To say I’ve been busy is an understatement. From going to the annual IlluxCon show with MS in November, to learning French, to Thanksgiving, to having my refrigerator die the afternoon before Thanksgiving, to getting a new refrigerator, to a weekend of family events that same weekend and the whirlwind of planning for Paris, traveling to Paris and being in Paris a few days afterwards! Holy cow! Felt like I was on a train with no stops!!!
- I was really getting nervous about the Paris trip, as it was the first trip I’ve ever taken where the language isn’t primarily English. I learned some basics to get around and get myself out of a jam and to my surprise, it worked! Haha. It was like speaking magic incantations! I had high hopes for the trip since it’s, well…Paris – a legendary city that is always romanticized. I was so worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But to my surprise, it was more amazing than I ever could have imagined. It was SO BEAUTIFUL. Most people we came in contact with spoke English, so that helped very much, AND despite all of the warnings from people who wanted to remind me how rude the French are before we left, we found that most people were not only NOT rude, but quite friendly.
- Since returning, most people have asked what the highlight of the trip was. At first, I would respond that there were so many amazing sights that I couldn’t pick. BUT in retrospect, I think the night we decided to walk to the Eiffel Tower, was the most fun. It was one of those things where it didn’t look that far and we thought maybe we could walk to it. And when you get closer, you are sure it’s really close, but it’s still a bit way off…and then you get pretty close…but there’s still a ways to go. So I call it the night we “chased” the Eiffel Tower. We got there just in time for the tower to light up! It twinkles now for a few minutes at the top of every hour when it’s dark out. It was so pretty! I don’t know if it’s a holiday thing or just a new addition to the tower, but it’s charming.
We only had five days, so we spent the first day getting settled and getting to know the city. To my surprise, it was really easy to get around. MS had the city pretty figured out after just a few hours. We didn’t even take the metro at all. We just walked everywhere. The second day we went to the Louvre and spent 8 hours there, soaking up as much as we could. The museum is not only full of marvelous work, but the building is beautiful inside and out. Almost everywhere you went, if you looked up at the ceiling there was more art to look at. Stunning. The second day we went to Musée d’Orsay and spent about the same amount of time there, including a little time drawing some sculptures. We were pleasantly surprised to not only see some of our favorites in person, but to find some new paintings for inspiration we had never seen before. I had never heard of Alexandre Cabanel before, but MAN, he had a few paintings there that were so unbelievable. My favorites were his paintings and all the Bougereau paintings. So inspiring.
By Sunday we were pretty museum’ed out, so we decided to do an easier day of strolling and shopping and we visited Notre Dame. This was a great idea because we got to visit the cathedral while mass was being celebrated. We got the full effect. MS must have taken 400 photos just of the outside of the building for reference. So much attention to detail there. It was absolutely breathtaking inside. Then we went walking again and decided to visit Champs-Élysées where it had been reported by a friend that there was a Christmas Bazaar going on. It was a fun time with hot beer and hot wine and baguette sandwiches and piles of cheese and cured meats and crepes and chocolates and clothes and jewelry and decorations and hats and scarves and all kinds of stuff. It was decorated really cool too and really crowded that day. We escaped after a people jam and walked back to the hotel for a shower and search for dinner.
Monday was shopping day for me since most stores were closed on Sunday. Need I say I was in my glory? MS was very nice and accommodating. I hate having him wait around while I’m shopping but he told me not to worry. We also walked back to Notre Dame to get more photos with the good camera. And we walked and walked and walked, trying to take in as much of the city as we could. Just “being” there and enjoying the beauty.
Every night we would go for a walk and decide where to have dinner, then afterwards go for a long walk in the city. What we wanted to do was just explore the city and not be bound by a heavy handed itinerary. I believe it leaves more room for adventure that way. It’s hard to imagine, but Paris is more beautiful at night than it is during the day. It’s funny how pictures and video just don’t live up to the real thing.
We didn’t get to do or see everything, but we had a wonderful time and I’m already making excuses for when we’ll be able to go back. I say that’s a good sign of a trip well spent. Oh, and I just can’t even sub-par croissants anymore. I’m ruined. 😉
To see general Paris shots go here.
For some of what we saw in the museums go here.
For some super short videos go here.
In the meantime, Happy Holidays! I hope everyone has been well! See you soon!