Montchan and I finished shopping and we returned to our apartment where Genilimaa was waiting for us, eating baguette bread and brie cheese. We snacked on the bread for awhile until Tari called to tell us she had arrived! We ran out to let her in and greet her, and we were thrilled to finally be together at last after months of looking forward to this!
She got settled and we decided to find a restaurant for dinner. We found one a block or so away and enjoyed a good time talking and laughing and hearing about everyone's travel experiences and lives. It was fun to discover that the women I had enjoyed getting to know through their blogs were much like I expected. Each of them were beautiful and fun to be around, and I enjoyed getting to know them in person. Montchan is an American woman who grew up in South Africa (her accent came as a surprise to me, I don't know why!) who now lives in Sweden where her husband works. Genilimaa is a Swedish woman who lives in the same town as Montchan. They met after the local newspaper reported about Montchan's blog. Tari is an Indonesian woman who lives in Tokyo ~ she was in Paris to conduct a conference for her work, and this was what brought the two from Sweden to Paris to have a girls' weekend, which resulted in an invitation to me. I'm so happy I met them in person. Finding such good friends is priceless to me.
Those first two days I didn't drink any alcoholic drinks because I was still pretty tired due to jet lag, and drinks make me sleepy sometimes and I didn't want to risk it. I enjoyed eating and talking ~ I think that dinner was very late (my memories are already somewhat hazy detail-wise) and was surprised when someone said it was after 11:00 pm while we ate. After dinner we walked back to our apartment and crashed for the night.
The next morning we got up and ate breakfast then headed out to buy tickets for the Metro, and then took the subway to the Arc de Triomphe, where Tari planned to meet with a friend whom she wanted to visit.
Emerging from the Metro just below the Arc de Triomphe.
We stood in the cold wind underneath the arches, reading the names on the walls and taking photos and laughing and planning what we'd do for the rest of the day. Genilimaa and I planned to visit The Louvre, while Montchan planned to shop some more (at The Gap, no less...something about her husband needing some specific clothes and The Gap not being anywhere near them in Sweden ~ we had a good laugh at that considering all the shopping opportunities in Paris). Eventually Tari's friend arrived and we all went our separate ways.
Tari, Genilimaa, and Montchan
I made my friends pose for about a thousand photos to try to get good photos like this one. Isn't it great?! Thanks for being such good sports about it!