The Louvre

By the time Michael’s 2nd day off came around he was just as pooped as he was on his first day off. So again, plans for Versailles and Champagne were scrapped in favor of a leisurely stroll around Paris with his family. We made no plans but to get a picnic lunch and walk over to the Paris Plage to let the baby play on all the playground equipment.

photo by Jean-Pierre Roche

Newsflash—summer is officially over in Paris on August 22nd, and that’s that.

Not only had someone come to tear down the beaches along the Seine, but you could feel the squeeze of more people around you than usual. Cafes and shops that had been closed since we arrived suddenly opened their shutters and changed the landscape of the streets. Scooters flew by  at any given moment and not just on the streets, they seemed to have free reign of the sidewalks as well. And the sidewalks! They were littered with cigarette butts. I never saw so many cigarette butts. Apparently people don’t die from lung cancer in Paris. That has to be the only explanation.

We decided to go to the Tuileries and I thought after our picnic lunch we could all go on the ferris wheel.

photo by Jean-Pierre Roche

But we forgot!! Summer was over! They were dismantling the ferris wheel when we got to the garden and by the time we finished our picnic lunch it was completely gone!

We were so sad (photo by Michael)

We decided to get coffee and then to head into the Louvre. Getting coffee from Starbucks in a laid back country like France is a hilarious experience. You would think they would tend to your coffee in the same feverish manner they dismantled summer, but not so. There was one person in line in front of us, about 15 people working behind the counter and my cafe latte took 20 minutes to get.

‘You’re not in a hurry! Where do you have to go? The Louvre? It’s open until 10! Relax. Enjoy your life.’

They also do not have ‘take away’ coffee anywhere except Starbucks, and no one is eating or drinking anything while they walk around or ride the metro. You sit down for a proper cup of coffee in France. Where do you have to go in such a hurry that you have to walk around while you drink your coffee? Nowhere. That’s where. I pegged myself several times as an uncivilized American by drinking my take away coffee on the metro.

The baby had a blast in the museum, and again as we were on the mommy/daddy truncated tour we only did the basics of the Louvre.

We saw the Winged Victory of SamothraceVenus de Milo and the Mona Lisa

and everything in between those 3 points. I know…there are 35000 pieces of work in that museum, you’d think we could’ve gone a little outside the box, but we didn’t. I think we just enjoyed the inside of the building.  We’d look out the windows into the gardens and pretend we’d just woken up and were about to have tea on the terrace in our bathrobes. We enjoyed the ceilings, the moldings…and we all had fun chasing after the baby.

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