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Friday, February 12, 2016

Paris...again!

Our first trip to Paris was back in 1999. We were on our way home to Stockholm from Cairo, Egypt, flying with Air France and the airline offered a 3 day layover in Paris for no extra cost. Did we want to do this? Uh, yeah!
Well, when we first arrived, I was grumpy and I remember saying to Doug, "I don't see what's so great about this town!" Oh how I have changed my tune since then. We have had the privilege of being here 6 or 7 times.
Awhile ago, on another trip to this grand city
That is crazy great. We have always stayed in the neighborhood of the American Church in Paris and we love it. We love it in part because we know it well but also because the Seine is right there, the Eiffel Tower is nearby, the restaurants and bakeries are fabulous and we just know the area. Such a treat to have had the privilege of really enjoying this city, seeing the major sights but also just having the joy of being in the city without a huge agenda. Today was one of those days.
The weather is bleh. Cloudy, gray, rainy. But after a quiet morning getting some final prep work done for the women's retreat I'm speaking at tomorrow, I was treated to a wonderful lunch at a cute little Parisian cafe with Kim, the pastor's wife at the church and chief organizer of the retreat that I'm speaking at tomorrow. I had pumpkin soup, a glass of white wine and a beautiful berry crumble for dessert. Lovely place. From there I headed for Laduree....the beautiful cafe that is famous for its macaroons.
Stock photo
I really had no idea that they were a full service restaurant with a cool "underwater" feel bar in the back. I was meeting an old friend from Stockholm days who I had not seen in about 7 years! They left Stockholm to move to Paris and since I knew I had some time today, I decided to see if she was free. She was and we met up and had a fabulous catch up. It was so easy and fun to be with her! Great time in a great place. The take away line was huge. The macaroons were delicious. I indulged in the salted caramel and raspberry ones on the spot. I saved the lemon and chocolate ones for later. Mmm, mmm good. Beautiful spot. Great restroom! It was also located on the Champs Elysees, which must be in the top 5 incredibly awesome streets in the world. A look in one direction lands you at the Arc de Triumph. A glance in the other shows the sprawling boulevard in all of its urban glory. It was really cloudy today so I didn't take many photos.
But on my walk home, I caught this awesome view of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower and decided that even in the gray, it is still awesomely beautiful. The architecture that surrounds you is really stunning. And I walked by all of the major fashion designer stores today.
A wander around my favorite neighborhood close to the church took me by a flower shop and numerous bakeries with delights too many to sample...but I am going to give it a good go this weekend! And I popped into the local grocery store for a bottle of Champagne that was about 6 euro and lovely.
Now I am home, in my little apartment that the church has for guests, sipping the champagne, enjoying the view of the Eiffel Tower from my windows, feeling contented and blessed that these are the experiences of my life right now.