Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 20

As we head out on yet another adventure in the City of Lights, we took a moment to reflect on the surreal experiences that have led up to this moment. Still stunned and wanting to drink more of the vast city, we head back to the Louvre to continue where we left off.

David and Robert should be arriving back to Paris today to start their vacation. We send a text message to meet at 2pm at the Louvre and venture inside its chambers.
Justin and I catch up to the Egyptian and Greek sculptures today, including taking in the statue of Venus de Milo (aka: Aphrodite). I read a funny thing on the wall though. It stated that they were unsure that this was indeed the sculpture depicting the actual Venus because it was missing its arms. Although one of the most well-known statues of the world, it was still only just a shot in the dark to be the image of the Greek goddess.
Winding around the pottery and tools used by those long ago and the multiple paintings, sculptures and frescos it was finally time to go to Cafe Marly in the Richeleau wing of the Louvre to meet the boys. A few snacks and cocktails later we decide to view the paintings of Monet that were specifically painted for the city of Paris and are now housed in the L'Orangerie.

This was a really special place. You think that they would be just a couple of paintings but indeed are paintings (long and tall), one on each of the oval walls that wrap around the entire room. Up close you can view the indistiguishable painting strokes of the artist but from across the room the entire water lily painting scene. Quite breathtaking!

After this, we walk across along the Seine and the bridges to view La Petit and Grande Palaises (? spelling) and the area where Pricess Diana died in the tunnels. Around the corner we catch the RER train and set out for the Jardin du Luxembourg (Gardens of Luxembourg) and the Museum that is showing René Lalique jewelry. While David tours the jewelry; Justin, Robert and I rest in the outside Cafe and enjoy some beverages.

If you get a chance to view the Gardens, please take my recommendation and walk all the way around this beautiful place. There are many things going on here. Displays of outside sculptures (quirky and cool), old men playing chess, kids in a play area that are messy with sand and water, perfectly aligned trees wrapped in burlap (these happen to be new plantings), kids on pony rides and different grassy areas where tons of people are sitting and just enjoying each other.
I think this is one of my favorite parks so far.

After dwelling around the area, we head up the gardens and discover someone shooting what looks like a commercial or part of a movie. Of course we stop. We always stop. We also tried to get in the movie but were asked to step back. :P

Keep going and we see a wonderful fountain and sit and rest for a while again. By now I am getting tired and my back is starting to hurt. Don't you just hate it when you body gives out?!
We are now full circle in the city and are going to eat an early dinner so that we can go on our outing to Versaille to tour the Castle and grounds on the outskirts of Paris.

Dinner was at La Petite Prince. Let me say this about the place: The owner and young waiter where darlings and very accomodating to our foolish French. Even though David and Robert were getting really good at speaking French, we got the older waiter that was not so accomodating and made us feel like stupid Americans for the first time. He was obviously in a mood and "acted" like he didn't know English. I wanted to order an appetizer first and then have him come back to get my meal, but he made me order right away asking if I knew (in French, of course) that there was a pre-set menu costs and an app and dinner entree were together. No worries, a glass of wine and we ignored his silliness and just kept talking in English and ignoring his rudeness. The food was good but not quite as good as some of the other places that we have eaten.

After we finish, we decide that dessert and coffee are a must somewhere else. Funny thing is, most places won't take you if you are not eating dinner first. Arg! We head to a more populated area for crepes and coffee. After this, we say our good-byes till the morning. Good back is killing me by now and all I want to do is lie down.

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