I am certain that there are some people out there who do not understand my love of Paris. Not that I need to explain, but it occurred to me that I never shared my adventure. I have to be honest….I had an awesome time. Do I remember or think about all the details….well not exactly but there are some key things I do remember…with a few photos thrown in:
- You can NOT get Bonne Marman Rum muffins everywhere in Paris and not in the United States at all. However you can get them at this cute little shop in the 9th AR up the street from the school, hospital and near the Seine….but you have to know where to go…nope they will not mail them either…..so sad, yet causes one to think about how to get there, from anywhere in Paris…..even Musee de Rodin.
- You can minimize your grocery bill if you find the shop up the street (there are a lot of them, trust me) that sells chicken on a rotisserie in the window, breads and of course fromage…especially the soft one with the raisins in it….on warm bread with coffee…DIVINE!!! You also must have lunch everyday to keep your energy up…like quiche and salad …just outside Jardin du Luxenbourg
- ALWAYS say Bon Jour OR Au revoir and smile politely. TRUST ME – these are the magic words to unlock understanding and forgiving you for butchering the language of the people. My cousin who lives there told me this and it really does open the door to kindness. They just might own a circus or something……
- Get your walk on. Paris is a walking paradise and at every corner, there is a surprise in a good way. From a new museum that is not on your handy set of maps you bought and studied in advance (yes that would be me) to a terrific cafe, coffee shop, jewelry vendor or garden (of course). I walked for five days on my first journey to the City of Lights….and I do not remember getting tired….or shutting my mouth in amazement of the beauty that surrounded me! Between Jardin de Luxenbourg, Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin des Champs Elysees…I just walked and walked and walked ……kind of like Forest Gump…with no chocolate…..and enjoyed every minute of it!! MAOH and I then walked for another three days……nothing like a great travel partner (with good walking shoes)!!!
- Wake up every morning and ease out of bed and sigh..because you are in Paris and there is so much to explore.
- Try the Pink Vest Tours. My guide was a native Parisian by the name of Philippe, who had lived in the states and practiced law in California (or so he said) and returned to Paris, as it is less stressful. His private tour was the best!!! He shared history, gossip and was simply delightful!!!
- Traffic is eternally bad…..all day, everyday….it’s reminded me of a bumper car rink….everywhere!!!
- No matter what folks tell you, stay in a different AR every time you go. It allows you to become one with your surroundings. Each time I have been, by the second week, I was acting like I knew where I was going, could count my money and KNEW when I saw a gold ring on the ground as I walked in the parks, to NOT pay attention to the person or people who wanted to “gift” me with it….in exchange for money of course.
- No the bus will not hit the sides of the walls entering the are where the Louvre is. So it might be a really, really tight fit…….but if you close your eyes it is over before you know it.
- If you want a great workout, walk up the stairs in the Arc deTriomphe trying not to panic while looking for your companion. That is something to experience…but not more than once. If you have a traveling partner, stay together….or at least have an appointed place to meet if you get separated. Like the Eiffel Tower…can’t miss that 🙂
- Take photos, lots of photos……the memory is a huge part of the experience.
- Go to Giverny- even if you do not garden ….GO!!! It is like entering paradise with a group of folks you do not know. However you do know that they appreciate beauty and you will come out in awe of this experience!
- The Chanel shop will NOT be open at the crack of dawn even if you have been waiting since you were 16 to get inside and just touch the stairway…and yes people give you that look as if to say “there goes another tourist dreaming”…shamelessly, I did!!!
So in a nutshell, I have shared a small portion of my version of Paris Adventures to date. I have gone in November and in August. I am looking forward to September in Paris. It ought to be PHENOMENAL……..
May the gardens be in full bloom, the daytime temps awesome, the fabric store have a sale, the street vendors have jewelry and Giverny is still there……………I could sit on every bench in the gardens of Giverny, pause, listen and just enjoy the beauty that surrounds me………that is a part of this adventure…discovering more of the beauty found in the gardens of Paris……