Monday, May 13, 2013

Rushing to catch up, so that when Alix leaves on Wednesday I can get down to my more leisurely - trying not to be a tourist pace. We've had some pretty iffy weather, mostly cloudy with patches of sun, breezy, cool, and some rain. Of course, Paris has lots of indoor attractions.

Ceiling of Galeries Lafayette

So I took Alix down to one of Paris' oldest department stores to see its Belle Epoque ceiling. It's awfully impressive. The store itself is full of things we can't afford - not that I was looking.

More ceiling

The store has the largest show department I've ever seen. Some incredible shoes! Almost as interesting as going through a museum. I will definitely be taking my daughters for a look when they arrive.

The underside of one of the many balconies
leading up to the stained glass ceiling

Holding Alix's umbrella while she takes my picture

I have a beautiful butterfly umbrella my mother gave me and some American women walked past me and commented on what beautiful umbrellas the French have. Never thought anyone would mistake me for French. Just carry the right umbrella!

One of the indoor places we went to was the Pantheon, where many French luminaries are buried. We saw Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, the Curies, etc. There's room down there for tons more.


I really didn't want to go to the Louvre. Too big! But Alix had to see the Mona Lisa, so....

Mona Lisa with reflection on glass

Winged Victory

That's Alix's grandson, Liam, bottom right

So many of the children in the paintings in the Louvre are ugly. Really. So we had to take this picture of just about the best looking kids in the Louvre. And then I realized that the girl in the lower right looks an awful lot like Alix's grandson, Liam - not one of the ugly ones!

We also went to the Musee d'Orsay - the impressionist collection. Last time I was here for any length of time they were in the Jeu de Paume (sp?). Alix got in big trouble here. You're allowed to take photos in the Louvre, so she started to take pictures here and, boy, did they overreact! I'm surprised she's not in jail.

Van Gogh

But she got some good ones before they stopped her. At least they let her keep her camera.

More Van Gogh

The museum has two big clocks. They let you photograph them, but only from certain points.

Clock #1

Clock #2

But cafe sitting and wine drinking are not curtailed because of weather. Cafes have awnings and, sometimes, heaters. We usually have a rose (read that with an accent over the "e") because the cheaper red wines that we can afford are usually served chilled and we don't like chilled reds.

Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges has an arcade on all four sides and a beautiful park in the middle. I may spend a lot of time here. Should be a good place to write - wine or not. When Chuck and I were here in the early 70s, it was being remodeled (they had considered tearing it down!). It had become a slum. When we walked around, much of it was empty and there was the constant noise of hammers and electric saws. Now, of course, it's home to the very wealthy and it is really beautiful. Except the one building that is currently being remodeled - it's covered with a giant iPad commercial. As a matter of fact, Apple has essentially the only big billboards in town ruining historic landmarks - money to burn and bribe, I guess.

Bisou, bisou, a demain


  1. Don't miss the Gustave Moreau Museum! It is a small museum in the house of the artist and is quiet and tucked away and totally amazing. You can look through his drawings and the place is wall to wall, floor to ceiling paintings…

  2. From Barbara who can't seem to post on your blog:
    The wine merchant next door to my abode said to recommend a place called Verre Vole ( no accent available). I am not sure what it is. A cafe (naa) or a wine shop.

    As for the lemon and sugar pancakes, I did not like them. I preferred blamange. Yuk now that I think of blamange. I also loved minced meat and gravy!

    You will not be subjected to horrible English food or even horrible Southern (US) food on your wonderful trip.

    1. I loved the pancakes and liked the blancmange - not sure I would now! I'll check out the Verre Vole, if I can find it.

  3. Blancmange, YUK! I loved wandering in the Jardin des Plantes when I was in Paris. Lovely Victorian gloom, cool and kind of foggy.

  4. I liked the blancmange, but remember that you did not. I will be heading to the Jardin des Plantes. Somehow, I've never been there before.