I'm going to get through blogging this vacation, I swear.
And no, Veronique, there was no food photography outside of the hotel room. I don't live there anymore, so it doesn't really matter if I look like a big, honking tourist, but I just haven't been able to photograph my plate in NYC, let alone in Paris. Though when I was in a Tea Salon one day, I saw a woman sitting alone, taking pictures of her gorgeous pastry and trying to get herself in the picture. I was tempted to offer to take the picture for her, but I was feeling shy (possibly because of the American woman who shouted to her friend from outside the place, "It's a Tea Salon, but they'll have coffee!"
The French, they do not speak as loudly as Americans. At the time, I was tempted to tell the lady to hold it down because she was embarrassing the hell out of me, but after thinking about it, I realized that I probably should've told her to lower her voice so that she wouldn't be so obviously a tourist and therefore a target for pickpockets. Hell, I was tempted to mug her myself.
Anyway, OK, so Wednesday!
We started with a walk in the Luxemburg Gardens, which was right by our hotel. I'm sure there's some sort of historical significance to the place, but damned if I remember. There were many statues and a big Medici Fountain.
I took many artistic shots:
and came up with cockamamie ideas to turn them into notecards and sell them. I start thinking like that every time I spend too much time with a camera in my hand. I may try printing some myself as gifts, but maybe one of these days I really will try to sell them on etsy or CafePress or something. Or maybe I'll print them out myself, get a good look at them and decide that my head is just swollen.
Anyway, after all that walking around on top of all the walking around at Versailles, my foot was in much pain. You know why? Because I had done all that walking on shoes without excellent arch support. You know why? Because big, white sneakers are what American tourists wear and I'm a big freaking snob and refused to even pack mine.
With my many years of speaking French, and some mime, and a kind pharmacist, I was able to obtain an ace bandage so I could keep walking. If it had been warmer, we could've just planted our asses in the park all day, but it was freezing and we had the Louvre to see.
After lunch, we headed over. The Louvre is open late on Wednesdays, but we only stayed until the regular closing time anyway. We hit the big three right away and then discovered how uncrowded the rest of the place is.
What are the big 3?
#1 The Winged Victory of Samothrace
Isn't she gorgeous?
#2 The Mona Lisa
Yes, that's Eduardo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. We took his picture all over Paris. Apparently, even my snobbery has limits.
#3 The Venus de Milo
Those are the ones that everyone wants to see and where the crowds are. Art Buchwald once wrote a piece about how American tourists just want to see those 3 and get out and that you can actually see all 3 of them in 10 minutes if you do it with roller skates.
We saw a lot of other art, including the apartments of Napoleon III (he had the same decorator as Liberace and Donald Trump).
We also saw the medieval foundations of the museum. Make time for this if/when you go because it is much with the coolness.
After the Louvre, we had dinner at a Brasserie near the hotel that had really good food. My mad french skillz saved me from ordering something with honey in it--braised short ribs. The menu didn't say what was in the sauce and I thought it was safest to ask. It did have honey in it, but 2 minutes later, I started to think that maybe it didn't and the waiter and I had misunderstood each other. I'm sure that wasn't the case, but any conversation that involves me pointing at a menu and repeating myself cannot be saved in my brain as an intelligible conversation. The steak and potatoes I had instead was awesome and didn't contain anything I'm allergic to, so I'm calling it a victory.
Ooh, and I had plum tart for dessert. I need to bake more tarts. My notes say "sooo good". My notes then say, "held hands and made with the cuteness." I can only assume that this cuteness was made with at the restaurant. I have only vague memories of specific hand holding/cuteness incidents, but it was our freaking honeymoon. There was plenty of that sort of thing.
We planned out what we'd do for the rest of the week and we were already feeling like we were running out of time to get everything in. This coming from a couple that did Versailles, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe in one day. Paris? Has a lot of things to do.
My notes also say that we watched X-Files in French. I think it was this episode. That morning while I was getting ready, HA watched Sponge Bob and Scooby Doo in French. Have I mentioned that he doesn't speak French? My man, he loves him some TV. On the bright side, he never complains that I'm not ready yet.