Then there was Paris…

Busy with settling into international life, I have had little time to post. Where to even begin? I travelled to Sri Lanka in September, but then there was Paris.
Without being to presumtous, most girls dream of traveling to Paris. My dream began as a little girl reading the book Madaline. I read it over and over and over again. I wanted nothing more than to see the Eiffel Tower for myself. 
Growing up, my mother worked for a woman that travelled to Paris yearly. She would return with the most beautiful dresses and gowns. The tiny little fashionista in me longed for the day where I would travel to Paris myself to purchase my own dresses.
Well it finally happened. I made my dream come true. I spent six glorious days seeing the sights of Paris at Christmas time. I was overwhelmed by the amount of things to see and do. 
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was the first stop with my travel buddy Emily. We grabbed a baguette sandwich and frites (French fries) and shared a late afternoon lunch right under the tower.   
There, we decided to hop in the extrodinarly long line to go to the top. It was soooooo worth the wait. We went to every level. The best part was we were at the top as the sun set over Paris. Just breathtaking. 
Speaking of breathtaking, the wind was something fierce. A sheer force to be reckoned with at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but sooooo worth it.  After snapping a few photos, we returned to the less windy floor, one below, to watch the sunset. Then took our time to decend the tower.
After the tower, we strolled through the Christmas market waiting for 6 pm to see the Eiffel Tower illuminate. And just like that, Violá,  the tower lit up. I stood there in awe at its beauty. For a first day in Paris, I think this was the perfect day that fulfills my childhood dream.
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Exploring Paris
The next day, I saw most of Paris via a hop on/hop off bus. It’s a great way to get your bearings in a new city. I find sometimes, that you want only a picture of a place and other times you want to stop and experience it. After the bus, there was a river tour that took us  along the river Seine. On the way to the boat, there was a graffiti chalk wall with buckets of chalk. I couldn’t help but leave my mark.
   Noël de Champs Elysees
The last stop on the boat ride was the the Champs Elysses where the Noël de Champs Elysees Christmas Market spanned three city blocks. It was filled with vendors, more food than one could possible eat in a day, and hot mulled wine. HOT MULLED WINE!!!!! It was just wonderful strolling the illuminated streets in the cold with hot wine. It truly felt like Christmas. Of course, I purchased a few unique items. Also, another addition to my international ornament collection that I started this year.  
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Rodin’s Sculpture Garden
Another highlight was Rodin’s Sculpture Garden. For me, this was my favorite museum by far. The gardens are just delightful. It was a perfect fall like day to wander around the gardens with a cuppa tea and check out the sculptures.
The tiny Mona Lisa…??
For the next item to check off the “DO IT NOW!” list, I wanted to go to the Lourve and see the Mona Lisa. I saw it…check. It’s so small. What I found most amusing, people taking selfies with it. Sooooo……
 A selfie of the selfie people with the Mona Lisa. 
The Lourve was enormous. You would need an entire day just to exploring it. So, I just checked out the parts I wanted to see.
 Shakespeare and Company 
Possibly, one of the most famous bookstores in the world, the Shakesphere and Company bookstore was most certainly on my checklist. 
Featured in the cult classic movie Before Sunset and Julia & Julia this legendary bookstore faces the river Seine on the Left Bank just across the river from Notre Dame. Upon entering the 17th century building, you’re greeted by floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Walking into the tight quarters is like stepping back into time. This place where 1950’s Beat Poets flocked, there is something inherently beautiful about being surrounded by all those books. As a lover of words, I was in my glory. Just hand me a warm Earl Grey tea from the coffee shop next-door and I would spend hours in this location.
Before I left, I couldn’t help but make a few purchases. One being my favorite childhood book, Madeline. 

Final Thoughts
There are so many more moments to share, but these are stories you share when you speak of your travels to friends. There are even some that are only written in your travel journal for you to reflect back on years late. 
Paris is well…Paris. And six days just wasn’t enough. But, I did go home with those dresses I always dreamed of. One day, I will return again.