"I'm going to Paris."
It was sometime during April 2003, that I decided to take a trans-Atlantic trip to Paris, France. I had been invited by a friend living outside of Paris and I thought, why not? I started making plans, getting my flight arrangements, got my passport and started studying the city and area to see what I knew I wouldn’t want to miss. I was very excited and told everyone, "I'm going to Paris!" I told my family, friends, co-workers, sales people when I was shopping for the trip. Most responses were favorable and a few were, “you’re doing what? Don’t you know France hates America, especially now??” It was two years after Sept. 11, 2001, and we were at war. I didn’t think too much about those ‘few’ responses and felt very comfortable with my decision. Who believes the media, anyway?? My Parisian friend said it was ‘nonsense.’
I left America on July 4, Independence day. My flight left from Tampa International Airport and I had a connection in Philadelphia to make the flight over the Atlantic to Paris. I was flying out at night and could see fireworks from the plane. “Happy Birthday, USA. I’m going to Paris, kiss, kiss!” I write in another article, (Are French Men More Romantic?), about my flight, sitting next to a younger French man. It certainly added to the excitement and thrill of making a trip I had dreamed about since a young teenager. And it didn’t hurt at all that he was very attractive!
He taught me a lot about what to expect and basic French etiquette, which I definitely used while there and was thankful he had shared this with me. One thing he said is, ALWAYS greet by name if you know the persons name, and a friendly ‘bonjour’, even to a storekeeper. If I was saying, ‘pleased to meet you’, it would simply be, ‘enchante.’
Arriving in Paris
When we were over the Atlantic and flying over France, the view from above was simply beautiful. The countryside was so neat and orderly, farm lands laid out perfectly in geometrical exactness, it seemed. It looked like a giant quilt gracefully covering the land. I was growing more and more eager to land and greet my friend and be on our way.
Once we landed and I stepped out into Charles de Gaulle greeting area, there was a sea of people standing and waiting, many dark haired people and people from all different kind of cultures. I noticed right away I stood out, as I am tall, blond and I had on a dress! Who wears dresses anymore on a trans-Atlantic flight??? I did, because I wanted to look nice and it was as comfortable, or probably more so, than a pair of long pants. Even the airline hostesses said, thank you for dressing so nicely! And it appeared my French male friend appreciated it very much.
Adventures in the City of Light
Parisian Chic Everywhere
Fabulous Antique Flea Markets
An American Woman in Paris...
That weekend as we walked through Paris, I didn’t notice any hostility toward me or anyone else for that matter. Although I did notice there were not many Americans, I did see and speak with a few. And here I am, in a country where the dominant language spoken is French, one that I barely made it though in my two years of high school French. I could remember some of the basic phrases that a visitor should know while in another country to show respect and to be polite. But my French sounded NOTHING like fluent French. It was comical to even attempt a conversation that required more than two sentences, so luckily when French was necessary, my friend did the talking. Of course, we weren’t always together, as he had to work at times during the week, so there were times I was on my own with the language.
I do remember one particular time when I was shopping alone in the
small village of Sceaux. I was buying a thank you gift for my
friend and went into one of the only shops that was open during their
afternoon when many shops close. I was amazed at what could be
purchased for very little money. The shopkeepers spoke English and
helped me pick out a beautiful vase for the flowers I bought. Difference:
you can buy flowers for a man in France for a gift and it is perfectly
normal and acceptable. So, I had this gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a
beautiful vase walking through the village on a hot July mid-afternoon.
I saw a book shop with tables outside with all kinds of books laid out for browsing. Being a huge book lover, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. I was walking toward the tables when an older couple walked past me, staring at me. I had on a dress (at that time, French women never walked around in pants, ever; either skirts or dresses) carrying the fresh flowers and vase. The man nodded his head and smiled. The older woman looked at me and scowled, waving her arms around in the air speaking quite loudly in French.
Hmmm, I had no idea what she said, but I did hear the word, ‘fleurs’, and knew immediately what she must have said. I thought, she must think I’m one of those crazy Americans walking around in the heat carrying fresh flowers. So I did what any smart American woman would do, and walked back to my friends home and placed the flowers in water. Then I walked back into the town as it was just coming alive again.
