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January 31st, 2013
13 Must-See Sights in Paris with Sidney Bristol

I’m thrilled to welcome author Sidney Bristol today. She has such a great post about Paris. I think I need to start saving for a trip now. Over to Sidney!

clip_image002Thanks so much to Shelley for hosting me again! I’m kicking off my Tour de Paris, celebrating the February 13th release of Collar Me in Paris. Thursday thirteen, February 13th release day. Coincidental? Maybe?

Back in 2011 I got the chance to go to Paris with my mother for the big Paris-Brest-Paris cycling adventure. While I’m not a cyclist, my mom loves that crazy stuff. Instead of pedaling across the country, I went around discovering Paris on my own.

1. Eiffel Tower. A lot of people consider this their number one draw. For me, it was very neat to see, but by no means my favorite. There is something very beautiful about the architecture and romantic spirit of the structure. My favorite moment at the tower was the night my mother and I paused to watch the lighting show. You see, at sunset they make a big production of turning the lights on. When I was there they all sparkled and twinkled before settling in to a lovely glow.

2. Opera. The Paris Opera is a beautiful building. I didn’t get to go inside, but I loved the exterior. There are a bunch of gold angels along the top of the building, and the way the roads flow around it is lovely.

3. Moulin Rouge. I’d have loved to go see the dinner show, but it was a bit out of my price range and my mother would have died. That said, the theater is every bit as decadent as pictures lead you to believe. The area is also quirky and fun to walk around.

4. Jardin des Plantes. This wasn’t something I did intentionally. This is a beautiful collection of gardens and a menagerie in the heart of the city. It’s beautiful to stroll through while eating some ice cream on a warm day.

5. Château de Vincennes. My mother really wanted to see a castle, so we dug around for something located in Paris. This is a medieval castle next to a chateau. The history was fascinating. We did a whole audio guided tour of the spread. It was a lot of fun and we got to see a more remote part of the city than I would otherwise have.

6. Shakespeare and Co. This was a fantastic little bookstore. The history is fascinating. It’s crammed full of English books, most of which are used. It’s considered to be "a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore" and has hosted many famous writers. If you ever go to Paris, visit this shop.

7. Cafés. One of my favorite things to do in Paris was to select a café at random, sit down and pick something off the menu that I couldn’t read and order and eat it. I ate some stuff I’m not sure of what it was, and some really awesome food I wouldn’t have ordered otherwise.

8. Arc de Triomphe. I didn’t think much of this when I first saw it, but I went round and round it several times in an open top bus and I really wish I would have taken the time to go up and see the top of the arch. It’s located on the Champs de Elysee and at the heart of Paris.

9. Seine River. I love how most of the major cities have a river that helps give the city life. I got the chance to take a boat tour, which was a lot of fun, and showed me how the Siene touches so many parts of the city. You can see so much of the history and all of the little shops on the bank. I loved it.

10. Versailles. The palace was every bit as beautiful as the photographs make it out to be, only smaller. I kind of expected something on a much grander scale. But it was beautiful. The gardens and canals were every bit as gigantic and impressive as you would expect. You really need a golf cart to see all of it.

11. Louvre. I spent a whole day wandering around and seeing all of the paintings and things you only see online. The Louvre is amazing. From the exterior to the different regions of paintings and sculpture. It would be so easy to lose days in there! I know I spent at least one day inside, and a half day wandering around the gardens and reading by the large fountains in the front.

12. Catacombs. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this was by far one of my favorite things to see in Paris. This is an underground part of the city that’s a little physically difficult to get to because you have to go down about 140 spiral stone steps to get to the ossuary. There are hand carved scenes in the stone and then hundreds of thousands of bones arranged to form shapes and scenes and little areas. It’s fascinating and sadly you can’t take pictures in it or else I would have spent the day there. It can get a little morbid and claustrophobic because you feel the weight of the city on top of you. Still, amazing experience.

13. Notre Dame. My number one thing I had to see. I always love visiting cathedrals the most of any place I go to. I knew that Notre Dame would be my number one attraction, and it didn’t disappoint. We toured through the interior with an audio guide and got to see all the stained glass windows, the relics and different stations around the interior. Sadly we couldn’t climb to the bell tower, which I would have really liked to do, but I can imagine how amazing it was.

Paris was so memorable, I had to write about it. When I sat down to figure out the story for Bianca and Clay, I knew it had to be their backdrop. I hope that my experiences help create a more vivid experience for the readers!

Collar Me In Paris Trailer

Sidney Bristol


It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Collar Me In ParisCollar Me in Paris coming February 13th from Ellora’s Cave

What begins as Clay’s first family vacation with his new wife quickly dives into disaster. He may be the submissive in their relationship, but he’s no shy violet. Bianca has taught him the quickest way to turn her on is a challenge, so he’s throwing down the gauntlet.

Bianca butts heads with not just her brothers but her husband when the family torturing begins. But the joke is on him. She’s ready to put him through the most erotic misery of all. In public, at a night club and all over the city, she’ll show him who is Dominant in their relationship until he’s screaming for more.

