Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paris and Nice: Part 3

Continuing with my France trip...don't forget to check out Part 1 and Part 2

Day 4: Thursday, May 31st
(written at 12:14 a.m., technically already Friday!)

Today was our last day in Paris! We did a lot of awesome stuff, but I think I'm going to have to catch you up on it in the morning on the train. Oh wait, Shane is trying to FaceTime with his mom, so I'll just go for it now. 

On top of the Eiffel Tower!
This morning we got up early to be (almost) first in line to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower! It was a wonderful idea for Angélique to take us so early because by the time it closed opened (sorry, late, tired!), the line was ridiculously long. In fact, one kid with our group accepted 50€ from a family to let them cut line and stand with him. They even took pictures together in case the someone questioned it. Madame was not pleased when she found out. Going to the top was a teensy bit scary but Shane was there so that made it better, plus the view was absolutely beautiful. A bit hazy, but still great. 

Shane enjoying a McBaguette
(don't worry, I'm planning a full post just on the food!)
After the Eiffel Tower we took the train down to Versailles for a visit. Before we went to the palace we went to a little market for lunch. We walked all around to try to find a sandwich stand so Shane could get a hot dog on a baguette but no luck. For some reason we only find them when we're in a rush and have already eaten, not when we're really looking for them. They had a bunch of cafés and a huge selection of fresh fruits and veggies and meats, but no quick little stands. In the end, we spent so much of our free time hunting down a hot dog baguette that we ran out of time and ended up at...McDo. I know, I know, it's blasphemy. But we were in a hurry, and if Madame asks, we ate a ham and cheese sandwich from the cutest little shop. Plus Hannah wasn't feeling that great from the day before and she wanted something (somewhat) familiar. At lunch, Shane had a "McBaguette", which is basically a baguette filled with several small hamburger patties, cheese, lettuce, and a special mustard sauce. French people also eat tartar sauce with their fries and the medium drink there is the size of a kid's small. Oh, and they sell really fancy pastries and coffees there too. 

It was a very raspberry day. Also, macarons are
my new favorite thing! (bottom right corner)
After lunch, Hannah snuck into a store and bought me a wrap Swatch watch that I had been looking at. She's so sweet :) (Sidenote: I collect Swatch watches, which started on my first trip to France with an Eiffel Tower souvenir swatch purchased at the Louvre. Since then, I always buy one to commemorate a trip to somewhere awesome). Then, while waiting for the rest of our group to meet up (we might've had time for a slow lunch after all), we went to the bakery for dessert. I must say that I have fallen in love with macarons on this trip, they're everywhere, even McDo! I had a Trianon (aptly named for Versailles), which was a raspberry macaron with vanilla cream inside and fresh raspberries all around. Shane went for a raspberry éclair and Mom got a raspberry tartelette. Yum!

Finally it was time to go visit the palace! This was the part of the trip I have been most excited about. I have an obsession with Marie Antoinette. We didn't get the little guided tour headphones, but don't worry, my obsession paid off. Shane, Hannah, and Mom were all joking that I should apply to be a tour guide from all the stories I was telling! It was a really nice day to visit too, didn't seem too crowded. Usually you're packed in there like sardines! We didn't have time to visit the Petit Trianon today (I swear I'll make it someday!), but I did buy a little Marie Antoinette figurine in the gift shop, so I guess that makes up for it. 

Shane's wine. Two down, one to go.
We finally all made it back to the hotel safe and sound and actually got to take an hour to rest and recuperate before dinner (Unless you've been on one of Madame's trips before, you don't realize that free time is few and far between. You learn to cherish every minute you actually get to sit/lay down). Shane regretted the nap though, he said it only made him more sleepy.

Dinner was at Chez Clement, which is a really fun restaurant because all the decor is kitchen stuff. They have copper pots hanging from the ceiling and the light fixtures are made out of silverware. It makes me think of "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast, or that someone's kitchen has exploded. They gave us red wine with dinner, but Mom, Hannah and I don't like wine. Shane drank three glasses and was giggly the whole way out of the restaurant, which was entertaining.

La Musée d'Orsay
The Musée d'Orsay came next. The museum is housed in the old Paris-Orléans train station and it is filled to the brim with impressionist artwork like Degas, Renoir, Chagall, VanGogh, etc. Shane was most excited about seeing all of the sculptures. I most enjoyed seeing that VanGogh church painting from that episode of Doctor Who.

Our last stop for the night (and for Paris!) was the Louvre. We didn't get to go inside to see the Mona Lisa or any of the other eight gazillion works of art they have, but we did get to see the amazing building itself. Did you know the Louvre was home to the kings of France before Louis XIV built Versailles? Two awesome palaces in one day. 

Finally we took the bus home (Madame insisted on the bus, since we'd already experienced the other types of Parisian public transit), which used up the last of our Métro tickets. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the back of the bus! I will miss Paris, but I'm ready for some relaxation in Nice. 

La Musée du Louvre

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