Friday, July 29, 2016

Paris the Great

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?
It is said that after he was martyred (beheaded), he picked up his head and walked six miles while giving a sermon about repentance.

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 ELYSEES
As we maneuvered our way through the city it was pretty crazy to see the amount of flooding from the Seine 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.  
It was on the Eiffel Tower.  Yes, that thing we saw the night before, but hey, at least we got to wrap it up with the report :)

We went in and admired the beauty of the macaroons at Laduree:

 And made it to the ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Get ready for it....
 There we go:
Lucy tried to join in for the "grumpy tourist" this time but couldn't quite wipe her smile off in her favorite city :)

 The "middles" and I took the stairs to see the view from the top:
(Elle had been up before but these girls were bright-eyed and excited to see the view.)
It was so gorgeous up there.

While we were up there Elle and Dave stayed below to talk about that beautiful spot...

...and also to prep Lucy for the MUSEE D'ORSAY museum which was next.

We maneuvered our way over there... a little lost along the way...
...and marched right up to that great museum only to find that it was CLOSED due to the flooding.
Insert head drop right here.  Ha!

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.
 This building was completed in 1914 but it looks much older, and it is so dang pretty.
"Sacre Coeur" means "Sacred Heart" in French which is meant to reference the heart of Jesus and his "divine love for humanity" which is pretty beautiful itself.

The light was coming through like this when we were there.
My mom likes to call those streams of light "angel slides."

The view of the city from up there was breathtaking.

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...
...and played cards and got some sleep so that we could hit a very full day bright and early the next morning.  Isn't that just the best little apartment?  We loved it.

Shoot I thought I was going to get through all of Paris today but more will have to come later.

Happy Friday!


  1. My daughter has long legs (not quite as long though) like Elle.Do you mind sharing where she buys her jeans and dresses, they seem to fit her so well . Thanks!

    1. Hmmm, that's a tough question because long things are so hard to come by, sometimes she just lucks out. She sometimes finds good "tall" dresses on ASOS and the jeans in this post are "extra tall" from American Eagle.

  2. Awesome! Do you mind sharing where do you get your tees? I have a hard time finding long and modern ones. Yours look nice!

    1. The t-shirt I'm wearing in this picture is from Made Well. The t-shirt Elle is wearing is from Target, and Grace's is from Forever 21 (I think...)

  3. I was in Paris a few days before you with my family although in our photos we are all drenched!

  4. My family and I ran a study abroad for BYU in London last summer/fall and were able to go to Paris. Unfortunately we only saw a small bit because we were in and out of doctor's offices and hospital because my son had a retinal detachment. We called it the Paris Eye Tour. We really hope to get back there and enjoy the city.

  5. Hi Shawni, the metro-station on your picture is not "art deco" (1910/1940), it's "art-nouveau" (1890/1910) aka "style nouille" (noodle style) ! the architect for those stations is Hector Guimard :
    I am french and follow your blog since 2008 ! I love it ! but too bad you stopped your Home blog...

    1. oh thank you for the correction Annie! I'll correct that right now. I know, I wish I could keep up both blogs. Maybe some day...

  6. Hi!!!

    Quick question, does Sacre Couer, Notre Dame or walking up the Arc de Triophme cost money? I'll be there in around two weeks!!

    1. If I remember correctly (been there three years ago) all of these cost money. With the churches, at least if you want to go up the church towers. And with the Arc de Triomphe, it even costs to go there at all (unless you innocently (honestly) take the wrong stairs).

  7. Thanks for the post! We are going to Europe/Israel in the beginning of September, and are going to most of the exact same places you went to! What kind of camera and lens did you take?

  8. I happened upon your blog about 5 years ago and have read it off and on since then. It always catches me off guard when I see you spending time with my cousin Marlowe--like two (seemingly) separate parts of my life colliding. ;)

  9. So fun to see all this! Remember when we were at Notre Dame on an Easter morning together all those years ago? This city holds so many memories for our family. Fantastic to see this new one! Loved every photo!

  10. So fun to see all this! Remember when we were at Notre Dame on an Easter morning together all those years ago? This city holds so many memories for our family. Fantastic to see this new one! Loved every photo!


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