Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bonjour Paris

It seems that when I talk to people about the fabulous trips we go on, many feel that the trips are wasted on me.  I have to disagree.  I might not do the same things that you would do, or enjoy the same things that you would enjoy.  It is extremely likely that I would not try as many foods as you would try.  However, I enjoy seeing historic places, walking with Derek for miles and miles (I enjoy this until my feet hurt), and spending time with friends from Derek's work.  And then, after appreciating it to the best of my ability, I gratefully come home to the country and the family that I love the best.

Paris is a very large city.  2 million people live there.  2 million more come to work there every day.  More millions live in the suburbs and lots and lots of people visit.  Paris is crowded and loud.  There are cars, scooters, and motorcycles.  There are buses and the rumble of the metro.  There are sirens and the constant sound of horns blaring.  The streets are full of people driving in the most dangerous looking fashion I've ever witnessed.  It was fascinating to watch.  The sidewalks are full of people walking every which way -- and often smoking as they go.  There are the constant smells of tobacco and exhaust -- mixed in with the occasional smell of food.  It is all a bit overwhelming for someone who has lived in small towns her whole life.

Paris is also fascinating.  There is something historic to be seen almost everywhere you go.  There are fabulous churches and monuments.  When you walk around you get constant reminders of the people who once lived there, and who shaped Paris, and the country of France, into what it is today.  You also discover that their blocks are triangles and it's kind of easy to get a little lost.  You also get constant reminders that their sculptors didn't like to put many clothes on the statues.

What did I enjoy?  I enjoyed watching the wild traffic.  I enjoyed walking the gardens of the Louvre with Derek and then sitting and watching the Plaza de la Concorde as people came and went.  I enjoyed walking under the Eiffel Tower at night and then walking along the river Seine on the way back to the hotel.  I enjoyed the dinner cruise on the river Seine -- except the smoked salmon that looked raw and the smell of deisel fuel.  I was impressed with the expansive gardens at Versailles.  Our trip to the Loire valley was beautiful and the castles were impressive.  I enjoyed visiting with people from work who appreciate Derek and his humor.  And, I even enjoyed the fact that the grocery store we went to was named "Ed".  We visited Ed twice.

If you are one who still thinks the trip was wasted on me it is probably because you wish you could have come-- and if you had -- then I would have enjoyed it more because it would have been more like home.