|The Eiffel Tower at night is a sight worth hanging around for!|
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” - Aldous Huxley
I seem to have used that quote in so many conversations; and I've seen it prove true time and time again. It makes me glow inside when stereotypes are shattered. After all, aren't we all just people trying to make our place in this big, scary world? The only differences may be the color of our skin, our religious choices, the language we grew up speaking, and the color of our passport.
Now that Chris and I live in Belgium, an obvious weekend jaunt would take us to Paris, France in under three hours. This is absolutely terrible, but I have to admit that I was less than thrilled to spend time in France, and not because of my own experiences, but because of tales I had heard from others. "Ohhhh, France this, and France that. The French can understand English, but they won't speak with you unless you speak French. Lana, Make sure you have a map because you may not find anyone who will help you navigate the city. . . " One stereotype after another. You would think that I would have learned to ignore such negative talk after spending a wonderful year in Serbia.
My magical weekend in Paris made me anxious to return to France and explore every single corner of the country! In fact, I am already researching the Bordeaux region. There are a lot of Bordeaux wines for sale in Belgium, and I am starting to get "acquainted" with as many of them as possible.
My dear friend (and bridesmaid), Kayla, flew into Charles De Gaulle to spend ten fun-filled days with me and Chris in Europe. The cheapest flight took her into Paris, so naturally, we decided to spend two days exploring the city. Chris had to stay in Belgium, so Kayla and I booked a room a little out of the center at the Mercure Paris La Defense 5 Hotel. Reasonable lodging is really pricey in Paris, so we chose to stay close to the La Defense metro line and made sure that the hotel offered free shuttle service to and from the metro. One night we got in too late and had to walk from La Defense to the hotel and it took under 15 minutes.
I cannot say enough about Paris! It is absolutely dreamy! You must go see it for yourself and leave all pre-conceived notions behind. If you are loving life, then life will love you back!
|Great staff (and great prices) at Le Bourbon in the St-Michel area. That's my friend, Kayla!|
|The beautiful Notre Dame!|
|Love that I captured the leaning guy in this picture!|
|Paris - the city known for the Love Lock bridges.|
|Our first view of the Eiffel Tower at dusk.|
|Dancing with a Tower view! Makes me want to get my Hubby here for a dance or two!|
|Breakfast at Hemingway's hangout - Les Deux Margots.|
|We met up with one of my college buddies! It was wonderful to see you, Grant! Let's meet again!|
|The cafe was crowded but cozy and well worth the trip!|
|This taxidermie store, Deyrolle, is in the movie "Midnight in Paris."|
|The mini Arc de Triomphe right before you enter the Louvre.|
|The Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace has always been my favorite statue. She's in the Louvre!|
|Checking out the Mona Lisa . . . with about 500 other tourists!|
|Amazing art structure as you leave the Louvre.|
|The Arc de Triomphe.|
|Window shopping at Christian Louboutin. One pair for me, and one for Kayla. Dreaming!|
|We said farewell to Paris with a bottle of Bordeaux, and the Eiffel Tower sparkled her approval!|
"Toute chose appartient a qui sait en jouir." - Andre' Gide
("Everything belongs to those who can appreciate it.")