September 1st: The Louvre and More Walking

It’s free admission at the Louvre day! So along with hundreds of others, we thought we’d get there early and beat the crowd. wrong. The crowd waited along with us for about 1 hour or slightly over. The line moved fairly quickly though, and we certainly had time to admire the outside of this amazing museum.

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Once inside, we admired the artwork. And answered lots of questions from the smallest of our group…things like, “Why does that baby have wings?”

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We did see the Mona Lisa. She was neither as big nor as small as I expected…rather just the size I had imagined. However, I never had imagined the complete chaos in that room with about 103 other people trying to get a lousy cell phone snapshot of her. Seriously! We left ASAP simply to get some breathing space! There are lots of other portraits in the museum worthy of admiring, so we gladly moved on.

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“The Lacemaker” was actually my favorite and I got truly excited about seeing it. It was smaller than I imagined. This was when I had another of those moments…realizing I was here, seeing the original artwork of such famous painters that I’ve only otherwise seen in encyclopedias or greeting cards. Such as Rembrandt and Auguste Renoir. (Wow, don’t I sound like I know art?!)

{This would be Natasha’s, “I’m looking at you out of the corner of my eye!” pose. It’s quickly becoming her most popular pose these days.}

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We stayed for about as long as Natasha could stand it…even though she didn’t do a lot of her own standing. That was the problem. We didn’t bring a stroller to Europe, and this was the moment I really wish we had one. Anyway, towards the end, we found a mostly deserted staircase with fabulous lighting, a place to prop a camera, and made some of our own portraits.

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Upon exiting and greeting the fresh, bright outdoors, we headed down near the river and sat beside the walking path for a while.

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Eventually we ended up on perhaps the most famous street in the world: Champs-Élysées. That’s where, for the first time ever, we saw lines of people waiting outside at the store’s entrance before they were even allowed to go in! Particularly for Louis Vuitton and Abercrombie and Fitch.

At the end of the street, the Arc de Triomphe rose up before us. Daniel did some push ups…

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Finally, we hopped on the metro and headed to see Notre Dame. With it being a Sunday evening, we were able to step inside to see part of the service. Outside once again, there was a violinist on the bridge, and a couple of very French children dancing to the music. It was a perfect ending for a Sunday evening in Paris.

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For our last meal in town, we ate outside on the the sidewalk, and were serenaded by a couple of street musicians with a guitar and accordion. They wished all the diners, “Bon Appétit!”

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So that basically concludes our time in Paris! Next up: Germany!

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