As many of you know I took my vacation and checked off a long awaited bucket list goal, by visiting Paris for a week. There is so much to tell and so much to show. I took over 400 pictures and saw, experienced, and tasted so much of Paris I don't know where to begin, or how to end. I was in Paris to celebrate the 30th birthday of my best friend from college, and also to keep a promise I made to myself to start seeing the world, especially now that I am officially thirty something. My friend, her comrade, and myself, visited all the basic tourist attractions, the Eiffel Tour, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysees, Palace of Versailles, Musee d'Orsay and more than likely other hot spots I wasn't aware of. You can't throw a rock in Paris without it landing at some historical, beautiful, or meaningful building or site. Here are just a few of the images I took of Paris.

La Rue ClerEiffel TourThe LouvreParis8.jpgParis9.jpgParis11.jpgParis12.jpgParis13.jpgView from the Eiffel TourParis23.jpgPalace of VersaillesParis27.jpgCourtyard of VersaillesParis30.jpgInside VersaillesParis31.jpgParis33.jpgGardens at VersaillesParis Cafe

Although tourists come for the sites, I predominately came for the food. I do a fair amount of eating out and in recent months have become quite the foodie. Although I love food I am picky and prefer quality natural ingredients, versus quick, cheap, and well preserved food-like substances that are staples in the American diet. The idea of fresh and local cuisine being prepared with pride and attention to detail excited me well before I got to Paris, and I was not disappointed by what I found.  Here are some highlights from my culinary paradise.

Paris2.jpgAfter Meal EspressoParis5.jpgParis6.jpg5 Course Dinner MenuCelery RootSquidMonkfishDuckSalted Lemon CakeParis22.jpgParis24.jpgEscargot and WineGoat Cheese and Honey SaladParis39.jpgParis41.jpgParis42.jpgParis43.jpg

I've never eaten so much bread and cheese in all my life! Also the sweets in Paris weren't overly sweet, and surprisingly light. You don't get that sleepy or heavy feeling after eating a meal, and if you did dinners are always followed by an espresso and a piece of dark chocolate. I didn't get use to concept of enjoying your food and sitting for what seemed like hours waiting for the bill ( as the French don't dine and dash), but its something I would like to adopt. Initially I felt like the waiters in France weren't attentive ( they don't depend on tips) but the expectation in Paris is that you'll be there for a while and so checking on a table every 5 minutes just wasn't done. Also if you ever go to Paris, be prepared to be around smokers. They are everywhere! People smoke at the cafes outside, but you'll definitely get a few whiffs while you're dining inside.

More pics and details to come. Check back on MsConception for more photos and details in Paris- Part Deux, coming later in the week. Au Revoir!