Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paris - Day 2

On our first morning (second day) in Paris, we set out fully equipped with our Paris museum pass and Rick Steve's guide to Paris.  We had a quick breakfast, where Luke began his love affair with tea.  He ordered it multiple times throughout the rest of our trip, bought several different types of tea to bring home with us, and has basically been a tea guy ever since. 

Then we headed straight to the famous Louvre museum. With our museum pass, we skipped the long line and got in free. Score! Once inside, the museum is gigantic, and although we knew we had to see the Mona Lisa, we really had no idea where to begin. So we turned to Rick Steve's self-guided tour to the Louvre and were really impressed. He took us from important piece to important piece with a little interesting write up on each one.  When we left, we truly felt like we had seen everything we needed to see, and we didn't spend all day doing it.  The Greek statues were really interesting to me. So many of them were missing arms, hands, even heads, due to how old they are.  The Mona Lisa was a little underwhelming.  Kind of small, behind a glass wall (unlike all the other paintings) and surrounded by a huge crowd of "paparazzi." 

The pyramid outside the Louvre.

The statue of Greek Goddess Venus.

Luke had the idea to do a series of pics like this. Unfortunately, we only got one.

Outside the Louvre.

The Mona Lisa....

and all her adoring fans.

A Razorback in Paris! Go Hogs!

Once we finished at The Louvre, we started another of Rick Steve's self-guided walking tours through Historic Paris.  The big stop on this walk was the Notre Dame cathedral. We walked through the beautiful church but didn't wait in the long line to climb the tower. Unfortunately, our museum pass failed us at this line, and after standing in the same spot for about 15 minutes, we decided against the wait. We also strolled through Ile St. Louis, which is described as one of Paris' most exclusive neighborhoods.  After walking to the end of the narrow street, we bought some dark chocolate for me, and a pastry for Luke and sat to enjoy our treats with a coffee before heading back to the Left Bank of the Seine River. 

Notre Dame.

Beautiful stained glass.

The famous Gargoyle on the Notre Dame Tower.

Consulting my Paris guide with Notre Dame in the background.

Luke's take on how European he is...Espresso, Euros, Spanish Residency Card (NIE) and 2 Subway passes. 

We passed a few more spots on the Historic Paris walk, including the Luxembourg gardens, as we walked back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.  We decided to try out an Italian disco/club on this night.  The disco that we decided on also had a restaurant in the bottom floor, and we read that our best bet of actually making it in the disco without a long wait was to go early and have dinner there beforehand. That was our plan until the taxi dropped us off, and we realized the place was no longer in business. So we settled for a restaurant nearby to where we had been dropped off and enjoyed a really good dinner, including the French staple of burgundy snails. (Don't knock it until you've tried it; they were really tasty!) Also at dinner, we ended up sitting next to another American couple and after talking to them a bit realized they were also from Dallas. (Small world!) Then we took a taxi to a different disco. Unfortunately, the place was empty when we arrived since European parties don't start until late in the night/early in the morning, and I quickly got tired. (I know, I pooper!) We headed back to the hotel without seeing the Italians party but not before doing a little two-stepping across the dance floor. When in Rome....

(Update: Please replace all the above references to Italian and Italians to French. I am aware that Paris is in France, not Italy. However, for some reason, I always say Italy. I did it before and during the trip, and now after. Luke says, "At least I'm consistent!")

Our first French snails!

The little boogers up close!

The only pic of the 2 of us from this night.

People starting to arrive at the Disco as we left.
Days 3 - 6 up next!

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