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I Love Paris - The Most Romantic City in the World
by Tara Becker

I love Paris, why oh why do I love Paris... I hum this tune to myself and remember my first trip. I had been longing to visit Paris for several years. When, my husband decided that we should go to Paris to celebrate our anniversary. Talk about being the ultimate romantic vacation.

On our first night after arriving in Paris this past November, we were met at our hotel by a work associate of my husband who took us on the Metro, the French subway. We arrived in the Montmartre section of Paris, the artist district. I pictured in my mind’s eye, the square full of artists sitting at their easels painting, drawing, doing what they do best. We stopped for a quaint dinner at a small café, Chez Eugene were we were entertained by a young woman singing traditional French songs as we ate escargot and drank our carafe of red wine. It was the perfect evening.

The streets of Paris were beautifully decorated for the holiday season. The trees along the Champs Elysee were lit each night with blue lights. Vendor booths lined the avenue for Marche du Noel (Holiday Market) with all types of items from toys, scarves to these incredible sausage sandwiches and hot wine. At one end of the Champs Elysee was the Arc de Triumphe and the other a giant Ferris wheel. This was no side-show Ferris wheel by any means, but provided an incredible view of the city for sightseers.

Just a few blocks down from the Ferris wheel was Le Louvre. We had to opt for what my husband and I call “fast” Louvre, because the place is just so darn big. And, not only that, but there is so much art it doesn’t all fit it in the museum. When you pass the station stop on the Metro, you actually see artifacts displayed in subway. It was absolutely incredible to see all these masterpieces, but there is just so much to see that it almost pales in comparison, because you can’t truly appreciate it all due to the mass number of items. We did see the highlights, Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Egyptian and Greek exhibits, just to name a few. There is talk about expanding the museum.

The Eiffel Tower, the icon of the Paris skyline, was utterly amazing! It was embellished with what appeared to be those same blue lights. And, every night on the hour starting at 6:00pm for about 15-minutes, there would be a light show with white twinkly lights that could be seen all over Paris. What a spectacular site to behold.

While making our plans, I was somewhat apprehensive about traveling abroad, especially since it had been years since I had spoken French. Also, being American you hear rumors about being treated badly, which was not the case at all. Of course, you are very polite and ask, in French, if they speak English. We experienced the friendly, French hospitality while visiting with a family, one evening at dinner. We learned that a lot of families come into Paris to celebrate the holiday season. Doesn’t sound too different from what might happen here, does it? This one particular family consisted of a grandfather, two of his children and their spouses and one grandson. When they found out we were American, we were their long lost family. We shared many stories in broken English and French including the grandfather’s trip to Denver some 30-years ago.

On our last day, we decided to take a cruise on the River Seine. By the fourth day of our visit, my feet were sore and I’d already lost 5 pounds from walking everywhere. So, to get a tour of the city where I could simply sit, watch and take it all in was just the ticket.

I can’t express enough what a incredible city Paris is – the architecture, the history, the people, and simply the feeling of being there. It’s difficult to capture the feeling in words. Other than it’s absolutely amazing! I’ve decided to brush up on my French and will definitely be going back soon. This next trip, I’m planning on visiting in the springtime, when the flowers will be blooming and the trees full of leaves. But no matter, what time of year you get to Paris, you won’t be disappointed.