France

Explore France, from the bells of Notre-Dame and the French Riviera to Mer de Glace glacier

A 5-Day Road Trip To Paris Costs How Much?

When I read articles about how much it costs to travel to different destinations, Paris is frequently mentioned as a notoriously expensive city.  €5 for a tiny cup of coffee? Seriously?!  Before our recent trip there, our first, Travis and I didn't plan a budg...

Photo Highlights of Père-Lachaise Cemetery

On the morning of our last day in Paris, Travis and I visited one last attraction - the Cemetery of Père-Lachaise.  After spending three wonderful days exploring the city with our friends, we'd said goodbye to them the night before after our guided tour of the...
bed where Victor Hugo died in Paris, France

Stalking Victor Hugo, An American In Paris

I've admired the French novelist, Victor Hugo, for so long that I can't remember a time when I couldn't conjure up the image of his distinguished, grey-bearded face in my mind.  Even as a teenager, a poorly translated copy of Les Misérables was sufficient to c...

Marché Bastille, From Revolution to Farmer’s Market

On the morning of July 14th, 1789, a crowd of angry townsfolk stormed the Bastille, a fortress that had stood near the Seine River in Paris since the 14th century.  France was in the midst of an economic crisis; commoners, disillusioned with the monarchy, laid...
escargots at Sacre-Coeur, Paris

Sacred Snails of Sacre-Coeur

One thing that always strikes me about Paris is that, like many of the larger cities in Europe,  it's flat - really flat.  With few exceptions, most of the buildings reach a fairly uniform height, and from a distance, perspective is lost as they merge into a b...

Anybody know who’s buried at the Pantheon?

For me, a trip to Paris wouldn't have been complete without a visit to the Panthéon.  Patterned after the original, much older Pantheon in Rome, the one in Paris was originally called the Église Sainte-Geneviève as it was a church built to honor Genevieve, the...

Khoasimodo and the Bells of Notre Dame

Perhaps it was luck, perhaps it was fate that our first trip to Paris ended up being with a friend whose name is Khoa.  Pronounced Kwa, it's not surprising that an easy-going prankster like our friend would become the target of countless jokes revolving around...

Luxury Dinner Cruise on Le Calife

We ended our first day in Paris with the biggest splurge of our entire trip - a fancy dinner cruise on the Seine River.  Our friends had rather brilliantly proposed the idea before our trip, offering to scout around on the internet and book something for all f...
Love Locks of Pont Neuf, Paris

Doomed Love Locks of Pont Neuf

Paris may officially be known as the "City of Light," but it's at least as often referred to as the City of Love.  Until you see it in person, it's impossible to fully understand just how charming it is.  The city is famous for attractions like the Louvre, the...

The Louvre, The World’s Largest Museum

Day 1 in Paris - get out of bed at 7 am.  Ok, make that 9 am.  Never a fan of early mornings, I was grateful that our friends Khoa and Bailey had been completely flexible about what time to meet rather than insisting on an early morning.  Despite that, Travis ...

Road Trip To Paris With A Stranger

We finally made it to Paris after living in Europe for nearly two years. How crazy is that?! We knew we'd get there eventually, but we didn't have any dates in mind until a couple of friends from Oregon let us know they'd be spending several days in the city a...