Saturday, February 26, 2011

paris day 2

Well, we started day 2 by stepping into a beautiful pink Parisian morning.
Consulting the Metro map to figure out how to get to our hotel

Right at our Metro stop there was a great market already up and going.
Cans of foie gras. I've been wanting to try this stuff for years. I loved it in sample size, but it was very rich, I couldn't eat a lot of it.
All sorts of sausages. We ended up buying some to give Jacob's brothers, but we declared it at customs and so it was taken away. So mad/sad but lessons learned I guess.
Just one example of the hundreds of pastry shop windows we stopped and drooled at.
Same with the baguette/pizza/quiche displays. We ate this for lunch almost everyday. My favorite was butter, salami and cornichon (pickle) baguette. Jacob's favorite was whatever I was eating, as usual :)
Long view of market.
Our Hotel St Jacques on the left. The Domed building in the background is the Pantheon. Since it was too early to check into our hotel when we arrived, they let us store our luggage and we were off to explore. We headed to the Pantheon first since it was so close. The Pantheon is very cool. It doesn't have as much of that Old World feel, maybe because it is so light and almost airy inside. Some of the highlights: enormous paintings, sculptures, Foucault's pendulum and the semi-creepy crypt. Jacob said over and over, "My dad would really like this place."
Big doors, little Jacob

Going down into the crypt. Lots of famous Parisians are buried there like Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. It was crazy down there, low ceilings and a maze of tombs and statues but no cobwebs. It was very clean.
There were these really cool metal wreaths on some of the tombs. They looked as if they had been there a very long time. The ones with the glass domes had pressed flowers and stuff under them. I loved them. All of that intricate metal was speaking to me.

Pantheon paintings and columns.
Jacob taking a little rest.
The first of many churches we stopped into during our time in Paris. This one was particularly interesting though because of all the 16 year-old looking, chic dressed in black, smoking or making out college students sitting on the steps eating lunch. I loved every one of them.
We decided to take a picture of this cute couple. Tacky, I know, but I'm sure they didn't mind. We saw people kissing everywhere!

Time to check into our room and clean up a little. We had room #22, a good omen. My favorite number!

Nice mural painted on the wall.
Finally! A place to lay down. We were both pretty exhausted, even though I was pretending not to be.
Our cute little tub. I am not a bath person, but I adored taking a bath every morning in that little thing. Bathing is one of my favorite memories from our trip. Both of our hotels had these mini tubs.
All cleaned up and checking out the balcony.

Jacob was going wild about all of the motorcycles! He took a ton of pictures of all the different motorized vehicles. I'm saving them for their own post...

Ready to venture back out. That little Metro map was a life saver! I was the master of the Metro. I got us all around for 8 days with only a few missteps. Jacob loved not having to think about anything like that for so long. A true logistical vacation for him. I still have that map in my wallet. I can't bear to take it out.

Going underground. Jacob was obsessed with the Metro structurally.

Waiting for our train

Linner or dunch, that's what our kids call eating at 3pm. We were dunching on some excellent street food.
Another Pantheon shot from a different street.
Walking around. I loved the paintings in that art gallery.
Notre Dame, side view.
River walk. We talked every day about going for a ride on one of those boats. We never did. Maybe next time.

These roller-bladers were tearing it up near the Notre Dame.

One of my favorite statues in the city. Very intense William the Conqueror.
If Jacob EVER sees a pigeon in public, he goes for it. He catches one, puts it's head under the wing and swirls it in a circle. Voila! It's asleep! Usually a crowd gathers to watch the hypnotizing and they all stand amazed when it really works. This lady though, was not impressed. I think she thought he was going to hurt the pigeon somehow. She gave Jacob a good bilingual scolding.

Close-up details on the Notre Dame.

Beautiful rose window. Obviously my camera isn't doing any of this justice.
This was an unusually colorful nook? chapel? alcove? I searched the internet to find out what those things are called and I came up with nothing. In the cathedrals we visited, there was the main open area called the nave (I think). Then along the right and left sides there are these chapel areas dedicated to a particular saint. So if you love St. John extra or want to pray to him you can go to his own spot or on down the line to St Matthew or St Christopher and light a candle and sit or whatever. Since I'm not Catholic, I'm not sure I'm explaining correctly, but it is a beautiful idea and the chapels are really interesting.

Another side chapel/nook.

Tired Jacob.
If you look closely in the back middle you can see maybe 10 people back there. They were having a choir practice while we were there. Those 10 people singing filled the whole cathedral and it is immense. It was so beautiful.
Jacob wanted to confess but we didn't have time.

We made it to the Eiffel Tower. Jacob probably took 100 pictures of it as the sun went down and it became dark. Another Paris obsession for him. I was just happy he was enjoying himself so much. I only posted a couple of his pics.

There is a park at the base of the Eiffel Tower. This is looking away from the tower. Lots of people hanging out and picnicking.


Seine River at night.
Tower lit up
Jacob was the hat guy. He tried on all sorts of hats to make me laugh. This one was silver sequins. Oh Yeah!
After the Eiffel Tower we decided to get dinner on the Champs-Elysees. We started our evening stroll at the Arc de Triomphe.
There were indoor car lots/shops. Very cool. They had a club like atmosphere with loud music and lighting.
A little tired shopping never hurt anyone.
We ended the night with a crepe. Perfect!