Paris: the City of Lights

Paris in May, I know this is old in blog-time but worth going back to. After all, most of Paris is quite old. But there is some new, exciting and unexpected treasures there as well. We stayed in a boutique hotel very near the Eiffel Tower so each night we, if we returned before midnight, we were dazzled by the golden shimmery lights of the symbol of Paris. This was through the taxi window and seems to have a spotlight on all that golden beauty. It evokes the rush that we felt as we tried to soak up every Parisian particle in our week there.

On of the biggest thrills of my life will be going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The ride up to the 2nd level was like one of those theme park rides. As we climbed up the East Tower leg in a glass elevator that you are squashed into with 30 of your new best friends, it was a sight to behold.
The Park du Champ de Mars stretching out at our feel like a green/red carpet. At the 2nd level we walked around and marveled at the entire city, looking rather sleepy because of the 95 degree heat wave. This brave soul, a true painter with a heart of steel, works on keeping that Tower beautiful. Can you wipe off that smudge you left? After accomplishing one of my life’s ambitions, we made our way to the Louvre. It was so incredibly hot that the young Parisians and tourists alike were seeking relief by dangling their feet in the fountain pools. I had to be restrained from jumping in and showing off my best back stroke.

A much needed rest at an outdoor cafe in the cool shade to contemplate the French obsession with beauty. Everywhere you look there is another amazing sight.

Had the most delicious apricot nectar in the Jardin du Tuileries.

And after all these centuries, this warrior still protects his little brother.

The end of the first day in Paris. We were hungry so we wandered late down Grenelle Blvd to find a cafe that still served dinner. The heat and the French joie de verve kept us outside under the wide awning. The cafe was still very busy and a group of Swedish tourists were trying out the French wines, singing lustily as the sky finally opened up and rain poured down like a fishwife emptying her pail out of an upper story window. No one moved, being mostly covered by the awning. We scooted our table nearly in front of the door as waiters continued to glide in and out of the sea of cafe chairs. Our dinner was served, the thunder and lightening lit up the sky, and the boys behind us continued to sing and fill their glasses to the brim. They were definitely soaked but no one seemed to notice. It truly was a magical day in the city of lights.The rain did not let up so we hailed a cab and rode the 12 blocks back to our hotel. One last glimpse of the golden Tower. This is why everyone falls in love with Paris. This is why.

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