France: Paris (vol 1)

We arrived in Paris by train at noon and took a taxi to Hôtel de Ville. We stayed at Hotel Duo, a contemporary boutique hotel located off of one of the main streets and a short walk to Île de la Cité where Notre Dame, La Saint-Chappelle can be found. Sydney had a meeting shortly after our arrival, so I took that time to roam around and familiarize myself with the neighborhood. The square held a gorgeous carousel which was bright enough to light up the surrounding buildings, a man blowing giant bubbles, puppies, people, and just Paris itself. So magical! We had dinner in the Latin Quarter. We started with a cheese-filled pastery, kiwi, and side salad followed by one of the best duck dishes I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was cooked perfectly, sliced and drizzled with a honey soy sauce and served with a beautifully stacked potato au grain. Dinner was followed by a glass of Champagne. 

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The next day was filled with shopping, exploring, and a whole lot of nothing. I find that sometimes, this is the best way to spend a vacation. No agenda. Walking down a street because it looks interesting. Stopping for lunch because you’re famished and fear you will not make it another block without restoring your blood sugar. After almost a full day of this, I checked into the apartment B found on Airbnb, rehydrated, loaded a map and set out to meet some of B’s American pals who also live in Germany.

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Apple Maps is the worst.

After following the map about 3 blocks past the actual location, asking a local vendor for directions in my broken French (he was as baffled as myself by the map), I stopped into a pub to use their internet and email for help. While waiting on B’s friends I learned the bartender was from London, had lived in Paris for two years, and his girlfriend is from Dallas (Denton, but close enough). We had a beer and a great chat about all things Texas since he’d gone for his first visit over the holidays. As we said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but think how small the world is. That we’re all connected.

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