Despite the fact that I've only been in Paris for less than a week, I've already grown to love the city. (If you're not sure why I'm in Paris, click here.) It's hard not to be amazed by my surroundings - each street brings a unique tone to the city and every building holds immense amounts of history. I'm constantly in awe of every detail of the city and its rich culture, consistently reminding me how extremely thankful I am for the opportunity to live here for six weeks.
If I had to sum up my time in Paris so far, I would use three words: macarons, cafes, and walks. On our first day here, I bought macarons at, not one, but two different bakeries, one of which was Laduree. If you couldn't guess, this will be a frequent occurrence in my time here. I also plan on visiting as many bakeries as I can - they're all unique, but they all give off the same smell of freshly baked bread mixed with a light trace of sugar.
As for the cafe culture, America has nothing like it. Each street in Paris is dotted with cafes, ranging from tones of chicness to nostalgia to warmness, and everything in-between. Outside each cafe is a handful of chairs and miniature tables. While you can sit down for lunch, people also frequently sit and sip a cup of tea or coffee, making great opportunities for people watching.
And finally, the walking: according to my iPhone, I've been averaging seven to nine miles a day. My goal is to get to know the streets well enough where I can make my way through the main parts of the city without looking like an aimless tourist.
On the note of tourism, the thing I appreciate most about this experience is the ability to approach Paris as a home away from home, rather than as a tourist on vacation. While we do frequent the normal attractions, such as the museums and the Eiffel Tower, we are also truly experiencing the culture and immersing ourselves into life in Paris.
And with that, au revoir!