First, thanks to all on this forum who made our first time trip to Paris so much easier. We have one more full day to go, unless backups from hurricane Sandy extend our stay even further, but I wanted to give a few first impressions now.
1. The language difference has really been a non issue. While we visit Quebec province often I was concerned about how much French I would need to speak here. While it has been a little more, our ability to communicate has been just fine. No problems whatsoever, even with the cabbies who truly don't speak any English.
2. And speaking of cabs, it has been a great way to go. Yes, everyone talks about taking the metro or one of the hop on/hop off buses or boats, but a cab ride, whether to Notre Dame, or another destination, gives you a real feel for the city, as well as a great chance to see sights you wouldn't see otherwise, or from a different view.
3. The tourist sights, even this time of year, are packed. We had no interest in climbing the steps of Notre Dame, but trying to figure out just to get inside the church for a peak was near impossible. There was a long line, whether to climb up to the top, which you pay for, or to just get inside, I couldn't tell.
4. But walking over to the Latin quarter was great. Many people may try to steer you away from some of the tourist cafes but we've had a wonderful time. The prices have not been outlandish. Ok, I take that back. The bottle of wine I got, in Montmartre, at a great little cafe, was a bit much, but it was my favorite and it was the first time I'd seen it on a menu in France, but otherwise, the food, as expected, has been great.
5. Finally, the money scams. No attempts at pick pocketing. One petition girl. But the truly interesting scam has been the lost or fallen ring. That we've had several times. What gets me is the slight of hand they use. All of a sudden they are beside you asking if this was your ring. It is like a magic trick.
Paris, you have won my heart. This was a taste, an introduction. The more I see, the more I want to know you better.