after years of dreaming about going to paris and seeing the eiffel tower, my dream finally came true this past weekend! seven of my friends from john cabot (mostly my roommates) and i journeyed to the airport last thursday night just to find our flight was delayed, which just prolonged my excitement. we finally made it to our hostel that night just after midnight, which was when we had the first of many crepes we would eat during the weekend. the next morning, we woke up at 9 in order to grab some free croissants from our hostel and then got a jumpstart on our day. my friend abby from BC met me and my friend claire for some sightseeing... once again it was nice to have a tour guide who made sure we didnt get lost. we started by going to see notre dame, the home of the hunchback, and were overjoyed when we realized we could get in for free! the building was truly beautiful and full of stain glass windows and murals painted on the walls. after notre dame, we took the metro over to the eiffel tower where we grabbed sandwiches and nutella crepes to eat while we sat on the lawn in from of the eiffel tower. i must say, it was the perfect lunch in every sense. after lunch, we had the first of many photo shoots in front of the eiffel tower as the three of us had fun trying to take pictures of us jumping up in front of the tower. we then headed over to one of the big shopping districts in the city, and abby gave us a tour of her school, which was truly beautiful. it really had a campus feel that i think claire and i feel is missing from JCU here in rome. we then had the chance to pass by the two famous cafes where lost generation writers such as f. scott fitzgerald and ernest hemmingway used to hang out. after this, we went over to the luxembourg gardens to hang out and share a bottle of wine before getting ready for dinner and meeting up with the rest of our fellow travelers. for dinner we stumbled upon a quaint little french restaurant where i had the most delicious salmon and ratatouille... which i loved almost as much as the movie! we then took off to a british pub where we met up with a bunch of other BC students who were studying in paris/visiting paris for the weekend. i feel like i have met so many new BC people while being here which is a nice compromise since I am not actually doing a BC study abroad program. anyways, this brings us to day two, which unlike day one, was really rainy. we started off by going to the louvre, where it once again ended up being abby, claire, and i exploring the sites. once again, we were overjoyed to learn that since we are students of the european union (weird to think about) we were able to get in for free!! while at the louvre, we got to see the mona lisa, michael angelo statues, an underground mote, an ancient sphynx, and napoleons apartment. after spending almost 3 hours in the louvre, we walked to the arch de triomphe, stopping along the way to grab some lunch crepes and doing some shopping. i bought a longchamp bag which was something on my bucket list while i was in france! after taking many more pictures, we went back to the hostel to get changed before embarking on the greatest adventure of the weekend... CLIMBING THE EIFFEL TOWER. we started to climb the tower just as they turned the lights on which was a really cool experience. although it was raining, it was still a lot of fun the climb up the tower. once we got to the top, it was really windy and i felt like i was going to blow off but we managed to get to the side without the wind and take a ton of pictures! on our way done, as it reached 8pm, the lights on the tower started to sparkle! apparently, this happens for the first 5 minutes of every hour, which we got to see 4 times over the course of the night!! after we climbed down, we took some more pictures then saw the lights sparkle again as we headed for dinner. at dinner i got a burger and french fries (so parisian) and then we went back to the tower to meet some of my roommates. we then ended the night by getting a final strawberry and chocolate crepe and heading back to the hostel for a chill night before we woke up REALLY early to catch the bus to the airport. on our way to the airport, we witnessed a huge brawl on the metro which was pretty cool because we were safe inside, but other than that i found the metro pretty safe and easy to use! it was truly a fantastic weekend, and although i feel like im missing half of the details of our weekend, i have to catch up on some school work and more importantly... PREPARE FOR MY PARENTS TO GET HERE TOMORROW!! more information on our time together soon!!