Monday, May 2, 2016

So, Paris

I finally got to go to Paris. I used to joke around and tell my parents that I wanted to go to Paris every time they mentioned a trip... which always ended up in reality being going camping in the woods with scary outhouses to visit in the middle of the night where I imagined monsters would pull me down the 20ft drop to my death because my butt at 2AM was just the target they had been waiting for! Really, I never considered how little self-respect a monster would have to have to live in a 20ft deep outhouse in the middle of the woods. Had I done so, I imagine my fear would have been properly placed upon the mosquitoes who DID attack me every single time (which led to some very uncomfortable hikes.)

This time, however, I really DID get to go to Paris! We took the whole family, but a lot of this was for my daughter. She's turning 18 and graduating high school, so this was a sort of last hurrah with her still being my little (underage) girl. In other words, I could still ground her... or make her go with me to the Louvre.

We went all over the city! Even with a week there, we weren't able to do everything. There was still so much we missed... but here is a quick rundown of my photos, in random order (because that would take too much thinking). I decided to leave my good equipment at home and only took pictures with my iphone:

My son got sick, and stayed in a day or two, as did my daughter, so there was a "food emergency" trying to feed them. Luckily, we discovered a pizza place for them. My husband and I were very happy about that! An unfed teenager is a dangerous thing!

The Eiffel Tower was lit up in support of Brussels because of the bombing. It hadn't been very many days when we went.


My girl, and I

My husband and the kiddos

Makes you realize why the impressionists painted as they did, doesn't it?
Louvre, outside upper entrance. Note: buy a pass in advance. Standing in line for 90 minutes isn't fun.

I have a lot of paintings I loved from the Louvre, but here is one of my all-time favorites. He painted more than one, and they're stunning. Each painting in the painting is its own painting in its own right. Just mind boggling! Check it out:

Ancient Rome, by Giovanni Paolo Panini, 1757
I'd actually buy a canvas print of these if I could find a good source. It looks like a lot of people go and take a photo and then try to pass it off at a canvas print place online. Tricky-tricky... I'm doing my research. There's got to be a reputable place!

And of course, everyone asks and you kind of have to:

I have never liked the Mona Lisa. I will say, however, she is MUCH better in person. It doesn't matter what scan you have seen of it, or whatnot, it's just not the same. I still think it's just so-so. I have far more that I love, Mona would be at the back of the line for me!

Crepes! (boy, they like their nutella there...)
Sacré-Cœur, Paris.
I found Notre Dame to be a bit creepy, to be honest... 

This is apparently Saint Denis, who was decapitated and one story had him running off with his head for a couple of miles afterward. He's on the front of Notre Dame, but also ALL OVER Paris, if you pay attention. Even in the Louvre, there are paintings of him.

We waited the longest to get into the Paris Catacombs. That is a whole different experience. You know you are going to be seeing bones and stuff, you "get" that... but it's entirely different to stand in a corridor full of bones. These were people, SO MANY people (6 million down there, I'm told) and now... they're skull hearts and weird walls. It's shocking, even if you totally grasp what you are about to see.

We actually went even more places than I am showing here, met up with some online friends who are now in person friends, and so on! SO MUCH TO DO! 

On the last afternoon, we finished our trip by going back to the Eiffel. On the first night, my daughter was sort of accosted... I don't know how to put it, by one of the Rose Men. It's a long story, but it ended with her in tears, no one going up the tower, and me googling scams and thieves here. Which, by the way, YOU MUST do if you're going to visit. The pick-pocketing, scamming, theft, and more are out of control. Every where we went there were people trying something, it was really bad. Even on the trains - we saw one guy get mugged and the thief jumped off at the last second before the doors closed and took off. The begging is beyond shocking (and mostly also a scam, if you look into it) and so on. Paris is great, but go to it with your eyes wide open, and a firm hand on your wallet.

Anyway, my son and I were the only ones to go up the Eiffel on the last day, because my husband and daughter aren't too keen on heights. I loved it! 

This is a panoramic view from the first floor, not the top.

A storm moved in while we were up there:

But we did go to the very top! 

Paris was amazing, truly!


Lady K said...

And we hope to see you back soon Kyra. This tile you'll have your personnal tourguides ready for you! (Musee d'Orsay or Musée Rhodin, you pick!)
Anyway, I know that I already told you but great pictures!
Paris is full of paradox, and I know the beggars and thieves are not a great experience (we are -unfortunately- accustomed) but there are also great places and the French aren't all that bad. They may be even grow on ou with time ;-)
Bisous from France and Paris.

Brandon said...

Those catacombs bother me deeply, I'll save the spiel. Seems like a mostly nice trip. A nice final hurrah with the daughter.

Magic Love Crow said...

Congrats on your wonderful trip! I guess when you deleted your blog, the pictures went away! So, I couldn't see anything. But, I had to say congrats on getting to Paris with your family!