Bienvenue à Paris

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Ah, Paris. If you’ve never been, it needs to be in the top three places you plan to visit. It’s one of a kind. Ernest Hemingway said it best in A Moveable Feast : “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

This trip, we are using Paris as a hub from which we can easily, and cheaply, visit Porto, Portugal, friends in Bologna, Italy as well as friends in Vilnius, Lithuania. We rented a funky, little apartment on Rue de L’Aqueduc in the 10th arrondissment. For the month of May, it’s home.

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Today, John and I visited the public park, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, in the neighboring arrondissment, the 19th. The park is off the beaten tourist path and like so many spots in this city, it’s beautiful!

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It’s hard to believe that the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont was essentially a dump, sewer and limestone quarry before Baron Haussman, the Prefet of Paris commissioned by Napoleon III to redesign Paris, decided to make it a public park. Opened in 1867, it’s been a favorite of Parisians ever since.

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The most famous feature of the park is the Temple de la Sibylle, inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy.

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My favorite part of the park is the artificial stream running through it, complete with stepping stones to cross.

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Of course, the waterfall isn’t bad either.

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I’ve run out of superlatives to adequately describe Paris just as I’m at a loss to describe how proud I am of my Megan who graduates from Georgia State University this month.

How incredibly fortunate that we get to spend some time with her in this amazing city before she returns home in a few days to start the next phase of her young life.

Life is good! Or as they say in Paris, la vie est belle!

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