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In the City of Light

Sometimes all there is left to do is keep calm and carry on.

This overused british slogan pearl of wisdom is a lesson I painfully learned two weeks ago, when I touched down in beautiful Paris, only to discover that my trusty laptop had died on the way over, killed by a ruthless virus. Suddenly, my Tour de France had turned into my very own 20-day digital detox (eeek!) that promised bleak and sad days of no blogging, emailing, Facebooking, or Tweeting in sight.

Putting my short but ugly withdrawal period aside, unplugging for a few days turned out to be pretty great. Cut off from my cyber world, I was able to explore the big, beautiful world of Paris completely distraction (and deadline) free. So, while being able to blog or email the occasional “Bonjour from Paris!” message to loved ones would have been nice, I am grateful to that little virus that forced my laptop closed.

As my first post back in the States, I figured the best way to start was by sharing a few pics from my dreamy Parisian vacay (posted after the jump.) Hope you enjoy them!

I arrived in Paris late in the evening, the perfect time to soak in the glowing lights along the Seine River, where the Cathedral de Notre Dame stands majestically in the background:

Instead of a hotel, we rented the most amazing little flat in the heart of the city. Here’s our view from the kitchen window. A perfect place to people watch! (can you spot the woman watching me right back? lol)

Our street again. Taken a different day, at a different angle:

The Basilica of the Sacré Cœur was breathtaking. Although not that old by Paris standards (150 years) it stands atop Montmartre and is one of the most beloved and sacred places in Paris.

Here’s a view of it from afar, taken at the Musée d’Orsay (Bonus tip: if you’re into impressionist art, skip the crowds at the Louvre and go here instead!)

The Luxembourg Gardens provided a tranquil escape from the busy city. Although a popular spot for both tourists and locals, (something about it evoked Central Park for me…) you can still find little hideaways like this one to dream the day away.

Just check out this eye candy. By the end of my trip I had developed a pretty hardcore addiction to the chocolate eclairs and strawberry tarts in particular.

This big steaming cup of chocolat chaud (a deliciously rich, hot chocolate type of drink often topped with freshly made crème), came from a charming little place recommended by pastry chef and author David Lebovitz in his book, The Sweet Life in Paris  (PS. it’s a great read for anyone prepping for a Parisian vacay!)

The famed Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore (where writers still live upstairs) could not have been any hipper. I mean, just check out the website. In addition to its amazing literary history, this little place also made a cameo appearance in Woody Allen‘s “Midnight in Paris.” Its charm was almost too much to handle: in the pic below, a few resident writers (left) are setting up their weekly bake sale. I mean, come on.

I swear the sky was bluer in Paris. Here’s one of my favorite shots of the Eiffel Tower, its peak jutting upwards past the clouds.

So there you have it, folks. Paris was simply incredible; indeed the perfect place to become unplugged. Au Revoir for now!

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