What would you do if one of your best friends and world-renowned partner in crime said ‘I’m coming to visit you in Europe’? Yes exactly…TOTALLY FREAK OUT! That’s what I did when my friend Smithers said she was flying out solo to not only visit me in Amsterdam but to also spend 3 incredible weeks jetsetting around Europe with me!
Well that was Smitty’s first trip to visit me, then she came out last summer for THREE WHOLE MONTHS and now she’ll be here in 2 weeks for her 3rd trip in the last 18 months. The fun didn’t stop there, another best friend of ours, Ink, decided to fly out and join us halfway through the summer too—I have the most excellent best friends EVER! Phew…well that crazy summer in Amsterdam with my 2 best friends will have to wait for another time but since ol’ Smithers will be here in just a couple of weeks, I thought posting about our first Euro-trip would be a great way to countdown until she arrives :).
After Smitty bought her plane ticket, she basically had two requests: that she wanted to go to Italy and she designated me to plan a crazy-laughter-filled European adventure—my specialty! Finally the day came and Smitty was here!! She was only in Amsterdam for one day (we saved Amsterdam for her last few days) and then we packed our bags and we were off! First stop: PARIS! Christian wanted a part of the fun so he came along for our le-weekend-Parisian (he likes to show off his French skills which mostly consists of words like fromage, jambon and baguette…but his effort is so cute!).
Once we stepped foot in the City of Lights, we found our way to our hostel in Montmarte, dropped our stuff off and went off to explore. The three of us lunched on French onion soup and crepes while washing it all down with a glass of wine. We then ventured off to—where else?—The Eiffel Tower! The best part about the weekend (well other than the fact that I was not only in Paris with my best friend AND boyfriend at the same time!) was that a French friend, Denis, who Christian and I studied with in Finland met up with us! He also met a girl in Finland, a Finnish girl Emma, who moved back to Paris with him. Well as soon as we got down from the Eiffel, Denis and Emma were waiting for us and, get this, they had a picnic with baguettes, cold cuts and wine spread out on the lawn nearby—AMAZING! We had plans to go to some chic French restaurant for dinner but we had so much fun hanging out under the Eiffel Tower with each other that we didn’t budge until the sun had long set and until ATLEAST 7-8 bottles of wine were emptied. This is where the laughter (and drinking) was nonstop for the rest of the evening. Our nightly festivities meant the 5 of us ended up on a boat whirling around the Seine with views of the Notre Dame and the Louvre lit up at night. We’re still wondering how we were able to still keep barhopping after having had no dinner and endless bottles of wine but we couldn’t be stopped. We not only survived but wished we could do it all over again—that’s what happens when you combine good company with a beautiful city! Fast forward 10 months and the 5 of us ended up cruising around the Greek Islands together!
It was a good thing we saved Pere Lachaise cemetery for the next day because we felt like death…the night before was rough! We wandered up and down the rows of tombs, crypts and mausoleums, enjoying the tranquility of it all. A perfectly sunny day in Paris at the end of high season meant we nearly had the entire place to ourselves. The sun was shining through the leaves and casting a quiet, spooky shadow at every glance. Christian had to catch his train back to Amsterdam, but Smit and I continued to wander in amazement—aaahhh Paris! After paying a visit to the Salvador Dali Museum, we wandered once more through Montmarte admiring artists at work. It was a short weekend but we squeezed in enough laughter and smiles to last much longer. We were off to Italy the next morning, so we grabbed a pizza, a bottle of wine and enjoyed our last glimpse of Paris wining-and-dining under Le Sacre Coeur. Audrey Hepburn was right…Paris is always a good idea!