Expat Blog Hop - Leave a comment and win a glass of champagne!



Welcome to "Out and About in Paris"!

In honor of today's Expat Blog Hop, I would like to share the recipe for Expat in Paris, a complex yet delightful dish. Our test kitchen is still fiddling with the key ingredients and measurements, so please let me know if you have any suggestions to ameliorate the recipe.

Expat in Paris

1 heaping cup adaptability and willingness to reinvent oneself.
3/4 cup readiness to learn French, especially excusez-moi and pardon, which you'll use whenever someone bumps into you. Don't necessarily expect "real" Parisians to employ these phrases.
1/3 cup understanding that you're considered a representative of your country and may be questioned mercilessly as to its policies, particularly while riding the bus so that all of the other passengers can eavesdrop on your response to whether you agree with the death penalty or not.
1 tablespoon realization that you'll need an entirely new wardrobe if you consistently eat buttery croissants for breakfast and baguettes for lunch and dinner.
1/8 teaspoon logic. While this may seem like a small quantity of an otherwise crucial ingredient, remember that what's logical to an Expat in Paris isn't always logical to the locals.
1/32 teaspoon ability to use grams and milliliters rather than cups and spoons to create a recipe. It will probably never happen!

Bake in a Parisian apartment for 3-5 years. Don't be surprised if you have some difficulty extracting Expat in Paris from its home at the end of this period because the dish frequently sticks to its environment and refuses to let go.

Expat in Paris is best when served with champagne or a glass of wine, preferably at a cafe with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Please leave a brief comment if you would like to enter your name in the "Out and About in Paris" giveaway. Comments sent via email are not eligible. The winner will have the choice of one of the following three prizes:

  • One glass of champagne or a cup of coffee at Café de Flore or Café le Nemours with Mary Kay. Please note that this does not include airfare to Paris.
  • A one day self-guided itinerary for Paris prepared especially for you by Mary Kay. 
  • Five of the best "Out and About in Paris" photos that may be used as screen savers. They will be sent to you via email. 

The deadline to enter the drawing is 3:00 pm (CET), April 24, 2012. The winner will be announced later that day. Update: Congratulations to Deckage, the winner of the giveaway.

[Edit] With hindsight, I realize that I forgot to thank Steph at Blog in France for organizing the hop. In between welcoming lambs into the world, writing books and growing much of their own food on their farm, I don't know how she found the time. Merci, Steph!

Thanks for reading! Please click on any of the following to hop to another expat blog and participate in their giveaways.

Comments

  1. Maybe I can have that glass of champagne with you if I am ever visiting Gwan! Thank you for your most interesting blog. GM

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    1. I would be honored to have a glass of champagne with you! That way I would be able to tell you in person what a wonderful job I think you've done as a mother. Gwan is a real credit to you - at least when she's not spilling red wine on people's white jackets! ;) I've really enjoyed getting to know Gwan and you via her blog!

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    2. Thanks Mary Kay. I am really enjoying reading the blogs, too and getting to know Gwan's blog friends. I'm sure it won't be long before Gwan puts you right about it not being her who spilt the red wine ;) Best wishes, GM

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    3. Awwwwww that's so sweet, and of course my mum's the best! And it really wasn't me with the wine!

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  2. So happy to have found this blog hop this morning! As an expat in Brussels for more years than I care to remember, your comments on life in Paris made me smile!
    In my second life - I have a home in Brittany, which I blog about on http://thebeachhousefrance.wordpress.com and am longing for the day when we can move there forever!
    In the meantime I'm adding your blog to my daily reads, and would love to volunteer for the glass of champagne -> thalys paid by me I promise!!

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    1. Lizzie, It's a pity that you didn't know about the Expat Blog Hop before today because then you could have included your blog in the "linky" list. Thanks for sharing the link for your beach house in France. It's beautiful! If I hear of anyone looking for a vacation property to rent, I'll be sure to tell them about it. After an all too brief trip to Brittany last summer, I can easily understand why you're longing to live there full time.