An American in Paris- J'ai Deux Amours- Madeleine Peyroux
Peaceful, Elegant Parc de Sceaux
Another difference that was very apparent to me was the children, of all ages. Being in the field of early childhood education, I notice young kids wherever I go. I like to watch behaviors, interactions between adult and child. The entire time I was in France, I did not hear a child cry, scream, talk back to their parents or throw a temper tantrum. It was amazing to me. You can’t walk very far in any American city before you hear or see a child acting up or manipulating Mom or Dad in the grocery line.
I remember one incident on Champs d’Elysses observing a young child entertain herself while waiting as her parents stopped to talk with someone. She was holding onto the street lantern pole as she circled around and around. She was singing a little song completely happy. I was enchanted. She wasn’t pulling on her mother's clothes or whining that she wanted to keep walking. Scenes very similar to this happened often.
We hear how the pace of life is slower in Europe than in the United States. I noticed especially whiledining out in Parisor having lunch, people were more relaxed and one could sit as long as they wanted without being interrupted numerous times by the wait staff. I only remember one time when I felt the waitress was being rather rude, but it didn’t bother me at all, as I had heard and read that sometimes they are rather 'brusque' in manner. And the tip is already included in the price. You do not tip in France.
A romantic French garden
One of my most favorite memories was time spent in my friend’s garden, his yard. It was surrounded by beautiful trees, a brick wall, a patio area with a beautiful Italian marble table. He lived in an old 17th century stone house with three floors, and there was an apartment built on to one side of the house. An older woman lived there. Sitting out in the garden in the late afternoon, I recall the scent of garlic, onions, potatoes coming from her kitchen window. I could hear her cooking, the sound of the utensils as she prepared her evening meal.
Then off in the distance from a house nearby or maybe from the apartments across the tiny, narrow street, I could hear the ethereal sound of a flute. Someone was practicing before dinner. These were comforting smells, beautiful sounds, no harsh noises or loud music. I felt so enveloped by all of these sensory pleasures, it was hard to imagine having to leave such a beautiful space.
Parc de Sceaux Garden Path
End of my Story
It was a beautiful space in time for me, part of my life I will always treasure. I think it’s valuable for anyone to spend time in another country, a different culture. It broadens our minds, our appreciations for both similarities and differences in our humankind, in humanity as a whole, and not separated by language, color, beliefs and customs. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in France, being an American in Paris. Flying back into the US, I looked forward to coming home to my country, even if the first sound I heard at the airport was a crying child! C'est la vie!
America is my country, my beloved home, but once you've been to Paris, she lives within your heart. As Jerry Mulligan said in, An American in Paris; "Paris... it's too real and too beautiful to ever let you forget anything."
An American in Paris - Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron
Additional Paris Travel Information
- Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sceaux is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 9.7 km (6 miles) from the center of Paris.
- Paris Travel Information and Travel Guide - France - Lonely Planet
Paris tourism and travel information such as accommodation, festivals, transport, maps, activities and attractions in Paris, France - Lonely Planet
Thank you for reading my story, feel free to leave a comment. Bonjour!
Ellen Adarna from San Diego, California on May 12, 2018:
Nice story. I really enjoyed it!!!
Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on December 28, 2015:
Wonderful hub Rebekah. I completely agree that it's time well spent when visiting other countries and cultures. Paris is a magical place and I must admit I found the people warm, friendly and very welcoming. A Happy New Year to you.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on April 21, 2013:
Thanks for reading FlourishAnyway! Glad you enjoyed it!
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 21, 2013:
What a fabulous story!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 04, 2012:
Mary Kay, Nice to see you and thanks for visiting my article about my experience in Paris. It sounds like you also had a fantastic time. The architecture is simply incredible. I was in awe most of the time. I'm sure your next trip will be even better, and always a good idea to brush up on your French. I had a hard time understanding the fluent French!
Luckily, most of the time communication was in English. Thanks for visiting and commenting!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 04, 2012:
Skipn, I know the feeling you're talking about as far as being inspired by the arts in Paris. It's actually rather amazing that one city can be like its own mini world, but it is. One has to experience Paris for a period of time to begin to appreciate all that the city has to offer. While I loved my time there and met some wonderful French people, I knew I couldn't stay there indefinitely. I missed my homeland and my family. One day I would love to return and experience it once again. I have an open invitation from a dear friend who lives there. Thanks so much for taking time to visit and share a comment!
