DSCN2073Today it's my 50th birthday (I don't feel a day over 49) and I just experienced the best trip in all my trips to Paris and France in my 24 years of traveling to Paris. It may have been my best travel ever, not a small revelation for a journalist who has been all over the world, but I have to admit the best trips ever were the trip down the aisle to marry Mr. Weekend In Paris and the two visits to the hospital to give birth to my wonderful sons Jack and Phil. But today, I want to share with you 50 things I love about Paris and France to commemorate my big birthday. 

Our sword ceremony outside the chapel after our wedding Our sword ceremony outside the chapel after our wedding The first time I visited the City of Light, I was with Mr. Weekend In Paris for a little romance and now I am thrilled to report that we will also celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in Paris for more romance and some prayers of thanksgiving for our amazing life together. An added bonus is that we will be wine tasting in Bordeaux for a few days too!  The ultimate best part is that our plan includes bringing some friends along. The only regret is that our boys cannot join us. They are working and studying hard back home.

Although the sign said private, we snuck in for a quick peek. Although the sign said private, we snuck in for a quick peek. When it comes to being a rule follower, sign me up. I believe in rules and I abhor getting in trouble, but when it comes to Paris all bets are off. Sometimes it's good to be an "Ugly American" and bend the rules just a bit. How do you know which ones to break? Here's my gals guide to breaking rules in Paris and having fun while doing it.

paris velibPicture yourself riding a bike along the Seine on a sunny afternoon scoping out the perfect plot of grass for an impending picnic. A vintage bottle of 2010 Bordeaux and a wedge of soft brie are wrapped tightly into a plaid blanket. A warm baguette hangs out of the wire basket attached to the front and lays against the picnic blanket. All the makings of lovely afternoon in paradise are now in place. I have always thought it's a great idea (riding bike in Paris) in theory, but have been afraid I would get hit by a crazed motorcycle driver. Now, seeing this graphic about how many people are using them, presumably without meeting their demise, I am convinced I must conquer my fears and check out the Velib bike rentals in Paris to make this little vignette come true.