Friday, November 30, 2012

Le Honeymoon, Day 4

Day four of our honeymoon was our last full day in Paris. We had art on the docket, and so to the Louvre we walked. I didn't know this beforehand, but the Louvre actually began as a palace that was built in the twelfth century. It's been expanded a lot since then, obviously, and now it is the most visited museum in the world.

And, it feels that way. Walking around outside the museum, around the art, and in one of the museum's cafes is like a world tour; it's really obvious that people from _all_ over the world are visiting the museum.

A view of that famous triangle, and David pondering something really deep near it:

A view of one wing of the museum:

The glass triangle is actually where you enter the museum, and once inside, you buy tickets in the lobby beneath it.

Once we were inside and had purchased our tickets, I stood in line for twenty minutes to use the ladies room. Yah. Twenty minutes. That was nothing, however, to how long David had to wait for a snack at one of the museum cafes. He was still waiting when I got done in the bathroom.

We had two English Breakfast teas. I also had some apricot yogurt and David had some mediocre pizza. Back to that tea a moment, however. For some reason we kept getting really good English Breakfast tea. I mean, it was remarkable fruity and flavorful, but I've no idea why!

After our snack, we headed to some of the many wings of the museum. We didn't have really strong feelings about things that we needed to see, besides the obvious, i.e. the Mona Lisa. So, we wandered. We saw lots of European art from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century.

We saw the Venus de Milo:

Which was quite lovely in person. I hate to be that angsty Eating Disorder girl, but it was refreshing to see so many sculptures and paintings with fuller women. I mean, real women rather than 21st century model/anorexic women. It was a nice reminder that women's bodies, historically, are meant to be fuller, rounder, less angular and bony. (Or maybe I was just glad that I had an excuse for eating all those croissants and full-fat yogurts.)

Speaking of women, we also saw the Mona Lisa. Duh. The ML is, of course, a major draw, and even in the off-season of November the room housing the ML was quite full, with a large group of people crowded around it.

The crowd wasn't too surprising. What did surprise me was how small the painting is. I'm not sure if that comes across in the picture above, but take my word for it--it's pretty small, especially for all that fuss.

With that, I'll leave off the Louvre. It was a necessary stop on a trip to Paris, but to be honest, I don't really enjoy walking around and looking at artwork for hours and hours. Two hours, sure. But more than that and it all starts blending together for me, especially because all of the plaques next to the paintings were in French and they were out of the audio guides that would've given us English descriptions of the art.

Before leaving the museum, we did have our only negative interaction with a French person. It happened while we were riding an elevator to see the Mona Lisa. We were in the elevator with a family with a small child in a stroller, and naturally David and I started smiling at the kid and trying to make her smile with funny faces. Bad move, apparently, because the mom saw us, looked right at us, and actually rolled her eyes and scoffed. I am sympathetic to _some_ criticisms leveled at Americans by other countries, including France, but this really riled up my American pride. It was the quintessential French-American discord: silly Americans and haughty French, and I have to say it really irritated me.

As a result, I was forced to assuage my anger with pizza for dinner. Luckily we found a nice pizza place near our apartment. If the pizza hadn't been good, the decor might have made up for it:

We started with a beer and wine, as well as a green salad and some minestrone:

Even the random table bread they give you is ahhhhmazing! 

For dinner David ordered a cheese free veggie pizza. Boooooring!

I thought I ordered a caprese pizza. But what I got was a cheese pizza. 

Luckily, the cheese in France is sooooooo good. Like, unbelievably good. I really can't explain it other than to say that the cheese on this pizza, and on several other things I ate while there, tasted more like cheese than the cheese we have here. It's like someone took regular cheese and then made it taste more cheesy. OMG. Memories. Cheese memories.

A nice post-dinner walk to temper all that cheese:

And our time in Paris was over!

Up next: the trip to Annecy, France!

*Do you like going to art museums? (i.e. are you a Philistine like me or are you cultured?)


  1. This post makes me want to eat yogurt and go to the art museum. I have all these grand plans of culturing my kid and taking P there, but I am pretty sure a one year old just wants to climb on the furniture and NOT stare at artwork he can't touch. It also makes me think I need to start putting glass over the art on our walls. I mean, that watercolor red pepper I got off Etsy for 15 bucks might be worth something someday. Not to mention my beloved peacock.

    That snooty French mom is going to raise a snooty French baby and the cycle will go on forever.

    1. I didn't see many one year olds at the Louvre. I'd say that's better saved until they are adolescents and they can grasp how freaking lucky they are if their parents are able to take them on vacation to Paris. Our family vacations were always to Las Vegas, for example:-)
      What is Etsy, anyway? I'm going to look that up later.

    2. Well, I meant our local art museum. Mike hates to fly so I doubt Paris is on our to-do list.

      YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT ETSY is?????? Crazy. It's handmade and vintage stuff for sale by individuals all over the world. A craft community if you will. For instance if you wanted a felt cheeseburger you could find it there. Or jewelery. Or scarves. Or a custom painting of your dog. There is a wide variety of useful and completely ridiculous items there. You can buy fake food that looks like real food. I want a fake spilled wine glass to set on the floor to creep people out when they visit. I mean, who wouldn't really?

    3. Whoa, okay, I looked up this Etsy business. And you're right--it's pretty cool! Perhaps I'll get my own spilled glass of wine to leave around, though I wonder that Haruki might chew on it...
      Going to look at the scarves section now!