Journal Entry #7

February 6, 2005

    I suppose it's been a while since I've written.  After the trip to Stockholm, we had a week or so of school and then Amy and I flew out to Paris on a Thursday evening (we missed one day of lectures).  I really had a great time in Paris.  It was mostly the overall experience, and maybe finally being able to enjoy museums (since I've never really enjoyed them).  The first day, we went to the Louvre (for about 3 hours), the Eiffel tower, and walked all over trying to find a place for lunch.  We went to the Hotel d'Invalides after lunch and for dinner we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Basically we went by subway everywhere.  The Louvre was just overwhelming and I spent most of my time (we split up for 2 hours) trying to figure out where I was (even with a map in my hands) and how to get where I wanted to go.  I did manage to see the Mona Lisa and two of Michelangelo's slaves.  Everything else I saw (and there was a LOT) I had no clue what it was...and the descriptions in French didn't help since I don't speak/read that language.  If I hadn't heard of the artist, I had no clue.  I saw some Egyptian mummies, the "man and wife" sarcophagus (that's what I call it anyway hehehe), and multiple paintings and sculptures.  The Eiffel tower wasn't really impressive because I'd seen so many photos of it.  But we took the obligatory photos.  The Hotel d'Invalides, or Napoleon's tomb, was absolutely beautiful.  I didn't know anything about Napoleon though.

    The next day we took the subway to the train to Versaille and toured the Château.  It was a colder overcast day, so we didn't enjoy much of the gardens.  The palace was very much like any other expensive castle belonging to royalty (i.e. castles in Scotland).  They had audio guides in English, luckily.  Then we went to Monmartre, a neighbourhood of Paris that has all kinds of interesting sites.  We saw an apartment that Van Gogh had lived in for a few years, then some windmills, an area where painters were busy painting portraits etc., and the sacred heart church (I can't think of the French name for it).  There were good views of the city from the church and streets of Monmartre.  We enjoyed tasty pastries and crepes there.  The final day, we visited the cemetery and saw the graves of Chopin, Bizet, Cherubini, Oscar Wilde, etc.  We then went to the Musee d' Orlay, which I really enjoyed.  I finally saw the works of Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir and more. 

    We are finally done with farm animal lectures!  Hurray!  Now I am working on catching up...doing lots of pig stuff that becomes really boring (and all the diseases seem to blur together...diarrhoea and more diarrhoea).  We are currently having companion animal lectures on the alimentary tract.  We do have more time during the week to study...which is nice, in a way.  Yesterday we had the GUVZS wildlife symposium and I think it went quite well.  We had lectures on anaesthesia, surgery and critical care of rabbits, reptiles, wildlife, and birds.  Next weekend is the Vet Ball, but I'm not going (again) this year (I prefer to save money).  Instead, Amy and I are going to fill in for some 5th years' hospital duty shifts (so that they can go to the ball).  I'm kind of looking forward to that.

    I'll be going home to southern California on March 19th: about 5-6 weeks left.  Wow, I haven't been home in ages (since September 1st).  I'm looking forward to seeing my family, even though I'll be doing EMS all the time.  Other news here: we had snow for about 2 days in January (between our Stockholm and Paris trips).  It piled up nicely (about 2 inches) overnight and then melted the next day.  It was beautiful though, as usual.  We'll be lucky to see more this year I think.


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