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|
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...)|
|I found Notre Dame to be a bit creepy, to be honest...|
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!