Returning to Paris

So, a few months ago, I happened to be googling conferences for athletic trainers, hoping to find a conference going on someplace cool. The one in the US is held in Indiana this next summer and that just sounded… not cool. But a few minutes of googling led to some profitable answers! There was one conference coming up in Dublin, Ireland, and another one in Monaco, bordering the south of France.

And an idea began to form.

What if – I told Terry – we (or rather, he) went to this conference in Monaco??? He could get the continuing education credit he needed, we could spend a few days in Paris, and I could show him all of that part of my life! And what if I went up to London to visit one of my college friends while Terry was at said conference? What if???

Well. Little did I actually believe we could work this out. But, miracle of miracles, we did!

IMG_2561And you guys. It was amazing. Being back in a city that means so much to me, and being able to share it with Terry, was seriously incredible. I’ll go into more details in the next couple days, but let me just hit the highlights real fast for you:

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The Arc de Triomphe – just stunning. We stayed with some family friends that are still living in Paris – lucky them! – and they were so close to the Arc. We walked right over to it our first morning there and spent the rest of the day just wandering around Paris. It was just dreamy.

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The weather was just slightly on the cool side – I usually needed just a light jacket, although the nights cooled down a bit more. If you’re ever heading to Paris, April is not a bad time to do it. Although, really, there’s not ever a bad time to go to Paris. 🙂

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I couldn’t resist taking Terry to my old apartment on that very first day – see that balcony right there? That used to be my bedroom. Doesn’t look like much, but let me show you the picture I could take standing in the exact same spot as when I took the picture above. Behold:

IMG_2014Yep. I was that close to the Eiffel Tower. And notice the mini Statue of liberty in the right half of the picture there. And the river Seine. 🙂 I was beyond thrilled to show Terry my old house. We walked around looking for the bakery I’d always go to (couldn’t find it), the grocery store I’d shop at (found it), and the metro stop I’d always get off at. I was surprised by how much of the neighborhood I remembered and how easy it was for me to get around.

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We each bought a Paris Museum Pass, which I’d highly recommend. It gets you into dozens of museums and monuments and chateaus in and around Paris, for a very reasonable price. The only catch is you have to use it for either 2, 4, or 6 consecutive days. We ended up splitting our time in Paris into two parts, before and after Terry’s conference, so we used our museum passes for the 4 days before the conference. Another plus is that it lets you skip the lines to most of the places. Not all though – we had to wait to go to the top of Notre Dame, but the line went quick and was well worth it. And we walked around the inside, where we saw this beauty:

IMG_2088You know it took 200 years to build Notre Dame? Can you even imagine our society today starting to build a building that we all knew wouldn’t be done in our lifetime? Or even our children’s lifetime? Possibly our grandchildren’s lifetime??? It’s just incredible to me how beautiful everything in Paris is. Just stunning, every way you turn.

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Like this – see?! This, by the way, is where Napoleon’s tomb is. Such a subtle guy, that Napoleon.

Stay tuned for part 2! And probably part 3 and 4 and 5 and on and on and  on!!! So much Paris! With a bit of London, Nice, and Monaco thrown in for good measure!

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