Paris is nothing like they say. Coming in to town, the sign says 'Established in 1836'. All the books about Paris make it sound like it's waaaay older don't they? The natives were all really nice; so polite and helpful, and there wasn't any sign of the language problem that I had been warned to expect. There's a slight inkling of a southern twang but it's cute rather than snotty like they described. It didn't impede any of my business dealings at local stores or eateries. Their money was remarkably the same as ours. I guess Paris must have just said 'no' the the Euro. There weren't as many croissants as they implied there would be but the Thanksgiving dinner there (even though I was told that they don't celebrate Turkey Day in Paris-but they do) was scrumptious and more than made up for the lack of pretentious bread. I also didn't have any of the Customs problems I had heard about, coming back through Chicago.
Some things were like they say though. I did see the Eiffel Tower. In fact we had a lovely breakfast at a small bistro right next to it. It's smaller and redder than it looks in some of the other photos I've seen but it's still pretty impressive. They make fabulous 'American Fries' which I thought was amusing given that we call the same things 'French Fries' here in the U.S.. They have a wonderful sense of humor down there that they definitely don't mention when they are telling you about their Paris vacation. I think all of the negativity is just a smoke screen to keep the place to themselves.
All in all I had a wonderful Parisian Thanksgiving and wouldn't hesitate to travel abroad again, although I must say it was good to get back to the United States of Madison this afternoon for a good long nap! Globe trotting is exhausting although I didn't have the jet lag problems they complain about either! But at any rate, the moral of the story is, don't listen to 'them'. I'm giving it to you straight. Paris is a friendly affordable place to visit and I highly recommend it.