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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Paris - A Dream Fulfilled

The Eiffel Tower by day

What better way to have a POSITIVE TUESDAY than to head for Paris.  TUESDAY, May 1st Rick and I left for Paris. France.  It was Rick's Christmas present to me.  Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to go to Paris.  It was as beautiful as I had always imagined and even more exquisite at night when buildings are lit, streetlamps glow, and the Eiffel Tower sparkles like the jewel that it is.

It was overcast and rainy almost the entire week we were there, but did we care? Absolutely not! It was Paris! 
Lovely set tables
We hit the highlights of course, enjoying espressos, having lunch at random Brasseries and outdoor cafes along the way.  Oh the food! An awesome quiche of goat cheese and dried tomatoes comes to mind. I tried Raclette for the first time and highly recommend it. A little like fondue in that you toast the cheese on a little grill at your table, scraping it onto your meat, potato, veggies or what have you once it is hot and bubbly and ohsogood! Everything paired with wine of course. This is France! 
Notre Dame
Although we did lots and lots of walking, we got quite adept at using the train to get from our hotel to anywhere we wanted to go; the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Montmartre, etc.  Street performers were everywhere, and fun to watch - Rick jokingly commented that we were spending as much on tipping them as we were on our meals!  We WERE surprised however when we were even entertained on the train. Accordian players, singers, even a 3 piece ensemble! I loved it! They'd give you a song, pass through the car with their hat and move on to the next car.  My favorite performers were the three guys singing on one of the stairways in Montmartre.  Lively and engaging, the one with the hat had a great voice, nice smile and seemed to enjoy singing as much as I enjoyed listening.  I wish they'd had a CD - I would have bought it!  
Sculpture on a bridge
The architecture of Paris is amazing.  And so many sculptures!  On bridges, atop buildings, beautiful fountains and monuments everywhere.  We went to the Rodin museum and spent several hours walking through the gardens looking at his work.  I was familiar with The Thinker and The Kiss, but had no idea what a prolific artist the man was. He also painted - something I did not know before we visited the museum

I studied my French for weeks before we went but was impressed by how many people in Paris spoke English. I've heard comments about the French being rude, but we saw none of that. Everyone we came in contact with was pleasant, helpful and friendly. They were patient with my slow, insufficient French and although I'm not sure if they were impressed by my attempts at their language or just needed a good laugh, we were always able to communicate.
 Everybody who knows me knows I take LOTS of pictures. ( I took a little over 1,000 - yes, really -1,000 - in the week we were in Paris.)  I'd love to share all of them with you but that would take too long.  If you'd like to see A FEW of my Paris pics click on the link below or check out my PHOTO PAGES.
Paris at night, from the Seine
Napolean's Tomb, Les Invalides, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower (a two hour wait for the elevator - but worth it - as they were down to only one elevator due to some repairs), Montmartre with it's artists, a ride along the Seine at night, the bustling Latin Quarter, outdoor markets, Chocolateries, Patisseries, Boulangeries, the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe; we saw so much and yet there is so much left to see. Guess I'll just have to go back. I'd do it again ANY Tuesday!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

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