Bonjour once more, Bennett again with a recap of jour cinq in Paris. We started our day by going to the Orsay Museum, which mainly displays art from 1700s-"Modern" art times. It has masterpieces from Van Gogh, Rodin, Renoir, Manet, Degas, and many others. However, you won't see many photos of them here because photography is tabou there. The Orsay is a converted train station, and I think it worked wonderfully as a museum. It had a large, open feel to it that made it easy to navigate and experience. We really enjoyed our time there, and decided afterwards to get some fresh air at the Rodin museum.
We hopped a metro, and we had a little extra time to grab some coffee so we went to a coffee shop recommended by Rick Steves (Our guardian angel travel expert for this whole trip, we can't rec his book strongly enough). The coffee shop was excellente and one of the best cups we have ever had, thanks Rick (praise be upon him).
Next we strolled down to the Rodin museum and met up with our friends Al & B. The Rodin museum is actually an outdoor garden area with sculptures from the famous, including The Thinker and The Gates of Hell. It is a perfect spot to have a picnic or lounge around, and only costs 1 euro if you just want to chill in the gardens. We enjoyed ourselves and then decided to take a little break before meeting at our next destination-The Lover's bridge. The bridge in French is called l'aventechere and is an old, smallish bridge connecting Notre Dame to the south banks of the Siene. The placing of locks was not seen until quite recently and seems to have started by word of mouth and imitation more than any tradition or story about love. So, armed with a lock and key, Allison and I found one of the few remaining spots and tossed the key into the river. Al and B also joined in, and it was a fun reminder of how lucky we were to be in Paris with our loved ones.
Then, we went to the ultra posh and trendy shopping area of Paris--Champs-Élysées (pronounced like shanhz-ay lee zay Allison gave up on that pretty quickly and settled with "champs") for a nightcap. Champs also has the Arc de Triomphe which is quite the end cap for the glitzy boulevard. Luckily for me, and unluckily for Allison, the stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Prada were closed. So, we stopped and had another great dinner with Al and B and walked back down the twinkling boulevard at night.
here - Bennett and I are passing back my blogging app on our flight
home. Our friends Al and B had to leave for their next
destination on their Europe tour and it was sad to see them leave. They
were great travel companions. I am lucky to have a friend like Al who will dance
with me on the top of Notre Dame, will sing P. Diddy and the theme song
to Step by Step while running down stairs at the sites of Paris, and is
always up for gelato and a cappuccino accompanied by deep conversation
with lots of laughs. (Check out her blog Her Bearings here - it is really great!) I am also lucky to have a friend like B, an
expert on the law, who offered to help me file a restraining order or
other such actions if anyone messed with me in my new home of Iowa City
during a lively conversation on standing up for myself. Glad he has my back!
One of the nice things about staying on Paris for a week is that we didn't have to rush to see everything. As Rick Steve's puts it, we could take the 'unhurried approach' to travel. In the last five days we had managed to hit all of Rick Steve's 'must-sees'. So today we slept in a bit and after Bennett researched brunch in Paris, we continued our Sunday Brunch tradition at a cafe down the street. The brunch was not only good, it was inspiring. There was a variety of everything on the plate and I kept thinking about how when I go home I will be obsessed with espresso, crepes, and bread as it is served at every meal. Whenever I think of Paris from now on, I will think of a baguette. In the words of Al - "Is this real life? Everyone seriously is carrying around a fresh baguette with them." After one of the best brunches we expert brunches have had, we decided to see what shopping options were open on Sundays - there were no options open- sigh.
So we made the most of the beautiful weather by taking a river cruise of all
of attractions in Paris. We left by the Eiffel Tower and went under 22
bridges on the tour. It was beautiful to be on the water and learn more about the history of the city. On the cruise we saw a people having a picnic
along the river and dancing. We thought that looked like fun and decided we would go get food and picnic by the water. On the walk home to get food, however, I stubbed my toe so
hard it started bleeding everywhere and Bennett and to go to the
pharmacy to get bandages for me. We ended up eating in our room because
it hurt me to walk alot. We still had fun eating
our bread and quiches from the bakery next to our apartment in our room while watching TV. It felt
like we actually lived there.