Monday, May 18, 2015

Paris! Again!

We visited Paris last year but had to cut our plans short because of IVF, which didn't end up starting when we thought because of a mixup with one of the medications they were having me take, so we had shortened our trip for nothin'!  
Isabelle and I longed to go back because we fell in LOVE with Paris, and felt jipped that we only got to spend part of a day squealing & giggling under the Eiffel Tower (because you know, you really need like an entire day of giggling to feel satisfied).

But, I mean, who wouldn't fall in the love with Paris, right?  

My husband... that's who.  

Paris is his least favorite city, actually, there is no favorite about it, Eric does not like Paris.  And France his is least favorite country (not that I can blame him on that one, I don't like France either), but Paris??  Ohmigosh!  I LOVE PARIS! 

The second we woke up in one of the world's most amazing cities we hit the ground running and headed straight for the Louvre!  The Louvre is the world's largest museum with one of the world's most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa, and I couldn't wait to see her!  

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

My grandma was an accomplished artist who spent her life creating art in all sorts of ways.  During her career she was commissioned to do pieces for hotels, churches, colleges, you name it!  You can find one of her pieces in the library of my alma mater!  Actually, you can find her pieces all over the world- even celebrities own her artwork.  Every memory I have of my grandma are my favorite memories, but the afternoon we spent making the jewelry for my wedding, and the time she taught my 2 1/2 year old daughter how to draw a baby in a blanket are my two most favorite. 
 I was very close with my grandma, I miss her so much that it hurts.  I can't bare to think that I have to spend the rest of my days on this planet without her, I'm a brat and I want her here, so to make it not hurt so much I look for her in the things I know she would have loved while she was alive- she was in the gorgeous vintage scarf I saw in London, the porcelain bowl in Bucharest, she's in the drawings my daughter sometimes does when she's waiting for supper, and on Saturday, my grandma was with me in the Louvre.

Venus de Milo

It was on my bucket list to see Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.  I had heard that she is always surrounded by masses of people, so I prepared myself for the crowds and stood back just a little ways because I am so severely claustrophobic.  I could see her, she was stunning, but there was absolutely zero chance of me getting a good picture from where I was standing- it was either stay put and breath oxygen, or take a picture and risk suffocation.  So, I gave Isabelle my camera and sent her into the crowd with her slinky body and lethal elbows, and crossed my fingers that she'd make it out the same way she went in, hopefully with at least one decent picture of one of the world's most treasured paintings.

Mission accomplished!  Isabelle got a bunch of really great unobstructed pictures, and her mother did not lose consciousness due to lack of oxygen!  Success!

We woke up to a gorgeous morning, but by the time we left the Louvre it had started to get cloudy, cold, and rainy.  The weather in Europe is mild but it changes every 15 minutes.  That's not such a bad thing because if you don't like it, it will change before you get used to it, but it's annoying because it's hard to dress for 50 different weather scenarios you're probably going to encounter that day.  I have a hard enough time dressing to be cute, let alone for the weather.

But no matter the weather, I was going to the top of the Eiffel Tower!

You can't go to Paris and not go up to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower.... whiiiiich is exactly what we did when we were there last year.  Don't do that... don't go to Paris and not do something you really want to, because if you're maybe a little neurotic like me, you'll obsess about going back, and this can frustrate the heck out of the people you live with.  Just trust me on this, because all you'll end up doing is dragging your husband back to a city he hates, and no, he won't think the giggles are all that adorable after about 10 minutes.

Check out the river in this next picture.  I did NOT create that in photoshop!  It's the only picture of the 10 or so I took at this same exact spot that has this rainbow.  I think it's the reflection of the mist off the anti-glare stuff they have on their windows.... but you know me, I'd really like to think the rainbow was created by my Grandma- because she was so cool that way.  You can roll your eyes if you want to, it's just that my soul is happier thinking it was my grandma, even if there might be a logical explanation.

Cool, huh?!

After spending a few hours giggling under, and on top of, the Eiffel Tower we headed to the Army Museum & Napoleon's Tomb, which we could see from the top of the Tower.  Obviously, Eric is interested in all things military, and Isabelle loves all museums, and I love all things in Paris, so this really was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.  

Maybe because I don't get military tactics, map-reading, and combat whatever, is why I just don't get Napoleon or why he's so important.  Honestly, when I think of Napoleon, I think of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  I'm totally serious.  Ok, well yeah, I get the history and all that stuff, but I guess if it's not Science related my brain doesn't really care.  So I wasn't surprised that he has a tomb where people can visit, but I was surprised at how big it was!

It was by this time that we couldn't go one step further without something to eat- we typically only eat one large meal per day when we are on a trip, usually late afternoon or so- and at this point it was six o'clock in the evening, we were starving!  We made our way to our last stop of the day, Montparnasse Tower, and figured we'd find somewhere to eat along the way.  We put Isabelle in charge of finding something Parisian....

....and this is where she chose!  Sorry, it's not the greatest picture, I was trying to shoot over people's heads, but where the red awning is is where we ate roasted chicken, shrimp risotto, and steak.  I don't know if that's "Parisian" or not, but the French wine Eric & I had was French enough for me!
The Montparnasse Tower is the "ugliest building in Paris" with the best views of the entire city- Parisian's think this because it's the one place where you will not get the actual building obstructing your view, obviously because you're in it.  I'm a Parisian at heart and I thought Montparnasse was pretty in it's own way.  Don't hate me.

Our day ended where it started, back at the Louvre.  I wasn't as sad to leave this amazing city this time around.  Eric hates to admit it but even between our two visits, there are a thousand reasons to go back.  Honestly, we only saw a teeny weeny tiny bit that Paris has to offer!
But the one reason not to go back is my husband.  I thank God every day for a man who is so willing to do the things that make us girls happy.  Paris made us happy!

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