An earlier start today and warmer! We headed up to Montmartre (more steps) and wandered around Sacre Coeur. Amazing views of the city again and there was a service going on inside so we got to see some of that and hear the nuns singing – pretty. Charlotte wanted to light candles and I can remember always wanting to do similar when I was her age and visiting various cathedrals. I think I got into trouble once lighting about 15 before I was stopped!
We found a neat restaurant and sat in the window consuming moules-frites in big quantities. All the children like these so it was a shuffle on the table to get the huge buckets on. We do pack a big crowd with 5 of us and of course tables and chairs just tend to be smaller and often rickety in many restaurants. But somehow we all manage. Waiters have all been so nice to me and to the children. No Parisian snootiness once on this trip! In fact people have been very friendly and helpful everywhere we go. The children do know a little French and so they are able to say thank you and goodbye types of things, which always makes people we deal with smile.
Charlotte wore her pink beret style hat around town because it was chilly but she had also specifically bought it to take to Paris (and by golly she wanted to wear it). She also bought a “real” French one – pink of course. She plans to wear this back at home for art classes and when she paints.
So after lunch we went off to the Arc de Triomphe and a walk down the Champs Elysees. The stores and restaurants there are a bit disappointing as they are now chains found all over the place (H&M, C&A,) and tacky burgers and souvenir shops. Every time I go back it seems to be bit lower in style but it’s still fun I guess. Jake shopped a little and then we hit the park where the kids had huge candy floss. More walking past palaces and bridges and through the Place de la Concorde. The history stories my mom used to tell me about guillotines and heads on bridges still remains in my memory and so I shared those with the children – hey have to pass on those things!
Then on to the Louvre. We went in about 4pm as it was late closing on Wednesday and is actually half off after 6pm but since the children were all free and only Jake and I had to pay we didn’t wait. We of course made straight for the Mona Lisa as both younger children had this on their must-do lists. It was not that crowded but still full in the room and of course now is behind glass and there are barriers in front to keep the crowds away. Max too one look and said “wow that’s lame,” and Charlotte announced “It looked a lot better in my books.” Isn’t that the joy of traveling – you get to see for yourself what all the hype is about and make your own decisions!
I am always surprised at how some art that is hyped up by the “experts” actually fails to wow me in person and yet other huge or intricate pieces stop me in my tracks and yet I have never heard of the artist.
We made it around the exhibits for about 2 hours but by this time were close to collapsing. Max was the most determined to keep going as he was loose in the Egyptian wing. He loves that and could spend hours looking and examining anything with hieroglyphs on it!
Another dinner of great wine and sandwiches and then collapsed into bed.
Posted to France by KateG on May 16, 2012 9:16 PM