I wrote this while in Paris....I was going to add to it, but I think I will just post it as is and write another one soon....
The city is completely lit up for the holidays, and it is SO beautiful! There are literally hundreds of trees lining the Champs Elysee, each one covered in white sparkling lights. The area in which we are staying, Vendome Plaza, has lighted chandeliers over the streets. Beautifully adorned Christmas trees everywhere, decked out shop windows, SNOW...absolutely amazing. I am addicted to French onion soup (though here I suppose it would just be onion soup) and macaroons. Someone once brought me macaroons from Paris and I remember thinking they weren't very good. Since everyone here loves them, I decided to give them a second chance. I walked into a macaroon shop (like a chocolate shop, but with tons of macaroons and fruit cakes in all different flavors) and had one on a whim. To my surprise and delight, it was DELICIOUS. Soft, sweet, chocolate-y melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The shop lady said you have to eat them within about 4 days and keep them refrigerated - the ones I'd had were stale. I've been made a believer. I want to open a macaroon shop like that one in NY. People actually eat there.
I have been here maybe 6 or 7 times now, but this trip is the first I have actually had several days off in a row. A friend, acting as tour guide and French tutor, took me all around the city on foot during the day. I've met a few lovely new friends whom I will definitely get together with next time. How fun to have friends all over the world!