Their relaxing Paris vacation turns into a mad dash through the ancient streets, a competition of wills and a new exploration of what it takes to make their relationship work. From bondage, discipline and very public orgasms to navigating the Métro, family feuds and overcoming the language barrier, they’re going to redefine the word fun.

27 comments to “13 Must-See Sights in Paris with Sidney Bristol”

  1. So jealous… would love to visit Paris one day:)

  2. I highly suggest it. It wasn’t a place I was really excited about visiting until a few weeks before we went, but I loved the experience.

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun.

  4. It does, doesn’t it? The perfect setting for a book.

  5. I think I need to start saving my money now. I’ve always wanted to take a trip to France, Ireland, and Italy. Paris would be a must-see for me.

  6. Do it!! And then we can share pictures. :D

  7. I will go there one day – hopefully for le Tour de France’s final stage – but I WILL go! My hubby speaks French, so he’ll have to do all the talking, but I’ll have a good time.

    As long as I don’t have to go to the airport. CDG is a nightmare! AUGH! ;)

    Happy TT to you!

  8. We actually went for the other big cycling event there, Paris-Brest-Paris. The people treated us like rock stars!!

  9. Yup. That’s me. Jealous. ;) I bet you had a fantastic time, too!

  10. I visited Paris when I was 16 and loved it. That was over 40 years ago, though, and I would enjoy a return trip! Great post and congrats on the book publication, Ms. Bristol!

  11. Thanks so much! I’d love to go back in 10 or 20 years just to see how the city changes or stays the same. I’ve done that with St Pete’s in Russia. Huge changes!

  12. Yep, I want to see all of these.

  13. Would love to see them all.

  14. Fun TT! Would love to visit! Congratulations on the new release!


    My TT is at

  15. Paris…that’s a dream of mine. Someday…

  16. How lovely, Sidney! I’ve seen a few of the ones on your list–we went briefly almost 15 years ago, and it was lovely! I also loved Le Musee d’Orsay!

    Congrats on the new release–wooooooo!

  17. I’ve seen a few of the places on your list too, but it was years ago. I’d love to revisit. I have vivid memories of seeing the Mona Lisa. We were allowed to take photos but someone behind us used a flash. Little curtains were drawn across the painting and that was it. The people behind had to wait.

    Paris is such a great setting for a romance. I look forward to reading your book, Sidney.

  18. I got about twenty feet away from the Mona Lisa before the crowd got too suffocating. I saw it and took a picture of the crowd. That counts, right?

  19. Ah, my dear, you’ve brought back fond memories. I’ve spent a lot of time in Paris. I speak fluent French, spent a fair amount of time traveling when younger, visited cousin who at the time was doing research over there.

    If anyone is going for a visit, I highly recommend the Rodin Museum. It’s a lovely place with an outstanding collection.

    I also have fond memories of asking for a condom in a French pharmacy (c’est un protectif), just in case anyone needs one :-).

  20. LOL!!! They sold condoms at almost all of the street vendor stands, along with some naughty dice. If my mom wouldn’t have been completely shocked, I’d have bought the dice and some of the condoms just for the packaging.

  21. Dude! I’ve only wanted to see the Louve, but you’ve added the bookstore to my list. LOL!
    Love this!

  22. I think the bookstore is one of the greatest secrets. A lot of people know about it, but it’s overlooked on a lot of the usual sights to see. I love that area on the banks of the river across from Notre Dame. Totally got lost over there for half a day and was thrilled with it.

  23. I would so love to visit.

    Have a great Thursday!

  24. OMG. What a fun post! Thanks for sharing Sid. This really brought back memories of croissants and pissoires.

  25. SO JEALOUS! I would love to visit Paris someday. Happy Thursday, Sidney and Shelley!

  26. Friends and I saw most of these on spring break tour during our senior year of high school — Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame (twice — the second time we were able to go up to the towers), Louvre, Versailles, an evening cruise on one of the bateaux mouches. Though we didn’t actually go there, our tour bus drove past Le Moulin Rouge, so at least we could say we saw it. The inside of l’Opera Paris is amazing and every bit as opulent as one can imagine.

    Though we did not get to see the Catacombs as hoped, we did visit Père Lachaise Cemetery, spent a day touring sites of the Loire Valley (including the cathedral at Chartes and two chateaux), Malmaison (home of Napoleon and Josephine), Place du Tertres (but did not get to go inside Sacré-Coeur), and the Musée D’Orsay.

    As spectacular as the stained glass is at Notre Dame, I highly recommend wandering across the way to the Palais de la Cité to visit La Sainte-Chapelle, especially on a sunny day. I promise you will be left breathless.

    Sigh…now I want to go back to Paris. There is more to see and do there than one can possible squeeze into one week.

  27. […] recent post by Sydney Bristol on Shelley Munro’s blog brought back memories of […]