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I’ve traveled the world, many destinations that would be considered exotic, like Machu Picchu or Dubai, yet I have never visited Paris, France, much to the amazement and amusement of many friends. And since I’m tired of being made fun of for having never visited Paris, I was basically been peer pressured to visit Paris ;). Oh woe is me :).

In truth, it was the perfect place to end my three month adventure. The city is a fabulous walking city, very alive, filled with gorgeous architecture, beautiful food, stylish residents, towering churches and history around every corner. My favorite thing to do is sit on a bench and transport myself back into history and pretend I’m seeing it through the eyes of someone in the 1500’s or 1800’s, as if I’m part of the royal court or just a normal citizen, marveling at (and resenting) the riches.

Yes, I had to take this typical shot of the Eiffel Tower, it’s iconic and also the easiest to take

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View of the Eiffel Tower from a River Seine cruise

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Eiffel Tower all sparkly

The Louvre

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The controversial pyramid at the Louvre

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The Louvre is huge! It was a former royal palace

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Inside the Louvre, so many people…

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Venus de Milo

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The Mona Lisa, the crowd was fifteen rows deep, I got this close and just couldn’t handle the crowd any longer. I’d been told how small the picture was, so this was a case of lowered expectations, it was bigger than I expected :). From my visit to the Loire Valley, the reason the Lourve has the Mona Lisa and not an Italian museum is because Leonardo spent his final years in France.

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The Paintings are huge, and amazing. Yet I always wonder how that artist was able to distinguish themselves enough to land their sponsors and ultimately be hanging in the Louvre, just what was the moment.

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Gorgeous ceilings inside the Louvre, I think the building itself is a gorgeous piece of art

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Bling bling inside the Louvre

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Notre Dame, often imitated in churches I’ve crossed paths in my travels, nothing quite like the original

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Notre Dame arches

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Gorgeous, intricate stained glass inside Notre Dame

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Notre Dame all lit at night

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The Arc de Triomphe has a boo boo 😦

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Cool little statues on a building

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The River Seine

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River Seine at dusk

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The River Seine at night

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Staircase at the 6th floor loft I stayed at for one night, god I’d be fit if I lived here

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The food in Paris, and France in general, was just amazing! Such quality ingredients. Their bread is 10,000 times better than the bread we have in the US! No exaggeration at all! We need to do better at breads and croissants!!

Amazing pork chop, not sure where the smaller European portions are, we were looking for them…. This was delicious!

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Pâté, yum with some crusty bread

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Amazing scallops

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Dessert meringue

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Pretty sure I ate all the macaroons in Paris, sorry Paris didn’t leave you any…

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I had a lot of preconceived notions about Paris and France, some were true, yes the food is delicious, but other than one hotel clerk, every French person we met was quite lovely, especially in the restaurants. And it wasn’t because we were in tourist restaurants where they are used to English speakers, frequently, we were the only English speakers in a restaurant. Perhaps it’s because we always greeted them in French? I don’t know, but we never encountered any of that rudeness that I’d heard about.

So yes in short my forced, peer pressured trip to Paris was well worth it 🙂

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