MARY KAYS CATERING on December 01, 2012:
WHEN MY FIANCÉ AND I BKED A CRUISE IN FRANCE WITH BURT WOLFE AND ALPANA SINGH FROM CHECK PLEASE AND CHANNEL 11 IN CHICAGO IT WAS TO BENEFIT THE ARTS TV CHANNEL HERE PLUS TRAVEL. IT WAS MY FIRST TRIP TO FRANCE AND I HAD A NEW JOB WRITING FOR A BRIDAL MAGAZINE BACK HERE IN NORTHWEST INDIANA 45 MINS OUT OF DOWNTOWN CHICAGO. I WAS JUST IN AWWWWW OF WHAT I SAW OUTSIDE MY HOTEL WINDOW..THE MANSARD ROOFTOPS AND EVEN THE EIFFEL TOWER IF I WENT IWN THE HALL. WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME IN PARIS ..PART OFVTHE DAY WE ARRIVED AND THEN ONE DAY BEFORE WE BOARDED OUR CRUISE SHIP ON AMA WATERWAYS. I AM STILL OBSESSED BY ALL THINGS PARIS AND FRENCH BUT PRAY EVERY NOIRE TO GO BACK FOR A TRIP TO PARIS ALONE FOR MY APRIL B-DAY THIS YEAR..I'LL BE 65 yrs AND WANT TO HAVE DINNER AT LE GRANDE COLBER HAVE MORE LADUREE CHOCOLATES AND ROLL MORE MACAROONS IN THOSE SUGAR BOWLS THEY HAVE THERE,AND SPOIL MYSELF ON THE BUFFETS WITH TABLES FULL OF PÂTÉS MY FAVORITE THING INNTHE WOLD WITH A GLASS OF FRENCH CHAMPAGNE. THEY MAY SAY THE FRENCH ARE SNOBBY BUT YOU KNOW THEY HAVE AN EXCUSE..THERE IS NO PLACE ELSE IN THE ORLD WITH BETTER FOOD AND BETTER ARCHITECTURE..BLOCKS AND BLOCKS ALL THE SAME..THEY HAD TO TEAR DOWN ALL THE OLD BUILDINGS TO REBUILD FROM THAT GLORIOUSLY SCAREY TURNAROUND..DO IT IN A TOUR BUS AND LET THE DRIVER WORRY. AND DON'T MISS THE BOAT CRUISE DOWN THE RIVER TO SEE ALL THE BUILDINGS FROM THE BEST VIEWPOINT. I WANT TO DO THE EVENING DINNER TOUR THIS TIME..IT WILL BE APRIL IN PARIS! JOYEAUX NOEL AND BON ANNE TO YOU ALL.PLUS I NEED TO WORK ON MY FRENCH..COLLEGE DEGREE IN FRENCH PLUS HIGH SCHOOL PLUS TAUGHT..BUT STILL NEED WORK IN SPELLING AND GRAMMAR. THE MOST BORING PART OFVANY LANGUAGE. MARY KAYS CATERING AND FIRST EDITIONS!
Skipn55 on November 30, 2012:
Wonderful hub. I was checking over my own hub about Paris, Paris As Rt, and happily discovered yours, and glad I read it. What an enchanting country. What beauty, what art, what a magnificent place, what a magnificent experience I had there, and your hub brought all those feelings and experiences back to me where I sit. If I had had the ways and means of staying in Paris, I never would have gotten back on the plane to the US. As an artist, Paris is saturated with art and literature, supports the artist and I would have been more than happy, ecstatic, to have been supported, inspired by that great city. Now I live in the US and when I need it, I harken back into my experience to get on with creating beauty through art. Thank you four your hub. Thank you Paris.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on August 27, 2012:
Yes, it was a wonderful trip. Absolutely, I would love to visit Paris again and I'm sure I will make the trip again. There is so much to experience. And I have an open invitation from a friend who lives in the city! Thanks for reading!
Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on August 27, 2012:
I believe it was a wonderful trip! Would you like to visit Paris again?
carozy from San Francisco on August 02, 2012:
Beautiful work. I remember my short stay in Paris and how I ended up loving the city more than any other I visited while on my study abroad in Europe. You've made me want to go back!
Rizka on May 21, 2012:
ahh.. paris.. i always want to go there. and with your story, i know what i have to do if i go there, wear dress or skirt, not pants! haha. can't to wait to hear your another story.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on April 03, 2012:
Thanks Sanda, It's lovely to see your visit. I'm glad you enjoyed reading!
Sandra Busby from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA on March 28, 2012:
I enjoyed the beautiful hub so much and will check out some of your other hubs about Paris. Thanks. Sandra Busby
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 14, 2012:
Hi writtenbylv, I'm glad you enjoyed my experience! Oh yes, I understand being a Franceophile. I also love the country and have read a lot about it and enjoy writing about my trip. I hope you are able to make the trip someday! Thanks for reading.
writtenbylv from Atlanta, Ga. on March 14, 2012:
Thank you RebekahElle, what a beautiful and detailed article. It is always so nice to read articles about the French people that are based on fact and not myths. I love everything French, and I've wanted to go to Paris since I was a little girl. My ancestors are from France, so its in my blood to go!:) Great article.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on February 26, 2012:
Thanks fellow hubbers for reading and taking the time to comment. Some of you have also experienced Paris and understand her magic. Shinkicker, that's interesting also about Italy. I know a family very well with an Italian father. I see that also with his children. They are so polite and well mannered, and extremely intelligent. I think they have an emphasis on family, perhaps because of the old world, and the long history of these countries? We can certainly learn from them. Thanks for reading.
Shinkicker from Scotland on February 25, 2012:
Beautiful Hub RebekaELLE
I was briefly in Paris a few years ago and loved the place. Interesting your comment on the kids, same experience for me in Italy. What are they doing right over there I wonder? :-)
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on February 14, 2012:
We visited Paris in 2010 and had a wonderful experience as well. My husband was a little nervous about the trip because of the stories he'd heard, but we found everyone to be very polite and helpful. I love the description in your hub. You had a memorable trip!
healthwriterbob from United States on January 30, 2012:
I visited Paris in October 2011. Your you-tube video took me through the sights we visited. We walked throughout Paris to get to things we wanted to see. There were as many Americans on the streets as there were Parisians. We did not notice any anti-American sentiment. Thanks for the hub.
eliserenee from Chicago on December 11, 2011:
rebekahELLE, I love this Hub! I have never been to Paris, but it has been a longtime dream of mine to do so. I learned some important travel-savvy tips thanks to your article. Thanks!
nickupton from Bangkok on August 08, 2011:
Great story. I haven't been to Paris in years but this has got me interested in going again.
Marykayabblett on June 01, 2011:
Really enjoyed the whole story. I am new and just wrote one small story.love the idea of this hub/ blog. How does it really work?mk
Sir Cumference from England on May 07, 2011:
Hi rebekah. I enjoyed reading your hub - your sense of happiness shone through in your writing style and the small details like the smell of garlic in the garden gave your hub an enjoyable and personal touch.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 27, 2011:
Thanks World-Traveler. It was a wonderful, broadening, experience. I think travel is one of our best teachers, there's so much we learn when we're out of our normal environment. I have an album of photographs and I love the memories they bring. I'm glad you enjoyed them.
World-Traveler from USA on March 27, 2011:
I am happy to read your story on travelling to Paris. It brought back many fond memories. You were wise to bring a camera and your photographs are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on January 22, 2011:
Sounds enchanting to make a trip to Southern France to trace your family heritage! I hope you'll be able to make the trip someday, Pleasure Venues. Thanks for stopping by.
Bonjour Mike's Corner, I like your screen name! Glad you enjoyed reading and thanks for the compliments. That garden is amazing, although possibly a bit cold right now, but it was so peaceful and so very French. peace.
Mike's Corner from Maryland on January 22, 2011:
Great story of your trip to Paris (and great photos) Rebekah . . . I wish I was having breakfast in your friend's garden right now, looks like an amazing place . . .
