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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Paris Day 3

On day 3 of our visit to Paris, we had no plans other than to spend an entire day at the Louvre. Good intentions, but I forgot, we have 3 children of various ages and interest levels. For the record, let it be known that 2 of my 3 children have low cultural values and were quickly in a comatose state from so much rare and priceless pieces of art and antiquities. No matter how interesting we tried to explain the history about a piece of art, they just wanted to hit the souvenir stores and eat baguettes. Quite humiliating that these are my children. Then again, I was probably like them at their age. But 3 out of 5 of us won out, and we toured as much as possible of this incredible Musee du Louvre. We went on December 24th, and fortunately the weather has held up for us, it's been clear but very cold. The ticket lines moved quickly and the prices are quite reasonable, we only had to pay for 2 adults as children under 17 are free - oh, and the unemployed also are free. We saw most of the highlights, including the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, Aphrodite (also known as Venus de Milo), the Midieval Lourve (which is a temporary exhibit), the Egyptian antiquities, the Coronation Crown of Louis the XV and the famous portrait of Napolean, where he has his hand stuck between his coat and chest. The collection is just incredible, you can't go in without being amazed and humbled by the geniuses that produced this art.

There is a reasonable cafe under the pyramid, that is as far as museum cafes go. The girls got an Orangina, which are very popular here, for 3 Euros. I got a small salad for 3.5 Euros. After about 3 hours in the museum, the one thing that did get to everyone is the overwhelming number of people make it incredibly stuffy inside, and we just had to get outside to get some air. I can't imagine what it must be like in the summer! Once we were outside, we were overtaken by street vendors selling their wares including Eiffel Tower replicas of all sizes, berets and keychains. We were able to bargain and purchase a few. It was a bright, sunny day, so we ended up staying outside and walked the grounds, and proceeded to the Champs Elyses where the Marché de Noël were still selling their goods, and we grabbed a chocolat crepe, for 3 Euros. Those are so delicious and warm!

The girls all wanted to do some shopping, so we headed to a street to look for some small shops. I have to say, the prices seem relatively high compared to the US equivalent. We were in neighborhoods where the locals shop; the drugstore items and clothes are about 10% to 15% higher than their US counterparts. We walked away empty handed, hoping to find more bargains tomorrow, when we visit the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Stay tuned....

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