We had two full days in Paris.
And there was a lot to cover.
We hit the EIFFEL TOWER first that first night (last post), and then we got up bright and early to fit in as much as we could the next day.
NOTRE DAME was first.
Oh boy that thing didn't disappoint.
We watched Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame before we left...ok, well Lucy was really the only one who sat all the way through it...but it gave us a chance to talk about the history and get ready to take that thing in.
Did you know building begun in 1163 and that it took over 200 years to build?
Did you know that "Notre Dame" means "Our Lady" in French and the virgin Mary is the most prominent carving in the massive amounts of statues garnishing that famous place.
I don't have a good picture of the main Mary statue but here's one from the Internet:
I couldn't get enough of all the angles and details in all that stone.
I figured the story of St. Denis who was (the guy below who is carrying his own head) would captivate the kids but to keep it real, I don't know that they listened too well to that part. I thought it was pretty interesting though, see him below?
I love Rick Steves and all the little tid-bits he put into our Paris guide book so we could learn little details like that. That book was like our little travel bible over there in France.
We walked around to see the flying buttresses in the back (loved studying those in art history at Boston University), but first ran into "grumpy tourist."
Next we headed to CHAMPS ELYSEESSeine River. (We were there literally the day it stopped raining so it was pretty crazy.)
Lots of amazing architecture along the way.
Around every corner there was something interesting to see...Claire and I loved this cool old door:
We ate lunch at this great little sidewalk cafe on Champs Elysees where Lucy finally gave us her report she had worked on before we left home.
We went in and admired the beauty of the macaroons at Laduree:
And made it to the ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Get ready for it....
The "middles" and I took the stairs to see the view from the top:
While we were up there Elle and Dave stayed below to talk about that beautiful spot...
We maneuvered our way over there...
So, since Dave was pretty determined to get there, (and I LOVE that he was), we decided we'd just add it to our already stacked agenda the next day. It was gonna be an adventure!
Let's take a minute and talk about public transportation in France because it was awesome and so easy to maneuver (except the next day when we hit the portion that was closed because of the flooding...but more about that later).
By the time we left we knew that metro system pretty darn well.
Lucy was a pro at putting her ticket in the slot and walking through with such confidence she made us all laugh.
Love that there are still a few of these great old art-nouveau stations in Paris that I remember from visiting when I was a teenager:
We headed up to the Montmartre area of town to visit the basilica of SACRE COEUR in all it's glory.
Montmartre is the highest part of Paris which makes Sacre Coeur stand out even more.
The light was coming through like this when we were there.
And the lawn in front was such a perfect spot for lounging and taking in all that beauty.
...and also for taste-testing our French macaroons we had picked up near the Musee D'Orsay.
After soaking in that gorgeous evening up there we headed back to our apartment, stopping first at this little French grocery store so we could get some things to make dinner.
Lucy worked on her autobiography back at the apartment.
We had a little family dinner...
Shoot I thought I was going to get through all of Paris today but more will have to come later.