Alternative Thanksgiving

This past weekend I felt very fortunate to be able to see my parents during my stint abroad. Normally after a month or so away at Pitt, I will find myself retreating back to my hometown of Swarthmore to catch up on SNL episodes with family and spend time relaxing with my dog. Originally, I was worried that I would get homesick while being away and so far from home for a few months, but surprised myself with how fluently I transitioned to life in Spain. Nevertheless, a long weekend in Paris with my parents was rejuvenating and much needed after some recent hectic traveling weekends. Having been to Paris already, I was able to revisit some of my favorite spots and show my parents around but also able to discover new neighborhoods like Le Marais and St. Germain, both filled with small restaurants and local-vibes. Between visits to Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and Montmartre on the rainy days, we spent time in many cafés consuming a year’s worth of croissants and cappuccinos.

The most memorable part of the weekend was a stopover to Sainte Chapelle, a Gothic style church from 1238. Through the era of the French Revolution, the world renowned stain glass portion of the chapel survived beside what was destroyed elsewhere on the grounds. I’ve never seen anything so ornately decorated!

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With my parents I was able to see inside many museums that normally I wouldn’t explore if I were traveling with friends, such as the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre. An admirer of Impressionist art, I found the Orsay much more intriguing than the collection at the Louvre, but saw the Mona Lisa nonetheless at the latter. Not once did I have to pay for admission into any museum, Versailles, or the Opera house because I was previously advised to bring my student visa everywhere. This is a great incentive to see some stunning exhibits in Paris if you’re headed there next!

Sad to see them go, I said goodbye to my parents in the airport and most definitely look forward to seeing them during winter break. In the meantime, I’ll be seeing some friends and extended family in London and will be rounding out the trip with a visit to my cousin’s farm in Leicester.

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Falafel for an alternative Thanksgiving feast

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