Every Day is Valentine’s Day in Paris

Padlock on Pont des Arts

NoLo and I were taking a cruise on the Seine, admiring the architecture along the banks when we came to the Pont des Arts and our guide pointed out hundreds of padlocks on the bridge. Lovers carve their initials on the padlocks and attach them to the side of the bridge, throwing the key in the Seine. Romantic! (The skeptic in me wondered, if you break up do you have a spare key to take down the lock or do you scratch out the old initials?)

Lovers on a Park Bench

Paris is synonymous with romance. The architectural beauty of the city, the park benches, the gardens and museums all inspire the mood for love. As I walked through the Jardin du Luxembourg one Sunday afternoon I passed lovers on a park bench passionately necking. How cute, I thought, a young couple in love—but as I approached I saw that these were not amorous youngsters but a gray-haired couple.

Rodin's The Kiss

Passion is unleashed in Paris’s museums where couples gaze dreamily at the cherubic paintings and nude sculptures. At the Rodin Museum, the sensuality and erotic nature of sculptures like The Lovers or The Kiss inspire imitators. (For an encore, watch the story of Rodin’s torrid love affair with Claudette Colbert sold on DVD in the gift shop. Spoiler alert—downer ending.)

Of course, a fabulous meal with wine is romantic—and easy to come by in Paris. Sitting at a café along the Seine listening to an accordion player is romantic. A picnic in Les Tuileries is romantic. But to me the most romantic thing to do in Paris is to walk somewhere, anywhere, holding NoLo’s hand.

Pepe Le Pew

We were standing on Pont Marie, called the Lovers’ Bridge–legend has it that if you kiss under the Pont Marie and wish for eternal love, your wish will come true. As we stand watching the boats float by, two lovers walked up and swoon in an embrace. Not to be outdone, in a scene reminiscent of the corny romantic endeavors of Pepe Le Pew, NoLo swept me backwards into an embrace. We almost fell down. Then we laughed until we couldn’t catch our breath.

After all, what isn’t romantic in Paris? (okay, maybe the Catacombs, graveyards or sewer tours?)

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