Top Five Reasons to fall in Love with Paris
By JoAnn Sky
I’ve been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to outside the U.S. pretty extensively (for work and play)—Central America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe (Russia three times!)… and my favorite place? Paris. Hemmingway is famously quoted as saying, “There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.” He was right—there are a lot of reasons to be happy in Paris, and books and internet articles are brimming with them. Below are several less-oft-quoted reasons to consider.
The Metro. If you live in a large, traffic-challenged city, you’ll be happily surprised with the ease of travel using the Paris Metro. Best part: They’re clean. And safe. If you live in a small, laid-back town and have never used a subway, don’t worry. Even if you don’t speak French, the Paris Metro is better marked and easier to use than New York’s and San Francisco’s (sorry, New York and San Francisco). Plus, it’s a deal at 1.80 Euro for a single ride (that’s $2.00, which is cheaper than New York’s $2.75 per ride). Alternatively, spring for a carnet of ten one-way tickets for 14.90 Euro. Now get out there and explore.
The Cooking Classes. Am I cheating with this one? Is it too close to listing the obvious “Food” as a reason to love Paris? I don’t think so. My daughter and I ate many a macaron of all flavors and colors during our trip to Paris a couple years ago. They were good. Then we spent a morning with a French chef learning the secrets of that unassuming cookie—the delicacy of the shell, the fickleness of the filling. What effort it took to make that mini moon pie! We hunted for the quintessential macaron after that class, our appreciation for this French delicacy, more art than cookie, growing with each taste. Best scavenger hunt ever.
The Streets. Yes, they’re old and uneven. Yes, they’re narrow and congested with walkers and bikers and cars. But you can’t escape the history or the artwork. Getting lost on the streets of Paris is like getting lost in a story. Off the main avenues you’ll find hidden gems of clothing shops, cafes and patisseries (a.k.a. bakeries—think macarons). Take a little side rue (that’s “street” in French) and go write your own story.
The Bones. Underneath those old and uneven streets is a labyrinth of tunnels lined with the bones of over six million Parisians. Really. The Parisians have elevated their skeletal remains into the artistic treasure trove known as the Catacombs. Take the tour. You’ll hear about the secret theater French police found over a decade ago, and about a man who got lost down there in the dark, his decayed bones found just meters from an exit. You’ll learn tons of other interesting stuff, too. Take the tour. You won’t be disappointed.
The People. Seriously. Parisians get a bad rap as being rude, but it’s simply not true. Just like in any place, there’s a modus operandi. (That’s Latin for “way of doing things.” Why is an article about Paris quoting Latin? C’est la vie.) The most golden rule for traveling in Paris: learn a few French phrases. You don’t need many. In fact, just learn hello (bonjour \bōⁿ-zhür\) and good-bye (au revoir /ˌoʊ rəˈvwɑr/). Then use them every time you enter and exit a shop, museum, café or patisserie. Every. Time. French shop owners appreciate a courteous greeting and will respond in kind. And when you exit that patisserie, don’t forget your bag of macarons.
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When an avalanche crushes her world, Olympic hopeful Starr Taylor loses her job, her boyfriend, and worst of all, her confidence. She’s working on getting her life back together and moving forward, and it certainly won’t be with Spencer Kensington, the far-too-attractive playboy lawyer she’s forced to play nice with at their friends’ wedding. Unfortunately, Spencer’s trip to Reno gets extended unexpectedly, and Starr suddenly finds herself way too close for comfort with the man she’s quickly realizing is more than he appears.
Spencer is a tough, no-nonsense New York businessman with a no-commitment rule in the bedroom. But a few days of living with Starr, feeding goats and helping her save troubled teens, has him feeling something he can’t identify. In fact, the more Spencer gets to know the surprisingly vulnerable and tempting woman, the duller his superficial life in the city starts to seem. But everything he’s worked for is waiting for him, and as Spencer’s flight back home grows closer, he’s left wondering if the life he has is really the life he wants.
JoAnn Sky writes adult contemporary romance and (as J.A. Sky) young adult romance. She is two-time Golden Heart® finalist (2014 YA category and 2017 Contemporary Short category). Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and two crazy rescue dogs. Check out her website www.joannsky.com to learn more about her stories, or connect with her on Instagram @jaskybooks or Facebook @authorjoannsky