Sunday, May 15, 2011

Springtime in Paris- Day 3 (Part 1)...

Day 3 in Paris started at the luxuriously late hour of noon. That is how late we slept in to shake off the jet lag and get on with having fun that wasn't clouded over with the need for sleep and the symptomatic grumpiness that goes with it.  It was, however, actually cloudy outside.

We slept with the windows open and were probably continuously lulled to sleep throughout the morning by the sprinkling rain that continued through most of the day, but didn't ruin a bit of our fun.

The fun started with a long lunch at a cafe conveniently located across the street from the street exit of the metro.  Here we tucked into some yummy French onion soup and then we ate even more food. I of course drank a Monaco or two and Justin had beer(s).
Delicious French Onion Soup.
Justin's fishbowl of beer and my delightfully pink Monaco.
While dining another group of four Americans (a husband and wife, her mom and her best friend) were seated next to us and the husband and the wife spoke good French.  (At least to my naive ears.) I guess Justin and I were talking about something and they were eavesdropping on us as much as we were eavesdropping on them because the wife asked us if we had any questions about something related to the meal. The wife also might have seen my brightly colored-tourist book that is hard to disguise.  

This of course led to the kind of polite chitchat that Justin barely tolerates. But all in all it was a nice casual conversation.  She applauded our efforts at tipping saying it can make a difference, especially when you live in a town as small as her (they lived about 4 hours from Paris and you always go to the same place day after day).  My line of thought here is that we are never going back to these places, so there is no need to to secure good service for a return visit that is not going to happen.  Again, I would have rather come back with another purse than have tipped the equivalent all over France and Italy.  Who knew Justin was the one with the heart?!

The husband asked if we were traveling with a group or on our own.  When Justin replied on our own, this man gave us way more credit than cautious planners like us deserve.  It was seriously as if we were taking our lives into our own hands and should have considered traveling with firearms for our safety.  We thought of our friends David and Courtney and the fact that they would go to places with no prior arrangements for overnight accommodations and again refuted his admonishments of our bravery in going at this big bad world all alone. 
When you travel as a pair you take advantage of creative ways to get the both of you in one shot. Thank you mirror.
After we completed this incredibly lazy meal we packed up and braved the elements of the sprinkling rain to head over to Musée de l'Armée and Les Invalides where Napoleon's tomb is for everyone to ooh and ah over for the ages. 
Me in front of the cobblestone walkway leading to Musée de l'Armée.
Justin on the same walkway.
Classic self portrait.
It's amazing what kind of sculptures adorn the outside of their buildings.
Walkway in Musée de l'Armée.
This place wouldn't be complete without a tank.
That cannon means business.
I'm not even half its size.
The view of Les Invalides from Musée de l'Armée
The doors to Les Invalides.
Justin putting up with my demands that he pose too.
One of the tombs.
I love the blue glow in this shot.
The ceiling in Les Invalides.
The altar with people front of it for perspective.
Even this place has some stained glass.
It's a big tomb for a little man. Napoleon's resting place.
After this, and a bandage adjustment (seriously my little toes were hating me. All. The. Time.) we headed over a couple of blocks to Musée Rodin to see The Thinker in action.  
The Thinker with Les Invalides in the background.

The masterpiece up close.
The Thinker's incredibly toned rear is the up close and personal side.
I'm studying it intensely.  I think I was really hoping Justin would suggest we sit on that bench for a few minutes. That didn't happen.
Bonus points if you can name this for me.
We also saw The Gates of Hell.  I think Justin made some naturally snarky remark about it the gates leading into married life or something along those lines.
It is really amazing up close and personal.
More of Rodin's Work.
There was also this statue of Victor Hugo.  The French love them some Victor Hugo.
This man was in shape.
I think this is one of the original entrances to the courtyard surrounding the grounds.
After trying to appreciate the art without the aid of Rick Steve's we decided we were ready to see the city from a higher vantage point. The Arc de Triomphe.

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