fourth of july: paris

I’m going to do this entry in two posts at least (but maybe more). I have kept a journal ever since I was in the…fifth (?) grade. Somewhere in Hawaii, smashed in a box, are at least twelve beat-up old notebooks that are my “tween” years: diary entries, poems, doodles, an invented language complete with a pronunciation guide and alphabet, and even a last will and testament as of seventh grade. I wanted to make sure that my friends from all of the different places I’d lived in new that I was dead and that they would all be invited to my funeral. That’s kind of depressing, now that I’m actually thinking about it. But at the time it just seemed logical. It was before the advent of Facebook.

So, sometimes I get kind of lazy about writing in my journal. I’ve had the one I’m using right now since November of my junior year. I usually only record the most important and monumental things that happen to me. Sometimes I include some trivial things as well. I always imagined that my future grandchildren would find my journals and read them to see what life is like right now, at the turn of the century. I used to write to my future grandchildren sometimes, asking them not to judge me when they read how dramatic I was. Oh, goodness, I’m so weird.

If there’s a day out of the year that I try to write on consistently, it’s the fourth of July. Holidays are good indicators of passing time and of how much has or hasn’t changed in the last year. I don’t know why I choose the fourth of July to be the most significant day for me. I think it might have something to do with the fact that it’s during the summer break, so I could be anywhere in the world. It provides for a more diverse sense of adventure.

I’ll talk about summer 2008 tonight, and I’ll talk about summer 2009 later. Then I’ll talk about having changed and such. I don’t know which order to put them in, or whether I want to put the last two topics together or maybe just discard the last one entirely. We’ll see. I’m really tired right now and I’ll probably revise this tomorrow after leaving it up on the internet all night.

During the summer of 2008, my mother, sister, and I visited our French neighbors in their hometown of Lezay, France. We stayed for three weeks and oh boy, was it an adventure. I kick myself every day for not bringing more disposable cameras or buying an electric plug converter thing (because did you know that the plugs in France look wayy different from the ones here?!). I saw the most beautiful things. We traveled to southern France to visit Veronique’s brother’s family. He lived on top of a child hill and the view was beautiful. I can’t think of anything better to say, haha. Sorry. It was like…in The Sound of Music when Maria is singing on the hills right at the beginning. It was like that, I suppose. The food was delicious and the air was cool and clear and clean. My one regret throughout that whole summer is that I wish I had taken more risks. And pictures.

On the fourth of July, we were in Paris. I definitely took pictures there. The picture below is on top of the Eiffel Tower. It must have been midnight, or close to it. It was warm outside but I could feel the slight chill in the air as it got darker. My mom and Veronique decided to stay on the ground at have coffee together, but I was determined to get to the top. I wanted to write my name on the observation deck (like the Ataris…lame, I know).

The view was beautiful. That’s expected though. No one needs me to say that. I tried to get these British tourists to take a picture of my sister and me with the city in the background but you can’t see, obviously.

I didn’t see fireworks that night, but I saw the Eiffel Tower lit up with bright lights like a Christmas tree. After walking around Paris all day, my feet and body and everything were tired. I was practically falling asleep on the subway ride back to the hotel, but something kept me awake: an accordionist was on the subway playing “La Vie En Rose.” Completely cliche. I didn’t know that people actually did that. It was a perfect ending to the day though. I couldn’t decide what this guy’s motives were for playing the accordion at midnight in the middle of Paris on a smelly subway. Maybe he makes money off of starry-eyed tourists like myself.

Or maybe he just likes bringing happiness to people when they’re exhausted and far from home.

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