Friday in Paris

Friday was predicted to be rainy, and it was indeed cloudy, so we headed to the Orsay Museum first thing. Jordi and I had never been there before. Celia fell asleep on the way over on my back. Apparently in France they are very kind to people with small impatient children, because we got in a long line to get in, and the person behind us told us that we don’t have to wait in line, we can just go in the ‘handicapped, pregnant, and small children’ line. Which was no line, and indeed they let us right into the museum to buy tickets. So we came with VIPs! Very Impatient People, and it worked out.

Inside the museum we saw the Degas Nudes exhibit which was interesting but dark and crowded. When we got home we found out the same exhibit had been here in Boston before! Well we missed that one, so no biggie. We then went upstairs to go see the impressionists. Celia woke up just as we got behind the big clock on the top floor and she and Josie ran around a little playing there. It had some nice views of the river if you could get up close. Then we walked through the impressionist art work, which Josie was somewhat familiar with because of a series of books she likes to read, one of which is Katie and the Spanish Princess. She spent the exhibit looking for paintings she had seen in the books. We tried to keep Celia from screaming and touching things. So it was a quick trip through. We tried to find food in the museum but both the cafe and restaurant were packed with long lines even though it was after 2 and so we headed out of the museum and got some sandwiches on the street. We ate them on the steps of the museum and enjoyed a little picnic.

Afterwards we headed over to the river Seine and looked at the clock tower from down on the ground. We headed over towards the Tuileries, a garden between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. We crossed the river and went down along it’s banks to explore just a bit.

Celia demonstrating above how she takes off her shoes in protest at being in the stroller. She does not like being confined, but I did not want to go swimming in the river and this pathway was small with a sharp drop. We only got a little walk down the path when it started to rain quickly and hard. So we hustled back to the bridge and hid under the walkway under the road while the storm passed. Lucky for us there was a musician playing a violin and the girls were enchanted with her and watching all the people going by.

Thankfully the storm passed us by quickly and we were able to ascend the steps into the garden. I found some lovely light and the Louvre museum way in the background and tried to get some nice shots of the girls. I got this of Josie.

We’ll have to call that the Josie the hunchback of Notre Dame pose, not that she knows what Notre Dame is yet. And I also get a picture in the series I like to call “trying to take a picture of Josie, but Celia jumps in and does something funny”.

So I switch over to the child who is actually interested in me taking her picture and get a few sweet shots where I’ve actually got the framing close to where I wanted it.

After a mid-garden diaper change, we continued on our way across the park and found the obligatory carousel where the girls went for a spin with Jordi.

Right next to the merry-go-round was the playground which we also spent some good time at. We found another American family there with two kids and Josie enjoyed getting to play on the see-saw with their daughter. Then she took Celia around for a few spins on the spinney circle thing (I can’t remember what they’re called) and climbed up this big huge climbing structure.

This was about 15 feet off the ground, a rope net tunnel that led to a slide on the other side. Josie went up after considering a few times and only fell through the net with her leg once, but boy did that surprise her. She carried on though through to the other side and down the slide. This was the first of her adventuresome climbing activities in Europe, she was very nervous to start with but got more bold throughout the trip.

After the playground, we decided to walk to a department store to buy some clothes for the girls and maybe Jordi for fun. Somehow the map was misleading and we ended up walking a further distance than we imagined, but it worked out. We saw the opera house and eventually got to the store. Our guidebook had said that this was a ‘lower-priced’ department store, but I guess that means more like shopping at Macy’s downtown instead of Bloomingdales, it wasn’t cheap and they had the childrens department set up with the toys by the elevator and the clothes further on just to sabotage you. I tried to shop quickly but couldn’t stomach paying $50 for a shirt, not even and entire outfit.

We left to find the bathroom and upon getting there, found that it cost 1,5 euros to use it. Well with small children we have gotten better about just rolling with it, so it was a new first for us. Paying for a toilet in a store. They clean it between people supposedly, but it wasn’t super impressive, it got the job done. We then headed up to the roof and had a small snack at the rooftop cafe and enjoyed the views of Paris.

I love all the little chimneys and identical balconies. Our condo’s don’t have quite the same charm. After our snack we headed for the subway back to our apartment for dinner. We grabbed some wine at the grocery store and enjoyed it with a simple homemade pasta dinner for a relaxing evening at home before we all went to bed, still a bit jetlagged but at least tired enough to go to bed.


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