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. 

20140411_160441 Killer pair of leather gloves found on my outing

by Contributor Margo Waite

One of my and my husband Rob's favorite Sunday morning outings in Paris, when so many shops and markets are closed, is going to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th.  A center of attraction in this 60 acre expanse, the second largest park in Paris, is the large pond ringed by Parisian families enjoying their day of rest.  The radio controlled sailboats are great fun to watch and chairs are provided for just relaxing.   From there, it’s a pleasant stroll to the Marche Biologique Raspail at 116 Boulevard Raspail also in the 6th.

[caption id="attachment_7303" align="alignleft" width="300"]luxembourg gardens Summer in the gardens[/caption] Some tourist attractions and areas of cities can get stale. The "been there, done that" thought can creep up when I am in Paris and someone asks to see the Mona Lisa, but never will I say that about Luxembourg Gardens (Jardins du Luxembourg). It never gets old strolling through the vast landscape even in the winter time when the tropical plants and trees disappear behind the bundling bags that keep them warm during the harsh cold and  dark months. There is life year 'round in this park with school children taking their mandatory walkabout at lunchtime, folks jogging, tennis players serving things up, and chess champions queueing up for a match. The ducks remain all year poodeling around in the various fountains and pond. They seem to validate that life in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris in the winter is better than summer in other places.