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Hello everyone, I’ve missed you! We are home and settling back into American life. There is something nice about not having to live out of a suitcase, but I’m sure tomorrow, when the travel fatigue wears off, we’ll really be missing all those Parisian picnics.

We had a wonderful week, with warm, sunny, perfect weather. The first half of the trip we were in Paris and stayed at such a quaint Victorian hotel — exactly what you think of and hope for when you visit Paris. I highly recommend it if anyone is planning a trip to the city. We had hit up most of the key tourist spots last time we were there six years ago, so there was nothing we felt like we had to do, and it was quite nice to take the city at a leisurely, lived-in pace. We went back to the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay; had a picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tour, though skipped the long climb up this time; walked the quai along the Seine many times; and stopped by Notre Dame Cathedral (for Sunday Mass, conveniently combining an activity we were going to do anyway with a morning of site-seeings) and Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre. We had lots of café and baked goods and dinners so succulent and tender the meat nearly oozed off the bone. I even managed to finish the first two books off my summer reading list! Oh, it was great to be back.

Some observations this time around:

  • The sun sets REALLY LATE in Paris in June – not until practically 11 p.m.! It was wonderful to have all that daylight.
  • The city feels a little smaller and much more walkable. We basically walked everywhere we could, until the fourth day when maybe we were a little tired and took the metro instead of walking clear across town to the Eiffel Tour.
  • Speaking of the metro, it is not air conditioned. I remember it as being the best, most convenient system, since all I’d had experience with was Boston’s small little T. I think my new verdict may be that the A/C’ed, 24-hr New York system would win in a content. Still, the trains came much more frequently than those in NYC — we never waited more than 3 minutes.
  • Nothing is better than a real French baguette in France. In case anyone was wondering.

Now for some pictures:

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Notre Dame – We were there on the 850th anniversary of its dedication

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Paris, with the Lovers’ Bridge in the foreground

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The Louvre on a sunny day

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We had many afternoon breaks for these^^

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Just another picturesque windowscape

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I thought this was the funniest thing back when I lived here — the milk is kept on non-refrigerated shelves in the grocery stores!

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Open air markets with cheap and delicious fruit…We may have had more than a few strawberries and cherries

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Nothing wrong with lunch at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

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I finally got my Nutella crepe!

Part II – Normandy + more Paris – to come…

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