Five Days in Paris

How many days would you have to spend in Paris before you were really ready to go home? It’s more than five, I’ll tell you that. Especially when you’re the guest of your loving and generous parents, who are putting you up at the gloriously posh Sofitel Trocadero Hotel.

Walking distance from the Arc de Triomphe, our hotel’s central location made it effortless to get around, while the sumptuously decorated interior made it hard to leave the premises. The interior of the elevator was lined with panels of an antique Louis Vuitton steamer trunk. And then there were the beds. “Oh yes, the beds!” Johann’s Parisian friend Yannick enthused, when we told him where we were staying. “You just want to get inside them and live there. Goodbye, world. I live here now.”

As tempting as that was, we pulled ourselves away to enjoy the sights. We visited the Rodin museum and garden, which featured an exhibition of the works of Camille Claudel, whose work I wasn’t familiar with, but who I liked right away. One of the first displays featured her answers to a Proust questionnaire, which was a popular party game at the time, encouraging lively conversation. She had me with her answers to the following questions:

What qualities do you look for in a man? Obedience to women.

What do you consider the lowest depths of misery? To be the mother of many children.

Gloria Steinem would be so proud.

Other stops on our tour of the city included the Pompidou Centre and its rooftop café, Printemps department store and its rooftop café (important to take advantage of rooftop views in Paris whenever available), the Xian Terracotta Army exhibit, the Arc de Triomphe, Luxembourg Gardens, Café Procope and an insanely expensive dinner at Le Relais du Parc, whose chef trained with Alain Ducasse.

Johann keeps saying that the list of places we haven’t been in Paris is getting shorter and shorter. If we ever see it all, though, I intend to go back to the beginning and start again, one long weekend at a time.

Please check out the rest of our Paris pics at right, under “Photos.”

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