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3 weeks and counting

It's hard to believe we will be back in Paris in a little less than 3 weeks. It seems like only a few months ago, we were there for the first time. That trip was over a year in the planning and I can't believe it's been over for almost as long as we were planning it! We decided we wanted to go back to Paris almost as soon as we got back, so our plane tickets and apartment rental have been booked for about 9 months. We kept telling people that we were going back "next year, next spring, this spring, etc" and now it's almost here. Where does the time go?

But as fast as the year has gone, I find the last few weeks have crawled by and I'm sure the next 3 will go by even slower. All Den and I can do these days is think about Paris, talk about Paris, plan our 2 weeks in Paris..................well, you get the idea. I get to work in the morning and call him within 30 minutes and ask if it's May 9th yet.........I don't know how we will get through the next 20 days. I find myself daydreaming about what restaurants we'll go to, the walks we'll take, the places we'll see, the cafes we'll spend hours at watching the world go by and everything else seems to fade away. I find I have little interest in work and even cheering for my beloved Habs (who better wake up tomorrow night or else it's golfing time for them) pales in comparison to thinking about Paris.

We really want to slow it down this trip and just enjoy the city and what it's like to just live there. We spend a week there last May before our 2 weeks in Italy and did the regular running around, seeing some of the major sites (of course, not all, no one can do that in a week) and falling in love with the city. This time, we want to take it down to the next level, not overplan each day, just take it one day at a time and decide what we want to do that day depending on how we feel and what the weather is like. We had thought about doing a couple of day trips but have decided to just live our 2 weeks day by day and discover more of what the city has to offer. I've read that the St Germain de Pres Jazz Festival is on while we're there, so that's an option for strolling and enjoying some good music. There are a few gospel concerts at some churches that look interesting, we'll look more into it when we get there. We're also thinking of going to a classical concert at St Chapelle, and were hoping to see a ballet at the Opera Garnier, but I don't think there's one on while we're there. We still want to see this magnificent building, but will build that into one of our strolling days (which I think will be most of our days).

I've been going a little overboard in researching restaurants on Zagat, Trip Advisor and Fodors (and Slow Travel,of course), as well as a couple of French Paris restaurants sites. We only have 2 reservations so far, for Spring and Il Vino, because I had to book those ahead of time to get in. We have our list of those we want to try and will probably just book them once we're there. We're staying in the Marais this year, so I have a good list for the area, as well as a few in the 7th and the 5th and some a little further out. We'll see as our days go by what we feel like, but we've built enough of a list to give us options in many areas, depending on where we are on certain days. Good food and wine are a big part of the trip for us (but we are not food snobs by any means, I prefer a good classic unfussy meal to art on a plate) and there's just so much to discover in Paris, it almost gives me sensory overload to read about all the different restaurants and sometimes I just have to step away from the computer after I find I've spent 2-3 hours just reading restaurant reviews and purusing the websites and menus of those I'm interested in. This is where I'm getting a little anal, despite my promise to just go to Paris and live like a local and slow it down. Oh well, the planning is half the fun, and our planning just happens to center around food!!

Some of the places we missed last year and hope to see and enjoy this time around are the Rodin gardens, Monet's Water Lilies at L'Orangerie, macarons at Laduree, Pere Lachaisse, Canal St Martin, L'opera Garnier, the top of L'Arc de Triomple for the view (too tired last trip to make the climb while we were there) and the stained glass windows at St Chapelle. Some of the must do agains include L'As du Fallefal (very close to our apartment!!), the Louvre (we went twice last year and Den still feels the pull to go back) D'Orsay, the Sunday market at the Bastille (which we will probably hit Sunday, Thursday, Sunday this time around) and the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower at night. Both Den & I have been very good at losing a few pounds in the last couple of months because we KNOW we will gain them back while we're there. I don't go to Paris to watch what I eat (or drink!) and I'm realistic that even with all the walking we'll do, I'm still bringing back a few French pounds with me.

As you can see, I can ramble on for a while here, but it is a beautiful Sunday, the sun is (finally) shining and the snow is (finally) gone and it is deck weather today, so I'll leave you with a few final thoughs (for today!):

Life is pretty good for Den and I right now, that we can make these types of trips. Not a day goes by that I don't appreciate everything we have and I take absolutely nothing for granted. We are very priviledged to be able to travel and enjoy these trips together. Life is short, and who knows what tomorrow brings.........we hope to be able to continue to travel and discover other places and each other for a long, long time.

Our first passion, even before travel, is our adorable grandson, Sebastian. He was an unexpected surprise who has enriched our lives totally (let's just say we are very young grandparents). Life happens for a reason and this little boy is the best thing that has happened to us and we plan to enrich his life the way he has enriched ours. When we got back from our trip last year, we brough back a little Eiffel Tower which sits on our fireplace mantel. Sebastian asked about it (he was 3 last year) and we told him all about the different levels and the views of the beautiful city below it. He has become quite taken with the Eiffel Tower and recognizes it whenever he sees it in movies, on TV or in books (watching Ratatouille at the theatre was so much fun, everytime the Eiffel Tower came on, he would yell, "The Eiffel Tower, Grandma, Poppa, that's where you went!!!!). One of the things we really want to do is bring Sebastian to Paris when he is a little older and bring him to the top of the Eiffle Tower to see the city we have fallen in love with.

Anyways, since I don't have any pictures of our trip yet, I'l leave you with a picture of Sebastian!

Sebastian.jpg

Have a wonderful weekend everyone............................Jo

Comments (3)

Sandra:

Jo, I don't believe it's possible to OVERPLAN a trip! But I must confess that for me, it's part of the fun of a trip, to think about it and dream about the things you'll do and see......

It sounds like you have a wonderful plan, Paris is lovely! And two weeks is a great amount of time, so you can relax and not try to cram in too many things. I spent two weeks in Rome in January and it was my best visit ever to Rome, because for once I felt like I had the time to just relax and hang out. It really is a wonderful luxury that we have, to be able to travel.

And I'll be watching for your photo of your grandson. I've been blogging since January and STILL can't seem to post photos. But I'm sure it will come!

Kim:

It sounds fabulous. And you should definitely plan to take Sebastian; I'm going with Sammi and my nephew, Jake, next year and cannot wait! Paris is such a great city - enjoy your trip (oh and Seb is a cutie pie ;D).

Amy:

I can't get to Paris this year, so I'll just coast along on your excitement! Enjoy every moment!

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