We woke this morning in a different land! Warm temperatures, blue skies, and very little English overheard on the streets. In London it seemed as if everyone was a tourist like us. Here it seems like everyone is Parisan except us. The women are chic, the men ride mopeds, and no one seems in a hurry. I'm writing this at nearly 10pm, and the sky is as bright as midday and people are just sitting down for dinner at the cafes on our street.
We had 9am admittance to the Louvre this morning, so we woke early and rode the Metro to the museum. Entry was smooth and quick, and the crowd was sparse so we made our way immediately to the Mona Lisa.
There was a small gathering around the rope boundary, and we gathered in it. To be honest, it wa s anticlimactic, especially since in the neighboring gallery is a wall featuring works by DaVinci that are equally if not more beautiful, including the Madonna of the Rocks. Of course, I am no art critic, so feel free to ignore my opinion.
The Louvre is…Overwhelming! Of course it was originally a palace for the kings of France, and the building is vast and stunning on its own. Then consider all of the art that seems to go on and on, and it is hard to know where to begin and where to end. We spent a few hours looking at European and Italian paintings, and then we took a break in Tuileries Garden for lunch at an outdoor café.
After lunch we returned to the Louvre to see the Venus de Milo, and the sculptures which were spread throughout several floors of the museum. We reached our five-hour mark, and reluctantly left the Louvre to rest and enjoy some ice cream in the Gardens. I think Tim even got a little nap!
Next, we took the Metro to Notre Dame and spent an hour or so in this magnificent Cathedral. Reed loves the audio guides as much as his dad and me, so he and Tim took their time listening to each and every audio track. It is delightful to watch how he soaks it all up. Seth does too, but today seems to be his hump day for the trip. He didn't sleep well last night in our new apartment, and I think he was ready to call it a day. He was a good trooper though and patiently waited in the nave while we finished our audio tour.
After it was unanimous consent to return to the apartment for some R&R. Tim and I both took a nap while the boys chilled out. Then they requested to stay home for dinner so Tim and I could "have a date." Luckily our apartment is within walking distance of numerous cafés. We walked to a grocery across the street and got microwave meals for them, and then Tim and I went to an Italian restaurant within sight of the apartment. It was delicious! We were able to sit at a sidewalk table and watch the Parisans return home from their day. Tonight we will be asleep before the sun goes down, and tomorrow we will travel to Versailles for another day in a Parisan palace and gardens. Bonne nuit!