After our relaxing stay at an incredible château in the Loire Valley, we drove back up to Paris to pick up my brother.
About a week before we got there, there were a series of horrific terrorists attacks on the city. We got the news while we were in Spain, and immediately knew we wouldn’t cancel our trip. What these people did was truly heinous, but the point the people of Paris want to make is that it’s important that life goes on, and it’s important that tourists keep coming to the city. Catchy hashtags and temporary profile photos are a great way to show support but nothing will compare to coming to the city and supporting the French way of life.
So, that being said, we went anyway, and my family came anyway. We had a wonderful time, even though there was a bit of an air of sadness around the city and it was emptier than I’ve ever seen. However, I never felt unsafe at all.
Even though it was still mid-November, Paris had started to decorate for Christmas. It was STUNNING, especially the amazing Galeries Lafayette. I’ve seen several beautiful trees from them, but this one is my favorite.
We also saw the gorgeous windows at Printemps, they always knock it out of the park.
We got unlimited metro passes, which meant we could explore the city corner to corner.
We did a lot of things we’d never done before: The Catacombs (yeah, no thanks for me, I sat this one out), Napoleon’s tomb at Invalides, the Tower at Notre Dame, and Shakespeare and Co. bookstore.
We also did a lot for Lil, she LOVES the dog park at the Jardin Tuileries. I have no idea if this is a “real” dog park, but it was full of cute Parisian puppies. She met her first Pomeranian! I may have squealed with joy.
Since I work remotely, and the connection in our apartment was non existent, I spent quite a bit of time at the bagel shop down the street, eating bagels and using their wifi. Very chic, I know.
We also made sure to go see the monuments that were setup for the victims of the terrorist attacks. The biggest one I saw was around the statue in the Place de la République. A man began to sing Amazing Grace and it was incredibly moving.
The Eiffel Tower was lit in “bleu, blanc, et rouge” the colors of the French flag. It’s the first time the tower has ever been lit up in anything other than the normal twinkling lights. It was a poignant tribute, and very beautiful.
I know the resilient city of Paris will remain just as charming as the first time I stepped foot in it all those years ago.