      I'm glad to hear that Brussels-Paris isn't too far of a journey for a glass of champagne. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Hi from a fellow blog hopper. I will tweet your post. http://stevebichard.com/

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    1. Thanks for the tweet, Steve! Your post about Clarissa gave me a good laugh this afternoon!

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  4. Great to have met you Mary. I've never lived in Paris, but do love to spend a weekend there every few years. I will be back to read your blog again, but please, please, please if you do anymore recipes do them in grams, thank you!

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    1. Jacqui, I'll share a secret with you - after years of living in Europe, I actually prefer recipes that give the measurements in grams and milliliters because it's easier and more precise to use a scale. But if I visualize a recipe, it's in cups and spoons. What's that saying about you can't teach an old dog new tricks?!

      It was great to meet you and hear about life in your village. I wish that you could ship some of those butternut squash and mince pies to Paris!

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  5. Yes, award my mum the glass of champers and maybe that'll get her over here, I wasn't a good enough reason to come to the continent last Christmas ;)

    And don't worry, my recipes from home always fall flat too, even though we use grammes and mls a lot of recipes are in cups and I always muck up the conversion somehow, even when using my IKEA measuring jug that does have cups on it, they don't seem to be the same cups!

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    1. If we start plotting and planning in April, maybe we'll be able to get your mum here in December. I can't, however, promise that she'll have any spare time to spend with you on Christmas because we'll be busy drinking champagne in Paris! But then again, maybe if you offered her some champagne in Tours that might do the trick. I hear that you're working on a big contract with Veuve Clicquot!

      Are the cups on the IKEA measuring jug American cups or Imperial Cups? I always have to be sure to convert my English recipes into American cups because those are the ones that I have. And I beg your pardon but who told you that my "Paris Expat" fell flat? I thought that it looked alright coming out of the oven?! ;)

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    2. They did come over last year, to be fair, but didn't make it out of England, boooooo! But we should definitely plot for France this year!

      I don't know, I think NZ measuring cups are different from American, but then the ones here seem to be different again (maybe they are imperial, but that would surprise me from IKEA, so I'm confused). And sorry, I got a bit literal with my recipe analysis there ;) The "Paris Expat" seems to be coming along nicely!

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  6. Hi Mary, nice to meet you via the blog hop. I've seen you comment regularly on Steph's blog. I'd love to have a glass of champagne with you in Paris - although living down here in the SW I don't get there very often!

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa. It was a pleasure to meet you as well. I truly enjoyed reading your post about the stages that expats go through as we adjust to life in France. Even with the cold weather these past weeks, I still haven't hit the disenchantment stage...although I hope that I haven't jinxed myself now!

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  7. Mary Kay; IF we're meant to meet (and I think we are...) it will most definitely have to be a glass of champagne with a view on the Tour Eiffel, won't it?! Then, a tour prepared by your Royal American Highness married to a True Swiss Man can be no less than exciting too.... Screensavers I don't need - but your receipt for an Expat in Paris is so exact that I think we don't have to change any of the ingredients - and a bit of light fiddling with the quantities either way won't affect the overall result much :) (I particularly cringe at the 'Your stand on the question of Death Penalty'..... I can just see the scenario!)
    I have - as a true European - ONE complaint for you: Everybody, even you lovely Americans, should KNOW BY NOW that the world is measured in grams and not in spoons, cups, ounzes and what-have-you! (and the temperatures are in Celsius and not in Fahrenheit... - while I'm complaining!)
    Thank you for lightening up this grey, miserable, cold and unfriendly April Day; at least we have - for a change - real April weather this year.
    Hugs, Kiki

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    1. Kiki, I'm sure that we're meant to meet - how can Swiss people (I do have a red passport!) be surrounded by all of these French people and not connect?! Come to think of it, which language do you speak with your husband? I heard a couple speaking Swiss German last weekend and should have paid more attention to them in case it was you!

