I have returned from my 5 week vacation, relaxed, inspired and renewed. Thankfully, time seemed to stand still while away.
To my delight, Paris is clearly a city of dog lovers. I found that most of the dogs I encountered behaved nothing like they do in the U.S. None of them ran up, or jumped up to greet me, even after I called out to them. They were much more dignified in that I had to make the first overture. Several well behaved dogs even accompanied their owners around town without a leash! Every time I saw a dog I thought of Gracie and how much I missed her. What a pity it isn’t more convenient to travel with your furry, four legged family members.
I think it is virtually impossible to have a bad meal in Paris. There was wonderful food everywhere! Of course, we just HAD to sample many fine, Parisian delicacies – fondue, crepes (the Nutella to banana ratio on crepes was rather disturbing, however…), beef bourguignon, croque madame/monsieur, French onion soup, and a myriad of different takes on chocolate!!!
I believe a significant part of immersing yourself in another country’s culture is to sample their cuisine.
I have heard from some individuals that Parisians are very unkind to Americans. We didn’t experience any animosity whatsoever, quite the contrary, in fact.
We enjoyed a superb jazz ensemble at Sunside Jazz Club. We also heard some delightful classical music at Sainte Chapelle. The church was the perfect backdrop to hear this style of music.
Sadly, we witnessed a small child being reprimanded as she rode her bike down to meet her parents outside the Sacre de Couer. There she was cruising down the hill, cute and proud as can be, when all of a sudden her Father swept her up off her bike and spanked her repeatedly on her bottom! Whack, whack, whack, whack!!! I don’t know what her indiscretion was, but felt the punishment couldn’t possibly fit the crime. 🙁 I think she wailed on for ten minutes out of sheer humiliation more than anything else. Who could blame her?
We did a 90 minute walking tour of Paris landmarks (Discover Walks) that was very informative.
Tuileries Garden was quite impressive. I found it interesting to find out that all of the park benches/chairs were green to match the landscape.
We witnessed two homeless men shamelessly urinating in broad daylight – one on the side of the a very expensive restaurant near Bastille Square. The second person who chose a tree to urinate on had a devious look on his face when he realized he had an audience. His expression was like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”, when he broke through the door, “Here’s Johnny!” Yikes!!!!!
We made the mistake of waiting until our last day in Paris to tour the Louvre a few hours before its closing. We knew we couldn’t possibly see everything, since its expanse was overwhelming, but did capture a few highlights of the museum.
We covered a lot of ground, but plan to return sometime in the future….