Paris is for Lovers
Updated: Mar 8
There is no question in my mind that Paris is a city for lovers! It is without a doubt, the most sensory city I have ever visited. From the incredible aroma in the air of freshly baked croissants and crepes, to the sensational art museums and statues throughout the city, to the gorgeous flower gardens, it is impossible to be here without stirring up the most beautiful emotions.
During our week in Paris, I have had the loveliest meals - have yet to taste anything that unsettled my palate even though the sauces are a bit richer than I typically go for and the choices of food can be a bit obscure (such as veal cheeks). But, there was never anything moving on my plate or looking up at us and it all tasted delightful!
Every day, we have easily walked three to five miles - breaking things up with a visit to one of the great art museums, historical neighborhoods, browsing in stores and specialty shops and of course, recharging at an outdoor cafe or two. My eyes have feasted upon the architecture - so clearly European, old and older, and walked along the Seine-hugging promenades transporting us back through time. The French spare nothing when it comes to style and it is easy to imagine the head-dresses and powder of Marie Antonette’s era as well as the fancy horse drawn carriages. These days it’s a wide range of looks, but it seems that everyone, no matter how young or old, has a cleverly tied scarf around his neck!
The language is downright musical and I am surprised at how much of it is coming back to me. Walking behind French children chatting as they make their way to school in the morning is delightful. I’m even finding the French to be quite a bit more tolerant of my tourist talk then they were two decades back. After all, it is a new generation here.
At the risk of being too much of a Positive Penny, I will admit that the politics here are as disturbing as back in the states. The last few years of desperate immigrants and their resettlement throughout Europe has conjured up some of the same distrust that we hear in US political banter. And the Yellow Vests, who are not necessarily immigrants, have evoked fear in the people and provoked the police, who have a heavy presence. So clearly, things aren’t perfect... has the planet Earth tipped off its solar equilibrium to the right?!
And I think I have figured out the secret to the slender Parisian physique that, by the way is not typical of the men or women in Normandy where the weather is damp, the grass rich and green (twice the number of cows as people) and the cheese - a dietary staple - is delicious. The secret formula in Paris is a mix of non-stop smoking, smaller portion sizes (never resembling US meal size) , and the walking. French people walk and bike everywhere because the city traffic is just impossible. It is hard to go from point A to point B in a cab without hitting at least two or three standstills. The people walk a tremendous amount and have beautiful, slender figures.
So, what it boils down to, is that I vacation well. I may miss the kids and grandkids a bit, but I love the routine. Traveling from city to city, immersing myself in the food, art and atmosphere and then stepping back and thinking about it all and what lessons there are to take back home with me is what I was born to do. But so far, I don’t think there is a place on earth that compares to Paris when it comes to tickling the senses in the best ways possible.