We have finally arrived, after 8 hours and 41,000 ft we are here. On the first day we visited the Louvre and explored the streets around our hotel. The Louvre is very theatrical and I found walking through the space just as interesting as admiring the art. Unfortunately what I was really looking forward to seeing is under restoration until the end of July, but I did get to see the Mona Lisa! She was a little hard to admire since so many people were crowded around her taking pictures.

The next day we started our walking tour of the city. I am amazed with the human scale of Paris. The narrow streets and low rise buildings begin the city down and creates an inviting atmosphere, even in a city as expansive Paris. Our first stop was the Pompidou Center by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. There’s a very interesting juxtaposition of what I romanticize as the traditional old Paris architecture and modern projects. Nothing seems out of place in Paris, the old and new are blended together throughout the city. The context of the Arab institute is very similar. It is built to the same scale and orientation as buildings already on campus. I’m always impressed with the work of Jean Nouvel and his ability to adapt his projects to the site. Each of his projects is different then the ones before it, the design is new and unique to each project.

We visited Notre Dame de Paris and spend some time in the plaza outside of the cathedral. I got to lock Michael and I’s love to the Love Lock bridge that is just south of the plaza.
Then in the evening we climbed 669 stairs to the middle of the Eiffel Tower. The view was really breathe taking and it was my first time seeing how big Paris is, the city stretches on out of sight. My favorite areas around the

I’ve been eating a lot of tomato, mozzarella, and basil subs, and I’m not complaining! The food here is very fresh, and expensive. I’ve enjoyed quite a few deserts in France, it’s very common for every meal to be at least 2 courses, even lunch. So at most restaurants you order your entire meal at the beginning. Lucky for us we have several people of the trip that can speak French! We are not going to have the same luck in Italy so it will be an adventure!