Aux Champs-Elysées

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Over the wide gap of time that I didn’t post on this blog, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. We decided that we’re only young once and that we wanted to enjoy Europe while we still could. So after a brief layover in Reykjavik, our plane touched down in the city of lights.

We really enjoyed Paris; the museums, the food, the wine, the shopping. We only stayed in one little hotel, close to the Musée D’Orsay, and by the end of the trip we found ourselves being able to navigate the city and our surrounding area of Saint Germain with a slightly increased bit of confidence. Despite my 4 odd years of French in school, I was a very sloppy translator. I tried to order at restaurants but usually was politely scoffed into speaking English by our servers.

Each day was full of things to do, places to see, and park benches to sit on. We tried to list all the things we had done at dinner every evening and often were amazed at how much we had fit into one day. I can honestly say I have never, and probably will never see as much art as we saw on this trip. I enjoy casually walking through a museum and stopping occasionally to check out a piece that really catches my eye. But going through the Louvre is a whole nother kind of marathon. If we had wanted to see the whole museum it would have taken us days, even with our Olympic medalist power walking skills. We of course got to see Mona though, and took a selfie with her, along with thousands of other tourists that hour.

The other museums were not nearly as big, but just as impressive with the amount of amazing art and the huge focus that these museums are given in this bustling city. But I found the most enjoyment from wandering the streets of Paris, searching for a little café to have an afternoon café au lait or a brasserie to eat dejeuner. We definitely learned that Parisians have much different eating habits than the American 6 o’clock dinner we were used to. On more than one occasion we looked around at dinner and saw that we were one of 3 or 4 couples from the US eating at that time. The times, though, that we forced ourselves to eat late and stay up to soak in the night life, we discovered the hordes of leisurely people eating and drinking until midnight like normal Parisians.

The most exciting dinner of the trip, though was a boat cruise through the Seine, that took us past all the great land marks along the river. We were spoiled with a four course meal with champagne, wine, cheese and extravagant desserts. And the night was capped by passing the Eiffel Tower at the top of the hour so that we could see it twinkle as we ate our final course.

The trip felt extravagant and simple at the same time, and it was wonderful to get caught up watching the people of Paris go about their daily lives. The French definitely know how to eat well, dress well, and enjoy every day they are given, so I am thankful that I got to experience a small part of a huge city’s historical world outside of my own.

ps: it’ll be stuck in your head forever

pps: if you want to do the museums like we did try the Paris Pass

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