Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Typical Tourists in Paris

**Warning, total picture overload, I didn't expect it to be so long and intense.  

While in Paris, we were those typical American tourists.  We did all the those things that you're suppose to do in Paris, you know the Louvre, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Sainte-Chapelle, etc. 

So, in conclusion, our Paris posts are going to be a little different than our visit to the Loire Valley.  I will be blending some days and activities together and will have a couple more posts of specifics from Paris.

So, let's get this party started in Paris.

After driving in from the Loire Valley and after stopping in Chartres, we made it to Paris.  We stopped at our hotel to freshen up and drop of our bags then headed to the Louvre.  Andrew and I are not super fans of museums, but when in Paris, you have to go and see the iconic pyramid and of course the Mona Lisa.  With an hour and a half till closing, we get our museum passes for the next four days and head down into the pyramid.  There were several areas I wanted to make sure we saw, so with our map in hand, we walked the Louvre and made our rounds.
 The Louvre.
 There she is....Mona Lisa.  Kinda disappointing if you ask us.  She is small, dark, in a room full of people and behind glass.  We had to see her, but didn't spend too much time in the crowd. 
 Opposite of Mona Lisa, Paolo Veronese's The Marriage of Cana.  It shows the good life of the rich, happy Venetian merchants. 
 Winged Victory of Smathrace.  This woman with wings used to stand on a  hilltop to remember a naval victory.
 Venus de Milo.  A statue of the goddess of love, one of the rare Greek originals.
Great Sphinx of Tanis that welcomes you into the Egyptian portion of the museum. 
A model of the first royal Castle of the Louvre
Inside the pyramid.
Outside enjoying the pyramid again.
After the Louvre, we headed to the Latin Quarter.  This is where Dad and I stayed the last time we were in Paris.  It is a very hip, busy area with a lot going on.  We stopped for a beer then headed to a cafe for dinner.

 On our way to the Latin Quarter, we walked over this bridge full of locks.  It's the Le Pont de Arts bridge which is full of love locks (click to find out more about love padlocks).
Our first glimpse of Notre Dame.
 St. Michel fountain--when I was here last time, someone put soap or something in it, because it was full of bubbles.
Ange enjoying our first (but definitely not last) Brouilly wine.  A young, delicious, slightly chilled, fruity, full flavored wine that we ended up drinking a lot of.  This was our first taste of chilled red in France, but several of the bottles that we drank came just slightly chilled.  It may have just change our opinion of red wine in summer-very refreshing.  I think it could be the new big thing in red wine, we will just have to see.
 We started dinner outside, but then it started raining so we moved inside.  It was perfect though because it was kinda chilly and inside was so warm and cozy. 
While in Paris, we stayed in the Rue Cler area just a ten minute walk to the Eiffel Tower.  An adorable pedestrian street full of cafes, open-air markets and boutique shops.  One of Rick Steve's favorite areas, we got to stay at his #1 top hotel in Paris-Hotel Relais Bosquet.  Let me tell you, it was perfect.  Rather large rooms, nice bathrooms and wonderful hospitality, we could even see the Eiffel Tower from our room. 
Our Hotel.
 This was the view of the Eiffel from our hotel room.  Crazy, right?!?!
 A look down Rue Cler.
 One of the open-air markets.

 On Sunday there was a flea/farmer's market.

On our third day in Paris, we went to the Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb.  The Hotel des Invalides, an old veteran's hospital, houses Napoleon's tomb which is very extravagant.

Entrance to Tomb. 
 Napoleon's Tomb.
 Into the museum, we went through the WWII section.  These were some uniforms.
 An old battered flag.
 An overcoat covered in mud from the trenches.
 German uniform.
Another quick shot in front of the Louvre.
 A cool metro stop.
 One of my favorites, Sainte-Chapelle.  We bought the museum pass (a must if you're going to several museums/landmarks) so we got to bypass the over one-hour wait to get in.   
 So pretty. 
Crazy beautiful-love it!
 I love the blue ceiling.
 Taking it all in.
 After Sainte-Chapelle, we headed to Notre Dame.  Another shot of the Notre Dame.
All Ange needs is a horse. :o)
 Enjoying the Notre Dame.
 Look at all the people.  We didn't go into Notre Dame, because of the wait.  It would have been a couple hours and we didn't really have the time or the patience to wait.
After Notre Dame, we got a cab and headed to Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur.  On one of Paris' hilltops, this tourist filled area is full of good people watching.  The Sacre-Coeur Basilica is the large white building at the very top of the hill.
 Overlooking the city of lights.
 Ange enjoying the view.

 Dad and I.
 A look up.
 Walking all the way down.
 In Montmartre, I got my first crepe while in Paris.  It was a nutella-banana, my all time favorite.  It was so good!!
 I was a very happy girl.
 A view of Moulin Rouge from the cab on the ride home.

After Montmartre, we headed back to Rue Cler for dinner at this adorable little Italian place we saw while walking around.  We were kinda tired of French fare and wanted something different so we headed to this place.  Let me tell you, it was one of the best meals we had while in France.  It was perfect.  It brought us all back to times we had been in Italy and we had a delicious Italian meal.  We made friends with the waitress who was super friendly and even gave us Limonchello shots to end the meal.
Limonchello for four.
Cin, cin.

So those are all the typical touristy things we did while in Paris.  I will have 2 more posts to finish out our trip, but you're just going to have to wait and see what else we did in Paris. 

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