Shakespeare & Company Bookstore

My last day in Paris was spent doing one of my favorite things – wandering.

I had already seen the main sites that Paris is known for, so I started the day of with a few hours in the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore.

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There were thousands of books – more than I thought was able to fit in the little whole-in-the-wall shop. The Antiquarium (the special store only for antique books) is so small that they only allow 5 people at a time. The main book store was small as well, with books in every single crevice and semi-secret nooks you would have never seen unless you peered around tiny corners that caught your eye. They even had those old-time ladders that hooked to the top of the book-case and rolled from one end of the shelf to the other. The entire store smelt like old books.

It was the definition of love.

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You weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but dad secretly got one shot in before being caught.

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And of course I couldn’t leave without making a purchase of my own.

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The woman checking me out asked if I wanted an “official Shakespeare & Company stamp.”

The answer was a definite yes.

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I left the store feeling pretty giddy. Who doesn’t like a new (old) book? With a final selfie, dad and I headed off for another few hours of wandering.

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By night time, we walked the entirety of the Champs Elysees. We wanted one last glimpse before we had to catch our night train to our next stop on the grand adventure.

The lights lining the street were beautiful. Paris does not disappoint.

We also opted to try some “hot wine,” while checking out the shops.  Not only to keep our hands warm, but also because you can find it brewing in almost every Christmas hut in Paris. Dad liked it, I on the other hand, almost spit it out on the spot. Maybe it’s an acquired taste?

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Paris, you’ve been good to us. Thanks for the crepes and churros, but now it’s time to see the Charles Bridge and drink some beer!

Prague… here we come.

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Paris at Her Best

After taking a quick nap on the metro, dad and I ventured off to Les Invalides / The Army Museum.

If you know me, you know I’m a big WWII history nut (especially revolving around the Nazi Regime and Holocaust), so I was giddy when I saw the gold-plated dome letting us know we had arrived.

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There are a few exhibits to choose from, so we went with the Amour Exhibition first. It was interesting and definitely a good gateway exhibit leading up to the bigger ones.

I rather liked the ornate helmets, best.

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If I were in the royal army, I would definitely where this number below.

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Why not go all out?

Afterwords we looked at some old cannons with a few tanks thrown in here or there.

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Throw in some knives and rifles (all of which intricate and fancy in some way) and you’ve got yourself a splew of beautiful war materials.

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After the weapon and armor exhibit, we spent a good hour wandering the WWI and WWII museum, both of which I have no pictures for because I was so focused at the time.

Does that make me a bad blogger?

In my defense, almost all of the museum’s artifact explanations were written solely in French, so not being able to read what certain things was a tad frustrating. But – I would still recommend the trip to anyone traveling to Paris for a few days.

We stumbled our way out of the museum to the Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Man, does this guy have a great set up.

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His tomb, which is made of red quartzite sitting atop a green granite base, rests in the center of the golden dome you can see from the outside entrance. It is the most grandeur of tombs I have ever seen in my entire life. Maybe I should become a war hero sometime soon…

In general, the entire hall is huge and decorated accordingly.

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By the time we finished at Les Invalides and Napoleon’s Tomb, dad and I were parched and ready to sit down. We made our way towards the Eiffel Tower to sit, drink, and gaze at Paris’s best as the sun went down.

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If you follow my twitter, you’d know that dad and I sheepishly opted for a large cup of churros while waiting for the tower to light.

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Eventually the sun set and the tower was lit, filling the streets with light and helping me forget about the cold wind for a moment. Paris as night really is Paris at her best.

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After a round of snapshots, we were off again to find the L’Arc De Triumph. Oh, how much Paris has to offer.

After a 15 minute walk up the side streets of Paris, we saw the light at the end of tunnel *wink*, just begging us to climb her beautiful arch ways.

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Now I’ll do all the huffin’ and puffin’ climbing the (284) steps while you get to sit back and enjoy the view.

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The Champs Elysees, of course. With a dash of Eiffel Tower in the back drop.

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After missing my opportunity for the classic, “holding up The Leaning Tower of Pisa” shot in Italy, I decided to take a touristy picture for once.

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Naturally, it came out blurry. But hey, my fingers touching the tip and that’s all that matters, right?

We climbed back down to get some final pictures of the Arc before heading off to wander the Champs Elysee at night.

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Paris really sparkles at night… and not just because of the Christmas lights.

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