Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I have returned from the first of the next three trips. It seems I'll be spending a lot more time returning encore and encore. ...but if it's from places as lovely as this conference's locale in Paris, then I won't be complaining!
Having been to Paris on family vacation in high school, I used my 2.5 non-conference days in a laid back manner: walking until my feet fell off, seeing the Louvre, and climbing to the top of L'Arc de Triomphe. After my time in Japan I reject that MUST.SEE.ALL.THE.THINGS pressure.
Also, if everyone keeps telling you that the Mona Lisa is smaller than expected, she will end up being larger than expected.
Faire du Shopping.
I found this guide to Parisian souvenirs to be particularly useful for my short time in Paris, and I've returned with Bensimon sneakers, honey made by monks, cheap Dijon mustard, fancy macarons, and not a single Tour Eiffel keychain! While I resist the must-see-all-the-things way of life, I'm still fully subscribed to must-buy-all-the-things.
My friends and I noticed a very peculiar thing: anytime we used a Lonely Planet restaurant recommendation the food was mediocre to poor, but any time we chose a random brasserie off the street, the food was satisfactory to excellent. Sometimes the restaurants we thought were tourist traps were excellent, and sometimes they really were just tourist traps. I've eaten enough chocolate mousse, macarons, and duck confit to last me awhile.
More photos up on my Flickr page.