Just like life, there are these days/nights when the sun happens to shine upon you and stars align or something and everything goes right, that was this day of travel for the Salgados. After 5 crazy days, it seems we are just starting to find our rhythm and groove.
We grabbed a breakfast on the run- croissants and baguettes galore!- and headed to Musée d'Orsay . While on our way we stumbled upon one of the love lock bridges and locked our family love up.
Lyra has this secret love of tagging things, I find her name written and etched all over the house. Every time I ask her about it, she looks somewhat sheepish and I’m not even sure she can always control it. Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw a million signatures along with locks on the bridge. After a conversation of the dangers of graffiti (I LOVE graffiti, truly) and destroying property, we let her write her name, she was super blissed out.
Just below the bridge, along the Seine there was a great section of games and activities for kids, hopscotch, these rad animal guys and a giant chalkboard wall. There are so many clever uses of public spaces in the city. I love, love, LOVED that so much.
In order to keep the day rolling we chose one area we wanted to explore in the museums. You could spend days in each of them otherwise and this helped keep the kids engaged and moving too. We went to see the Impressionists at Musee d’Orsay- Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne forever!!!!
The girls loved it, the boys loved this very interesting bean bag chair right outside the exhibit. Jorge said it was hands down one of the best parts of his whole Paris experience. Oh yeah, there was that one moment where Lyra almost accidentally touched a painting and I thought Jorge was going to have a heart attack, but it WAS ALL FINE...really.
From there we grabbed some SUPER yummy frites and headed to the Luxembourg Gardens to eat and chill. We do lounging very well, the Salgados do. One of my favorite (and at times maddening) parts of this trip has been having a period of uninterrupted time together. All kinds of things and conversations come up after you have been together for a while and then there is also a welcomed silenced too. You don’t really need to say anything at all, just being together is enough.
After lunch, Jorge found us THE MOST MAGICAL GELATO- gelato flowers!! And they tasted even better than they looked. You could pick three kinds which just felt extravagant in and of itself. We did street food and cheap eats in Paris, it was what our budget allowed- but it always felt like you were getting the best of everything! I do not understand this at all, it may just be part of the Paris magic.
On our way to Notre Dame, we somehow stumbled upon a comic book store district or something. Every corner we turned there was another store, like 10 0f them. The kids were in total heaven. We found Pokemon’ cards in French, the latest Bravest Warriors, Magic cards galore. I just love when you uncover goodness by total surprise. It felt like there was something for everyone.
Our little comic book detour caused us to arrive at Notre Dame just as the bells were ringing for mass. There was a wonderfully kind bubble guy there as well. He was so patient and let the kids hold the giant bubble wand. Josiah decided RVA needs a bubble guy, so hit him up in the comments of places he can busk to save for his next trip abroad!
Oh Notre Dame…the reverence, the windows, the gargoyles and statues…it was dark and holy and so beautiful. We listened to the mass for a bit, lit a candle and then stood in awe for a while outside. The Louvre was calling so off we went.
We took the metro and came up through the underground up to the Carousel- up to this!! This is the toilet in the bottom of the Louvre. That would be rainbow toilet paper guys, I think we reached bathroom nirvana. Jorge was cringing at the 1.5 euros it cost to use it but I thought it was TOTALLY worth it. Lyra said it was so fancy she didn’t even know how to get out of the bathroom.
The Louvre has these Nintendo 3Ds guides for kids which it so very brilliant. Kids immediately perk up and are on the hunt for art. Pro tip- bring an extra set of head phones and splitter- 2 kids can share!
We explored for a while but the kids were fading so we decided to see the Mona Lisa and bolt. Lyra was leading us to the ML with her 3Ds but that wasn’t going so well, so then Josiah was, but then we lost him. It may have happened when I was staring that this ceiling or 57,000 other beautiful things.
I realized his phone was dead and for one split second I wondered how we would ever find him. Jorge was not worried. After a half hour more and Jorge taking over the navigating we finally found the old ML girl and Josiah. The Mona Lisa was a little womp-womp, everyone thought it would be bigger.
At this point everyone’s feet hurt so we found a little bench behind the ML and I gave foot massages to the girls. Somewhere in the discussion we started talking about smelly feet, then smelly armpits, and then Lyra announced that her friend Max can LICK her armpits, so then we all instantly tried because it sounded impossible…and I must have been so punchy but we all laughed and laughed at the whole scene…and this is what I will remember most about the Louvre. Licking armpits.
One more train ride home and we collapsed, with our comics and baguettes, very happy and full.