Je t'aime Paris!

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
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Trip End Apr 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
La Fleche D´Or Hotel

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

The 'City of Romance' is a beautiful cityscape of picturesque architecture, glowing yellow lights, and memorable walks among timeless monuments. Paris is a city where every neighborhood has a story and the history dates back thousands of years from the Roman days as evident in the Catacombs underground to Renaissance as evident in the troves of art in massive Louvre museum to even modern era as evident in the extensive network of trains and metros that are a part of any trip to Paris.  The local Parisiens are fashionable and trendy, sporting the latest styles from designer labels. Even a trip to the university library to study can be confused with a page out Vogue magazine.

The city of Paris is organized into 20 separate districts, each with their own character and personality. The 1st district is in the center of the city, with the subsequent, ascending districts organized in a spiral pattern around the center. There is no real 'downtown' area of Paris.  Each district has its own center with life revolving around that. Parisiens are familiar with the separate areas and will identify by the districts where they live and will judge others they meet based on the popular conception of that district. The unique character of each districts makes Paris a fun city to be a tourist as one can never run out of things to do or see. It is fun jumping from district to district and getting a sense of life in each one. 

One of the most memorable, cost free activities is a stroll along the Seine River. The romantic Seine divides the city between north and south and will reveal popular sights such as Notre Dame, Sant Chappelle, the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsey and the Eiffel Tower. One can do the same walk several times as well, as the lighting during different time of the day can make the same sight appear anew.  During the day, the Seine shimmers like a pool and reflects the blue and white sky above. At night, the river glows a muddy mixture of black and yellow from the gentle ripples of passing boats.

My favorite activity during these strolls around the city is to sample the heavenly pastries and delectable sweets from the numerous patisseries, bakeries and creperies scattered throughout the city. Although these items are not as cheap as the one found in Andalusia, they are by far my favorite of any place I've visited. From something as simple as a warm, flaky, buttery chocolate croissant for breakfast, to a chocolate moose eclair for an afternoon snack, to sucre citron (sugar and lemon) or nutella and banana crepe for dessert at night, it's easy to find your stomach quickly becomes 'bottomless.'

A popular stereotype among Americans is that of rude French or Parisien locals. This misconception has been more strongly perpetrated in recent years due to tensions from foreign policy issues between France and the US. For the most part, French people are very friendly to Americans and tourists, especially after making a sincere effort to communicate a little French. If you venture out of the city to a place such as Normandy, the locals are beaming with hospitality that rivals that of my former residence, Savannah, the famed 'Hostess City of South.' For my European trip as a whole, I have found nothing but sincere enthusiasm when striking up a conversation about my home country. 

Paris is a special city that now carries more meaning for me as it was the city where I got engaged to my fiancée Carmela. I went back to the bench to show Sean and Aimee where I proposed to Carmela. On that bench a saw a an old couple, maybe eighty years old, enjoying the beautiful sight of the Eiffel Tower in the midafternoon sun. I can imagine a trip back to Paris with Carmela years from now when we're that age to remember our first visit together.  

Next up...Normandy
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Comments

amontojo on

Hi Jeffrey,

The picture of the Paris metro, there is an advertisement of J'M in the background. That was perfect!!!
Also, did you tell the old couple sitting on the bench about your proposal to Carmela on that spot? That would have been a good topic of conversation with them. OH, can we make some crepe and eclair here. Love. mOM

Carmela on

Hey Bons,

I'm glad you had a great time in Paris with Sean and Aimee! That was a very sweet note you wrote about us and the old couple sitting on our bench. From now on, we have to make sure to stop by at our favorite spot whenever we go to Paris.

I love you and I can't wait to see you!

Buns

drumjeff215
drumjeff215 on

Mom, I didnt even notice that sign behind me! I wonder what it's for. I've been keeping up with the sharks and the giants from Europe and can't wait to see the game in a couple weeks!

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