Ahh, Paris... Those ornate Metro signs. Those iconic grey roofs. Those winding, leaking underground tunnels of public transportation. Paris was the first big European city where I spent time during a summer study program in high school, which only fed my Francophile fire. Even in my sad, suburban clothes and surrounded by our rambunctious middle-school traveling companions, I could feel the magic of this city and knew it was a corner of the world where I felt, at least in part, that I belonged.
Host to a very eventful (read: boderline disastrous) engagement and a few road trips from our not-so-new home in Germany, Paris has become a regular in our travel rotation - something this California native couldn't have even hoped to imagine on that first trip all those years ago. So when we got invited to a friends' wedding in Bordeaux, we knew it was a required stop on the way. Sometimes, you just need a couple of days in Paris.
July being peak tourist season, we didn't even bother with the usual suspects, but instead just wandered, hit up some of our favorite spots and finally got to try that authentic California burger truck. Paris isn't always the Champs-Élysées or the Louvre. It's also finding new, hole-in-the-wall places to eat, enjoying the beauty in your favorite Metro stations and being surprised by nightly free concerts a block from where you are staying. I didn't even see the Eiffel Tower this trip, save a few glimpses of it peeking out from behind various city architecture. But that's OK, there's always next time. Because Paris is always a good idea.