Pleasure Venues from South West US on December 02, 2010:
That was sweet. I have relatives born and raised in Southern France and have wanted to visit them. They have one of those "orderly farm lands". It's my family heritage that I'm wanting to see. I'm an Native artist, so my take will be a little different. lovely hub, thanks.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 28, 2010:
thanks everyone for the comments. @slusterbubble, thanks for the compliment. there are so many things to notice when in a different country, I wanted to write about what caught my attention, and my heart!
@westocean, I agree, so beautiful. thanks for reading!
WestOcean from Great Britain on November 28, 2010:
Ah Paris... the most beautiful city in the world. Great hub!
slusterbubble from Florida on November 22, 2010:
I like the way you observe and describe, Rebecca (which is how I'd write your name in French...). You have an eye for special or unusual things and you cherish them, which is already somewhat unusual in the first place ! Do continue to enlighten us further, and if you sometimes wonder about France or the French, I'll be glad to give you my views on our "cousins", since I'm Belgian.
andygrant on October 30, 2010:
Interesting story Rebekah! Paris is one of my favorite destinations. Communication is never a problem for me as I know French very well.
paulkimelecu from philadelphia, pa on August 10, 2010:
Love this story. It's very hard being in a different country. When I moved here, I had great culture shock that took a long time for me to get over. All these crazy strip malls! And pressure to buy everything in them! I guess I'm over it now, but sometimes things still surprise me!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 26, 2010:
lol, yes, I do recall a few moments of terror driving around the Arc de Triumph wondering how anyone gets through the lanes alive to tell about it. or there casual bump and scratch as they parallel park on the crowded avenues. :O
Sparhawke from Manchester on May 26, 2010:
Actually is is only about 10-12km maybe, just a normal Saturday afternoon, just make sure when you go back you don't start from the Gare du Nord and start walking North, there is nothing in that direction but very dodgy estates...something I found out too late at 4am when I was walking around lol
While there is no doubt it is a great city I find it a bit....cloying, maybe in the 30s it was very chic and all that but now I find it has become a shadow of its former self, a mere parody of the romanticized Western view of Paris...but a hasty sprint across one of the 6 lanes of traffic soon brings you out of your reverie and if it doesn't the madman on inline skates certainly will lol
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 25, 2010:
thanks sparhawke. I know what you mean about communication!
I once could not understand what my French friend was saying in English and I know it frustrated him because I kept asking what is that word? finally he had to write it on a piece of paper and it was the name of a drugstore chain in NY! ha.
that was quite a walk you took! but it's all so beautiful that the walking doesn't seem like it is that far. when I looked at a map to see where and how far we walked, I was amazed. I came back with very toned legs!
I enjoyed your comment and thanks so much for reading and sharing. another Paris lover. :]
Sparhawke from Manchester on May 25, 2010:
I love going to France, but have a hard time making people understand me, it is not my accent though which is the problem but where to put all the words...or it would be if I knew some :p
One of my favourite walks is to start from the Cathedral Notredame, walk towards Pont Neuf, up past the Louvre, then Musée de l'Opéra de vichy and on towards the Eiffel then back up to the Place de la Concorde and finish with a leisurely stroll up the Champs Elysees to end at the Arc de Triomphe.
It usually covers about two or three hours and then you can just watch everyone going about their business with a beer down at the bottom on the Rue de Rivoli :)
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 25, 2010:
thank you so much Glencap! wow, I'm touched these words brought back such warm memories. I think Paris has that effect on many who visit her. she is like an affair that never ends. It must have been wonderful to be there right after college! :) the memories come alive, don't they?
Glencap from Atlanta, Georgia on May 25, 2010:
I got slightly teary-eyed after reading your beautiful Hub. I visited Paris back in 1984 just after graduating from college. I was by myself the whole time, and I absolutely loved it.
