Paris, a Pleasure to Walk

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Paris, a Pleasure to Walk

I could walk forever in this city!  I’m in France because my daughter, Jasmine, has always wanted to see Paris.  So I’m lucky enough to have Jasmine and her husband Kyle with me.  Luckily, Kyle has been here before and he’s adept at navigating the subway system.  It’s very relaxing for me and stressful for him.  But it’s so beautiful everywhere I turn–lovely apartment buildings with wrought iron railings that are still sporting flowers even though it’s October.  The River Seine pops into view when I’m not expecting it (since I’m not navigating) and opens up a vista of bridges in the distance.  And beautiful architecture that seem to adorn buildings of little consequence.



Yesterday we strolled the Montmartre area and scaled the steps to Sacre-Coeur for an unbelievable view of the city.  There was a  wine festival going on, which heightened our sense of anticipation because we were in the midst of a throng of people.  The food was off the charts–skewered snails, fried potatoes that are doused with cheese fondue, and of course crepes smeared with an abundance of Nutella!  We closed the day by walking to the Eiffel Tower, which is stunning at night. It was a perfect introduction to the city.

Today we visited the great cathedrals of Paris.  Our apartment is close to Notre Dame and it’s as grand as I expected it to be.  What interested me is how different it looks depending on the approach–from the river it looks very different than the front of the cathedral, which is most imposing.  We were lucky enough to visit during a mass, and the choir was a lovely backdrop as we enjoyed the splendor of the enormous chapel.

I wondered how any sight could follow Notre Dame, but a friend mentioned Sainte-Chapelle was her favorite cathedral. We entered a narrow, circular staircase and ascended until I was dizzy.  Then, suddenly, the ceiling rose and we entered a magnificent chapel that literally takes your breath away.  Every inch is stained glass, with gilded columns on the side.  Each stained glass panel chronicles events from the Old and New Testaments, so there are literally hundreds of scriptural scenes to view.  It was a beauty to behold.

Finally, we visited the Grand Mosque of Paris.  It’s often overlooked, but is an unexpected gem decorated with mosaics, wood carvings, and wrought iron. The Moorish garden is a peaceful enclave in the city.  The mosque served as a refuge for Algerian and European Jews during World War II.

Of course, we worked in a fabulous lunch at Le Flore en I’lle, which overlooks the Seine and Notre Dame.  Jasmine and I had satisfying French onion soup and Kyle tried beef tartare!  Later in the day Jasmine realized her dream of visiting Laduree and bought a box of macarons. Kyle opted for not one but two desserts, and I had a “chocolate pistache” which is chocolate AND pistachio wrapped in layers of croissant pastry. A good day, all around.

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France

Salon de Provence

Puycelsi, France


The Cliffs of Etretat

Mont Saint Michele


  • Ami

    Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! Dying!!!!!! More!!!!!

    October 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm
  • Cindy

    Love being with you in these posts.

    October 11, 2016 at 2:39 am
  • Anne Brown

    Your photos are wonderful. glad you are having such a great time. all is well in Idaho. Getting cold. the sidewalk is being fixed today. Enjoy every minute with the kids. See you soon.

    October 11, 2016 at 6:38 pm
  • Kyle Smith

    Oh my goodness I miss being there so much. Sainte-Chapelle way by far my favorite cathedral. Wish we were still there with you.

    October 28, 2016 at 5:23 pm
  • Ali

    What a way to start your Parisian tour! A day full of icons!

    October 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm