“This was such a good idea!” I smile and nod to my husband. Yes, yes I have to admit—Paris was one of my better suggestions. As recent empty nesters heading to the UK in January for a long-overdue visit with both our families, I casually tossed around the notion of tagging on a few fun days in Paris at the end of our trip. A little “us time”. I even pitched it as writing research for future book settings. It took minimal persuasion. Turns out Audrey Hepburn was right, Paris really is always a good idea…
Paris has been on my bucket-list forever. I lived a hop and a skip away in the UK for half my life, yet never quite got around to making it happen. In hindsight, I’m glad I saved it until now and that I got to experience it with my husband of 30 years. We were only there for 4 nights but managed to see and taste everything on our agenda—leaving the rest for another time perhaps…
“What an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!” Charles Dickens
I always envisioned doing Paris in the spring, but I have a sneaky suspicion it’s spectacular every month of the year. January was chilly and damp, but even the grey skies were bright and full of promise somehow. I might have almost frozen solid up the Eiffel Tower and again on the River Seine, but it made warming up over delicious food and wine all the more satisfying!
CULINARY DELIGHTS: French food is definitely up on the top of my list of favorites any day of the week, and we checked off all our essentials: croissants, pain au chocolate, French onion soup, baguettes, macarons, French fries, beef tartare (well Lyndon did the raw meat with consequences later on, but I did try a bite!) to name but a few. A highlight for me was a tiny restaurant called Buvette where we devoured Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame for breakfast while watching the chef work wonders before our very eyes. I’ve ordered their cook book and will be sure to post a blog about it soon!
COMFORTABLE AMBIANCE: There’s something electric yet serene about walking the streets in Paris. I adore the light biscuit-colored limestone buildings with their black iron Juliet balconies. Everyone sits outside cafes even in January, thanks to heat lamps and fur jackets. With skinny streets, quirky shops, and quaint restaurants, getting lost is no hardship in Paris.
ARTSY SCENE: From the local artists at the Sacré-Cœur with sketch book in hand wanting to capture your portrait, to endless hours wandering around museums packed with the likes of Renoir, and Monet—art is a way of life in Paris. Even for the non-experts among us, we can appreciate the history and skill and beauty splashed around in abandon for all to see. As a writer, it was a special treat to sit in cafes and scribble notes as I breathed in the atmosphere and imagined the writers of old doing much the same.
ARCHITECTURAL WOW: I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer scale of the iconic buildings such as The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Cœur, Louvre, and Orsay Museums. They certainly know how to do understated elegance as well as très magnifique! It seems there is some spectacular secret around every corner…
VIEWS FOR DAYS: Looking out from the Eiffel Tower over the City of Lights with its rich history and iconic monuments is utterly breathtaking—and not only because of the January windchill. There’s something magical about it, knowing there are a myriad of untold stories birthed in this place.
“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” – Ernest Hemingway
But best of all, I got to experience Paris with my favorite person. It simply would not have been the same without him! We stashed away a whole host of marvelous memories and came away with full hearts.
Thanks for coming with me as I strolled back down the French streets to remember why it was definitely a good idea to go to Paris! I’d love to hear in the comments if you’ve been or if it’s on your to-do list—or if there’s somewhere else I need to go!
À bientôt ! 🙂
P.S. Y’all know that reading is my favorite thing to do while on vacation… here’s the link for my FREE fiction file where you can find reviews of 20 great books for your reading pleasure:
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: