Stop 3: Paris, part deux. Travel notes and photos.

I was honestly trying not to start a new page for Paris but for those of you who have been with me on vacation know that every day when I away (girls’ trip, vacation or just a day at the zoo) i will take a “bazillion” pictures and I am really bad at editing out the ones that should not necessarily see the light of the day. I guess I am like an old mom who thinks that all of her kids are beautiful and when other people look at them they are like “Are you kidding me, that’s the ugliest kid I’ve ever seen.” Okay, I’ve honestly tried to pare this the photos down but what we are seeing and experiencing is so cool that i just have to share. If you are over it. just don’t look everyday.

Today is Friday,September 7: We finished another week of homeschooling! Yea!

Boarded the Metro for Concorde — walked through Tuileries Gardens and had a picnic lunch in the shade. The weather was perfect – though a little warm.  Walked to the Musee de’ Orsay and while on our way, we stumbled upon Rodin’s The Kiss. It was right outside the Musee de la’Orangerie. We were just walking around and voila! Wow! Amazing!

Jumping for joy

Okay, so our new favorite museum is the Orsay – yes, you must see the Louvre because it contains some of the world’s best known masterpieces but if you want something that truly touches you, go the Orsay. The Impressionist period is out of this world and when you are standing in front of the Monet lilypads, or a Renoit, Manet, VanGogh, Cezanne, time just stops.

It was super when Elsa pulled out her sketchpad in the Orsay and drew Monet’s lilypads and Henry sketched Monet’s Gardens of Giverny. I had to pinch myself. For those of you who know me well, this was one of my biggest excitements – to have art class in the Forum in Rome, in Paris in the Louvre / Orsay, have music class inVienna….

Made my day.

Sacre-Couer in the distance!


Had a glass of wine and a sundae (not me, the kids!)

Yes, still trying to perfect the “jumping for joy” photo!

Today is Saturday, September 8 and we are off to Versailles. Took the double decker train out to Versailles. Meandered our way through the streets of Versailles and found about 5000 of our closest friends who also had the same idea. It was a beautiful day in Paris – sunny, clear skies and about 80 degrees or so.

Versaille Palace was originally built in 1624 – actually, it started first fairly modestly with each of the kings adding on to the main house (palace) adding out-buildings, gardens, etc.  During the tour, they showed a visualization of the first buildings and how each of the kings changed the landscape and the buildings itself.

Hal of Mirrors

Peeking at the gardens from the 2nd floor

The main chapel from the first floor

Hen checking out the gardens

Just as an aside, I wonder what the average cholesterol score is in France. All I have to say is thank goodness that we do not live here all year round. Boulangeries, vin, beurre, etc. On our way home from the Metro today the kids asked to go into a little boulangerie that is on our walking route from the apartment to the Metro. Who was I to refuse? Elsa wanted this very strange looking little pastry with green frosting, chocolate sprinkles and cream inside. Okay, check. I thought I would get two chocolate eclairs to share and then Henry spied the beignet pomme (apple) and beignet framboises (raspberry). Check.  Again, who was I to refuse especially since I wanted a bite of each one? Can you say heaven on earth? Those things are deadly  but oh, so great!

Still perfecting the “jump for joy”!


The gastronomical delights do not end there.  We get home and Charlie and I enjoy the last of our cheeses from the little shop around the corner with two beers and then a white bordeaux. I then make a dinner of pasta, chicken and vegetables etc, etc.  All that being said, I am sure my cholesterol is through the roof and i have gained 30 pounds in 10 days.  Does Jillian Michaels make house calls to Paris? I might need an intervention!  🙂

Not really sure of our plans for tomorrow but I think well stay close to “home” and visit a local market and possibly Sacre-Coeur which is walking distance from the apartment.  We’ll keep you posted.  Thanks for reading!  Love you all.

Sunday, September 9:  Left for the hills of Montemartre about 11 or so.  Walked through the very hill and curving streets up, up and up…Reached the butte of Montemartre.  There was their usual Sunday market of artisans around the square selling all styles of watercolors, pastels, pen and ink drawings, acrylics and oils.

Saw lots of typical store fronts selling any types of Parisian wares and lots of touristy stuff – which the kids thought were delightful while we tried to hustle them by quickly to what we came to see – The Sacre-Coeur.

Bought tickets to go into the dome and into the crypt.  Walked 300 steps up to taken in the view of Paris.  This is the second tallest elevation in Paris – after the Eiffel Tour.  We walked down the 300 and then into the crypt.

The light that was coming through the small stained glass windows about noon was beautiful  — took a bunch of pictures but am only sharing two below. 🙂


One of windows in the chapel

Eiffel in the distance

Charlie took this shot and I don’t think anyone realized what was written in graffiti behind us on the wall. Love it

Took a few more shots from the top of the dome  –

The city below

Found a place for lunch – unfortunately, the pizza had jamon – kids not a big fan of ham.  Oh well. Charlie and I enjoyed our lunch despite the facts that the rugrats were a bit of a challenge!

Streets of Montemartre

A little more local color

Gorgeous ceiling in the chapel

Tomorrow is our last full day in Paris. I expect we’ll school and then head out to the Arc ‘de Triomphe.  Keeping you posted.  Thanks for reading.


Monday, September 10:   Home schooled, lounged around a bit and then headed to the Metro to see the Arc de Triomphe.


Looking up 280 some odd stairs.




all 4

Photo by Elsa. Not too bad. 🙂

Champs-Elysee from the top of the Arc de Triomphe




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