This has been the hardest post to write - because I just don't know how to say how I felt about Paris! We were there for two nights and just one full day, and I think that was not nearly enough time to appreciate such an important, great city. It was my first time ever experiencing a true taste of culture shock, which was surprisingly uncomfortable for me. I was in sensory overload the entire 36 hours or so we were there - the architecture, the language, the food (oh, the crepes!) I mean, to stand under the Eiffel Tower, stand face to face with the Mona Lisa, touch the locks lining the bridges over the Seine and eat a French creme brulee all in the same day is overwhelming - to say the least!
It wasn't all easy and fun, though. Matt and I know very little French beyond "bonjour" and "sil vous plait" and that was kind of hard. I would definitely work harder to learn more French phrases before going back again. Most of the people we met in restaurants, etc. did know English fairly well - but we noticed we got much better service when we tried to use French before English. It made for some really funny (and really embarrassing) situations! It was also really cold the day we were there, and we were missing our kids pretty terribly. Paris - I think we need a re-do some day soon!
The highlights for me were: Driving down the Champs Elysees, seeing Mona Lisa and the Venus di Milo, eating a Nutella crepe from a street stand, seeing Notre Dame lit up at night + attending Sunday mass at Notre Dame too, walking underneath the Eiffel Tower and then walking back to it at night to see the light show (twice.) I'll never forget our grumpy French waiter at the cafe we ate dinner at the first night, our cab driver who was a Carly Rae Jepsen fan, the two separate times the perfect French words came to each of us like magic in the nick of time in some sticky situations, (Rick Steves was right, "Ca va" is the magic phrase,) and of course I can never forget my experience using the public, self-cleaning toilet on the bank of the Seine.
Here are our pictures, and they're not in any particular order. (Next time, I'm definitely bringing the nice camera, Paris!) Oh, and try not to laugh too hard at the 100 or so pictures of me stuffing my face with a crepe...