Next week I will be on a plane to Paris. Anxiety and joy wrap themselves upon my skin as I prepare for my next adventure – one I’ve saved patience and money to embark. As with most places I venture, I simply do not want mere tourist experiences. I want to embody the areas via all senses. I want to see locals living their lives. I want to taste their vittles. I want to touch their monuments. I want to smell everything from baked bread to cigarettes smoked by passing residents.
While I visit Paris, I have a few must-have experiences on my bucket list. One should have experiences, or things they must do when they visit a given region.
- In London, I must always take in a show. Be it, drama, comedy, or musical, I sit through a show and wonder at the city’s theatric brilliance. Also, fish and chips find a place on my visiting menu always.
- In Venice, tasting gelato served as the desired experience, along with getting lost in the varied walkways and corners of the island. Once. Twice. Four times.
- In Jamaica, climbing Dunn’s river and eating jerk chicken.
- In Grand Cayman, swimming in its bluer than blue water.
- In the Greek Isles, walking the paths philosophers mused with their students.
In Paris, my list rings diverse and long, but there are a few experiences I must check off the list during my visit. Here are a few (I cannot tell you all of my secrets just yet):
Visit the Musee d’Orsay
Dare I say it? I’m skipping the Louvre this trip. Yeah. I get its popularity and why some people feel it’s a must view. But, I do not. I do not care for Medieval and Renaissance art, preferring their Impressionist cousins, which this museum offers. If I did go, the only reason would be to see the Mona Lisa. But, there’s a chance I would not, thanks to the tourist hordes blocking views.
While this museum is the second-most visited, Van Gogh, Degas, and Monet harken my attention far greater than any other. So much so, I already bought my ticket!
(Image courtesy of Musee d’Orsay)
Take in a Show
Acrobats. Can-Can Girls. Dancers. I expect a splendid evening at the Paradis Latin. No. I’m not visiting the Moulin Rouge. Too expensive, and from what I hear cliche. My research tells me the best show lies at this family-own gig.
(Image courtesy of Paradis Latin)
Buy a Book and Get a Stamp at Shakespeare and Company
I’m a bookworm. Book Nerd. Lifelong reader. Whatever. This place serves as Shangri-La for some of us. My joy will be to buy a book (Support your indie bookstores no matter your location) and see its famous stamp on its pages. To not visit would be a travesty.
(Image courtesy of Shakespeare and Company)
Yeah, they’re snails. I’m doing it. I’m doing it. I’m doing it.
Am I mad?
(Image courtesy of BonAppetit.com)
Sit at a Cafe and Write/Read for An Hour, While Sipping a Cafe Creme
Oddly specific? Cafe culture is big in Paris. You order what you want and enjoy reading, people watching and talking without fear of wasting time. You give yourself a chance to enjoy your food or drink without rushing.
Since I’m experiencing Writer’s Block yet again, I hope sitting my caboose in a chair and writing will spark something I’ve missed in a long time.
*(For non-coffee drinkers, a cafe creme is milky coffee. Espresso’s the norm. Maybe I’ll try that too)*
There you have it. I’ve shared five examples of must-dos for my trip next week. Of course, I’ll highlight them here as each day passes, perhaps sparking some of you to visit whenever you can.