Hello! Hello! It's so good to be back. Paris was amazing! I've come back SO inspired by everything I saw. If you followed my Instagram feed during the trip you got just a glimpse of the 2,887 photos I took. It's very difficult to summarize the whole experience so here are just some impressions and a few more photos.

Best comment (even it is in jest) of the trip:
Daughter in "anguish": "How could you do this to us?!"
Me: "Do what? What do you mean?"
Daughter: "We're actually learning!"

Most predictable behavior at the Musee de l'Armee:
- Son: loved every second of seeing real armor, canons, weapons, etc.
- Daughter: Got bored within 10 min. and literally was dragged through the rest of the museum in protest. She was cute however by going a bit ahead of us to explore. Whenever we were about to walk into a room she knew her brother would love she'd make him walk into it with his eyes closed and give him a Ta-da! moment. :)

Two moments that took my breath away:
- Walking into the Salon du Glacier at the Place de l'Opéra - wow! (above - any photo you see doesn't do it justice)
- Standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower - not a bad view from any side. No surprise there, but still so, so great to be taking it all in.

 Voted as the most fun by all four of us equally:
- Renting a car on a whim to go see a stage of the Tour de France in Tours (a city that's 2 1/2hrs away from Paris). We were only 400m from the finish line and saw them whoosh right past us for the take off of the final sprint. They really were that close to use as you see in the photo—we could've touched them! Having seen this race on TV ever since I was in high school made this extra special. Bonus: Seeing a bit of the French countryside—beautiful!
- Seeing the Bastille day parade. Very majestic!

Loved my family for patiently putting up with my one day of paper/crafty store excursions. I followed Dawn's awesome list and saw all but one of the shops. Everything was so beautiful and the craftsmanship was incredible.

Also loved that our combined knowledge of English and Spanish really helped us with French. We could really get the gist of things we heard and read. I really, really want to learn French properly now.

Obtained proof several times over that:
- The French people are wonderful hosts and very, very friendly. The most memorable one was a gentleman that could obviously tell we were a bit lost as we looked at one of our maps. He came up to us (without us asking) and with his zero English and our zero French we managed to understand one another and he let us know what direction we needed to take to reach the place we were looking for. That was just one of other similar experiences. Les Français sont des gens magnifiques!

Most surprising thing post-trip:
This jet lag thing! Holy molly it's kicking my butt! I feel like a truck ran over me. Today is the first day I feel semi-human. Not 100% but getting there quickly.

Now to get all this inspiration on to paper and into real projects. CAN'T WAIT! But first I must continue the glamorous job of tackling our mountain of laundry. I couldn't start until yesterday when we finally got our suitcases—a couple of days after our arrival!

I hope you're all doing well!
- Patricia

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