It is as I had hoped it would be. Very few American brands. Sure you have the token McDonalds on the Champs Elysees but Starbucks could only be found on the inside of a building, in other words, it didn't have an outward facing sign. Other than these two, I didn't see any other mainstream American restaurants - to which I'm eternally thankful. Nothing more disappointing than seeing your own food pop up every where you go.
We started our day at a lovely cafe that served breakfast that seemed to be in Parisian territory, not tourist zoned. During our hour long stay we watched as families would pass us, then 15-20 minutes later pass again with baguette. I noted baguettes stuffed into backpacks, purses, in arms - none ever with paper. We are such a paper society in the US, everything wrapped in paper.
Post breakfast we walked from noon - 5pm! Just walked and walked around the city, saw the Eiffel tower, line was too long to actually go up but it was really neat walking under it. I'm not sure I ever really appreciated the architectural value until I stood under it and exclaimed "it's like a park UNDER the tower, how cool is that"! The space is so open and friendly under the tower with it's broad legs heading 4 directions and made of steel bars that you can see through that it just seems like a giant sculpture, with beautiful arches and giant feet to stand on. The surrounding area is a giant park filled with people lolling about on the grass. I amused myself by taking odd angle photos of the tower.
Directly across from the tower was a festival where we had lunch of the most amazing sausage link and onion sandwiches one could hope to have. The smell alone brought us into the area.
Did I mention the weather yet? While we roast back home in the 90's, it's 70 max here! Just an absolutely perfect day for a stroll outside.
So aside from little sleep on the plane and quite tired from walking all day, I'm really enjoying myself.