On Saturday, we decided to be smarter and only plan one or two things to do so that we could let the day unfold with a more natural rhythm. We took our sweet time eating the amazing hotel breakfast. If all of us had full bellies when we left in the morning, it was much easier to make it to lunch without needing snacks.
I have noticed that the European hotels we have stayed at are so much more hospitable and they really do try to prepare a great breakfast for their guests. It is a far cry from the crappy microwaved scrambled eggs in most of the American hotels I have stayed at.
After breakfast, we caught the Batobus to the Louvre stop. We took some time walking around the grounds of the Louvre, marveling at its size. The glass pyramid was an obvious stop as well. JW and I were skeptical that we would get to go in and actually see the art, but we decided to have lunch close by just in case.
After lunch, as luck would have it, the kids fell asleep, leaving us some free time. The line at the Louvre was miles long and we really did not have the time to wait, lest our sleeping monsters woke up right when we got into the museum. I had read about the Paris Museum Pass so we decided to leave the Louvre, hop across the street to purchase a pass, and then go back to the Museum where we got to go right in, skipping the line. I highly recommend this course of action if you are going to Paris, especially with kids!
Once in the Louvre, we decided to make a bee-line for the Mona Lisa because that was at the top of our list of things to do. We had to condense everything we wanted to see into about an hour or two, which is almost impossible. They say you need a few days to do the Louvre and they are right! We stuck to seeing the paintings while we were there so as to make it simpler and easier on ourselves, all the while saying we would come back one day to do the rest.
The Mona Lisa was fantastic and crowded. It was really neat to see her up close. We were trying to figure out why the painting was so special. When we saw it and looked up close, I thought that DiVinci had truly captured a human essence in a 2D picture. Afterwards, Caroline woke up and we wandered the paintings wing some more. So many beautiful works of art, mostly involving biblical characters.
Once Vance was awake, we took a pedicab over to Laudree, the famous macaroon shop and tea room. It was so good but so expensive. For the rest of the time up until dinner, we walked and window shopped. After another wonderful Parisian meal, we went over to the Eiffel Tower to see it light up for the night. Vance was obviously beside himself with glee when he saw that it was orange, his favorite color.
Our second day in Paris was much more relaxed than our first. Relaxed is definitely the way to do it when you are in Europe! I will post some pics of our last day soon!