Trés gay, trés chic, Trés magnifique*

*lyrics from “Bonjour, Paris!” – Funny Face (One of my favorite movies)

I’m going to try to consolidate my 300+ pictures (many of which are “bad” according to my brother) into this one post. We did another round of marathon sight-seeing in Paris and two days was definitely NOT enough time to see and do everything I wanted to do.

First – if I had to do this all over again, I would have done more research! I would have created a plan. Going with the flow only works if you have more than 2 days… otherwise you waste time wandering around trying to find the open bus tour stops and dealing with a husband with frozen feet.

Second – my fear about Parisiens being rude to Americans? So NOT true. Or perhaps we just lucked out? Everyone was SO nice to us even though I completely blanked everytime someone spoke French to me. I would always open with “Bonjour” and could even order 2 coffees (deux cafes… ha!) but everyone knew immediately that we were American and would just start speaking English to us. And they were so nice. Everywhere. I loved it.

So now onto things we did. Well, I mentioned previously that we walked to the Arc de Triomphe. Because of that, I really wanted to go to the Louvre the next day. I didn’t know (apparently I’m an idiot) that the Louvre is one of the LARGEST museums in the world! You need an entire day or two just to go through the whole thing. We didn’t have that kind of time.

Because the Arc de Triomphe was so much closer to our hotel than we thought it was, we figured we could walk to the Louvre. It wasn’t that bad of a walk but when you factor in freezing temps, a long walk and then MORE walking and standing around inside a museum – it kind of blows.

We walked through the Tuileries Gardens and I imagine that it is probably gorgeous in the springtime.
London and Paris 2009 307

le Louvre!
London and Paris 2009 308

A note about the Louvre. We got to the Louvre around 10am. There was a line wrapped around for what appeared to be MILES. It was insane! We found the end of the line and one of the employees said that there was a 4 1/2 hour WAIT TIME. But then he also said there was another entrance into the museum. Hmm…

Jeremy had read something online about a small newspaper stand that sold tickets to the Louvre. We walked around the outside of the museum and didn’t see a single newspaper stand. After being told of the 4 1/2 hour long wait, I decided that it wasn’t worth it (since we were so pressed for time).

A few people started to walk away and we noticed a few quickly duck into the mall that is attached to the museum (Carrousel du Louvre). I really needed to pee and it wasn’t very clear where the bathrooms were located. And wouldn’t you know – we stumbled upon the small newspaper store IN THE MALL.  Jeremy noticed some folks buying tickets to the museum so we bought our tickets through them.

… and there is an entrance into the museum from the mall! Our 4 1/2 hour predicted wait time? It took us less than 20 minutes to get into the museum. Score!

The underground entrance into the Louvre:
London and Paris 2009 157

Because of the enormous amount of things to see in the Louvre, I had to prioritize. I decided that I was okay with just seeing the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo:
London and Paris 2009 167
(The Mona Lisa is quite popular)

London and Paris 2009 319
London and Paris 2009 342

We stayed primarily in this wing of the museum and quickly walked through each section. We were only in there for about 2 hours but we were EXHAUSTED. We saw lots of religious art, egyptian art and greek statues. I liked this guy. Despite being naked, he’s totally hanging out like, “hey – what’s up?”
Naked Man in The Louvre

The Louvre was crazy crowded too:
London and Paris 2009 166

We ended up grabbing lunch at the food court in the Carrousel du Louvre because it was convenient. But holy hell – it was crowded in there too.

After the Louvre, we walked around for awhile. We saw the open bus tours driving around but couldn’t figure out where they stopped. We were getting tired so the idea of sitting on a bus and checking out sites seemed like a magical idea to us. But alas, when we finally DID find a stop (in front of the Musee d’Orsey) – we found out that they did NOT accept credit cards.

And we also didn’t go into the Musee d’Orsey because the line out front was insane! (This is the side of the museum)
Musee d'Orsey

It was also New Year’s Eve / Jeremy’s birthday. With the holiday and the limited amount of daylight, we knew we had to start heading back to the hotel.

We picked up a bottle of champagne and stopped into a patisserie to pick up a small dessert (to celebrate Jeremy’s birthday!). I didn’t take a picture of either.

We also stopped by a restaurant around the corner from our hotel because we saw that they had vegetarian pizzas. Yes, we were in France but we ate pizza. And? It was f’n fantastic! And our waitress was so sweet. She recommended a fantastic wine to go with our vegetarian pizza. I didn’t take pictures of us at dinner because I was trying to play it cool and not look SUPER touristy.

One thing I noticed in Paris was how slow the service was. I didn’t necessarily find this to be a bad thing. It appears most people took TIME to enjoy their meals and restaurants appreciate that (versus having your check thrown at you if you sit at your table longer than 30 minutes in America!).

Okay – crap, there is so much more to write. I’ll save the NYE Eiffel Tower stuff for another post. My Paris adventure to be continued…

9 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Travels

9 responses to “Trés gay, trés chic, Trés magnifique*

  1. Meredith

    I looked it up because we made that walk and I want to say from the Arc to the Louvre is somewhere in the neighborhood for 7km! I did it a month before you and it was cold so I can only imagine how frozen you must have been!!

    Musee D’Orasy is my favorite museum in Paris. Put that at the top of your list for your return trip. Also L’Orangerie where Monet’s Waterlilies are housed is a must see. And the Musee Rodin is fantastic.

    Why IS the pizza so good in Paris. We ate it twice and it was amazing. We also had killer paella. Go figure.

    We tried to go to the Musee de Rodin the next day but they closed early! :-(

    These are all just reasons to go back though!

  2. I love hearing about your Paris adventure. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    Thanks! I’m just surprised that it is taking me so long to write since I didn’t have much time there.

  3. Kt

    Ahhh I LOVED the Musee D’Orsey. And I am with you – the people were incredibly nice when I went as well!

    Everyone keeps telling me how I should have gone to the Musee D’Orsey!

  4. So. Cool. So. Jealous.

    PS-I totally dig the statue of the guy standing there with his balls hanging. I like to think the artist had a sense of humor.

    That’s how I like to think of the artist as well. Either that or they really were just that comfortable hanging out with their junk exposed.

  5. Annie

    Have you ever seen Europtrip? Your comment about the line at the Louvre reminded me of that! Now have you heard of Paris syndrome? Funny times!

    I think that people in Paris are so used to the visitors that they’re generally pretty nice, or at least tolerant, to them. My limited experience was similar with how nice most people were. They do seem to move at a slower, enjoying-life kind of pace. The pics are lovely!

    I had to look up Paris Syndrome! Too funny – I definitely suffered from exhaustion. :-)

  6. i just love reading all about your trip! i hope one day i get to visit Paris and experience everything that you did :)

    I can’t wait to read about YOUR trip to Costa Rica!

  7. I’m so glad people were nice to you when you were there! I went when I was about 20 and people were sooo not that nice. I didn’t like Paris as much as I was expecting because of it – hopefully I’ll make it back someday and people will be nicer!

    Well that stinks!

    I read somewhere that people are nicer during the down season since there aren’t so many tourists NOT speaking French around. Maybe I just lucked out?

  8. so awesome. such a cute shot of you + the venus de milo :) it pays to do online research – i’ll have to remember that newspaper stand. hope jeremy had a great birthday!!

    If you go – let me know! I’ll see if I can remember any other helpful tips (although probably not).

  9. Pingback: Reflection of my 20s Part 2 « Charm City Kim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s