Michael’s Final Day Off

So it was finally here, Michael’s last day off in Paris…a Monday…and on Monday Versailles is closed and the Veuve Clicquot estate is also closed in Champagne. No matter! We are no strangers to first world disappointment. We press on.

Nanny Rigsby wanted to climb to the top of Notre Dame to take in the view of Paris. So I packed up the boys and the baby and I ran around the square in front of the Cathedral (I had already hoofed it up to Sacre-Coeur with a baby, I didn’t need to hoof it to the top of another Cathedral), look closely and you can see us (and you can see the stroller fell over—!Maclaren!)!

Here, by the way, the worst/best/worst again thing we saw was a woman…not sure if she was a tourist or a Parisian native…who was tore up pieces of bread and placed them all over her shoulders and her lap so she was literally covered in pigeons. She was covered in them. As I looked on in horror, she placed a piece of bread in her mouth while a pigeon hopped up on her shoulder and nipped the bread out from between her teeth.

Moving on.

The views from atop Notre Dame were amazing…

We had a picnic lunch on the banks of the Seine and it was so lovely we decided to hop on a boat and tour the river. After all of this relaxing fun we went home to the most delightful message on the Skype voice mail. They offered Michael the job of Resident Director of Les Miserables. We jumped up and down screaming with delight while Nanny reassured the baby that his parents were indeed happy, they had not just lost their minds. It could have been construed either way.

We decided a celebration was in order and purchased a very nice bottle of champagne, then headed to the Arc de Triomphe.

It seemed fitting at the time.

Michael wants to be sure you know he took all of these photos…

The Longest Day-Part 2

Once we got off of the boat we decided to walk to Place Vendome

photo by OliverN5 on Flickr

so I could show Grammy the Ritz and piece of marble that shows the original Metre.

I actually took this photo

However, I was turned around and didn’t bother to bring a map with me, so we were a little lost and stumbled onto all sorts of things on foot that I had seen already in the car a few nights before. Each time we would get somewhere new we would decide not to take the Metro, but to just keep walking. It was such a beautiful day. But then we got to the point where we were too close to home to take a Metro, but too far to want to continue to walk…ack! Some of what we saw…

We walked from the Eiffel Tower down fancy Avenue Montaigne which is like walking down 5th or Madison—lots of Gucci, Chanel, Dior and the like (and the Canadian Embassy).

photo by Jacques Bravo fotopedia.com

This deposited us right onto the Champs Elysee where Grammy got her first good glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe. We decided to walk down the Champs Elysee since it was such a nice day and this took us past the Theatre Marigny on foot so we we could get a closer look at the jewel box theatre where Cabaret will be performed in October.

photo by dm1795 on Flickr

We then walked all the way over to the Luxor Obelisk given to the French by the Egyptians, I believe it is the oldest monument in France at over 3000 years old.

photo by Frederic_WB on Flickr

The Obelisk marks one end of the Champs Elysee and marks the Place de la Concorde which is a famous square where Marie Antoinette was beheaded during the Revolution (gulp).

photo by Brigitte Djajasasmita fotopedia.com

Just beyond the square is the beginning or end (depending on how you look at it) of the Tuileries Garden and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which is a smaller version of the Arc de Triomphe (it, of course, was also commissioned by Napoleon), and then the Louvre. So it’s a lovely line of vision to stand at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and look over through the Tuileries, past the Obelisk and all the way down the Champs Elysee to see the Arc De Triomphe.

photo by orangebrompton on Flickr

Anyway! We headed north towards the Place Vendome, past the Ritz, past l’Église de la Madeleine,

photo by gwhalin on Flickr

past the crazy cool subway station spider of pearls that marks the Palais Royal stop.

photo by G-rome on Flickr

We went into the gift shop at the Louvre and we bought French Children’s books…

Then we finally landed at St Eustace church where the playground lies that we take the baby to every day. We collapsed on benches while we watched him play with adorable French children.

photo by Jacques Bravo fotopedia.com

PS—maybe I chose wrong, but I thought about a stop at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz where, aptly, Hemingway used to go. There is some guy there (this guy) who makes amazing drinks at 30 Euro a piece. Meow meow. I perused his menu to find cocktails that didn’t seem 45 US dollars complicated, in fact, one was simply a champagne cocktail. While I’m sure I missed out on the Zelda and F. Scott magic dust, I decided I would just make a champagne, apple cider cocktail myself when I got home.  I’d drink it in the bathtub while I read The Sun Also Rises and project this photo on the wall—>

photo by pablo.sanchez on Flickr

Close enough…!

Paris at Night

With Grammy in town we had a built in babysitter so we could go out to dinner with some of the cast and crew of Cabaret. They wanted to show us their town, by car, at night. We started at the Palais Garnier Opera House

photo by Suzan Black fotopedia.com

and then walked to La Place Vendôme

photo by Lightmash on Flickr

where the Ritz (remember that swimming pool photo?) and all the jewel houses lie. This is also the place Napoleon and Josephine were married…

Jacques-Louis David Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804 1808

and it, of course, is marked by a giant pillar made of cannons with Napoleon carved on top dressed as Ceasar. Practically everything in Paris people come to visit was built by him, or honors him and honestly…well…I’m just saying…

Anyway—we met our friend Fred, avec his voiture, and we went for a little ride at dusk. We passed les Invalides (Napoleon’s tomb),

photo by Françoise Brenckmann fotopedia.com

drove over Pont Alexandre III

photo by Volker Gilbert fotopedia.com

drove under the Eiffel Tower.

photo by Stuart Robertson Reynolds

We drove down the Champs-Élysées

photo by Juan Diego Godoy Robles fotopedia.com

around the Arc de Triomphe (commissioned by—you guessed it—Napoleon),

photo by Ralf Moritz fotopedia.com

past the Théâtre Marigny where Cabaret will open in October (it’s next to the president’s house on the Champs-Elysees).

poster art for Cabaret

We drove by the Petit Palais

photo by Minerva Bloom fotopedia.com

and finally stopped at the Grand Palais.

photo by Suzan Black fotopedia.com

Our restaurant was in the Grand Palais and it was very, very good. The company was lovely, we discussed food and wine and France. We practiced our French, they practiced their English and a lovely time was had by all. We also discovered that the last Chanel Spring fashion show had been held in the room next door—we got to go have a peek.

Then we went for our nighttime driving tour to Trocadéro

photo by Jacques Bravo fotopedia.com

to watch the Eiffel Tower light up with sparkly lights (grandpa Michael has no patience for sparkly lights on a monument—but I thought it was sweet, and romantic even).

Then we went to look at the Musée du Louvre lit up and tucked and rolled into bed…mmmmmm.

photo by Manuel Colom fotopedia.com

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