Today was a whirlwind. We were up to 1:00 last night all watching Psych. Seriously, we're addicted. Have to end every night with at least 1 or 2 episodes. So we slept in which actually helped everyone enjoy the long day. Worked out great.
We took it easy this morning and the boys played a modified game of one-room hide and seek (including shooting the person when you found them. Because they are boys. And that's what they do.)
We started at the Arc de Triomphe by climbing the 274 stairs to the top for the great view of the city.
Next we walked down Champs Elysées and turned right at the Grand and Petit Palais to walk over the Pont Alexandre Bridge.
We walked around the entire Les Invalides so we could see Napoleons tomb. Les Invalides is huge and by the time we saw the tomb, everyone was more interested in sitting and resting in a building with a/c.
We convinced all that seeing all the Impressionist paintings in the Orsay was not to be missed. And even if they didn't know any impressionist painters or paintings now, they would in the future. Plus the conversion of the old train station into a museum is really cool.
Hiked up 5 flights of stairs to get to Monet. Realizing we had a lot of stairs to climb today.
At Monet's bridge, both Chris and Marty recognized it as something they had learned about in 1st grade and even painted themselves. Aaaahhh! Learning meets real life!! All of them also knew Van Gogh's Starry Night too. So well that when Dan pointed it out, they were quick to say, "that's not it." This one in the Orsay was of a blue night and twinkling stars over a river. Starry Night Over the Rhone. They were familiar with the swirling background--currently housed in the MOMA in New York.
We were ready for lunch and a break so walked over to Cafe Flore where Hemmingway and Fitzgerald used to hang out. It's a true Parisian feeling with wide open windows and seats outside all facing the sidewalk.
We had a delicious lunch followed by hot chocolate for dessert that is the best in Paris. Our waiter thought we were crazy to order it on such a hot day. But it's the cholcolatiest there is and can't be passed up. Dan and I loved it. The kids said they preferred Swiss Miss. Those dehydrated marshmallows are pretty good, its true.
Renewed and refreshed after a long lunch, we headed to Montmartre with the promise of the subway instead of walking. Well received. Interestingly, I counted over 160 stairs we climbed on a spiral staircase coming out of the subway. There has got to be a story behind that staircase or we are in some alternate reality staircase world. Escher? Is he Parisian?
We came home to rest for a couple of hours before going out to dinner and got the subway home with cute fabric on the seats and the recorded lady announcing each stop. Love hearing her pronounce the stops in French!
The little boys and Dan went swimming and the rest of us watched Psych and blogged.
We are adjusted to the 8:30 dinner time of the Europeans. But we wanted to climb the Eiffel Tower first. Unfortunately we realized that sunset was a very popular time for people to go up the tower. Go figure. We didn't want to wait in the long line so decided to try again tomorrow. We hit a 10:00 dinner at one of mine and Dan's favorite restaurants from our last trip--Cafe Trocadero--and ate French Onion Soup.
Are trying for the Eiffel Tower first thing tomorrow. Opens at 9:00 and they say that's the least crowded time.