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weekend+notes | 3.12.23

It has been a bustling past few days while in France - an exhilarating 10+ miles covered daily - soaking up every detail in the carved architectural elements, cobblestoned alleys, delicate paintings, picturesque statues and perfectly aligned bistro chairs not to mention sampling the flaky, buttery croissants, rich hot chocolate topped with swirls of whipped cream, crispy baguette ham sandwiches, scrumptious pastries from the boulangeries/pâtisseries and creamy cheese selections. Wintry weather is still making an appearance here - as throughout most of the central and northern parts of Europe - yet despite the rain, chilly wind and thick gray clouds, it is the absolute best to be back in Paris.

Signs of spring are just beginning to emerge with light pink buds sprouting on the magnolia trees softening the rooflines of the Haussmann structures and bright yellow daffodils dotting the greening garden borders. Much of the city - from buildings to parks, passageways and fountains - are under some type of construction, layered in scaffolding or wrapped in heavy plastic with a list of projects underway to improve, repair and spruce up the landscape in preparation of showcasing Paris to the world during the upcoming Olympic Games in 2024.

Mixed in with the activity, the union strikes against the proposed pension reform are impeding transportation with reduced service, delays or cancellations, shuttering schools and affecting the removal of the growing piles of trash making it increasingly more challenging for pedestrians to navigate the narrow sidewalks. A steady flow of police vehicles parade periodically through the streets with sirens blaring and there is a heavier presence of officers not just to manage the crowds of protesters, but also due to the heightened security surrounding Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's recent visit with President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.

Even with the disruptions, the museums, cafés, restaurants, shops, bateaux mouches, gardens and Eiffel Tower are open and operating. However, if you are considering a return trip to Paris or traveling to explore for the first time, it might be worthwhile waiting until after the Olympic Games take place when the city will be restored, resplendent and ready to fully sparkle again.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

weekend+notes | 3.12.23

  1. Planning a trip to France? JetBlue is accepting bookings for affordable direct service to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from New York's JFK International Airport starting in June.

  2. Simple ideas on creating a Parisian aesthetic in your home.

  3. What U.S. citizens need to know about registering for the entry visa that will be required for travel to Europe in 2024 and a reminder to process your passport application or renewal as soon as possible if needed as wait times are increasing.

  4. A dreamy collection of photos of a French country-inspired home in Canada.

  5. In celebration of International Women's Day this week, My French Country Home magazine highlights an impressive list of influential French women.

  6. How to replicate an outdoor Parisian garden or courtyard space.

Thank you for reading!



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