Picnic in Paris

One of my absolute favorite days while studying abroad was our free day in Paris. Paris is FULL of hustle and bustle. Think crazy New York streets filled with shoppers around Christmas time except across the world and they all speak French.

Of course in Paris, the first things you have to do are all those bucket list adventures (except the lock bridge because they so rudely took it down). So after a full morning of running around the city seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and taking pictures in front of Notre Dame (side note: there was some kind of funeral going on while we were there and it was very beautiful) some of the friends I had met on the trip and I were on the way to the final destination of our Parisian scavenger hunt: the Eiffel Tower. But there was a problem: we were starving! In the rush of fitting in all of Paris, food had been put on the back burner.

BMW assembly plantInstead of eating a 3-hour long meal at a little café we decided to stop by a local market on the way to the tower and get some food of our own. We picked up sandwiches, cheese & meat trays, macaroons (my favorite), and of course, champagne! We went and found a spot in the grass next to the Eiffel tower to sit and eat and enjoy the view. It was so nice to sit and relax in such a beautiful area and get away from all the hustle and bustle for a moment. We shared so many laughs and stories and took a minute to soak in the adventure that we were just starting. It was truly one of those moments where you think “wow I am actually here in Paris”.

The best thing about picnicking by the Eiffel tower is the low-key bottle service. French men will walk around with bottles of wine and champagne and you can buy it (basically negotiate super low prices for low quality wine/champagne) without having to lift a finger! Most of them will accept American dollars too! I could literally sit there all day. We had so much fun that day that we even went back the next night with even more people and sat on the Eiffel tower lawn for hours watching it sparkle every hour on the hour for five minutes, which was more magical than anyone can ever imagine. I love these memories so much that I even made the Eiffel tower my phone background to remind me of the great time that I had in Paris.

Peyton Gutierrez

School: Louisiana State University

From my experience abroad I learned a lot about other cultures but also learned a lot about myself. Something I tried to do in every country I visited was to immerse myself in their culture, try to live their lives.

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