paris: part deux

Day 5: Saturday
– We spent the day walking le Champ d’Elysee. Popped into a few shops of interest. I enjoyed the big Adidas store, featuring some cool shoes, a huge selection of football jerseys and some Tony Parker stuff. Lauren enjoyed the Louis Vuitton store.
– Made our way to l’Arc de Triomphe and the tomb of the unknown soldier.
– Ate another crepe. The French know how to eat.
– We decided to head back to our flat and hang out at a cafe for a bit. It was nice to read, relax and warm up read. The coffee there was amazing. Lauren got a hot chocolate. Just a side note, but to order a plain black coffee in Paris was about 1 euro 30. A cup of tea? 4 euro 30! Weird.
– After supper, we hit a local hot spot, le Cafe du Commerce, for some wine, cheese and baguette. Very tasty.

@ l’Arc de Triomphe

Enjoying the French cafe life.

Day 6 – Sunday
– We were only booked into our flat for five nights, so we spent Sunday morning packing up and heading to our second accommodations. I had booked it on a hostel site, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was actually a hotel, with a nice big tub, TV [only CNN in English] and a kettle for making tea. Very cozy.
– That afternoon, we took the metro to Centre Pompidou, the big museum of modern art. The thing with this building is that it is meant to be an art piece on its own. It’s built inside out, with bright pipes, vents and air ducts on the outside and smooth concrete on the inside. Interesting. There was a guy outside doing speed painting, and he painted the famous picture of Che from behind the canvas, blindfolded, in about 5 minutes. Very impressive.
– We walked around the museum for a bit, saw the Hotel du Ville [city hall], and walked back to Notre Dame. We arrived as the Vespers service was going on. The priest had the incense going and people were in their seats praying. It was a bit odd because tourists like us could still come in, walk around and take pictures while the service was going on. It was amazing to see the inside when it was more lit up.
– We were so hungry we decided to eat at a place called Quality Burger, a very decent fast food alternative in Paris.


Fountains outside Pompidou.

Day 7: Monday @ the Louvre
– We decided to devote our last day to the Louvre.
– Took the metro, and while in line to have our bags checked when we arrived, we saw the famous inverted pyramid. A little book called The Da Vinci Code proposed that maybe the Holy Grail is buried under there, which is obviously a load of rubbish. But it was still cool to see.
– Great Paris moment. We are in line with the masses, literally hundreds if not thousands of people waiting to get tickets and start looking around. A lady approaches us and asks ‘Parlez vous Francais?’, to which I reply ‘Oui, un petit peu.’ She pulls out two day passes to the Louvre and offers them to us for free! Uhhhh…tres oui! I love it when stuff like that happens.
– We enter and head right for Mona Lisa. There are some many people that it’s impossible to get a good long look at her, but we now can say that we saw her. Smaller than you might think, but seeing this famous painting in real life was still pretty cool.
– Took a lunch break and went outside to take some pictures.
– Went back in and saw the Venus de Milo, Napoleon apartments and some great Egyptian artifacts.
– Much needed Starbucks Frappucino break.
– Basically, you can’t see the Louvre in one day or even one week. But we saw enough, an incredible collection of art.
– For our last night, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal. We were able to get a window seat at a nice restaurant, and enjoyed some great food [chicken for me, quiche for Lauren, and a strawberry tart for dessert] and a bottle of wine.
– On the way back to the hotel, we were holding hands and a [slightly intoxicated] man walks by and says ‘ah, vous etes amours!’, to which I enthusiastically replied ‘oui monsieur!’

Outside the Louvre

A night out in Paris

And c’est tous!

It was a tremendous week, one we will never forget. It was a different way to spend Christmas for sure; we were ready for some family time and a proper holiday when it was all over but alas, we will have to wait until next year. We do feel genuinely blessed to be able to travel at this time in our lives, and will always have some great memories from Christmas ’08.

Lauren and I are both posting pictures on facebook, and my first album is now at the top of the right column.

    • Sabrina
    • January 5th, 2009

    Awesome stuff Ian! Love the free tickets to the Louvre…that’s spectacular. I just can hardly believe you two are a world away. So pumped that you guys got to go adventuring…all in all, sounds like a fabulous getaway.

    Big hugs to you and the lady from us.


  1. Incredible is all I can say.
    Your pictures leave me wishing to be in a European cafe drinking espresso and reading a good book – somehow that is so much more elegant over there!

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