Last week I [begrudgingly] returned from Paris after spending five wonderful days in my favorite city in the world. It was a really great trip. The perfect blend of seeing friends, participating in planned activities, and spontaneous wandering around.
It reminded me of my early days in discovering Paris, the beginnings. I first visited in 1989 with my family. We were there for the 200th anniversary of Bastille Day and it was fabulous.
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It ignited the francophile in me and sealed my fate. But it was only the initial spark. It would be more than a decade before I could begin to immerse myself in Paris.
When I moved to France to work in Switzerland I made a commitment to take advantage of every weekend, of every holiday to explore Europe and in particular Paris. From where we lived behind Geneva, Paris was a five-hour drive. For three years Mr. Misadventures and I drove to Paris at least once a month, if not more.
In the beginning, like any new relationship, it was magical. And every trip allowed me to fall deeper in love. I think the deeper you fall in the beginning the more you forgive later.
Since my mother-in-law lived there, some trips included visits to her, or at least meals or a play. She lived in a very tiny apartment (par for the course in Paris) and it was nearly impossible to sleep there. Instead, we stayed in a little Ibis in Meudon La Fôret.
Because it was inside the Forêt Domaniale de Meudon it was surrounded by trees, yet super convenient as it was on a direct road into the city.
It became “our place.” We would wake up and enjoy a simple breakfast and then head out to explore Paris or Versailles. Sometimes in the afternoon, we would return for a rest after which we would have a panaché in the bar before heading out to dinner or a play.
Gradually we moved more and more into the city and stayed at one lovely Paris hotel after another in the Accor chain, it was perfect for our budget since we were visiting so often. It is why I still have an affection for them today.
We always met great staff from all over the world who were also enamored with Paris. It was like being in a club, the secret password is our insatiable desire to experience more and more of the city.
Those trips hold a special place in my heart and they were heavy on my mind for some reason on this last trip. Maybe it was because we were there for longer than usual.
While five days may sound like a short amount of time to visit Paris it was the most amount of consecutive days that Mr. Misadventures and I had ever spent. We usually come for about three days on our way to and from somewhere else.
Staying longer this time reminded me of Paris in the beginning when I was soaking it all in. I didn’t know how long I would be staying so I wanted to take advantage of every hour. It was the same for the last trip. It had been way too long since my last visit and I don’t know when I will be returning.
But I know I will return and that is all that matters.
How about you? Is there a hotel or a hotel chain that holds a special place in your heart?