Paris 2013: Day 27 — The Louvre (Part 2)


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The Louvre — The Denon Wing, the Apollo Gallery.

Monday, August 19, 2013

We wake up around 9am.   It is sunny but there are a few dark clouds hanging in the sky.

My DH and I have cereal for breakfast.   We only have seven more days in Paris and we no longer have the luxury of letting the weather determine our days.   We need to get train tickets if we want to go to Reims.   We need to go to the Louvre to see the art in the other two wings.  We need to make a list of the remaining restaurants we want to enjoy.  We need to plan a day of serious shopping – you know, the day I finally whip out my credit card and passport and buy the things you can only buy in Paris!

Today we plan to buy our TGV tickets to Reims, complete our visit to the Louvre, and we will go to Angelina’s for hot chocolate and pastries.

We leave our apartment around 11am.   We arrive at The Lourve to find a long line at the ticket booth in the La Carrousel, the shopping mall next to the Louvre.   However, the line is moving quickly and we have tickets on our hands in 30 minutes.

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The Louvre has its own shopping mall (something to do as someone in your party waits in line for tickets).

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There are a number of interesting stores, all dealing with some sort of art.

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Look — you can purchase a sculpture!

Today we decide to go to the Denon Wing of the museum to see two objects of art – the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.   Little did we know that it would take nearly 3 hours to find and visit these two exhibits.

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One of several halls of Etruscan and Roman Antiquities.

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The crowd around the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I wonder how many people think that that is Venus de Milo?

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The crowd around the Mona Lisa.  Its crazy — Leonardo de Vinci had many more important and significant works than this one.  It just goes to show you what good marketing can do.

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This painting is just opposite of the Mona Lisa — “The Wedding Feast at Cana” by Paolo Veronese.  It is the largest painting at the Louvre.

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Another significant painting at the Louvre, “The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I” by J.L. David.

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Success! We found Venus de Milo!

After the Louvre, we went to Angelina’s for lunch, right down the street on Rue de Rivoli.   Angelina’s is a place where the French practice the art of “petit plaisir” — the tiny luxury that all French people allow themselves from time to time, regardless of budget.  Angelina’s was mentioned a number of times in the bestselling book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” — so we got to go.

My DH is right, Angelina’s screams “chick place!”  — it is pretty, it is expensive, it is one of those places that solicits feminine bonding.   I give my DH lots of credit to joining me here.  I also promised to buy him a hot chocolate!

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The wonderful painting the graces the dining room of Angelina’s. On a website I found, the author says “located on Rue de Rivoli, the over-the-top extravagance of the place is slightly intimidating: waiters in tuxedoes, clinking crystal, Parisian matrons in mint-green Chanel and Hermes scarves.”  Oh yeah!

It was 1:30pm and we were seated right away.   We order two of the least expensive items on the menu, but we shared a pot of the thick and luscious chocolate gold!

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The famous Hot Chocolate at Angelina’s! This stuff is thick and rich and sinfully good! It is a testament to our love that we share a single pot.

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My DH ordered the Quiche with a light side salad. It was hot and tender — all that cheese and bacon you know.

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I ordered the Croque Madame — bread toasted and topped with cheese, ham, and and egg. It is classic French food for classy French women (and me).

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This dessert has been tormenting us since we arrived in Paris — the Mille-feuille.  This a traditional French pastry that is made up of three layers of puff pastry, and two layers of crème pâtissière, and dusted with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. We shared one — another testament of our love, I think.

After ordering our Mille-feuille for dessert, a couple of nice ladies were seated at the table next to us.   We noticed that they spoke English and my DH told them “Yes, order the hot chocolate!”  This began a pleasant conversion with two pleasant ladies from California in Paris for four days.  These ladies are two old friends that decided two weeks ago to go to London and Paris.  They bought the tickets, kissed the husband and kids “good-bye” and flew off to Europe to spend some time together — how cool is that!  We discussed the sights and shopping and how they could maximize their time in Paris.   It was surprising how much information my DH and I have on the topic.

Before you know it, it is nearly 5pm!   The ladies have a date with a dinner cruise at 5:45pm and have been unable to finish their hot chocolate.   “I can finish it for you,” offers my DH.  Gasp!

The ladies move their remaining half pot of hot chocolate to our table and say “Oh, please!”.   Before I can stop myself, I say “I can finish off your sparkling water?”   Gasp! Gasp!

The ladies promptly move the bottle to our table too with their full and friendly blessing.

Have we no shame???

The rich meal has done us in!   All there is to do now is walk off the calories.  But lets be honest, we would have to swim the English Channel and walk to London to rid ourselves of this luscious meal!   We leave Angelina’s and turn right.   At the end of the street with turn right again and find ourselves on Rue de St. Honore – the hub of luxury shopping!   This is a nice street!  It is lined with clothing and jewelry stores and dotted with fancy chocolate and candy stores.  The window shopping is sublime here!  There is nothing I can afford here even if I were to find my size.

Around 7pm, we head back to our apartment to sleep off the sugar hangover.  Around 9pm, the evening is just too pleasant to not enjoy.   We hop on the Metro and we make our way to the Eiffel Tower is see the tower twinkle.

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The Eiffel Tower at night — stately and elegant!

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And now for the children and the tourist — twinkling lights on the hour!

Quote of the Day:   “Honey, you need to get some girlfriends!” — DH

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