Tag Archives: Louvre

The Final Installment of Paris With My Mom and Niece

Mom and my niece were only here for a week, but we made sure we filled each day with as much Paris pleasure as we could pack in.

Obviously, my niece could not make her first trip to Paris and not see a bit of the Louvre. We walked over one morning, hoping to beat the crowds, and did the “Masterpiece Tour” on the museum’s very cool audio guide. The guide had a screen with a GPS on it that showed where we were and guided us to the “top hits” of the collection. As we approached each masterpiece, the audio would begin telling us about it without the need to push any buttons. Way cool. Despite some technical difficulties, which may or may not have been due to user error, we found the guide to be very helpful and I would highly recommend renting it.

We spent about an hour and half there, which was just about all we could manage.

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Aren’t you glad I opted not to video my tour, as many others were doing that day?

Having experienced a tip-top view of Paris by day, we decided to try a night-time view from the restaurant at the top of the Montparnasse tower, Le Ciel de Paris. Mark and I had never been up there and were curious about the restaurant and bar with a view that included the Eiffel Tower. I must say that my expectations were exceeded by our dinner experience. The service was professional and friendly, the atmosphere was elegant, the food was good, and the view was prime.

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I was thrilled that my niece was actually interested in art, so I didn’t pass up the opportunity to show her one of my favorite museums, the Musée d’Orsay. We toured the sure-to-please impressionist collection on the fifth floor, and then chose a few classics from the second floor.

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Their final night in Paris was a Sunday, and we took them to an old family favorite near the Eiffel Tower, La Fontaine de Mars. Not at all pricey, but always good, this place serves a delicious roasted chicken and mashed potatoes for when you have had all the fancy French food you can stand.

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and I love their gigantic, cheery napkins

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And just like that, our week was over. Time always goes by too fast when we share Paris with family!

On a more recent note, I went to the Wilson Market yesterday and came home with the last of the winter’s cauliflower and the first of the spring asparagus. I love it when seasons collide like they did in this tasty dish from Smitten Kitchen, Roasted Veggies With Brown Butter  Breadcrumbs. Actually, her recipe was just for cauliflower, but I knew it would be delicious with asparagus too, because, brown butter.

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And it was.

I hope you are all enjoying this lovely season, wherever you may be. Spring is taking a time-out in Paris today, where it is grey and drizzly and a breezy 52 degrees. No worries, though- sounds like a perfect Sunday to stay inside, blog, and check out my new favorite Netflix show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Thanks for sharing part of your day with me!

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Filed under art, cooking, Paris dining

First Week Back.

Yes, I’m still here- just a bit  quiet as I have tried to settle back into my little ex-pat world.  For some reason we have all suffered more jet lag than usual this time, which has slowed me down a tad.  I did get out, though, and here is what I did.

I went to the Louvre with my walking tour group.  The theme of the tour was “Kings and Emperors” and we saw lots of royals and their relics.

Charles V and his wife Jeanne de Bourbon

These statues of Charles V and his wife were the first actual representations of a French king.  All previous portrayals had been of idealized men and women meant to represent the rulers.  I think this was particularly brave of him, given his pronounced underbite.  I would have been like,”go ahead, idealize away” but Charles allowed himself to be sculpted as he was.  He was also the first king to live in the Louvre, when he moved the royal residence there in 1350.

Napoleon's throne

This seemingly understated little chair was Napoleon’s throne from the Tuileries palace.

This gorgeous sword was not used in battle but was held by every French king at his coronation.  Isn’t that amazing?  It is said to be the single most important French royal relic in existence today.

Another afternoon Sawyer and I walked around the Tuileries, which was beautiful in an austere, wintery kind of way.

Saturday was grey and misty, but we buttoned up our raincoats and did a walking tour of the Latin Quarter.  I had never seen the Pantheon, and I thought it high time.

They totally copied this from the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but it was still cool.

Rousseau's ashes

Yes, it was still yucky when we came out of the Pantheon.

So that was pretty much my first week back.  Tomorrow is my first French lesson in three or four weeks, so I need to go study up a bit.  Too bad we seem to be the only Parisians not invited to the party upstairs.  At least they aren’t playing music like they did at their last party, which lasted until 2:00 AM.  I have enough sleep problems going on without any help from the neighbors, thank you very much.

Oh yeah- we made it to church this morning and I documented the event.

Isn't it pretty?

I even liked the floor.

Have a good week, mes amies!

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Filed under Paris museum, Paris outings, Paris photos, Tuileries, Uncategorized