Expect the Unexpected


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{hotel resort pool converted into an Hermes store in Le Saint Germain}
I spent close to nine months trying to envision what this experience would be like, though I knew very well the picture I had in my head would only slightly resemble the real thing. This weekend proved that.

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On Saturday--after a much-needed sleep in--Jordan and I strolled through the Latin Quarter and got our greens and avocado fix at Ralph's. My parents and I had stopped in Ralph Lauren's Parisian bistro when it first opened a few summers back, but the reservations were hard to come by during its first season.

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We were lucky enough to snag a spot inside amidst the Frenchies and Americans who shared a hankering for classic States' style comfort food done right.

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{olive bar at Le Grand Épicerie}
We met her sister and friends at a brasserie in the 6th not far from Bon Marché and Le Grand Épicerie--think Bergdorf's and Whole Foods meets the ultimate French foodie and fashionista. Peplum tops and pastries! Baguettes and booties! Trousers and truffles! My, my, my.

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 We met up with Jordan's sister again not long after stopping in both spots for a great dinner at a non-touristy spot in the heart of the 16th, Flandrin.

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Currently on an asparagus kick, I couldn't resist starting with the white asparagus dish that came with hollandaise for dipping and following that with the beef carpaccio for my main course. Jordan's sister, Landon, showed us the best little peak of the tip of the Eiffel Tower down an avenue after dinner.

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On Sunday morning, we went to show our support for our fellow American, John Isner, at the French Open. He made it to the fourth round and though his Czech competitor Tomas Berdych beat him in the end, it was an exciting match to see at the Rolland Garros stadium also in the 16th.

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{dessert at L'Avenue}
We celebrated a great tournament for John with his friends and family at a combined lunch, happy hour and dinner at L'Avenue with lots of rosé and the best dim sum I've ever had.

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{have yet to Skype with my parents yet, but they saw me on TV!}
This weekend was unexpected and nothing quite like what I experience at home to say the very least. When it all came to a close, it reminded me why I came here in the first place.

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{John & I outside of L'Avenue}
Living in Texas all my life, everything becomes pretty predictable, particularly having been at UT for three years now and really knowing the ropes.

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{decadent mushroom pasta dish at L'Avenue}
With new people plus new surroundings my eyes are widening with each new day and experience. My new friends and I are about to go explore the 10th and 11th arrondissements, supposedly the areas where our age group tends to flock.

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School is in session and the material is really interesting so far. Having the churches and history we learn about outside our window certainly makes the material more engaging and exciting. We'll visit Notre Dame and St. Chapelle tomorrow.

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Last thing on my mind is William's visit, which is just under 48 hours away! He'll board his plane tomorrow en route to a city--country, for that matter--he's never seen before. Our itinerary is stocked with sights and good eats to get us fueled from one thing to the next. It includes a bike tour, an evening mass and dinner at Sacre Coeur, an overnight trip to London (his stomping grounds last summer), the best steak frites and sauce "in the world," and navigating the new nightlife along the Seine.