      The "death penalty conversation" was interesting - it's always enlightening for me to hear the stereotypes that exist about Americans. I hope that I did a good job shattering some of her misconceptions!

      I do, however, understand your frustration about Americans not getting with the metric program. You should hear the comments that my children make when they talk about the temperature in Celsius and I don't immediately understand how hot or cold it is.

      Bisous, Mary Kay

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  8. Hi Mary, That's a good recipe for being an expaat anywhere I think... I was in Paris in February and while I'm very happy to be living near Bordeaux - one of the most beautiful cities in France and not too big - mty trip made realise why I fell in love with Paris in the first place. Anf how stupid I'd bene to wait 26 years to go back there again.

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    1. 26 years is about the length of time that it has been since I was last in Bordeaux. It's on the list of cities that we hope to visit in the very near future. That's part of the "problem" with living in France, there are so many places and so little time...even with all of the vacation and public holidays!

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  9. Well, Mary Kay, I hope that I'll get a glass of champagne anyway when we're visiting in June. But just in case, I'm now officially entering my name in this prize draw! Have a sunny day in Paris; it's mostly sunny but very cold in Switzerland today. Big hugs, Heidi

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    1. Heidi, As my oldest and dearest friend, you know that you may have whatever you want when you visit in June. Prosecco, champagne, white wine...you name and it's yours - as long as you wear a hat to the Prix de Diane! ;)

      I'm going to Switzerland tomorrow so I hope that it's a bit warmer in Montreux.

      Big hugs and thanks for being so supportive, Mary Kay

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  10. Hello Mary Kay. I look forward to reading your Blog every day - love the variety of topics that you find to write about. I am looking forward to my next trip to Paris (next week!) and would love to win the glass of champagne!

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    1. Thanks for your very kind comment, Ardith, and for reading my blog! I certainly hope that the weather improves before your trip next week. Of course, "Paris is beautiful in the rain" but it's even more beautiful when the sun is shining!

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  11. it was fun to hop around to some of the other blogs.

    And some clever writing from you, your recipe for baked expat is pretty good. Ha! I think we would need a larger tablespoon to compensate for the new wardrobe required.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to visit some of the other blogs, Joseph. It was a lot of fun for me learning about all of the fascinating expats who live in France. Aren't bloggers great?!

      As for the new wardrobe, I can attest to the fact that croissants and baguettes are some of the biggest challenges confronting expats in Paris. They're just way too delicious!

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  12. Hello Mary Kay, love your blog. Bit far for me to come and visit you. From a very wet Brittany!

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    1. Sorry to hear that Paris is too far away from Brittany for a visit - but if you win the giveaway, I would be happy to send you some photos.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  13. Great blog - that recipe works everywhere including the "North Pole of France" or Pas-de-Calais where I live! I'd add a soupcon of blissful ignorance on arrival in my case! Good to "hop" with you today.

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    1. Ahh, yes! Blissful ignorance is one of the most important ingredients for an expat, at least in the beginning!

      I tried to comment on your blog this afternoon but sent you a tweet when I saw that you're having technical difficulties with the comment section. It was nice to meet you today!

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  14. Hi from a fellow blog hopper - lOVE your recipe! Afraid that my frequent baguettes and macaron indulgences are going to make your realization of a too-small wardrobe come true. Would love to have a glass of champagne with you- that will add to the too-small wardrobe, but I don't care! :) Can't wait to read more!

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    1. Yeah, those macarons are really hard to resist. I went through a period where I would find myself walking innocently past Laduree and before I knew what was happening, I was inside and ordering one. Talk about a complete lack of willpower!

      If it's not over a glass of champagne, perhaps we'll meet when I pick up a bottle of wine from you! I tweeted to ensure that my name goes in the beret for the giveaway! ;)

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  15. Beautiful photo, Mary Kay! And the recipe of course is excellent.

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  16. I love this recipe!!! So that's what I have been doing these past three years!! Baking in a Parisian apt. for 3 years! So clever. Love you, MK!

