Ask Mr. Nerd: Paris, France

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Ask Mr. Nerd: Paris, France

Travel dates: May & June 2014

1. What was your favorite part of being in Paris?

Definitely being able to experience a brand new culture. We got to see these seemingly alien humans after being so used to the people at home. It reminds you that we're all the same no matter where you go. Even though we spoke different languages, we all understood each other and got along.

2. Out of all the touristy places you visited, which was your favorite and why?

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I loved The Louvre. It was my favorite place to visit because art runs in my blood. I got to see the masterpieces of the greatest artists that ever lived—up close and in person! If I could've done only one thing in Paris (like if we'd been there during a layover), I would have gone to The Louvre. If you're headed to Paris, make sure you visit even if you have to wait in long lines. The experience is worth it.

3. Did you have a favorite food you ate there?

I really enjoyed the fresh baguettes, charcuterie, cheese, and wine, especially those ordered at small cafes away from the touristy areas.

4. Did you enjoy your time in Paris? Is there something you would do differently if you go there again?

I did enjoy my time. If we go there again, I'd like to try to get a better understanding of the transportation system and perhaps stay in an Airbnb or hostel near the center of the city. I would also advise anyone traveling to Paris to get a City Pass. Without them, some of the museums and other attractions are hard to get into without having to wait in long lines or arrive at the crack of dawn.

5. What was your least favorite thing about Paris?

I really disliked the andouillette sausage—which I misread as andouille sausage (note from Mrs. Nerd: I loved the andouillette sausage, but it's not for the faint of heart and probably is shocking if you aren't expecting it). Also I didn't enjoy the area we stayed at; it was loud and very dirty with dog poop, garbage and public urination on the streets.

6. Did you try any wines? Which was your favorite?

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The wine I drank the most (at least a bottle or two every day) was the 2009 Château Haut Mousseau. I had a few others, but this one stood out as a decent (and easy) drinking wine that paired well with most meals.

7. What did you think of the art and culture in Paris?

The art is one-of-a-kind, as is the infrastructure, buildings, bridges, etc. The culture was nice and relaxing. You could tell the people who live in Paris place an importance on enjoying things rather than constantly grinding away at work.

(Note from Mrs. Nerd: This is true. We noticed that a lot of people have several hour lunch breaks and enjoy their lives more than I think we do sometimes.)

8. Did visiting Paris change the way you see the people and culture of France?

Yes! Everyone says people in France are rude and snobbish, but I found the opposite. They were all very polite and patient even though I stumbled with my French. Everyone there seems to just enjoy life and the small things.

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9. Do you have a favorite memory from your visit to Paris?

Right after we settled into our Airbnb apartment, we went out to eat dinner because we'd just arrived from the airport and were starving. We found this pizza place (I know, it's heresy), but it was the best pizza I've ever had. The owner was Italian, and we were able to communicate through my knowledge of Spanish. It was a great time.

10. Would you go again if you could?

In an instant.