Paris overview/an adult now ...

Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:08 AM
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Paris overview/an adult now ...

Yes - it is Thursday - Yes I am at work. Yep, I blew off work yesterday so I could be sure to get my pictures to the shop and buy some wine for an afternoon re-hash of Paris with my wife. I figured maybe you guys could relate (I'm assuming my boss IS NOT a frequent visitor!)

I have been here three times, twice as a child. As an adult of 40 I know why many choose this as THE destination year after year.

We did not plan much except to hit the street, placing one foot in front of the other until we found reason to stop - which, as you know is quite often. We went inside two buildings; the arc and Notre Dame. Both beautiful - the view from the top of the arc is a knock-out. Notre Dame needs to be studied from outside and within. The detail, history of it's treasures are a treat for those who appreciate it (as a kid it was a boring, old church). The rest of our four days in Paris were spent walking. We walked past many of the major museums and landmarks, enjoyed a rest at many of the lovely parks and especially loved sitting at the cafes, soaking in the city life and a couple or 3 adult beverages before continuing our walk. Many times we sat in a cafe for hours - but rather than a waste of vacation time it seemed some of the most valuable. Watching the french duck in - have a glass of wine, coffee and read the paper or spend some time with a friend. Watching the interaction between the proprietors and the customers or locals they shouted to who walked by. Hearing us talk and giving us the same glances we gave them - I wonder who they are, what they do ... etc. We even watched a fashion photo shoot going on by the river. It was all magical. We found this kind of interaction far more satisfying than our one "special dinner" - which was OK, but not getting into a review, just did not hit the spot for us. Everyone was friendly and patient - even when my bad french bordered on a criminal offense. We spent our last night getting some cheeses, fruit and finger foods from the Champs Elysee "monoprix" and headed to a park near the Eiffel Tower. We sat in the grass, watched the swirl of tourists and locals (this was the day before "workers day", so most of Paris had the next day off) and caught the sparkle show before finally dragging ourselves off far too late.

This obviously is not a trip report. I don't remember the particular cafes, bistros or brasseries. I have no new insight as many of you are "Paris pros". Maybe this is just to confirm it's magic to any newbies, or someone who would say to themselves "Yeah, I've seen Paris, when I went on my school trip at 16." ... no you haven't.

Heading to Paris? My advice would be: Don't ask too many questions, do too much planning or stress yourself out trying to master the language before you go. Your respect of the language and culture will be returned to you. Get a good map, your general bearings and with common sense intact - get going - something special is around every corner ...
brett_shippy is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Brett, that was a wonderful "non-report", I could relate as I am sure many here can. Paris IS magical, and well, Paris is PARIS.

Margo_Chester is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Nice...nice study.
So what you're saying to me personally is "Sue, rethink Rome...you were 15 at the time {...and dinasaur's walked the earth)."
But you were in "my" town...Love Paris!
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:54 PM
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One of my clients came back from Paris...

She said "I had a choice between the Louvre or a cafe... The cafe won" Sums up my feelings about Paris. I love just wandering. I generally have some things I want to do, but.....
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
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I cannot agree more that most people overplan their trip to Paris. I live here and I still find that it is a totally magical place that requires no planning. It offers itself to those who know how to appreciate it -- the hotel, the restaurants, the museums -- none of that stuff really matters for those whose eyes and senses are open.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Brett, I love your "non-report", and I can't agree with you enough. DH and I went to Paris for a short 5-night visit in November 2005. We had a list of things we wanted to see. We ended up doing very little but had a wonderful time. With the exception of some of the churches, we just walked the streets of Paris, stopping here and there if we saw something of interest (which usually meant chocolate or pastry shops!). Now I have cravings to go back,

Thanks for posting!
Tracy
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Brett,
I think you've found the magic! Consider yourself a Paris Pro now

It's not how much you saw, it's how much you enjoyed.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:47 PM
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BRAVO!!!!!!!
cigalechanta is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:48 PM
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I have the most wonderful memories of Paris with my daughter - she was 11 yrs old at the time. When she saw the Eiffel Tower, I asked her what she thought. Her response was truly "priceless". She said, "Momma, it took my breath away." Then there was the day it started to pour and rather than take a cab we ran in the rain from Galleries Lafayette all the way to the Hotel du Louvre - laughing all the way. No cafes for me but someday...
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Old May 4th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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Wonderful musings, Brett. I took my 14 y.o. daughter to Rome and Florence in February, and agree that as wonderful as the sites are, it is the "magic" that stayed with us. We are planning a trip to Paris next March that I hope is equally magical.
samsmom1127 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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When people ask me why I return year after year and why I don't go somewhere else (I do), I will whip out your post for them to read. Some of my happiest times were just roaming the streets, realizing that I actually knew where I was, and feeling as if a little part of Paris was mine. I also sit at work and wander through the various web cams just waiting for the next visit.
palette is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for the nice responses everyone!

How wonderful that many of you have such great memories, and are giving your children a taste of one of life's great experiences (and brings us all to forums like this one) - travel. I'm sure they will become avid travelers themselves!

My wife and I have a problem, however. We have not been to the same place twice. I said last night - I could really just go back to Paris ... a lot. Her response was "I know".

hmmmm ...

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