    I'd love a glass of champagne with you with or without the contest! We'll connect when I get back into town! Good luck to all the participants! : )

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    1. Yes, baking is what you've been doing in your apartment! I really tried to come up with a word that would work for people and cake but my muse was on vacation...or perhaps she was striking because of the awful working conditions here in Paris!

      Champagne it is - just let me know when you're back in town!

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  17. Hi Mary Kay;
    Since I will be paying for my airfare from half way around the world to Paris in September I am totally prepared to take that cup of coffee prize (-:
    In the meantime I am off to check out some of the other blogs that are new to your regular list.
    cheers
    Conrad

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    1. Thanks for checking out some of the other blogs, Conrad! I had a great time hopping from blog to blog and meeting so many interesting expats today. I hope you did, too!

      And since you're going for the coffee prize, if your name is drawn there's a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate for your wife, too!

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  18. Too funny :) Love 1/32 teaspoon ability to use grams and milliliters. I'm on the other end of that spectrum. I moved to Texas from Germany almost eight years ago and still think in meters and kilometers and kilograms - for cooking I sometimes make an acception depensing where online I find a good recipe :)

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    1. Sabrina, It must be even more difficult for someone to go from grams and milliliters to cups and tablespoons than vice-versa. And speaking of Texas, I haven't been able to get bbq out of my mind ever since I read your blog post!

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  19. Love love love... =) Maybe next thing us expats should try is a big Expat meetup.... if only someone could donate a beautiful space for the lot of us!

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    1. Great idea - I saw some really beautiful places while hopping from blog to blog this afternoon! ;) We could do a road trip from Paris.

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  20. I've noticed that the longer the finished recipe is left the better it matures and the mellower it becomes. Leave to breathe as packing is so restrictive.
    Lovely post - cheers!

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    1. You're so right! I don't know how I forgot to mention the importance of allowing an expat to mature and mellow!

      Many thanks for your comment and for ameliorating the recipe. The next batch of expats will be much better!

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  21. We've had that death penalty conversation. "Why do you Americans kill people?" which we thought was going to lead to a discussion of the war in Iraq, but no, capital punishment was on their minds. My husband knew the statistics, and we had a lively but limping conversation using our mediocre French, and the French couple was surprised to learn that the death penalty has opponents in the US.

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    1. I guess that's the problem with stereotypes - they're applied with big brushstrokes. It's good that your husband had statistics in hand to diffuse the discussion! The woman on the bus also found it hard to believe that I'm opposed to the death penalty. It makes me feel like watching more French tv to see what they're being told about us.

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  22. I look forward to your blog posts popping up in my email, like a little present from Paris. Especially appreciate your comments about every day activities, it's like taking a little trip for a few minutes and becoming more familiar with the city. Next month I'll be in Paris for my 4th trip in 5 years time, some people think I'm obsessed...I suppose they're right.

    Hopeful for a chance to meet you over coffee in Paris!

    Cheers, Barbara
    Austin, TX

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    1. Barbara, 4th trip in 5 years?! You are obsessed - but I can easily understand why! I'm really pleased to know that my blog provides you with a glimpse of life in Paris. If there's ever something that you would like for me to explore and write about, please let me know. I'm always open to suggestions!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  23. Your blog is lovely! I'm so glad to have happened upon it on this Expat Blog Hop. Also, I still haven't made it to Café de Flore yet so I had to enter your contest :-)

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    1. I'm pleased to have hopped over to your blog today and look forward to learning about all of the ways that I can save money in Paris!

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  24. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  25. MK! Your recipe was so great :) I smiled reading through the entire thing! I'm entering because I'd love to go "out and about" with you one day! We can head to Flore some other time ;)

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    1. Thanks, Kristen! I'm relieved that you would still be willing to go out and about with me after I commented on your blog that I have a slight grudge against NYC! ;)

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    2. Hey, what's this about a grudge against NYC?! :)

      It's funny you were publicly grilled about the death penalty. I'm also against the death penalty, but I would have been tempted to point out that France has only been beheading-free since 1977. That would have been bad form, though. :) I'm sure you handled it well.

