Most of my friends know I've always loved Paris. When I was in Europe a few years ago with a couple of friends, we had visited several cities (and countries), and ended up very close to Paris in Luxembourg. When my friends said "We're not so sure we want to go to Paris," I was shocked. "We are four hours away from a city I've always wanted to go to," I said. "I will spring for the room there, and I really want you to go, but I'm going with or without you."
They ended up going to Paris with me, and loved it. From the four hour train ride there, to the visit to the Eiffel Tower, to walking through the streets, to the Louvre, to Notre Dame, to the boat ride on the Seine, I was enchanted. I've always vowed I would not only go back, but I would live there someday - for awhile at least.
Since that time, my French has gotten rusty (I'm working on it), and my house is full of treasures I got there, and have collected since...from mini Eiffel Towers to French books to other decorations. Perhaps it's the language. Perhaps it's the history. Perhaps it's the wonderful food (I chose to ignore the McDonald's stuck right in the middle of wonderful bakeries smelling of fresh-baked bread). I've talked to people that hated it, but I can't understand. But then, I always make a point of being really respectful when visiting somewhere, making an effort to speak their language, and trying to not act like a stereotypical American. I loved it - and can't wait to go back.
I have found a couple of excellent French blogs recently that I started to list on my blog. This one in particular, La Coquette ("Don't hate me because I live in Paris"), is really fun. And I love this post on Fair Trade, a Wednesday night book swap...even though I have a terrible time parting with my precious books. But, what a wonderful idea....and, incidentally, I don't hate her at all - I just want to be her neighbor.