Freckles in April: Paris: Monday

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Paris: Monday

When I had been doing my daily pre-trip weather app check, Monday was the day that looked the most promising for warm weather. I checked again that morning when we woke up and things were looking good! And then we walked out of the hotel and....

Rain. Cold.

We went a couple blocks before deciding we needed to go back for umbrellas.

We got to the Louvre right as it opened. We learned our lesson with the early-closing museums and were determined to have as much time as we needed there.

Whoever put Winged Victory at the top of this staircase knew exactly what they were doing. It's placed under this huge skylight and the effect is...overwhelming.

(you guessed it. more with the emotions)

Just some dust in my eye.


I was surprised by how much I enjoyed all the sculptures. Maybe more than the paintings? Possibly?

Michelangelo touched this.

I love this so much.

It's kind of hard when there's gorgeous art AND amazing ceilings to look at. WHERE DO YOU EVEN LOOK.

Our new bestie.

This is the prodigal son being welcomed home by his father. However, Nikki and I both thought it could also serve as Frodo being reunited with Gandalf after the Mines of Moria/Balrog mishap.


Dead faces. Nikki is much prettier when dead.

Little French kid on a field trip gave this to me outside the Louvre. I mean, honestly. Way to charm me to death, Paris.

Seester. Miss her :(

We spent about 3 hours in the Louvre. We didn't see even close to all of it but we felt sated.

The Louvre is quite close to Notre Dame so we went back over the bridge to see if we could go inside this time. Success!

I have a million pictures but this was one of 4 churches we visited on Monday so I'll give you the Cliffs Notes version.

After wandering around Notre Dame we grabbed some food from a street vendor.

Nikki: "Can you please make normal faces?" Me: "...fine."
 Right around the corner from the vendor there was...this.

This place exists. And I sat in it.
 We made our way just down the street to Sainte-Chapelle next. It seems kind of small and unimportant when you first walk in. We had heard it was famous for its stained glass but we were kind of like, "Um...we don't see it." But, as it turns out, you just have to go up a (windy, twisty, awful) set of stairs aaaand-

They're in the middle of a major restoration project. It was super interesting to see the restored windows next to the ones that haven't been touched yet.

After this we decided we'd head over to Hotel Des Invalides which is a military museum. Unfortunately, the museum part was closed. But Napoleon's tomb was open! That place was nuts.

Not Napoleon.

What Napoleon looks up at all the time.

Pictures don't really convey the scale. This thing was MASSIVE. You could fit Napoleon, Josephine, Napoleon's second wife Marie-Louise, all the children and grandchildren. And maybe his horse.

We walked back across the Seine toward...

It was our last afternoon and the weather had turned really nice. One last stroll (...and macaron) down the Champs Elysees seemed like a good idea.

Touche weather app. You were right after all.

We decided we had time to squeeze in a little trip north.

We found a Metro stop and headed to the Montmarte. David Lebovitz recommended A l'Etoile d'Or in his book and it was close enough to Sacre Coeur to merit a visit.

I don't really know what to say about this place except: GO. And be charmed to death by the proprietress. And eat amazingly delicious chocolates and caramels. Try the passion-mango caramel!

Plus, it's right down the street from this one little place. Maybe you've heard of it?

The irony of walking through the red light district to get to a church was not lost on us.

Yup. This is a thing.

Sacre Coeur is on top of a hill. A big one.

Huff puff huff puff...oh gosh, are those STAIRS??

Click to enlarge

You're not actually supposed to take pictures inside. I snuck one. I'm really sorry. Kind of.

Click to enlarge

Heading back down the hill

Fountains in the park below Sacre Coeur

We dragged ourselves one. last. time. back to our hotel. We showered and packed up. I had to do some major tetris to squeeze the stuff I bought in my tiny suitcase along with all the stuff I brought from home but I managed. Ninja packer, I tell you!

We were so sad to leave. I mean, how can you say goodbye to this?

And this?

I suppose it helped just a little bit that we had this to come home to-

Many many thanks to my mom for taking us on such a dream trip! I wanted to pinch myself the whole time. It was even better than I could have imagined.

Special thanks to our husbands for being willing to single-parent it for 6 days. And thank you to the assorted friends and family members who helped out the husbands! We love you!

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  1. thanks for sharing your trip with us. it makes me dream of going to europe. maybe some day......

  2. The Prodigal Hobbit. Ha! Also, seriously, I need to get back to Paris. The 48 hours I had there were too short and far too long ago. So glad you had a good time!

  3. Man, this recap of your trip really took me back to my study abroad. I love Paris so much, and NEED to get back soon. So glad you enjoyed it.

  4. I loved all your posts on your trip, so fun to read! I backpacked through Europe when I graduated high school 13 years ago (eeegads!) and I took THE BEST nap in the Notre Dame one afternoon. It was so hot and sticky in Paris and since we were staying in hostels there was no AC except in restaurants. When I walked in and it was so cool and peaceful I found a quiet seat in the back. Best.Nap.Ever. Glad you had such a great time! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Yes, thank you for sharing this trip - it looks incredible! And HA to the Frodo comment... loved it. :)


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