      Very entertaining post. Whose idea was it to have a blog hop? It's a good one!

      Keeping my fingers crossed for that glass of champagne... :)

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    3. Oh, the grudge - it's nothing. It's just funny that French people (and others, too) always assume that I must be from NYC -- or LA. Nothing in between seems to exist, so I've got a big Midwestern chip on my shoulder! ;)

      Thanks for asking about whose idea it was to do a blog hop. I thanked Steph on her blogs but didn't think to thank her in my post so I went back and did an edit after reading your comment. Thank you!

      I'm happy that champagne would entice you to make another trip to Paris!

      Oh! I recently heard that they're going to recreate Monet's garden at Giverny in NYC this sumer. It's a collaboration between the New York Botanical Garden and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. More info here.

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    4. I have to admit, when I'm traveling I'm glad I can tell people who ask I'm from NYC because I feel I'm not disappointing them. When I went to Paris with my sister she just started saying she's from NYC too because she got tired of explaining where VA is. :)

      Wow, a recreation of Monet's garden sounds amazing. Thanks for telling me!

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    5. Ha! I've been tempted to tell people that I'm from NYC but was worried that they would start asking me questions about it that I wouldn't be able to answer!

      Please let me know if you make it to Monet's garden.

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  26. Hi Mary, great idea! Lots of blogs I didn't know. Shall retweet post.

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    1. Yes, I'm really thankful that Steph (Blog in France) organized the Expat Blog Hop. I didn't know about "hops" before and it has been a lot of fun visiting the blogs and meeting other expats in France.

      Thanks for stopping by and for the RT!

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  27. Umm, I'm dreaming about a cup of your well-researched hot chocolate, hopefully with the Eiffel Tower view....followed by our rip roaring Ugly Duckling sojourn ;-))

    I so wish I were brave enough to be an Expat like you...and maybe some day, after daily absorbing your blog, I'll be courageous enough to give it a go!
    dekage

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    1. Hot chocolate would be good! With the awful weather that we've been having in Paris, we would need it if we had the roof open during our Ugly Ducking tour!

      After reading the other expats' blogs, I've got to admit that I'm not the brave one. Most of them became expats without any assistance from a company, etc. That's brave!

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  28. It's 5:47 pm and this list is officially closed. All of the names are written on slips of paper and Stephane is going to draw the winner. The result will be announced shortly.

    Good luck to everyone!

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  29. AND THE WINNER IS:

    Since we're currently in a hotel room in Montreux, Switzerland and not at home with easy access to a bowl, I put everyone's names in my laptop case, closed it, shook it really hard for a couple of seconds and Stephane pulled out a slip of paper with Deckage's name on it. Congratulations - hot chocolate it is!

    Many, many thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a comment - I wish that I could treat all of you to champagne because ! I truly appreciated hearing from you. And now it's time to get ready for dinner. Swiss people eat much earlier than Parisians. When I return, I'll add this information to the body of the post!

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    1. Oh My Gosh! Wahooo! How crazy is this, like everyone says...and it's true, I never win anything! Now I only have to find a way to get my very new Boss to let me have the time off to jet over from California...may take some real creativity ;)
      dekage

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  30. Your blog seems different. Your talks, your interaction to the people make me your regular blog reader.

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  31. nice idea.. thanks for sharing..

    ReplyDelete
  32. I really envy you. It doesn't get much better than waking up in an apartment or home, then looking out the window to get a nice view of the Eiffel tower.

    ReplyDelete
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  42. I am looking forward my next trip to Paris after my washington bus tours with my family. Especially i want to see the Eiffel Tower it is a iconic symbol of Paris usually ranks as the number one thing to do for most tourists.

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  43. Hi Mary, great idea! Lots of blogs I didn't know. Shall retweet post.

    ReplyDelete
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