Paris is always a good idea. Always. I fell in love with Paris, though Rome still sat front row in my heart. I truly don't believe anything can top Rome. But, Paris was just as what they'd say it would be - romantic.
We spent about a week in Paris and instead of staying in a hotel we decided to try out an Airbnb, which was so smart on our move. By doing this, I feel as though we got a sweet and authentic taste of the Parisian lifestyle. We stayed in a one bedroom flat apartment hidden in the local alleyway where the farmers market takes place and we really felt as though we got the best experience possible. And it was perfect for breakfast because we'd leave our flat and quickly grab a chocolate croissant or a french baguette with lettuce, salami and butter and eat it on the go allowing ourselves to feel like true Parisians. Or so we kept telling ourselves.
We did a really great job of butchering the French language and made awful impressions with the Parisians who I did find very rude and unappealing. Though, I wasn't surprised and I didn't let it allow me to believe all French people were this way. I've heard it's just the Parisians, but it added to the experience so I took it in nonetheless.
We spent our first day getting acquainted with the neighborhood that we were staying in and chose to walk everywhere that we could. I really wanted to get a feel of Paris and I wanted to see everything. We climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and witness the most gorgeous and symmetrical view of The Champs Elysees. My mind went racing back to my art history classes in college and learning of the architecture and history of Paris. This was the perfect view and angle to see and fully understand what I had been taught. I was blessed to have a birds-eye view of the Mansard roofing of Paris that was popularized by Francois Mansart during the French Baroque period and continued on to be adored in the Second French Empire under Napoleon III.
I absolutely loved learning about Napoleon Bonaparte, I found him fascinating, so the fact that we were standing on top of the Arc de Triomphe, which paid honor to the victories of Napoleon, had me giddy. Even though history is in the past, it seems to come alive once again when you are able to actually visit these places and experience them yourself. I get such a rush.
We made it to the Louvre where we were able to see the Mona Lisa and honestly, Zeke and I had the complete opposite reaction. We've been told by everyone that she'll be such a let down due to her size and so on so forth. So, we expected the worst and when we finally saw her in person, we thought she was larger then expected. The story behind the Mona Lisa and her history is what I appreciate though. She is not my favorite portrait by any means but there is so much mystery behind her and I really love every bit of it and so to be able to see her in person was the cherry on top.