Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Paris: Last tango

The tempo of the first half the trip caught up with us today. We slept in a bit and headed out on foot after breakfast.

Our first stop was the Notre Dame cathedral:

We did a quick walk-through to admire the stained glass:

and to light a candle for a friend:

We had planned on stopping at St. Chappelle, too, but the line was crazy-long, so we took a pass. Instead we mozied back to the left bank to look at the Institut de France, home of the Alliance Francaise:

From there, we crossed the river again, this time in the direction of the Louvre. We stopped along the bridge to take pictures of the "love locks" that people place on the fencing before throwing the key into the water below:

At the Louvre, I took a picture of this cute little girl:

Annabelle says she is probably saying, "Free the leash kids!"

We did my usual "Look, kids! Big Ben! Parliament!" tour of the Louvre.

Venus de Milo!

Winged Victory!

Mona Lisa!

Other notable sights in the Louvre included the HUGE painting that is featured on the cover of Annabelle's AP European History textbook:

Annabelle duking it out with a cherub:

And this rather odd painting featuring a monkey, a dog, and a cherub:

I was crushed to discover as we walked back to the hotel that the Samaritaine department store (on whose rooftop the kids wrote postcards to their friends in Texas back in 2003) has gone out of business:

I did get a couple of interesting pictures along the way though. I liked this guy sitting in the window for a smoke break:

And if the leash kids need freeing, the lawn gnomes need it even more:

We got back to the hotel after stopping for a crepe (at a different stand, but don't tell Casanova!) and hibernated for a couple of hours before heading out in search of supper. We wound up in a cozy little restaurant in the Latin Quarter where we enjoyed a pot of cheese fondue. Afterward we stopped at our usual place for one last crepe and a final flirtation with Annabelle's crepe stand boyfriend, whose name turned out to be Laramie.

Germany tomorrow!

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