Your story is told with such heartfelt depth that one can almost feel the ambiance. You not only went down memory lane, but you took me with you. As Bob Hope used to sing, "Thanks for the memories." What a lovely post! I can't wait to read more of your Hubs.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 04, 2010:
thank you princessa. you have made an interesting observation about the language and I am sure this is in part contributes to the respect and politeness of the children. I thought it was so endearing to hear a father speak to his almost grown children with very tender words. They seemed to be very involved with their children, especially in regard to education and providing for their needs. I was so impressed. I believe I left a part of me in your beautiful country. :)
Wendy Iturrizaga from France on May 04, 2010:
Lovely hub, it reminds me my early stages of my love affair with Paris.
I agree about children in general seem to be very polite around here. Maybe it helps that the language obliges people to treat others with respect so from a very early age children realize that adults are to be spoken in one way and family/friends in a different way.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on May 03, 2010:
thanks Bo Paris for stopping in and reading! glad you enjoyed the hub. :]
thank you habee! I'm excited to be part of the Hubtrail and look forward to reading many interesting hubs from all over the world! thanks for reading and leaving a comment. :)
Holle Abee from Georgia on May 03, 2010:
Awesome hub! Glad to see it's part of the Hubtrail!
Bo Paris on May 02, 2010:
Nice hub here mate! Like it very much.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 10, 2010:
hi hh, nice to see you here! thank you for your nice words!
the tree pic is from the park in Sceaux, outside of Paris. it is amazing, the most amazing, beautiful park I've ever seen.
I would go there often to walk and write in the afternoons. I felt like I was in another world. I write about it in my hub entitled, Sitting in a Park Outside of Paris, France. I think I'm going to add it in the text as a link. thanks for reading! :]
theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on March 10, 2010:
Fabulous hub!! I love the photos...especially the one with trees...they almost look like the branches are intertwining together over the sidewalk. love it!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 10, 2010:
thanks travel man. I like that screen name! I'm glad it brought back some great memories for you. enjoy. :]
Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on February 08, 2010:
Pictures and personal account complete this very memorable hub, not just for you but for me, too. Thank you, RebekaELLE. I've been to LeHavre but not in Paris. Maybe I could be a tourist there someday.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 30, 2009:
thank you Dale! I think it's so great how you're promoting HP with your blog. I appreciate you including one of mine. happy to know you enjoyed reading this hub! wishing you a happy new year! :]
Dale Mazurek from Canada on December 29, 2009:
What a beautiful hub.
I loved the pictures and the story made me feel like I was right there by yourself.
Your Hub is now posted on my blog. Thank you for submitting such a wonderful story.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 29, 2009:
thanks James for the nice comments and the links. your blog is delightful, love it! I don't think anyone can ever see too many pics of Paris, especially those that have visited from another country. in answer to your question, no, I did not get to the famous bookstore! :[ another trip for sure. I saw so much while there, but there's so much more to see, Paris is her own world!! thanks again. :]
James Mark from York, England on December 18, 2009:
Interesting to read your perspectives; we often forget our first impressions. We had the joy of living about 50 minutes from Paris for seven and half years. If you don't know it already, and would like a little taste of this lovely city now and then, try Eric Tenin's
I've had it bookmarked for a few years and looked it up regularly even while still living in France. You'll enjoy it. I might try a hub with less familiar shots of the city. Did you get to Shakespeare and Company, near Notre Dame?
My own, much newer, blog is on a much smaller town, perhaps England's favourite seaside resort:
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 14, 2009:
hmmm, never pass up an invitation to Paris, Dao! Hope you have the opportunity again. It is beautiful.
Cathinfrance, I think you're right about the slower pace of life allows more happiness in family life. I saw also even with older children, while in university, the parents are still very involved in their lives and there is respect for the parents and teachers. thanks to both of you for sharing!
Dao Hoa on December 14, 2009:
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. You make me regret that I did not take my friend’s invitation to visit with him in Paris many years ago.
cathinfrance on December 11, 2009:
I liked this Rebekah! I live in the south of France but go up to Paris regularly and I recognise a lot of what you say. Life IS slower here. Two, or two and a half, hours for lunch is normal. And so-o civilised. Being polite and friendly to strangers is normal too. (OK, less so in the big cities these days.) And the way children are brought up, here in rural France anyway is fabulous. Kids are well-behaved because they're happy and because adults guide them kindly, firmly and with loads of commen sense. I often see a parent explaining to a child why it should or shouldn't do something. Oops - got to go - going out for dinner. Talk later!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 10, 2009:
Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments. I'm thrilled to be able to share some of my experiences and try to paint a living picture of what it was like while there. so glad you enjoyed reading. thanks for stopping by and reading and taking the time to comment. :]
Denno66 on December 10, 2009:
You wrote reverently of Paris and it shows in the way it engages the reader's senses. I could hear the flute and smell that lovely dinner wafting out that woman's window. Great hub. Thanks for a trip down a slower lane. :-)
Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 08, 2009:
Thank you for such great hub. You did capture the feel of France and I am happy you shared this experience.
