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Paris, Je'taime!

Paris, IDF, France
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Paris! Je’taime!
Oh Paris, how I love you. I always dreamed of going to Paris... Since I was young, I would doodle on notebooks pictures of the Eiffel Tower and tried to learn French for almost 3 years while in grade school. When my high school freshman creative writing assignment was to describe my perfect day, I photo shopped myself in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. I virtually dressed myself in a red gown with big white bags filled with Chanel and orangey bags from Hermes. I even got my Mom in on my Paris fascination and nearly convinced her to let me leave school for a month and move to Paris, mind you, I was 11... I think you get the idea that I had been looking forward to Paris for a very long time. I could’ve studied abroad in Paris but the language was a minor obstacle and I knew in my gut that I would be able to experience Paris without making it my permanent abroad home.

Before going to France, Paris specifically, I heard negative feedback. Several friends came back saying that Paris was dirty, that the French were rude snobs who hated Americans, and that it was beyond expensive for a crappier replica of New York. Perhaps all of this negativity fueled my determination to prove them wrong. As I walked through the different streets in Paris (both narrow and wide) I saw clean walkways with garbage cans available within feet of each other, every French person I met pleasantly smiled with respect for my national origin, and by no means did I find Paris to be any more expensive than other major European cities. Everyone’s experience is different, I was lucky enough to be in Paris with good friends; some were fluent in French and eager to participate in Parisian shenanigans.

I fell in love with Paris and too wish I had considered spending more than 5 days there; perhaps a summer or a semester. While I flipped through and edited my 600+ Paris pictures, I struggled to articulate what I loved about it so much. There is just SOMETHING about Paris that puts you under its spell...

I reflect on my days in Paris and I have mental flashbacks of all the cool things I got a chance to do. I went to the Palace of Versailles and picnicked near one of the main fountains while drinking rouge wine out of a juice box. I went to the central pond and tried to row a boat with my friend Erika- really we just floated while trying to dodge other boats. I went to the Eiffel tower where I think I took 1/5 of all my pictures because I needed the perfect shot to make my profile picture on Facebook; pretty sure I annoyed people with all the photos... I had an artist sketch me along the river. I devoured macaroons everyday from several different bakeries. I scarfed down Nutella crepes for breakfast and lunch AND dinner. I became French and literally ran through the streets with a baguette in my hand. While at the Louvre, I tired to pose and smile like the Mona Lisa. I strolled along the Champs de Elyse and promised myself I would come to shop someday. I managed to find my favorite fashion house, Chanel, and avoided reaching for my Visa. I danced with locals at a French club and tried to use my below beginner skills. On my last full day, I rented bikes and pedaled through the city. I found a lock, decorated it, and locked my love on the famous bridge. My favorite activity of all was to just sit in the parks and enjoy being in the city I wanted to visit essentially my whole life. I knew when I came back I would have a hard time really expressing why I loved it, so I took some video that I hope you will enjoy and maybe they’ll help you understand my passion for Paris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOW2SYg40bg

Oh and it really doesn’t hurt that Paris is a big city with TONS of good-looking men who are really well dressed and put together.

Some say Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. I guess I can understand that because of all the gardens, narrow streets, and Eiffel Tower, but regardless of your romantic status, if you keep an open mind and ignore all of the negative voices, it's easy to let Paris sweep you off your feet. My only warning... Paris will make you fall hard. Wear a helmet.
Story Details

Bars and nightlife

Latin Quarter
Happy Hour anyone? The Latin Quarter has so many cool patio bars with the best happy hours in Paris. I accidentally bumped into Owen Wilson on a bike as I walked to a bar for a drink.

Points of interest

Tuileries Garden
One of the most beautiful parks/ gardens in Paris. Perfect for a picnic and stroll before going to the Louvre Museum.
Eiffel Tower
Sure, it's touristy but an absolute must visit! I would recommend going by day and at night for the light show. I didn't go to the top but hope to next time I'm in Paris!

Shopping

Le Marais
Absolutely love the Jewish Quarter in Paris. Probably one of my favorite neighborhoods to stroll, shop, and eat. The boutiques are amazing! Local designers with true Parisian flare. Depending on budget can be pricey... Definitely buy the Repetto flats... the store itself is just mesmerizing.

On The Map

1 Comment

by lovely13

03-29-2014

I too share your love for Paris . I fell in love with the city at age 18 when I first visited it. I have been back 7 times and plan to go many more times in my lifetime.