What is it about Paris that intimidates me? Is it the high fashion, the gourmet food, and all the people (even very small children) speaking fluent French?
Of all the places that we visited, Paris was the stop that I was most worried about. I saw it as a city that I should know a lot about - it is famous after all - but the things that make it famous are things about which I am an idiot. High society. Romance. Just standing around looking really good. So forgive me if the thought of spending time in this city dredged up those feelings of thirteen-year-old Jessi trying to hang with the cool kids.
As it turned out, Paris is wonderful. Although none of us speak a lick of French beyond the basics like bonjour, merci, and buffet, and although we didn't have Rick Steves or actually any guidance with us whatsoever (we bought a map from a vending machine at the train station), Paris wooed me like she's wooed the rest of the world.
If we had known more about the city, or if we were spending more than 24 hours there, we probably could have done it up solid. But, in the spirit of making the best of it, we just gave it a go, strolling along the Seine from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is just chock full of ambiance, with her tree-lined neighborhoods and street vendors. Being there made me want to study art history, to make friends with bohemians, to learn French, and to shop somewhere other than the Gap.
Started at Notre Dame. I wasn't sure if you could see Sarah and me, so I drew a little arrow.
Close up in one of the doorways of the church.
The most legendary foosball table ever is on the bank of the Seine. I really wanted in on that action, but didn't know how to say "C'mon guys! Give me a turn!" in French.
The Arc! Just a few days after the Tour de France, too.
No label. You're not stupid.
Laurilee and I took a Ferris wheel ride to get a different view of Paris.
Eiffel, extreme close-up.
So, Paris was lovely. I understand now why everyone is so crazy about her.
*Mel Gibson, Maverick. It's time to watch it again.