Grin and Bear It

Like my grandma always said when things go wrong, “You win a few, you lose a few.” I found myself saying this more than once today. We went to the market near the Bastille, which was very interesting. There were tons of vendors with different foods, clothing, and jewelry. Even though it was 90 degrees outside, I went ahead and bought an extremely hot Nutella crepe. I’ve noticed that Nutella is incredibly popular in Europe, and I buy into the trend whenever I can.

After the market, Dylan, Andrea, Elizabeth and I decided we wanted to check out the catacombs. We attempted it yesterday and planned on renting some bikes and riding them there, but the machine for the bike rentals wouldn’t accept American credit cards and we realized we wouldn’t have enough time to look around before it closed. So today we decided we would get there via the metro. We had to walk for a while to find the right one to take- the system is very confusing. However, we were very proud when we figured it out and made it to the catacombs, but we were too late- the line was around the block, and a man working there told us we were too late to get in.

It was disappointing, but we reconvened and told each other to put our biggest smiles on. It was a different part of the city, so we decided to explore and see what we could find. Elizabeth had spotted a large monument a few blocks down, so we headed that way. We couldn’t help but roll our eyes and laugh when we realized that it was nothing more than a large concrete block.  Our spirits rose for a second when we spotted a park, but when we walked in, we laughed again and decided that in terms of Paris parks, we had probably found the lousiest one.

The disappointing monument.

The disappointing monument.

The park we found. I accidentally lied in a pile of dirt while we relaxed there.

The park we found. I accidentally lied in a pile of dirt while we relaxed there.

There wasn’t really anything else to explore, so we headed back to the metro. Andrea and I had scoped out a vending machine, which took the only 2 euro coin I had and failed to give me an Orangina in return. We took the metro to the Luxembourg Gardens- and that’s when we finally “earned our stripes.” We dipped our feet in a massive fountain and wandered through the tunnels of trees, enjoying the shade. The flowers and lawns were stunning. All of the problems from earlier seemed to melt away there.

The beautiful Luxembourg Gardens

The beautiful Luxembourg Gardens

Afterwards we headed to the Lourve to catch the Tour de France bikers race by, which was a very cool experience. A few of us decided that we needed food, water, shelter, and hopefully wifi, so we stopped for dinner. I devoured a pizza, and I don’t think I have ever been so happy to sit down before.

Bikers in the Tour de France

Bikers in the Tour de France

There were a lot of bumps in the road today, but I’m very fortunate to be able to say that it took three weeks before I had a day where things didn’t work out well. I also think days like this are important to have, because they make you appreciate the good days even more, and they build character. You can either complain and be miserable, or laugh it off when things go bad, and many laughs were had. And as for visiting those pesky catacombs-  I firmly believe that the third time’s a charm.

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