Walk a mile (or 12) in our shoes

We woke up around 10:30 (Paris time) feeling much better after 12 hours of sleep.  However, as we started checking Twitter we realized that there was a lot of drama happening outside of Boston with the police chase and so immediately turned on CNN (which was one of the few channels that we got in English).  We spent the next hour or so watching the chase live and being blown away by the coverage.  We left assuming that the younger brother would be caught shortly and were surprised when we returned that afternoon and he was still at large!  It was crazy to watch all of that happening from the other side of the ocean.
(As a sidenote, as part of the coverage that we watched, we listened/watched  live in Paris as this guy told his story on CNN.  The firefight ended up in front of their house and their home was pierced with bullets.  He spoke — on CNN, internationally — about how he and his wife kept calm by praying to Jesus and how their faith sustained them.  I was so thankful to hear his positive testimony being broadcast throughout Europe.  I’ve been praying since then that people heard his story and their insterest was piqued enough to see what Jesus was all about.  You can read their whole story at The Gospel Coalition.)
When we finally left our room around lunchtime we grabbed some croissants on our way to the Musee d’Orsay.  We didn’t have any interest in visiting the Louvre (we had limited time and wanted to see our favorites first!) but Orsay was definitely on our list.  We took the Metro to the Tuileries Gardens and walked across it and the Seine to get to the museum.  My pictures don’t really do it justice since it was cloudy but it was gorgeous!

The Louvre is behind me so we did at least see it!

At Orsay we were treated to a huge gallery of impressionist work along with a few pieces by Van Gogh.  There were also many (and I repeat MANY) rooms that I turned around and left as soon as I walked in because the subject matter was very provocative.  So my memories of the museum are torn between being awed at the beautiful Monet’s, Manet’s, and Renoir’s, and being totally sickened.  Be careful what you’re looking at if you visit this museum (just my two cents from the Bible Belt!).

We left Orsay starving and walked outside to find it drizzling.  So instead of walking some more looking for something to eat, Jason got a baguette at the stand outside of the museum (ticket entrance) and I got my first Nutella Crepe.  Tres bon!  We stood under the awning at the museum and enjoyed our snacks until it stopped drizzling and we headed out towards the Galeries Lafayette.

We walked down through a swanky part of Paris on the Rue Rivoli and Rue de Castiglione.  In a few block stretch we saw multiple Cartier’s, Carolina Herrera, Bulgari….. I felt kind of out of my league just walking down the street!  But then we stumbled upon Repetto and I wished and wished that I had done ballet and that Charlotte was older so that I could buy her some Pointe shoes in Paris.  It was a lovely shop with all things dance related and, while we debated getting Charlotte a new dance bag, we ended up leaving empty handed.

We continued walking (this was probably mile 6 or so already) and found the Opera House.  It was beautiful, but a lot of it was under construction and it was still misting a little bit so I was ready to get into the covered Galeries Lafayette!

This is the center dome of the Galeries Lafayette.  And, while it sounds all fancy, it really is just a big, giant mall.  However, it is a mall stocked with Longchamp, Prada, Fendi, Cartier, you name it, as well as any fashion designer that you can think of who sells in Paris, and a gourmet food area with cheese and meat counters and oodles and oodles of pastry counters.  It was a great place to spend a few hours on a drizzly afternoon!

I just have to stop and say that don’t I have the most good-looking husband there is?  I took this on the walkway over the men’s store at the Galeries and I love it.  I am so thankful for this man and all that he does for our family!

On a lighter note! After we left Galeries we ran into Printemps (another very upscale department store) and got our first macaroons from Laduree.  Definitely more to come about Laduree on the next post, but the strawberry macaroon was my favorite!

Then, in our least smart idea of the day, we decided to walk to the Montmantre area of Paris to see the Moulin Rouge and Sacre-Coeur.  This was a much longer walk than we anticipated, plus it rained on us most of the way, plus the area surrounding the Moulin Rouge was very sketchy, plus it hailed on us as we were huddled under a shop awning with a group from Canada trying to wind our way up to the Basilica.  Not the best journey to get there, but the views at the top were pretty spectacular.

And the rain and hail that we walked through was (kind of) worth it when we got to see a beautiful double rainbow over the city of Paris!

As a suggestion to anyone walking to Sacre-Coeur, there is a ski lift type object at the bottom of the main hill that will take you straight to the top of the hill.  Find that and metro to that metro stop and don’t try and walk all the way up there navigating yourself!  My calves literally hurt for the rest of our trip and when we got back to the hotel that afternoon we found that my app that calculates how far you walked had us walking over 12 and a half miles that day!
We chose a relaxing meal at the hotel restaurant for dinner that night before walking down to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour.  Magical doesn’t even begin to describe how neat it was.  It sparkles for the first five minutes of the hour and we videoed some of it for the kids.  It might be cliche but watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle, in Paris, with the love of your life, in the (light) rain….. magnifique!

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