Is it possible to be exhausted and elated at the same time? We are. It's been a full day. Everyone is in bed now with sore feet and legs. My neck hurts from carrying around a heavy camera. Woe is us.........NOT!
We started out early this morning by taking the metro to begin our Cultural Day. It was a blue-sky day, perfect weather. Krista, Jeanie, KC, Pam, and I went to the Musee d'Orsay, with Elaine continuing on to the Louvre. I've visited the d'Orsay once before, and it remains my favorite. Although they now have a "no photographs" policy, and are currently undergoing some renovations, and things have been moved around a bit, it was still breathtaking to walk around and see paintings by Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh...the list goes on and on. We spent several hours enjoying these masterpieces, and ended up leaving Jeanie and KC, who were still looking, to visit the Museum of Decorative Arts, before meeting Elaine for lunch. I think this museum is not as well known. It is part of the Louvre, but is on the back side on Rue Rivoli, and has a separate admission and entrance. The Art Nouveau floor is stunning. We didn't have time to see everything, but plan to go back tomorrow.
Lunch was at Angelina, a restaurant known for its hot chocolate. Unfortunately, it was too hot to order any by the time we walked down there. We had a very good lunch, though.
Afterwards, on to E. Dilleron, the famous kitchen supply store where Julia Child purchased her copper pots and pans. It's kind of a tiny warehouse of a store, with everything piled helter skelter. We spent a few dollars/Euros there, and then hunted out the nearby metro to get back to our hotel.
Unfortunately, we got a little sidetracked looking at a few more shops, and ended up barely making it back in time to change for the O-Chateau champagne cruise that we'd booked for 6 pm. Back to the metro we ran, heading north toward the Eiffel tower. We were late, late, late, but so were they, so it worked out perfectly. The cruise down the Seine was lesiurely and relaxing (good thing, since we were practically having heart attacks by the time we got there). Our host (no, Nancy, Olivier was not there) poured three different champagnes, all very good. The view was gorgeous and we went past beautiful buildings, the d'Orsay, Notre Dame, many landmarks. Just going underneath the historic bridges was a treat in itself.
By then it was time for dinner, and we ate at a nearby cafe. We're actually getting sick of frites and desserts, at this point, but expect to be back to normal by tomorrow. Dinner was good, and afterwards we took a cab back to our hotel. We were SO tired and our feet hurt SO much that we didn't wait to see the Eiffel Tower light up for the evening. What party poopers!
Pam slid down into her bathtub on accident while trying to soak her feet, soaking her pajamas instead. She knocked on our door, and when we opened it, she was bent over laughing so hard she was practically crying. Nothing like exhaustion, too much walking, and sore feet to knock you on your butt at the end of the day! We did have some cold packs (thanks, Foster!) which we cracked open and put on everyone's feet as we sat on our beds so I could download photos.
Tomorrow, Elaine, Krista and I have a cooking class from 3 to 5 pm. I think we are going back to the Museum of Decorative Arts in the morning since we didn't have time to see everything there today, and then head down to the Tuilleries to see the Orangerie, which comes highly recommended by my friend, Constance. I don't know what else the day will bring.
If anyone is planning a trip to Paris, I would highly recommend making it two weeks instead of one! In the meantime, here are some photographs from the day...dogs, street sights, museums, food porn...all the good stuff. Enjoy!