Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Paris Photos (because ONE post on Paris just ISN'T enough!!)!!

Here are a few MORE pictures from our AWESOME trip to Paris last weekend!!!! Tres magnifique!!!!

Duane at the cafe we found on the way to the Louvre

The pyramid entry foyer at the Louvre

The Winged Victory

There were a lot of GREAT sculptures/statues at the Louvre!!!

Yep...CLASSIC pieces

I liked them...A LOT...!!!

The garden at the back of Notre Dame

A butterfly in the garden behind Notre Dame

the Eiffel Tower in the distance from the Arc de Triomphe

Sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe

Me and Scott (our friend from the flight!)

The Eiffel Tower

A closer shot of the Eiffel Tower

Me, with my "Eiffel Tower" hat!!!

Sacre Coeur

Me at Painter's Square in Monmartre

A house in Monmartre

A cafe in Monmartre

 Alexandre Cabanel - "Death of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta"- 1870

Jean Delville, "L'Ecole de Platon" (Plato's School)- 1898

One of the period rooms at the Orsay

Vincent Van Gogh, "Chaumes de Cordeville a Auvers-sur-Oise"- 1890

Gustave Caillebotte, "Vue de Toits (Effet de Neige)"- 1878

the fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens

Another view of the fountain

Monday, May 25, 2009

Paris Weekend!!

Yep...two days in Paris, and it is AMAZING how much you can see in such a short time!!! We arrived at the airport around 8:30 Saturday morning (or 3:30 a.m. Minnesota time). Luckily, Duane sat next to a guy from Florida (my new Facebook friend!) who knew what to do and who, it turns out, was staying at our hotel. So...he led the way, and we followed...which is good...otherwise we'd STILL be at the airport trying to get there!

After showers and a change of clothes, we decided NOT to take a nap (after getting NO sleep on the plane...middle said...!), we took the metro, and headed downtown for a visit to the Louvre.

We found a GREAT cafe on the way there for a light lunch, then toured the museum.

I LOVE the Louvre, but, after NO sleep, the paintings all started to blur together. I DO remember seeing the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory, and the Mona Lisa (which is STILL small, and not what people expect to see).

After the Louvre, we walked down the Seine to Notre Dame cathedral. I toured the crypt, which was WAY cool...more foundations of old settlements through the course of time than tomb...Roman temple foundation, ruins of an old house, a hospital for children, steps to a long gone pier, etc. Duane went into the cathedral while I was in the crypts, and then we walked around the outside of the building.

After that, we headed back to the hotel to "regroup", then took the metro to the Champs Elysees to meet Scott (the guy from the plane) for dinner at a cafe.

We looked around the Arch de Triomphe (at the end of the boulevard), then headed to the Eiffel Tower, which I LOVE!!!! We walked around the base of the tower, and waited in the park until they turned on the lights...tres magnifique!!!!

After the Eiffel Tower, we headed back to the Marriott, and FINALLY were able to go to bed. I think I was "out" as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I have to say that Saturday night was probably one of the BEST night's sleep I've EVER had!!!

Sunday morning, we got up, explored the neighborhood around the hotel, found an AMAZING cafe (Cafe Robert), and had cafe au lait, and pastries...YUM! I had the tarte de fruits rouge (red fruit tart) with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries (not very red), and cherries, over a light creme filling...SACRE was FABULOUS!!!!!

After buying various crackers and chips at a supermarche, we went back to the hotel for a few minutes (to drop stuff off), then headed to Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) cathedral in Monmartre.

We toured the cathedral (gorgeous!), then walked around Monmartre, watched the painters in Painter's Square, and walked down the steps made FAMOUS by Brassai in 1936.

After Monmartre, we headed to the Musee D'Orsay. It was a GORGEOUS place! The museum is in the old Orsay depot. I didn't know that the museum had so many famous paintings...Whistler's Mother...Van Gogh's "Blue Bedroom" (which I tried to draw once, but which I ended up COMPLETELY and UTTERLY failing at...)...Cezanne...Monet...Cassatt...WOW!!!!

After the Orsay, we went back to the hotel, then further explored the neighborhood, and found a GREAT cafe for dinner. We discovered that Luxembourg castle, and the Paris Observatory were a couple of blocks from where we were staying, but didn't have time to see them. I guess we'll just HAVE to go back!!!!

Monday was a travel day. After TRYING to get another breakfast at Cafe Richard (which was closed), we found a patisserie around the corner, and bought pastries "to go", then found a little park in which to eat them.

We packed up, headed to the RER train depot, and proceeded to get on the "wrong" train to the airport (it wasn't COMPLETELY wrong...just didn't go to the airport, but, just before it split to go in another direction, we were able to get out, walk to another platform, and continue the journey). The airport was tedious (customs), and lines were long and slow, but, we were able to get "business class", so had a GREAT flight back to the cities.

Paris is LOVELY, and I'm SO ready to go back and continue exploring. We had an AMAZING time, and saw some really COOL stuff!

Hope YOU were able to create some AMAZING memories on this Memorial Day weekend too!