26 Septembre 2015
So today is the day we have to leave Paris. I newrly ran away in the night and his somewhere in the streets just to get to stay a bit longer. I have that fantasy just about every time we travel somewhere new and cool. I never want to leave. I never have. I used to cry every time we left my grandparents’ house to go back home. I don’t know why. I just always did. I still do.
The sunrise this morning was spectacular. It came up over the city, bathing in new light the nearly abandoned city streets. Paris is a town of the evening and the night and rarely rises before 9:00a.m. or so, by my estimations over the past week. One restauranteur even remarked that Americans go to bed so early! I understand that now. The shops don’t open until 10 a.m. really and they don’t close until well after midnight. Last night the revelers kept us up a bit, but the fun they expressed in their mix of languages was like a white noise in the background.
We did just about everything we wanted to do while we were here. There are a few things that we would like to do next time but we are satisfied, more than really, with the trip we have had. We saw all the normal tourist sights and I believe we saw them in the right order. Seeing the Eiffel Tower first gave us a good overview of the layout of the city and the way the trains work. We stayed in Arr. 3 right on the border with Arr. 4, so going over to the west where the Tower was located was quite fun. Be prepared for lots of walking and stairs. If you have anything that rolls, be prepared to carry it down the stairs for finding an elevator is extremely difficult. It does cut down on the number of strollers though, which is good. They are trip hazards in big crowds.
We had a pastry on the street this morning, along with a double cafe each. The pastries are good. Full of buttery flakiness and yummy goodness. I can see why people here walk all the time. Between the wine and bread they would otherwise be huge. But they are not. We saw very very few overweight people this week, and most of those were not French.
We experienced Paris as it should have been. Fully and completely. We left nothing on the table. We were never in fear at all. Never felt like we were unwelcome – truly the opposite was experienced. Everyone was very nice. Most people spoke a bit of English and if not then hand gestures and smiles made the language barrier much better.
What would I change? I would stay in the same location and area. I loved it. I would stay longer – maybe 2 weeks. I would probably rent an apartment so that I could enjoy some downtime a bit more. I would still take a taxi both to and from the airport just to avoid the stairs, although it’s about $65 versus $7 or so I think. I would buy my own Disney tickets beforehand and take the train to save money. I would buy a museum pass and skip the line at The Louvre. Our wait at Versailles was not bad at all so I wouldn’t change that really. We did that one on our own. Otherwise I don’t think I would change anything.
We had such a fabulous time and it was fabulous weather. Now being back in Charlotte the land of 80 degrees sucks honestly. I like the cooler temps we had in Paris. I like the old buildings. I like the churches and cemeteries. I like the people. I liked reading French signs everywhere we went. I like sleeping with the window open to feel the night air and hear the revelers down on the street below. I like the lack of division of people as well as the lack of overly tattooed people and rednecks. I loved the lack of guns on every street and open carry idiots who have to have their guns with them at all times because “it’s their right.” I loved Paris. I will go back as soon as I can.