The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paris: Half the excitement is getting there

On June 17th Indy and I hopped a fast train to Paris. In a mere 3 hours and 20 minutes we would be strolling the streets and munching on authentic croissants (they really do taste better in France, trust me). Or so we thought. We made our connection with no problems and things were zipping along fine (except that our seats were rear facing and despite taking 2 Dramamine, I was feeling queasy) until we got to Kaiserslautern (K-Town). We stopped at the station and didn't move. For a long time.  The conductor finally came over the intercom and said something in German.  I thought I understood him, but then realized I had to be wrong.  He couldn't have said that, could he???  A passing train worker walked by and I stopped him to ask what was going on.  He confirmed what I thought I heard:  the train in front of us hit a PERSON on the track.  Shut the front door! 
We finally arrived in Paris 2.5 hours late, but since the Louvre is open late on Friday's and that was our plan for the evening, we didn't mind.  We checked into the hotel and off to the Louvre we went (this was Indy's idea BTW).  The next few hours were spent looking at painting, sculptures, and antiquities.

If you've seen The DaVinci Code, you'll recognize this:

After walking through the Medieval Louvre, the first place we headed was of course the Egyptian exhibit:

Like his father, who got in trouble at the Louvre about 12 years ago for touching a piece of art, Indy couldn't resist the lure of this ancient piece.  To be honest though, Indy didn't actually touch it (he just pretended).  James Bond, did touch and in about 5 seconds a guard swooped out of nowhere and told him not to touch the art.

Being a silly monkey:

And a Pharaoh:

Finally, finally, after passing thousands of objects and dozens and dozens of sarcophagi, during which time Indy sang the Indian Jones theme song, louder and louder, we made it to the one thing he was most excited about:  The mummy! He's seen it before, but was still crazy excited:

Once I was able to drag him from the mummy (seriously, I had to grab his shirt and pull him away), we headed for the Roman and Greek sculpture.  It was his idea to pose like the statue:

After about 800 miles and 30,000 stairs (if you've been to the Louvre, you know I'm not exaggerating that much), we ended up at what is arguably the most famous work of art houses at the Louvre: The Mona Lisa.  It's almost impossible to get anywhere near her.  Being small and intrepid though, Indy wove his way toward the front.

Since we spent a full week studying DaVinci  last month, we also went to see the 5 other DaVinci paintings that are there and discussed how he used shadows, light and blurred edges to create depth, where other painters of the same era often had little or no depth in their paintings.  Indy was particularly fascinated by his painting of John the Baptist:

We sat on one of the big round sofas for a few minutes to rest and then went over to one of my favorite sections, the large scale art.  I'm fascinated by these HUGE canvases.  One I particularly like is the painting of Napoleon crowning himself.  I had Indy stand in front of it so you could see how massive this thing really is:

Can you imagine how much time it took to paint that????  And, not only that, but the artist painted a second one the same size that now hangs in Versailles.  He made one change to the second painting though.  I'll show you that when I post about our day at Versailles.

Sadly, my hands down, absolute favorite exhibit was closed for renovation.  Nooooo!  What is it, you might wonder?  The crown jewels of course!  The had a few on display in front of the section with a big sign telling us that the full exhibit would reopen in early 2012.  I think I would look fabulous in either of these:

By 8pm, we were done.  D-O-N-E, done.   We were hungry, but also exhausted and I didn't feel like going out on the street to find a restaurant.  There is a high end (and pricey) international food court in the underground maze of shops connected to the Louvre, so we opted to eat there.  The variety of foods is amazing.  There is Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish and American.  All the restaurants offer sumptuous national dishes.  What is America represented by?  McDonalds.  D'Oh!  I decided to have Ratatouille (yum!) and Indy wanted squid salad????  He got incredibly excited when he saw it.  Since it was  €9 for a small plate, I questioned his choice.  He put his hands on his hips and said "Mom, it's France.  We have to eat squids and snails!"  Okay.  He ordered it (and a slice of brick oven pizza from the Italian place) and we sat down to eat.  It felt so good to sit!  I couldn't let him dive in to his squid salad though before getting a photo of if:

He ate every bite of if!  Crazy little boy!

I hope you enjoyed our first day in Paris.  I've got more to come!


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Ah I can't wait to see the rest of your wonderful adventure!

Happy 4th!

Toni said...


Oh my word! I would LOVE to go the Louvre! It looks beautiful!

Indy's food . . . Uh . . . Not so beautiful. BLECH!

I giggled at the part about him singing the Indiana Jones theme. My Kid can often be heard around the house doing the same thing. :)

Can't wait to see more!!!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Ooooh....I love it! We have almost the same set of photos...and funny poses...from our visit! lol I now know every corner of the Egyptian exhibit! Your Indy is a cutie! And I love it that he ordered squid...and ate it! My grandson had his heart set on frog legs, but we never found them! I am enjoying seeing Paris through your eyes and I'm looking forward to your next post!...hugs...Debbie

Sandy said...

He's got a sense of humor.

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