Keith & Nic enjoying Paris
A year ago or so we got an invitation to a wedding. An old great friend of ours from graduate school, Keith, was finally marrying Nic, the guy he’d been dating for the last seven years. We really wanted to go – they’re great friends and great people – but we really didn’t want to fly back from the Middle East, where we would be in November when the wedding would take place. What to do?
Suddenly the answer occurred to us. For the same money we would pay to fly back for the wedding we could fly them to Europe and make it their wedding present. And as a bonus, of course, we would get far more Keith-and-Nic time than if we were just two of the hundred-plus people at their wedding. Perfect! Needless to say, when we suggested that we would bring them to Paris (or somewhere else if they preferred) for their wedding present they liked the plan too.
Four of us enjoying the gardens of Versailles
So fast forward to late summer 2018 and here we are in Paris for a week with Keith & Nic. Still staying at the Agora St. Germain – which gets a little small after two weeks! – and still enjoying Paris. Parks, museums, cafés, long walks; beautiful late summer days in a beautiful city.
And while much of it was the same stuff we always do, Keith & Nic inspired us to enjoy a couple touristy adventures too. One day we took the train out to Versailles to visit the great palace and wander through the spectacular gardens. And on our last evening in Paris they had booked an hour-long river cruise on the Seine. Just the sort of über-touristy thing we would never do on our own … but we loved it. There were nice assigned seats facing the windows, a half bottle of red wine for each couple, and even a light meal served. Such a pleasant way to watch the city flow by (OK, we were flowing by, but whatever) and chat and just enjoy the good life.
On the boat with a little wine, a little food, and great friends
So that was our second week in Paris. From here Keith and Nic are continuing to Barcelona (our second-favorite city after Paris) on their own and we’re passing through Vienna on our way to Cyprus.
One of our favorite walks in Paris is along an elevated park, an old abandoned railroad bed. We’ve walked it many times over the years and always love the many little spots to sit and while away the time.
Traveling with Keith & Nic was great. Part of what we all liked was that there was plenty of together time but we also had lots of time on our own. My time on my own pretty much consists of going to Luxembourg Gardens and reading with this view.
Or the Gardens of the Champs-Élysées
Off on our own one morning Mark & I took a walk we’ve never done before. Down river, below the Eiffel Tower, there’s a long and narrow man-made island called the Isle of Swans and at the end of it is a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, which was of course a gift from France in honor of America’s centenary. How cute is that?
While there was plenty of time on our own, in the evenings we always regrouped for drinks and dinner. Here Nic & Keith are savoring our new discovery, the Martini Royale. Equal parts Martini Bianco & Proseco, with lots of ice and a dash of fresh lime juice, it’s wonderfully refreshing and low-carb. We’ll never be quite the same after this discovery.
Lots of reasons to love Paris
Mark loves these bicycle shots
One morning Mark & I were off to the Palais de Tokyo, a contemporary art museum. There were lots of huge installations, many of them genuinely interesting. This display of 40 clown sculptures was notably eerie.
Place des Vosges, dating from the early 17th century, was the first planned town square in Paris
A view of Paris from the elevated parkway we love so much
At first I thought this was just a random picture from Park Monceau that Mark had taken until I recognized that little figure in the left corner. It’s me!
A couple days after walking the elevated park alone Mark & I took Nic & Keith there so they could enjoy it too
I’ve seen this fountain at the bottom of Luxembourg Gardens a bunch but I don’t think I’d ever noticed the dedication before. It’s dedicated to the great explorers Marco Polo and Robert Cavelier de la Salle. And while everyone has heard of Marco Polo, de la Salle isn’t quite so famous. Unless, of course, you’re from La Salle, MI, as Mark is!
The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles
Nic, Mark, and Keith out in the gardens of Versailles
And finally, Keith and that big metal tower as we cruised by on our tourist boat