Paris

So this is my fourth start on this post. The Internet at the hotels in both Paris and Brussels did not cooperate and I lost each draft before I could upload it. So to the best of my memory …

We set out for Paris Thursday morning. Brad drove to the Chunnel where we took the car and all of us across into France. From there, Bob drove us to Paris. We did stop at the prettiest rest stop I think I’ve ever seen.

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Bob managed not only to drive to Paris, he (successfully) drove a British minivan (with six people in it) through the streets of Paris, dodging Paris rush hour traffic. He didn’t hit anyone or anything – not so much as a curb. I was so proud of him. We drove to the hotel, passing by a small tourist attraction

20130728-140216.jpg. Since we were only in Paris overnight, we had two things really on our list – dinner and the Eiffel Tower. We started with dinner at an outdoor cafe, right on the corner for optimal people watching. I know everyone talks about the rude French service in Paris, but we didn’t find that at all. Not only was the waiter very helpful with accommodating us, he also had a group of cigar smokers (who were drinking only) move because the smoke was bothering us so much (we were right next to them and downwind to boot). So we had a great time, just sitting and drinking and eating and watching everyone go by.

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20130728-141329.jpg. The highlight of our meal came when the food came out. I had a lovely salad with Parma ham and cheese.

20130728-141429.jpg Bob’s mom ordered what she thought was steak … It was just not what she was expecting.

20130728-141523.jpg The look on her face when she saw the dsh was priceless (or as Emmie put it “rare” and filled with “raw emotion”). Bob kindly traded his veal for her steak tartar, so in the end everyone was happy.

We wandered to the Eiffel Tower after dinner where Bob, Brad, Logan and I decided to go up. We made it to the second level and got two pictures in

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20130728-141931.jpg before Logan had enough. The little guy was a trooper, but I think the height and the crowds were a bit much. I got a few good shots of the city

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20130728-142533.jpg. We did head to the too if the tower, but it was way too crowded to get any good shots and in all honestly, Paris does not have a skyline like New York where you can distinguish buildings; and from that high up, I’m not sure if you could anyway. So the best views are from the main level and not the top.

Once we got down, the sun had set and we were able to get some great shots of the tower.

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Paris was never high on my list to visit. I don’t have anything against it, but Edinburgh, Lisbon, Brussels, etc. have always been higher. Bob swore I would like Paris more than I thought I would and he was right. I’m not totally in love with the city (too crowded for me) but I would have no hesitation about going back. Between the food, the wine and the coffee I was a happy girl.

We hit the highlights of Notre Dame in the morning before Bob and I headed to Brussels. It was impressive, but I think I was spoiled by the Cathedral at Sienna. Nice but too crowded to really enjoy.

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