I do believe our trip to Paris in 2014 has spoiled me for life. As the old song goes, “How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?)”. Don’t get me wrong – I do love my life here on “Apple Tree Farm” in rural Oklahoma. But once in awhile I find myself longing for Paris.
What I love about Paris
Some of the most gorgeous buildings in the world are in Paris. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Art Deco…Paris has fine examples of all these architectural styles. One of the first things we did in Paris was take a tour bus all over the city. Not only did this provide us a good overview of the city layout but it allowed us great views of the glorious architecture.
It sounds like a cliché but Parisians really do sip wine or espresso at sidewalk cafes all over the city. I’m a people-watcher so this suited me perfectly.
Beautifully dressed people:
One of the best parts about people-watching in Paris is that everyone is so chic and beautifully dressed. We saw two year olds with scarves tossed artfully around their tiny necks. Young men rode motorcycles wearing sport coats and leather dress shoes. Even the elderly were stylish. I recall a man, at least in his 70s, wearing dark red slacks, heavy knitted sweater, scarf and hat worn at a jaunty angle. He needed a cane to help steady him but that didn’t prevent him from being every bit as fashionable as the rest of the Parisians strolling by.
This is one of the reasons I must go back. We were only there a week, minus two days in London, so the only museum we went to was the Louvre. We spent hours in line so we didn’t get to spend much time inside. I’d love to visit other museums on our next trip.
The French have a reputation for being rude but we didn’t encounter that at all. Everyone was polite and extremely well-mannered. And the children were remarkably well-behaved.
France is justifiably famous for wine. I had heard that a glass of wine was cheaper than a Coke and that turned out to be true. We drank wine with all our lunches and dinners. Most of the time we just ordered a glass of the house wine and it was always excellent. We have been on a hunt for similar wines ever since our return.
No list of Parisian attributes would be complete without the mention of food. I’d read all about how wonderful French food is, of course, but mere words cannot do it justice. Even something as simple as roasted potatoes was sheer perfection. Without exception, everything we ate there was delicious. Even the escargot, despite the fact I turned out to be allergic to them.
In addition to the delicious food, I was absolutely delighted by French restaurants in general. Eating in most American restaurants is source of annoyance to me because I usually feel rushed. I’m a slow eater and I cannot tell you how often servers start asking if we want dessert when I still have half my main course on my plate. David eats faster so they usually swoop in and remove his plate as soon as he sets his fork down leaving me to finish alone. But there was none of that in Paris. When you are seated in a French restaurant that table is yours for the night if you so desire.
Some of my fondest memories of Paris are the three-course dinners we enjoyed along with a shared bottle of wine in perfect peace. Oh, and the bread! Just give me a glass of French wine and a loaf of French bread and I am utterly content.
I told David I was writing a post about Paris and asked him what he liked best. I knew he loved the food and wine but his answer surprised me a little bit. He thought for a moment and he said his favorite things were sitting in the beautiful churches and walking the streets…with me. Isn’t that sweet?
Have you been to Paris? If so, I’d love to hear what you liked best. Leave me a comment and we’ll reminisce together.