European Adventure: Paris Day 4 & 5

Day 4 in Paris was our last day of major sight seeing. We needed to wake up early though, to try to beat out some of the crowds, to the Louvre. I knew the Louvre housed the Mona Lisa, some Da Vinci and Monet pieces, but I was not expectation SO many other artifacts, sculptures and paintings. It is, by far, the most amazing museum I have ever been to, and I feel like I only saw a fraction of it. It is definitely on my list to tour again, the next time I am in Paris (and I definitely want to return to Paris!).

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We arrived at the Louvre early enough and were one of the first people in line. We knew we would make a beeline for the Mona Lisa, which generally has a crowd throughout the day.

We went straight to the Mona Lisa when the museum opened. We wanted to see it, pretty much to say we saw it. It was…small, and a little unremarkable. I am glad we saw it first thing, because later on there was a huge crowd.

IMG_2143Then we set off to explore the museum. We started off in the ancient civilization sections and worked our way up to ancient Egypt, before we took a lunch break. The artifacts were absolutely astounding. We were looking at tools, statues, jewelry and relics that were thousands of years old! We also saw portions of temples and palaces that were still remarkably intact.

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After lunch, we went to the Napoleonic apartments. Not only is the Louvre an amazing museum, but it was also the site of the former palace, before it was moved to Versailles. Not only are there amazing things to see all around you, but the building itself is a work of art.

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After looking at the apartments and medieval section, we begin exploring the Italian section. There was so much to take in, but my favorite paintings were by Giovanni Pannini. This was a series of so many paintings, within the painting. He replicated not only paintings, but sculptures and sites all around Rome and Paris. 100_2997 100_2999

At this point, we had been at the museum for over 6 hours. Even though there was so much we would have liked to explore, we had passed the threshold for a 9 year old’s museum interest. He actually behaved remarkably well and seemed genuinely interested in some of the artifacts (but not so much the paintings).

We decided to return back to Tuileres gardens to relax and let the kid roam free, without his hands behind his back and having to whisper (as he did very well throughout the whole museum). He ran amok at the playground, and we planted in the cafe with beer and fries, to talk about all the amazing things we had seen.

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After a few hours, we took the metro to the Bastille district. We explored the colorful neighborhood until we found a bar to plant and watch some of the game.

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Eventually, we made our way back to our neighborhood for a quick dinner, then sleep! We were pretty exhausted at this point from all the early mornings, walking and sight seeing.

The next morning was the first morning in Paris that we did not have to be up early! We slept in blissfully.

I REALLY wanted to take a yoga class at a studio at some point during this vacation. I saw a studio on Yelp when we were in Rome, but was never able to find it. We set off that morning to find one a few miles from our apartment in Paris. My phone only worked at our apartment, were we had Wi-Fi, so we pulled up the map from there and figured out what metro stop to exit from. We made our way to the address and when we got there…it was a Chinese restaurant. We re-traced our steps, re-checked the address, but alas, there was no yoga studio. Since my phone did not work, I could not pull up the map or look anything up, so after searching a bit more, we abandoned the mission. I really did want to experience taking a class in another country, and hopefully, I will get that opportunity someday.

We set off to enjoy our last day in Paris. It was incredibly bittersweet to walk the streets on the final day, before returning back to America. I knew I needed to visit one of the many pastry shops to buy my mom a treat, straight from Paris.

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We continued to savor the city and eventually made our way to Pere LeChais to visit the final resting places of a few noteables.

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Oscar Wilde

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Gertrude Stein

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Edith Piaf

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Jim Morrison

We then made the long journey back to our neighborhood, for a final European dinner. We ended up eating at an Italian restaurant, and I savored my last bit of European wine and pasta.

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We sadly made our way back to our apartment, to pack up and be ready for another early and epic day of travel.

We woke up around 3 AM, to catch a cab at 4 AM, to get to the airport. Once we finally boarded, some of us were in better moods than others.

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We flew about two hours and landed in London. We had a two hour layover and found some delicious, healthy food. I had not realized how much I missed green juice until I drank this.

IMG_2182Soon enough, we boarded again for the long, ten hour flight back to LA.

IMG_2185 The flight made me crazy, but there was nothing remarkably wrong with it. I was just tired and claustrophobic. My backpack barely survived the final leg of the trip.

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R.I.P.

We made our way home and gave our puppies huge hugs. It was wonderful to sleep in our own bed that night, but it has been a difficult adjustment back to America. I had an amazing time on our vacation and feel in love with different portions of European and international life.

I appreciate you following along on this journey with me! I hope you enjoyed seeing all the pictures and reading about my experience.

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