Excitement was running high as a group of seven teenage girls and their teacher prepared to leave for their sixteen day trip to France. On the plane, we were practically bouncing in our seats, too excited to get the sleep we knew we needed. After a long night and morning of travel, we finally arrived in Paris, France! Despite the tiredness, our eyes were wide open, taking in the sights and sounds! After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to explore!
Our first adventure was a bus tour of Paris, with a local Parisian. He pointed out the sights, and, although telling us great stories, couldn’t even begin to cover the rich history France has. Among other things, we saw two famous Parisian monuments, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. At the Arc de Triomphe we were warned to beware of the gypsies! That afternoon, we visited St Michael. It’s the area of Paris where the students hang out. We sat by a gorgeous fountain, and listened to live music. A funny thing about the fountain at St. Michael is that for bachelor and bachelorette parties, funny stunts are done there. We saw a man dressed up as Superman whose task from his friends was to kiss a certain number of women. He ran around the fountain kissing all the ladies on the cheek. That night was called “Paris by Night.” We started off the evening with a bateau-mouche ride on the Seine River. Then, we went up the Eiffel Tower at about 9:30. It was cool, in more ways than one! For one thing, it was freezing cold! But the fact was that it was absolutely amazing. We rode the elevator to the very top, and there aren’t good words to describe the view. The city was all lit up, and I could see monuments, like the Arc de Triomphe. It was absolutely beautiful. At the bottom, we were waiting for our bus, and saw a true “movie moment.” A guy proposed under the Eiffel Tower. Our entire group started clapping and cheering for them, but they were so wrapped up in their own world that they didn’t even notice at first.
The next day was basically a travel day, but I enjoyed it a lot, because we stopped in one of my favorite towns. It was called Annecy. A river wound down from the nearby mountains, and flowed right through the middle of town. It was just so beautiful that I had to keep reminding myself that it was real- not a Disney set!
Our next major destination was Nice. It’s in the south of France, right on the Mediterranean. Our group went to the beach, and although we didn’t have our suits, we stayed there for hours. We waded and looked for sea glass. Then we met some really nice teenagers from Texas, who were there on a mission trip. In Nice we visited a perfumerie- a perfume factory. We also went into Monaco. My friends and I found a real yellow submarine, and being the big Beatles fans that we are, took some fun pictures by it!
I’m going to have to cut this essay short, but some of the other places we visited were Aix en Provence, Nimes, Pont du Gard, Avignon, Carcassone, and the Dune de Pilat. We saw where famous movies were filmed, unbelievable man-made structures, extraordinary works of nature, and more. It was an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Someone asked me if I would go back, and I answered, “It’s not if, it’s when.”
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