Hello Again. It’s the Kunkels with Paris part 2. After our top of the world experience at the Eiffel Tower it was off to the Louvre the next day in the pouring rain. Five euros got us an audio tour on a Nintendo play set. It was awesome and hit all of the major masterpieces including Venus de Milo (aka Aphrodite) and the Mona Lisa (small painting, big splash, especially when it was stolen, has her own armed guard now!) One of our favorite scandals involves Napolean. Apparently Mama Napolean was not happy with Josephine’s coronation and decided not to attend. No worries, Napolean had her painted in (#firstphotoshopever) and also added a Roman Emperor that looked like clergy for good measure that wasn’t really there either.
Speaking of clergy, after the Louvre, which you could spend days in, it was off to Notre Dame Cathedral. It was absolutely magnificent and majestic. We were struck by the number of people that see it, and take a selfie (they sell selfie sticks everywhere) and then walk away without ever going inside! So strange and yet I wonder how many times we do that in different ways in our own lives, in our faith, in the decisions we make—we get right up to the gate and never venture inside. We risk missing so much that life has in store for us! #chooseyourlife #takeatriptoEurope We had the good fortune of catching some of the daily mass while we were there and although we don’t speak French, Alleluia is universal!
Just down the road a piece and over a bridge from the cathedral is a quiet little neighborhood that was recommended to us. Much like we try to support locally owned businesses in Rochester, NY, we tried to find a mom and pop restaurant off the beaten path. We were not disappointed. We actually found a mom and son shop that only fit 25 people and the food was absolutely delicious. Some people were born to cook! #notmygift
The next adventure brought another church, Sacre Secour (Sacred Heart), north of Paris, which was a tad bit smaller, so it’s considered a basilica and gives an awesome view of the city. Just as beautiful to see and the nearby neighborhood was eclectic and fabulous. It’s made up of little shops (gifts, pastries, cheese and such) and there are artists everywhere, not only selling their pictures but others who offer to do your portrait. Bob and I decided that we know what we look like, so we picked out a beautiful watercolor painting that was actually the place we stopped for some wine and mixed charcuterie. From there we ventured to Moulin Rouge and decided that the walk from MonMarte to that neighborhood was much better than the destination itself especially when we stopped to have a beignet.
Our final stop was the Champ Elisee, a famous arch built to symbolize the victories in the French Revolution and Napoleanic wars and eventually was used for the parade that followed the liberation of France after World War I. (apparently a bi-plane actually flew through it?) Being there makes European history come to life and I can’t help but think about Les Miserables too. Such a contrast now as the shops are extremely high end. You can rent a bike in Paris for 2 Euros for 2 hours or you can go here and rent a Lamborgini for 90 euros, 20 minutes.
So much to see and do. Paris has been a joy and our MUG tour a success. We are off to see what Rome has in store for us! Au Revoir!
Go to Europe when you are young enough to run after a bus. (#bobadvice) That beautiful watercolor I mentioned? It was left behind. We realized it as soon as we got off the Metro Bus and Bob took off. I have never seen him run so fast. He wasn’t able to catch the bus at the next stop light, so apparently, he ran with the bus through the intersection which I couldn’t see as it was all bordered by hedges. I lost sight of him and only hoped he wasn’t passed out somewhere. I eventually found him across the street sitting down with the blue bag. My hero. When you come to our house, and see the picture on the wall, please be sure to raise a glass to Bob.
Everyone and their mother smokes. Even more ride motorcycles and some ride motorcycles while smoking. They make their own lanes in between the cars and somehow no one gets hurt.
Chocolate Chip Crossiants do not have calories. That’s what I told myself each day I had one for breakfast.