Springtime in Paris

Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
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Trip End Jun 01, 2011


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, May 7, 2011

I landed in Paris and checked into a Marriott in La Defense using a few free nights. At that point I didn't know anyone in Paris. I took advantage of free Wi-Fi and logged into Facebook. A friend of mine had just posted that he was going to be in Paris for a few days. So I immediately messaged Dave and we decided to meet later in the week. I had only met Dave once before in Miami. He was on vacation and my neighbor Sarah invited me out with her and Dave. It turned into one of those crazy nights in Miami where we all ended up eating terrible pizza at 3am. We exchanged information that night and I remember him sending me a message six months ago saying that we both like to travel and that he was sure our path would cross again. Little did we know they would cross in Paris, perfect timing.

The weather in Paris for the week was perfect, there we no clouds in the sky all week. I was able to do all the tourist things. I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower which has 360 degree views of the city. Notre Dame is an amazing French Gothic cathedral built in the 1100's. The views of Notre Dame from the Seine River on a perfect day with a latte and French sandwich are unmatched. I was able to go to the Louvre Palace and the Pyramid. Inside the Louvre museum (which is gigantic) I headed straight for the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. It's a long but beautiful walk from the Louvre through the parks and gardens down the Champs-Elysees. The Champs-Elysees is lined with luxury shops so I had to buy something, I found a t-shirt on sale for six dollars. I guess Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton will have to wait. At the end of the Champs-Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe to honor those who fought and died in the French Revolution. During the week I was also able to visit Napoleon's tomb and many other sites in Paris. Just walking around the streets of Paris and looking up at all the buildings is worth the visit. There might not be any food much better than the French sandwich and pastry.

Friday night I met up with Dave at his hotel. I wish I could accurately describe Dave but that would be impossible. He has an MBA from Duke and works for one of the best international companies in the world but shows up to meetings in jeans and a t-shirt when everyone else wears suits. He showed me pictures to prove it. To say Dave is laid back would be an understatement, but he is one of those people who doesn't miss a thing. During my trip I have met the perfect people at the perfect times and this again was no coincidence. His friend Lael had flown in for the weekend from Sweden. So the three of us set out to Paris Saint Germain district for a night out. On the way we jumped in a cab and the driver took us through the streets of Paris. At one point the Arc de Triomphe was to the left of the Eiffel tower and us to the right. I think the moment I will remember most in Paris was the three of us being crammed in the back seat of the cab and Dave was literally hanging his body and camera out the left side of the cab window. Lael and the cab driver were pointing and talking out the left side of the car at the Arc but I was looking out the right side and there was a perfect crescent moon hanging over the Eiffel tower, I took a mental picture.

"Life is now"-Eckhart Tolle
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