One of the benefits of teaching in the college system is the healthy chunk of time off you get at the end of April... perfect for travelling! Three years ago, we went to Italy, and this time we went to Italy and France.
For me, highlights included the Eiffel tower in the evening. I daringly hopped the fence (only to see the actual gate later) and we settled in between Korean students enjoying a picnic and two South American couples. Everyone graciously took pictures of everyone else.
I also loved the Musee d'Orsay; it was a bit surreal to see the originals of the prints that I saw in art history textbooks and on dorm walls throughout university. (Those poster companies that set up in the Student Union Building in the first week sure love their impressionists).
I also loved the cafe culture: we ate almost every meal outside - in April (with heat lamps)! You might be eating dinner, but the two girls catching up next to you might be drinking wine and the couple on the other side with the small dachshund might be enjoying drinks with a plate of meat and cheese. Everyone was free to come and do their thing, and everyone seemed to be having the most interesting and deep conversations.
My football loving-boyfriend always finds a way to work a soccer game into our travels, which is tons of fun and fantastic for people watching. One of my proudest moments was explaining the precise location of my black umbrella to the lovely umbrella-check girl... in French!
Overall, the people were fantastic, the sun came out for at least half of every day and the city itself was lovely. We only saw half of what we wanted - missing Montmarte and Versailles, among others - so we will definitely be back.