Friday, May 31, 2013

Paris Overview

We recently returned from 11 days in Paris.

Everyone was really nice. The most rude person I witnessed was an American retiree yelling, "WHY DON'T THEY MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS IN AMERICAN?!" in the Paris airport. Hey fella, "American" is not a language. And we're in France.

I think your own attitude has a lot to do with whether you think they are rude in Paris. Things are done differently there, and frankly, some of the ways are better. In restaurants, they don't rush to your side or come over checking on you incessantly. I liked it. It was very relaxed. Once you get your table, it is yours for as long as you want it. They do not rush you out. The waiters are on a salary, they aren't working for tips. To me, it all just seemed more respectful on both sides. They do see to your needs, but also to their own needs.

I liked having long meals in courses and getting to sit as long as I wanted. I needed it.

I had my FitBit on.

We visited the Louvre, did a wine tasting, climbed the tower at Notre Dame and saw the gargoyles, saw the Orangerie museum (Monet's waterlilies, the best!), walked the Champs Elysees, I took a croissant class and learned to make plain, almond and chocolate, purchased a watercolor brush at the same place where pastel crayons were invented especially for Picasso, saw the Cluny museum (medieval), the St. Denis Basilica where the royals are buried (it's fantastic), saw Saint Chappelle church, the Montparnasse cemetery where we had to use a Turkish toilet (hole in the floor), Versailles (wow!), saw the Eiffel Tower but the line was too long (I had better things to do in Paris than stand in line for 2-3 hrs), the Rodin museum (AMAZING), the Pompidou museum (modern art; so huge we couldn't do it justice), went to the Sacre Coeur cathedral and climbed it's dome too, Arc de Triomphe and climbed it too, and Pere Lachaise cemetery where we saw the graves of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein and more.

It was cold and rained every single day and I never got comfortable. 50s in the day, 40s at night. Rain, rain, rain. I bought a rain hat. :)