Today was my last day in Europe, and just so happened to be my 21st birthday. After the ending of my program in Florence, I traveled to Rome, Venice, Florence, and finally Paris. I don’t think it has hit me yet that this is my final night before returning to my life in the states. Honestly, I’m ready to go home after so much time away. My final day consisted of:
1. Homemade breakfast from my mom
Something I have dearly missed was my mom’s big breakfasts. While she attempted the American breakfast I’m used to on my birthday, she had to improvise with our lack of access to American grocery stores in France. I woke up to the smell of bacon, eggs, and french pastries – the start to a wonderful day.
2. Private tour of the Louvre
I have always loved art museums and have been extremely lucky with free access to Carnegie Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, etc. by being a Pitt student. In Florence, most museum entry fees are waved the first Sunday of each month, but unfortunately I was only present in Florence for one of those Sundays. I have really missed experiences like these, so it was wonderful to have a tour guide from Paris to show us around her favorite exhibits. And yes, I did wait in line to see the Mona Lisa (worth it).
Rather than a traditional birthday cake, I decided it would be fitting to treat myself to a different kind of sweet for my last day in France. I wandered to Laduree, where I purchased six delicious macaroons: chocolate, rose, coffee, caramel, raspberry, and vanilla. While I’m pacing myself and have only tried a couple, I am more than pleased so far!
4. Eiffel Tower
While my family and I have already visited the tower, we had one final visit to say goodbye. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy all day, so this stroll was a bit shorter than I would have enjoyed in nicer weather. Regardless, it was nice to get some final pictures and say au revoir!
5. French Dinner
Around a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, we stumbled across a sweet little restaurant for dinner. Since I will be giving up meat when I return to the states, I had one final duck roast. We had the most wonderful service, and they even served my chocolate mousse dessert with a candle and sang happy birthday in French.
It has been a lovely extension of my study abroad experience, and an even lovelier 21st birthday in Paris. I’ll never forget the memories made in Europe, and I hope to return soon. Now, I have to get packing!