There’s been no shortage of flowery valentines written to the City of Light over the years, but I can’t resist adding one of my own to the mix.

For instance, where else in the world can you enjoy the flakiest croissant you’ve ever encountered with the faintest smear of sweet strawberry jam and an amaretto-scented cappuccino for breakfast, glance out the window and see something as stunning as Notre Dame? Let’s just say that’s not my usual view when sipping my Starbucks in DFW. I look out the window and typically see a parking lot, or if I’m at home, my house’s two-story twin just across the street.

There’s something truly spellbinding about Paris, and I can’t say that I’ve even explored every arrondissement yet. But whenever you’re there, you immediately know you’re somewhere special and can’t help feeling the need to see as much of the city as humanly possible.

Since it was my second time in town and Will’s third, we already knew we didn’t need to spend half a day making our way to the top of the Eiffel Tower. No doubt, it’s a spectacular view, and the pictures were pretty great last time, but when your time is limited, you’ve gotta prioritize. The Eiffel Tower was near our hotel anyway, so Will snapped a few shots by day and night (I love the glittery nighttime version the best), and we were satisfied.

So with nothing pressing on the schedule, we walked and walked and walked some more. We did so much walking, in fact, that I was glad I opted for practical rather than stylish footwear, a first for me. We wound up stopping by Shakespeare & Company of course for a few literary treasures, oohed and aahed as we strolled the bridges over the Seine and sampled street crepes, croque monsieurs and French Onion Soup at the local bistros. And Paris being Paris, it rained steadily one of the days, but even that couldn’t spoil our mood.

On a random note, it was also in Paris when I met the first of many (and when I say “many,” I’m talking loads) peddlers of selfie sticks. Yes, along with the plastic replicas of the Eiffel Tower and knockoff Chanel purses, every salesman was in possession of a gazillion selfie sticks that he would be more than happy for you to purchase.

Despite being so-so at taking selfies (and that’s being generous), Will and I never wound up getting one. But if we’d ever decided we needed one, well, there was definitely no shortage. Aside from that little observation, Paris really hadn’t changed all that much since last time, and that was just fine by us. If anything, everyone seemed a little bit friendlier, especially the locals.

No one turned up their nose when my bonjour didn’t sound the least bit native or scoffed when we needed an English menu. Everyone was helpful, polite and made us feel welcome. It’s really no wonder why Hemingway and Fitzgerald loved to write there and Audrey Hepburn’s character in Sabrina declared that “Paris is always a good idea” because there’s really no place quite like it. I already can’t wait to go back.