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Paris Au Naturelle

One of the best parts about our trip to Paris was spending SO MUCH time outside.  I don't normally think about city trips as outdoorsy - but the truth is, I spent much more time outside while in Paris than I normally do. Whether strolling through the amazing city parks and gardens, or simply hoofing it between metro stops, we spent a good portion of our day outside. And while there wasn't necessarily a lot of fresh air or wildlife (more like the smell of urine and hobos) it was still great to be out in the sun with amazing perfect weather.

The gardens at the Rodin Museum were some of my favorites. If you're not that into the sculptor, buy a reduced ticket to just stroll through the gardens. Most of his greatest hits live out among the roses and it's a lovely morning walk.

"The Thinker" among the roses...

... which were perfectly in bloom.

The Tuileries are the gardens outside the Louvre. They are great for a walk or a sit any time of day. But in the evenings, in summer, they become a magical place, not least of all because they host a sweet little French carnival, complete with Ferris wheel.

The views from the top are breathtaking. We caught this photo of the Eiffel Tower just as it was starting it's nightly light show.

The Luxembourg Gardens are the most famous playground for Parisians. Built for Marie de Medici, who requested an Italian styled palace in the center of Paris, the gardens are immaculate - every plant is blooming at it's peak.

Kids sail their boats on the central pool. The Boy and I soaked our tired feet instead.

Of course, you can't leave Paris without a visit to it's shrine of steel - la Tour Eiffel. There's a nice park surrounding the tower where every tourist in the land stops for pictures and a chance to gaze on this oddest of national treasures.

Required touristy photos, done.

They've built a beautiful new peace memorial right in front of the tower. Of course, the glass has been shattered by vandals but in this photo, it added kind of a beautiful depth to the sculpture. Bright side, right?

And finally, my favorite garden shot. 

We were strolling through the Marais - a fun, young district - when I stopped dead in my tracks. A young, chic Parisienne --- walking. her. cat. Ha ha! I'm not the only one who subjects her cat and partner to this embarrassment.
 I think we are soul sisters.

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