Yesterday I mentioned that Meems and I did some shopping in Paris. Specifically, we walked down Rue St. Honore in search of a chocolate shop called Jean-Paul Hevin. JPH was recommended by my friend Laura, who is a very talented photographer and has spent a lot of time in Paris. We discovered that Rue St. Honore is the Rodeo Drive of Paris. We enjoyed "shopping" with our eyes...though we did find the chocolate shop and used our actual wallets there.
|I love the funky stuff like chocolate "noodles," that's so wacky.|
The next day we were working with limited time, so we decided to take organized tours instead of just striking out on our own. At Notre Dame we took the audio tour, which was just okay. Too hard to follow, but I did enjoy getting some insight into certain architectural elements.
|My only shot of the exterior--but I kinda like the umbrellas in this picture. |
Captures what it was really like to wait in that line!
|Is this not gorgeous?|
I will say this about Notre Dame--I have never, ever been as impressed by a building. It was built to be beautiful, and it is. I was completely awe-struck when I first saw it from the boat, and that feeling stayed with me on the tour the next day.
Do y'all love stained glass like I do? It was magnificent. I was also amazed that there are still several daily services at Notre Dame. People are at worship, priests are up there speaking in Latin, candles are being lit, and all the while thousands of tourists mill about taking pictures and making noise. There are also glassed-in rooms serving as confessionals. I felt kinda bad for this one priest, in there waiting for someone to come confess something, while tourists are taking his picture through the glass. Like it's a zoo!
After we toured the Dame, we hustled over to the Louvre to make the English-speaking tour. This tour had been recommended to us as a quick way to see the highlights, and it was well worth the $12 we paid for it. As I mentioned, the Louvre is unimaginably huge. To have an expert guide you through it and see the most famous works of art in just an hour and a half is a great way to experience it for the first time. Some other day I can go back and wander, but this time I just needed to see the biggies:
|I almost didn't post this picture because it is so heinous. |
In person, this painting is much lovelier than I expected, but this picture is an actual disservice to Leonardo.
|The Venus de Milo--sculpted between 100 and 130 B.C.|
|Winged Victory: sculpted around 190 B.C.|
Both of these sculptures are breath-taking in person. As with the Mona Lisa, much is lost in my pictures. I loved both sculptures, and so did our tour-guide. He kept talking about the beautiful breasts on the Venus de Milo, which was in itself hilarious. Then, one of the women on the tour commented that those are the breasts of a young woman. To which our guide replied, "Madame, beauty has nothing to do with age and everything to do with charm." In that case, the breasts on that statue are quite charming. And have never nursed a baby. Ahem, moving on...
We left the Louvre and discovered we were parched and starving, which I am only telling you so I can show you this:
Seriously, a $5 sandwich that I bought off the street was so good that one bite in I decided it must be memorialized. That white stuff in there is cheese. The bread was perfection and packed with olives, which I admit not everyone loves, but I can't get enough of them. Yummy yummersons. Once filled, we strolled though the Tuileries and admired the lovely statues there.
I loved this walk. In addition to being beautiful, there is so much to see.
An aerial view facing the other direction:
|The Tuileries from above. That gigantic palace in the distance is the Louvre. |
Now do you believe me when I say its huge??? HUGE!!!
It was a great afternoon, and that night we had a fabulous dinner at a restaurant called Le Chiberta just off the Champs Elysees. Too bad my pictures were all too dark or I would be boring you with pictures of every course. The greatest part was that we finally got to get pictures of the Arc (before dinner) and the Tower (from the cab after dinner):
|Moi, le dork.|
|We even got to see it sparkle! No pic though, hmph.|
That's a wrap! The next morning we got on a plane and came on home! It was an awesome 10 days, and I am so grateful that I got to do it. And when I got home, the smiles on my boys' faces made me so happy to be back. Nothing makes you appreciate home like going away for a while. Thanks for coming along while I chronicled my trip and hope you'll come back next week for our regularly scheduled programming of crazy crafts and mommy mania!