Leaving Europe and ending this leg of our journey was bittersweet.  We had officially eaten ourselves through Europe, with little exercise besides walking from monument to restaurant or bakery, and we were ready to have our healthy lifestyles back.  Nonetheless, we embraced the true Parisian experience and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest (no pun intended).

Paris is known as the “City of Lights” and that’s what we saw upon our arrival.  December is a great time to visit Paris because the city is decorated with Christmas lights and decorations, and hosts festive Christmas markets.  Visit the city’s tourism website for more information.  Even though we weren’t home this holiday season, we definitely felt it here.  Our tiny rental apartment was located near the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triumph in a very chic neighborhood referred to as “The Golden Triangle”.  We were literally steps away from the designer shopping district and world renowned restaurants.  We casually walked past all of these establishments with our bulky backpacks trying to find our new home.  It was a colorful space decorated and owned by a wonderful French woman named Julia.  I believe she and I are kindred spirits.    She provided us with impeccable service throughout our stay, and when we had internet problems she was extremely accommodating.  We’re thankful for the opportunity to have met her and live in this amazing location.

About 4 years ago, Mike and I came to Paris for a week and saw several of the city’s famous sites.  During this trip, we decided that we would admire some sites we didn’t see the first time and also revisit our favorites.  We visited the iconic Sacré-Coeur Basilica at sunset, so we were able to take some nice photos.  We then meandered around the Montemarte neighborhood and then made our way down to Notre Dame Cathedral. We also spent some time walking around my favorite art museum – Musée d’Orsay.  I can never get enough of Impressionist art.  It was amazing!

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For our final evening, we enjoyed a lovely, but chilly walk to the Eiffel Tower and devoured a fabulous dinner at Mariette Restaurant.  We were delighted to get a reservation at this hidden gem.  We each enjoyed a 3 course meal filled with foie gras ravioli, roasted chicken bourbonnais, pan seared turbot fish and for the finale – decadent chocolate sorbet profiteroles. It was a true Parisian experience!