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 06, 2009:
Lovely hub with incredible pictures. Enjoyed your descriptions of the everyday people and the culture of a different country. Great writing.
allangering on November 27, 2009:
Thanks for sharing with us your experience.Paris is the place to be to enjoy beautiful art and music, and to fall madly in love - as is the case in this film.
2uesday on November 26, 2009:
I liked this hub enough to bookmark it in 'hubs I like' as in I want to read it again sometime. Thank you, I like the way you write and the way you put the hub together.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 25, 2009:
Thank you Maita, James and Philip for your comments and coming by and taking the time to read about my story.
Maita and James, you have been there, so you know the magic I talk about; Philip, you would love Paris, I am sure. She is beautiful, real and yet magical also. I appreciate you stopping by! :))
philip carey 61 on November 25, 2009:
I've not been there, but hopefully very soon. Pretty good travel writing. Nicely done.
James A Watkins from Chicago on November 24, 2009:
Thank you for sharing your journey with such expressive, creative writing. I have been to Paris only once, 1999. It was magical, relaxed, beautiful. I'd been thinking about doing a Hub about it but maybe I've done travel too much already. This is an excellent Hub.
prettydarkhorse from US on November 24, 2009:
hi Rebekahelle< I went to Paris twice and it is an amazing place, I walked the River Seine the whole day and follow the route, then I wnt to villas, chateaus too, their parks and gardens are awesome, I traveled down to Lourdes and Tours too although I stayed in Paris for a month during my stays, I also visited the Louvre twice,,
I know how you feel because I felt that too when I went there! Thanks for sharing! Maita
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 20, 2009:
thank you veronica, jerilee and amanda for your wonderful comments.
@veronica, it's definitely worth putting on your list of must see places! you will love it.
@jerilee, the purple leaves were gorgeous and he had a couple of those trees, quite magical feeling! imagine hearing a flute in that setting~ :)
@amanda, your trip must have been fabulous with your daughter! some day I would love to take my sons to experience it also.
Amanda Severn from UK on November 20, 2009:
I was in Paris myself earlier this year. I took my daughter for a girls only visit, and it was wonderful to share one of my favourite places with her. I'm glad you enjoyed your French trip, and I hope you get to go again some time.
Jerilee Wei from United States on November 20, 2009:
Excellent observations that are true for many destinations outside of the United States, especially in Europe. I would give anything to have a place in my garden look like your friend -- with all that purple.
Veronica Allen from Georgia on November 19, 2009:
Ahh... Paris! Thank you so much rebekahELLE for taking us down memory lane with you. Besides the Dead Sea, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, Paris is defintely on my list of must see places. Once I get over my fear of flying; with my husband and two kids in tow, maybe one day.....
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 19, 2009:
Thank you ladies for your wonderful comments. Yes, it was an adventure, a beautiful trip and it helped me understand relations between countries and the need to learn about a foreign country before visiting. I sometimes feel that we forget that we live in a world full of differences for a reason or else we all would be the same! How boring that would be! :))
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on November 19, 2009:
What a charming Hub. I can visualize how beautiful it was for you, although the lovely photos did help. Thanks!
Tatjana-Mihaela from Zadar, CROATIA on November 19, 2009:
This is really beautiful Hub. I have not visited Paris yet, but my Mom told me that Paris was city of love...
Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on November 19, 2009:
Enjoyable hub. Sounds like you had a great trip. I've been to France several times and found that it is not in Paris where the french are unfriendly to americans. It's mostly in Normandy and in some of the smaller villages in the south. My girfriend and I experienced it several times.