Thursday, May 17, 2012

17 May, Thursday: Museums, macarons, shopping and a missed play

Thursday, 17 May:  Day 2 of our Museum Pass.  We decided to start off with the Orangerie.  Took the Metro to Tuileries and walked through the garden.  Niece and I stopped for a spell in the reclining chairs; love those! 

Could hang in these reclining chairs all day...
Stood in line at the Orangerie for a few minutes then through security and flashed the pass to bypass the ticket buying line.  We were in Monet’s garden again: stupendous!  On our previous two trips, this museum was closed for renovation. So glad it was open this time.  Gorgeous paintings in a perfect setting.  I confess tears came to my eyes.  We all loved it and didn’t want to leave.  I think it was even more special for having seen the actual gardens that are represented in the paintings and the house where the artist lived and worked.  Hubby and I have been to the Marmottan and loved it too but this was extra special.

No pictures of the Monets at the Orangerie
We left, reluctantly, after a making some purchases in the gift shop.  Niece and I were headed to Laduree on rue Royale for macarons while hubby would have some free time at the Louvre.  We would meet up at 130pm for the guided tour at 2pm.   

The flowers were blooming in the Tuileries Garden

Hubby got into Le Louvre without waiting,
through the Pyramid entrance

The Medieval Louvre

Hubby enjoyed the Egyptian rooms

Look up: it was a palace before it was a museum

Amazing rooms for amazing treasures

Walking to Laduree was great—the streets were busy, the stores were gorgeous, the people pretty fashionable. Laduree did not disappoint. It is a super cute tea room and the waiter was great. The coffee and macarons were delicious. Salted Caramel was the favorite. We bought some to go, after all hubby hadn’t had a snack, and made our way back to the Louvre. I was impressed that I navigated us back without problems—hubby is the navigator; I’m the planner!

Rick Steves guided us to a side entrance where we could flash our Museum Passes and that worked out great; no lines, no waiting. We met up with hubby to find out that there were no guided tours today. Bummer. After he had a snack in the café, we grabbed a map and the Rick Steves and off we went. It was very crowded in the popular galleries (Venus de Milo; Winged Victory; Mona Lisa) but not bad elsewhere—The Apollo Room was incredible but we all petered out by time we got to the religious art and Flemish art rooms. It was time to make our way out of Le Louvre after having scratched less than a smidge of its surface. This was my third time at this massive, beautiful museum and I still find it so overwhelming. This was the most crowded I’ve experienced it which didn’t help matters. I know I’ll be back but next time during the low season!

Venus de Milo

Having fun posing like the statues

Winged Victory

The gorgeous Apollo Room

King Louis XIV's Crown Jewels

La Jaconda--small, dark and way too popular!

The impressive Wedding at Cana

David's Coronation of Napoleon

The Louvre is immense

Love the sculpure garden

One of us is better at posing!

We survived Le Louvre!

Niece’s favorite store is H&M and there’s not one anywhere near where we live (New Orleans). So I found one on the Champs Elysees and there we headed. Great store, we both had a good time for a couple of hours and ended up spending a few euros. She could have stayed until closing but we had plans for the night: the play, How to Become Parisian in One Hour, at 8:30pm. 

Very crowded on the Champs Elysees

While we shopped at H&M, hubby explored the
more expensive options on Champs Elysees

We hurried back to the apartment to refresh and have quick dinner of sandwiches. We took a taxi to Theatre de la Main d’Or only to discover that I had the wrong night: our tickets were for Wednesday, not Thursday. There was no performance on Thursday (or Friday). We took down the number planning to call and try to get in on Saturday (but that didn’t work out either). I felt terrible, what a waste of money and time, and yes my loved ones made fun of me... We went to a nearby bistro (Le Bistro de Paris, I think) and had drinks before wandering around the area, window shopping. We came upon an Amorino near the Bastille and enjoyed two delicious scoops each (me, chocolate and coffee, my favorite flavors!).   

We stopped to see the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero and got back to the apartment around 1130pm.  Other than the play, it had been another great day in Paris!

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