After five days of uncharacteristically HOT and gorgeous weather (well above 75 degrees), there was a very cold front that suddenly moved into Paris. It just so happens that this was the morning that Ellie slept in (fabulous!) and so we ended up getting off to a very lazy late start to our day and pretty much maintained this slow-moving pace the rest of the day. After the dizzying pace at which we had been going since we left S.F., it was actually nice to have a day of SLOWNESS. The cold, wet weather was the perfect excuse to hit the museum circuit. And, truly, there's really no appreciating the art within if you are rushing by each exhibit. So the timing of our slow moving pace was absolutely perfect.
We metro'd (yes, that's a verb I just invented, work with me here) our way down to the Louvres. However, the lines were wrapping around city blocks and the hugeness of the Louvres made me decide to skip it with Ellie this year. Too much. Too overwhelming. And not all that interesting to a 6 year old. Instead, we walked on down to the Musee D'Orsay where we discovered more crazy lines. Apparently, the weather had made everyone decide that today would be a great day for the museums. Doh!
So, off we walked to our third destination, which was the ONE museum I really really really wanted to take Ellie anyways, and the one I knew would not have big lines: The Musee Rodin. I love this museum. It's a half indoor, half outdoor museum. Very small. Very lovely. And contains gorgeous sculptures from one of my favorites: Rodin. I never tire of going to this museum. And I knew Ellie would love it. Sculptures are really fun for kids and Ellie decided right then and there that she would try to do a replicate of every pose we encountered, which was a really fun and interactive game she was able to play while enjoying the museum. As expected, the lines were super short for this not very well known museum and as a bonus, I was able to buy us a discounted combo pass to the Musee D'Orsay at the same time which meant we could then hop back to the Musee D'Orsay and bypass all the lines for that one too! SCORE!
Ellie loved the Musee Rodin and we had lunch at their little cafeteria. Quite lovely. We then walked down to the shopping district nearby and went to a really fabulous kid clothing store called Du Pareil Au Meme that has SUPER cute clothes. I got Gavin a really awesome, warm, super soft PJ set and Ellie a ridiculously cute frenchie outfit. I went to a shoe store called Januk and bought myself a really cute pair of calf boots that I LOVE LOVE LOVE. This was my special treat for me! Then, we metro'd back to the Musee D'Orsay, skipped the lines, woohoooo, and got to check out the fabulous impressionist exhibit which Ellie actually enjoyed. She loves art, which, naturally, makes my heart melt. I could have definitely stayed there much longer but she had already done one museum and some shopping and so we kept our stay at the Musee D'Orsay to about an hour and left just as the rain was starting to really come down. We took the faster RER train back home much earlier than we had been getting home the prior 5 days. This allowed Ellie and Manon to play for 3 hrs while I got all our packing and organizing done, cleaned up the room we were in, and got the dinner table set and prepped everything for Agnes so she could enjoy a somewhat NON frenzied home-from-work evening. Agnes and I enjoyed another late night of listening to great music, enjoying chocolate and wine, and having fabulous conversations.
Of all the things we did in Paris, I think my late night chit-chat sessions with Agnes are the thing I miss the most. Well, MAYBE the chocolate croissant comes first, but it's really neck and neck.... I usually spend all my evenings at home sitting at the computer either editing or working on business related stuff and I had completely forgotten how nice it is to just relax and decompress in the evening and step away from work. Since coming home I have made (and maintained) the commitment to allow myself 2 nights per week OFF from the computer. It's been one of the greatest things ever. I've been able to actually FINISH a book I started (The Book Thief by Zusak - HIGHLY recommend), watch some mindless but funny TV (House, Modern Family, Raising Hope), start going through my pile of stacked magazines, and just CHILL OUT. I definitely feel I came back from this vacation with a renewed sense of wanting to get my life back. As important as my career is to me and is to our family budget, I am recognizing that I need downtime. I definitely need LESS computer time. I need MORE quality time with my kids. WE need together time. There's just too much rush-rush-rush. And granted, there's only so much I can do about that. After all, I run a full time business, volunteer at my kids school every week, do charity work and have a house to run, but still, I am determined to slow things down a bit. As a side note, I may get a little unexpected help in that department seeing as my visit at the doctor's office today confirmed a very possible torn meniscus in my knee from my fall-off-the-cliff incident. I have an MRI scheduled bright and early at 5:45am tomorrow morning. Crossing my fingers I don't need surgery!!!
Here are just a few pictures from Day 6 below. REMEMBER: These are images from a POINT AND SHOOT camera.