I feel before I tell you all about the most romantic trip of our lives that I have to disclose the ugly truth first.
Paris was wonderful, amazing, beautiful, and better than we imagined- but we were warned well in advance of the things we wouldn’t like, so that prepared us.
Things you probably won’t like about Paris:
1. It’s expensive. We’re talking $3 for a single in-season peach. We’re talking $14 for a cheap meal that will feel like half an American meal. It’s pricey, we knew. We took trail mix and protein bars to supplement, we also planned a hefty food budget. But the price is shocking if you haven’t been warned.
2. Similar to #1, food is different- mostly in a good way! But many walk away hungry from the much smaller portions. We had a few snacks to supplement, and we’re both fairly light eaters. However, many friends told us one of their strongest memories of Paris was being constantly hungry. We used it as an excuse to eat a lot of amazing pastries, but portions are small.
3. The lines. The tourist spots are almost always crowded. You can get there early, go in the off hours, or schedule some of the tours in advance, it helps some. This is the most visited city in the world, and consequently you will always face lines.
4. Strikes. We lucked out, no strikes during our trip! Many friends haven’t been so lucky and have had public transportation shut down with miles of walking, the dream spot closed the one day they could go, or food almost impossible to find. We were told not to wait to do the things you really wanted, so those happened the moment we arrived!
5. Probably my biggest dislike- the thievery. Seriously, pickpockets are everywhere. We got off the Chunnel and moved our backpacks to the front, I put my wallet on a string inside my shirt, Jacob wore a money belt which is a pocket that is attached to your belt and tucks in your pants. This may sound extreme, but it isn’t! We witnessed organized crime in action while we tried to buy some train tickets. There was a pack of boys who met up, picked areas and tourists, and went to work. It was quite insane! Once we knew to look for them, we saw them everywhere!
I guess I say this for two reasons.
1. So you won’t judge our pics too much. We did what we could- we still carried our expensive camera, but we didn’t hand off to many strangers. We also used phones a little more. You may also note I’m wearing my SPI Belt I wear running. It’s going to look like a lovely fanny pack around my waist in many pics. It’s under my shirt in some, and yep, I looked a couple months pregnant (promise, I wasn’t). But hey, many let me have the seat on the metro, so I’m not complaining!
2. So I could let show you this hilariously accurate movie by Studio C to demonstrate what we were up against. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfM4O3axQic?list=PLGVpxD1HlmJ_jJsbKpbBWG5rrkWq8Wx4Q]
So there you go, let me go forth focusing on the good now, because really, it was so good these 5 little things seems really small!