Friday (May 29) was the first day of class even though we don’t have class on Fridays as a general rule. Jaclyn came with me to IES at 9 am even though her first class wasn’t until 11. I had just enough time before class to check my email to see that I have a new niece! Hooray for Carissa Rose!

The first class went great! I think Contemporary France is going to be a lot of fun and not too much written work; it’s mainly discussion. I think this is going to be a great bonus because not only will we be learning about the country but we’ll also be improving our language skills. The professor is really cool and laid-back too. Katie, Meaghan and our other friend Colleen (Texas girl with a big heart and a smile to match) are also in that class so it will definitely be fun.

After class I finally got my phone issues worked out (YAY!) and then we decided to get lunch. Our student guide said there was a student cafeteria not far away so we headed there. We ended up at the University of Paris, which has a beautiful campus. We ate in the cafeteria and then walked the grounds because we have 3 1/2 hours between classes. At the university there’s a huge grass lawn, which immediately made me think of the Quad at MU and similar places at the Univ. of Virginia for Meaghan and Univ. of Texas for Colleen.

The main building on the University of Paris campus, complete with huge lawn.

The main building on the University of Paris campus, complete with huge lawn.

Colleen, Katie and Meaghan (from L-R) walking around the lawn after lunch.

Colleen, Katie and Meaghan (from L-R) walking around the lawn after lunch.

Although we wanted nothing more than to sit in the shade and relax, we had to return to IES for our Impressionism and Post-Impressionism class. All four of us are in that class too. The first day was just a basic intro duction but I am already incredibly excited for this class! We have 7 field trips and free access to all the museums! I’m in heaven! I have no doubt that this class will be what I remember most about this trip for the rest of my life.

Class ended around 4 pm and our gang met up outside IES to make a game plan. As I expect will be our habit this summer, we did a lot of walking and talking but little plan making. For some reason Katie and Harrison were having issues with their phones communicating and it took a good 25 minutes to get it all sorted out–not gunn alie, the rest of us pretty much just laughed at them.

Eventually we all decided that since Katie and Harrison were having dinner with their families we would all just meet around 9:30 to go out somewhere fun for our first Friday night in Paris. Jaclyn and I just went on home and took a nap because we were exhausted!

The nap was perfect. Around 8pm we left the apartment to go get food and to meet the others. We decided to just grab something easy at the Monoprix (a super Target basically) nearby–mistake. Next time I’ll go to the boulangerie.

The others arrived, including Meaghan’s roommate Emma (no nonsense big-sister type from StL). We had a place in mind to go, courtesy of Meaghan’s guidebook so we set off. On the way we passed Le Deux Magots (a favorite hang-out of Hemingway’s). The cafe wasn’t exactly what we wanted so, what else?, we wandered around looking for something different. During the walk we were all chatting and our various universities came up and that’s when I realized that every university has a big grassy area called something special and all are loved dearly. Just one more thing to tie us all together.

Hemingway and several of his contemporaries were known to frequent Le Deux Magots cafe.

Hemingway and several of his contemporaries were known to frequent Le Deux Magots cafe.

Because we couldn’t find a suitable hang-out in Montmartre, we headed to the Bastille neighborhood where Meaghan and Emma live because they knew some spots. There we found a cool club with seating room for all of us.

For the next few hours we had a great time swapping stories and dancing in our chairs. I swear we never once heard a French song and we all did the “YMCA” at a Parisien nightclub! I think that was the most surreal experience yet. A few girls were interested in Harrison but Andres kindly informed them he was married (he’s not but he has a girlfriend of 6 years) and some guys on the dance floor wanted to dance with Katie and Jaclyn but the girls just mentioned their ficticious boyfriends upstairs.

Shortly after a rausing rendition of “You’re the One That I Want” (yes, they played Grease songs in a Paris club), Jaclyn, Katie, Harrison and I left to catch the Metro before it stopped running. Meaghan and Emma lived close enough to walk home and Andres is just a bad-ass.

Basically we had a blast and decided our first night out on the town was a huge success!

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