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Europe Part 3-Paris

Posted by Dalia on April 3, 2011 in Travel |

Paris, what can I say about this city? Why all the regular ol’ clichéd stuff you’ve heard before, of course. :-P Paris has to be my absolute most favorite city ever now. The only negative thing I can think of to say is I wish we could have spent much more time there. I’d say a week would suffice…at least a few times a year, that is. It’s not only a beautiful city, but its rich history, culture, and social offerings just leave you wanting for more.

So just the highlights, please. :-P First and foremost, I got to eat my crepe. LOL Yes, it was actually on my list. Eat a crepe from a street vendor complete with yummy nutella and bananas. Okay, so I stole that one from Samantha Brown, but it sounded oh so delicious and let me tell you right now it was. All kinds of nummmms.

I got my crepe!

L’Arc de Triomphe that first night was absolutely amazing. I am so glad we went at night because it was beautifully lit and literally gave me chills. The climb to the top (what’s up with the broken elevator?) can be a bit of a dizzy experience. Narrow staircase twirling all the way to the top leaves you pausing for a break in the lobby for a short while before you go outside for the view. Get your bearings, ladies and gentlemen. But once we composed ourselves and went outside…oh…my…gawd. The view was amazing. “The City of Light”? No joke. It’s absolutely breathtaking and I could have sat up there all night just taking it all in. If you plan to go to Paris please take my word for it, go to L’Arc de Triomphe at night. You will not be disappointed.

So, wow…what didn’t we see and visit while in Paris? There were quite a few places, but I’d say we hit most of the “must see” attractions. Notre Dame, Les Invalides (where you can find Napoleon’s tomb), Eiffel Tower (but of course), Shakespeare & Company, and the Louvre, amongst a few others.

The energy buzzing through the city, it’s absolutely exhilirating. Nevermind that throughout most of our trip we were lacking sleep and our bodies were aching and borderline broken. Paris gave us an amazing shot of adrenalin straight into our hearts that kept us going. I remember our walk to the Eiffel Tower. It was quite comical actually. Even though we were following my mTrip app (which was amazing) and using the map our hotel gave to us so geting lost was not an option, it was fun how we could just look up, see where she was at, and continue onward. It felt very “French Kiss.” :-D

But my favorite part of Paris, my absolute favorite experience while in Paris…the Louvre. Even now, thinking back to being inside the walls of the most amazing museum in existence, it all seems so surreal to me. I fell in love. My family can tell you what an obsessed art junkie I am. I’ve studied it in elementary, HS, college, it’s in my blood. And to be able to see before me, in real life, no pictures of paintings here…no, sir…the actual works of art…words cannot express how amazing it felt. I was in heaven. I could literally spend days and days wandering her rooms, spending hours in just one little area soaking in all the beauty and history. It was so interesting to watch actual classes taking place, students sitting in little corners with their instructor, having a lesson. Can you imagine what it’s like to get that first hand knowledge? And I’m telling you right now if you can do it, make a whole day of it. You do not want to feel rushed. There is SO much to see.

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I could have killed Mother, though, for almost, ALMOST ruining the Louvre for me. LOL I love her to death but I was ready to pick up a vase and smash it over her noggin if she made another “I’m bored, I’m done, blah blah blah” face and comment. The woman was trying to convince us (and herself, I’m sure) that it took her 30 minutes to see the whole museum. LOL So travel tip #1342…If you don’t enjoy art and the rest of your party does, plan to do something else while they’re visiting the Louvre. There’s a beautiful park nearby, Jardin des Tuileries, amazing fountain and relaxing areas to sit outside, and interesting neighborhoods only a short walk away (shopping, shopping, shopping). And if you insist on joining the rest of your travel buddies even though the Louvre is not your cup of tea, sit down and relax at one of the restaurants or cafes and play Angry Birds on your stupid iPad and leave us art enthusiasts in peace so we can enjoy the damn museum! Still talking to you, Mother! :-P

Okay, moving on…teehee. Another interesting place that you HAVE to visit if you LOVE to read is Shakespeare & Company . Across the street from Notre Dame, it is the epitome of what your local bookstore should be. As well it should be with its culturally rich history. You get a feel for this when you first walk up and see the bookstore. Then you open the door and enter and the smell of books hits you right in the face. I love that smell. Then you look around and see shelf after shelf and piles of books crammed into every corner and every available space possible. You have to maneuver yourself carefully around the store through her narrow passageways, excuse yourself as you brush against another patron to grab a title from a nearby shelf. The low lighting, the creaky stairs, the hushed tones…Shakespeare & Company is a booklover’s paradise. I so wish we could have been there for one of their scheduled events or workshops. I bought a Shakespeare title for a friend of mine and asked for that special stamp to be placed onto her inside cover page. What I forgot to do…buy a book for me as well. D’OH!!! Oh well, next time.

Honestly, I could have go on forever and ever on our Paris trip, but I decided to just hit on a couple of the experiences that made me feel like a little girl. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, L’Arc de Triomphe, visting the Louvre and Shakespeare & Company were just a few of the amazing things that we did while in Paris. And I am completely not exaggerating when I say I want to visit this city over and over again in my lifetime…and I am definitely planning on it.

***If you want to see more pictures of our time in Paris, click here to see the pics.

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