘watch where you walk in Paris, there is a lot of dog crap around’. Turns out it was completely on the mark, the Parisians are not big on ‘poop-scoping’ and my shoes paid the price more than once.

Dog do-do aside, Paris is incredible. It truly hit me on the last day when my Parisian host went home to clean up the house leaving an American friend of mine and myself to make our make home. As we walked out of the Museum d’Orsay and over the river Seine you could turn 360 degrees and see the Eiffel Tower, L’oeuvre, Notre Dame, the Museum d’Orsay, and all the indescribable beauty that is Paris.

New Years was an incredible party and a funny story. After drinking some wine with our muscles, pasta, and a type of olive paste and tomato pie we went to a very posh party. Everyone was dressed to impressed and was sporting a bottle of champagne, which immediately became communal property. Needless to say, I tasted a lot of very good champagne and had a lot of fun. The party began to die off at 3 in the morning and we decided to head home. I walked with two of my new Parisian friends ahead of my host and our American friend and gradually we were separated. I hoped on the Metro with the Parisians who told me mid stop that they were going the away from where I was staying and I should run back to the Arch de Triumph stop and find my other friends. I ran back to the stop but I could not find my friends. Thinking they had headed back without me I jumped onto a train that stopped at Belleville, which I knew, was the connection to get back home. I arrived at Belleville and again I couldn’t find my friends and even worse the line which would have taken me directly to my host’s house wasn’t running. I had to walk three stops to get home and after two wrong turns, witnessing one car accident and eating a donner kebab I made it home which impressed my two friends. All my map reading experience from archaeology really paid off.

I took over 700 pictures over the course of the trip so I am really having a hard time narrowing down which ones to post. Perhaps it is best if you just drop me a line and I will fire over some pictures (damn I love that feature on iphoto) It has also occurred to me that Paris and London are both so big and interesting that the places and sites a local shows you says something about your guide almost as much as it does about the city itself.

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