… and all the time!

I was just back in Paris for a long weekend. It’s a city I’ve adored ever since I was a girl and first visited it, falling hopelessly in love with the City of Lights.

Since then, I’ve been back many times – including a long-ago semester abroad living with a fabulous Parisian family in Montparnasse – and on each visit it’s like falling in love again.

I love the food, I love the wine. I adore sitting in a café and watching the world go by. I’m happy as I wander the street markets, listening to French spoken all around me and getting the chance to practice again myself. The architecture, the monuments, the museums, the bridges spanning the Seine are all just the icing on the cake. There’s always something new to explore and old favorites to go back and visit.

Whenever I’m in Paris, I walk for kilometers and kilometers and this trip was no exception. Since my children were along on this trip, this also meant many, many playground-stops. I was happy to discover one right in my beloved Place des Vosges.

Like me, my children enjoy seeing cities from up on high, so we saw Paris from the roof of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, opting for the stairs to the second level at the latter rather than the endless lines for the elevator to the top. If you go, book on-line well in advance.

I love the Louvre and the Orsay and all the other marvelous smaller museums in Paris, but this time we also took in a more kid-friendly museum: the Palais de la découverte, just around the corner from the Grand Palais. My children loved it and had a great time trying out all the scientific experiments.

When I was younger, I was so certain I would live in Paris, but my Italian husband eventually led me to Rome. Today, I feel more affinity with the Italians after years of living here. Yet, while the Eternal City may have replaced Paris as my favorite city, the City of Lights comes in a pretty close second.

After all, how can a girl ever forget her first love?