On our first vacation together, we spent a romantic six days in Paris. Even if you are not in love, you can easily fall in love in Paris, if not with your partner, then with the city itself. Known as both, “The City of Lights” and “The City of Love,” the city is filled with beauty, history, and countless opportunities to awaken your every sense.
“The City of Lights” does not refer to the electricity needed to illuminate the Eiffel Tower nor wattage used for the carnival-like attractions in Paris, including the tacky Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde, the charming Carousel in the Jardin des Tuileries or the numerous other electric kiddy rides scattered throughout the city. The “Lights” represent the famous intellectual luminaries and residents who made Paris a world-renowned magnet for artists and writers.
“City of Love” refers to the sensual abundance that welcomes you everywhere, especially in the food. Every country has its special dishes and wonderful cooking, but only the French seem to embellish every dessert, salad, and entrée and elevate it to Julia Child’s heights while a cat sleeps in a booth nearby. Your mouth comes alive with the taste of coffees, meats, desserts, wines, and even the bread and butter.
The food is only one of Paris’s many pleasures. Before our trip, we had each made a list of the places we wanted to see. My list consisted of the Louvre, the Louvre and the Louvre. We visited the Louvre everyday and were never disappointed. We walked past the statue of Joan D’Arc, on the Boulevard Mallesherbes, or as we liked to call it: “The Boulevard of Male Cherubs.” We walked through the gardens and parks, crossed empty intersections, treacherous at night but still empty and quiet before eight in the morning. We explored a different section every morning.
Although the METRO is accessible and well marked, we wanted to trek each and every street to experience the sights and sounds. Every afternoon, we sampled a different restaurant for lunch, and we walked to each of these as well. After lunch everyday, we walked arm in arm to various destinations.
We spent one afternoon in the Picasso museum, which is packed with pages and pages from some the thousands of notebooks Picasso filled during his lifetime. It’s a museum that makes you appreciate the work behind the work.