Never have I ever… in Paris

Have you noticed that when you have a long period of time to explore a place thoroughly, you don’t? It’s easy to live somewhere for a year and never get around to seeing some of the major sites. Please tell me I’m not alone here!

Example #1: I grew up on the central coast of California, yet didn’t visit Hearst Castle until I was 26, and still haven’t been to the Winchester Mystery house. (I have listened to two podcasts on the latter, though! Geek alert.)

Example #2: I lived in Chicago for five years and never went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Big fail. (I regret this almost as much as I regret not eating more Big Star tacos.)

When there’s no deadline, there’s no urgency to explore a city’s attractions. If you can go any day… why go today? Life gets in the way, and routine takes over.

To ward off a future steeped in regret, I keep a little Paris bucket list so that I can take advantage of the city while I’m here. It’s easy for me to get lulled into the mindset that I can visit whenever I want, but the fact is once I go back to Lyon for la rentrée (back to school), I won’t popping up to Paris for the weekend anytime soon. I try to check something off the list every day, even if it’s a simple as wandering around the North Marais or trying the tacos at Candelaria. (Verdict: Delicious but overpriced.)

So on this note, I’m going to share with you some famous Paris attractions that I have never, ever visited, even after two years in France. Don’t judge me.

The Moulin Rouge

Paris Moulin Rouge

How many Parisians have actually been to the Moulin Rouge? Seriously, I want to know. Is it like, something everyone does once? Is it only for tourists? Do they have regulars? Do they have a Nicole Kidman doppelganger?

The Catacombs

Paris Catacombs

I hear the Catacombs are really, really cool. Can someone explain this one to me? What is down there besides a lot of bones in a damp subterranean tunnel?

The Versailles Gardens

Versailles canal

I’ve been to the chateau. I’ve been to the canal around back (yesterday!) but I haven’t been in those gated gardens. I’d like to go one day, but after all the chateau-ing we did in the Loire, I’m a little burned out on manicured hedges right now. Remind me to show you the gardens of Villandry… and you can tell me if Versailles tops them!

The Pantheon

Paris Pantheon

I routinely forget about the Pantheon. What am I missing out on?

The Eiffel Tower

Paris Eiffel Tower night

No no, I have seen the Eiffel Tower. It commands so much real estate in the Paris skyline, you can’t not see it. But you know what I’ve never done? I’ve never been up the Eiffel Tower. Not up to the top, not up to the first floor, nothing. It is fun to watch people trudging up like little ants, though. I don’t feel bad about this one – everyone says the best view of Paris is from the Tour de Montparnasse anyway. (Although… I’ve never been up there either. What is wrong with me?!)

I've also never put a lock on a bridge. But you're not supposed to do that anyway.
I’ve also never put a love lock on a bridge. But you’re not supposed to do that anyway.

 

The truth is that Paris is a city with endless possibilities, and I don’t think one person could experience everything it has to offer in a lifetime. So many museums, so many famous patisseries, so many restaurants where Hemingway drank tea kahlua whiskey? (What did Hemingway drink?) But I’m slowly chipping away at Paris, little by little. And if I move back one day? Who knows, maybe I’ll finally make it up the Eiffel Tower.

Have you visited any of these? What did you think?

 

I love/hate Paris

Coucou!  I’m baaaack!

Can I tell you something? It is a lot easier to write blog posts when you are in the middle of the French countryside and you can’t leave the house because you can’t drive in France anyway. When I was in La Campagne, the days were long and calm and often filled with nothing in particular except for sunshine and baking cupcakes just because. (Seriously.) In the city, I feel like I don’t have time to catch my breath sometimes. There is always somewhere to go, something to do, someone to see, and in a city like Paris, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out if you stay home.

Did I tell you I’m in Paris?

Well, I am. And today, I’m staying home because it’s the first time I’ve been able to call somewhere home since I left La Campagne (…two weeks ago. I’m so dramatic.) I don’t actually live in Paris, but I unpacked my suitcase and saved the wifi password in all my devices, so I think it counts.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Paris. I lived here for about a year before I moved to Lyon, and even though I love to visit whenever the opportunity presents itself, I don’t think I could ever live here again. This is how I feel about it:

Love: It’s so beautiful!

Hate: But it’s so expensive.

Love: It’s so international with many opportunities to meet new people.

Hate: But it’s so expensive.

Love: It is rich in culture and has world-class museums.

Hate: But it’s so expensive.

Love: It has Mexican food!

Hate: But it’s 11€ for a thimble-sized margarita.

You get the idea. There are many reasons I’m happy to live in Lyon instead of Paris, but the sheer cost of Paris is oppressive, especially for a thrifty girl like me. I hate overpaying more than I hate people who spit on the sidewalk and cut in line at the post office (because I’m pretty sure it’s the same people) and in Paris, it’s not difficult to overpay.

But… it’s Paris. Just look at it.

Paris Ecole Militaire.jpg

Paris view from ND tower.jpg

Paris Tuileries.jpg

Paris Love locks.jpg

Paris Notre Dame.jpg

Paris Eiffel Tower Sunset.jpg

I’m so excited to be ending the summer here and I’ll tell you all about it. What do you want to know?

Have you been to Paris? Did you love it or hate it?

More musings on Paris here and here.