Sunday, December 16, 2012

paris finale

We finished our trip with another awesome day in Paris. I really really like that city. It just has all the components that make an amazing city: food, amazing public transport, museums, amazing architecture, every kind of person you can imagine, history, a river, amazing public parks/gardens… to name a few. And, like I said in the first post, being there with a pregnant woman makes everyone really nice to you.


We started out the day walking past this building again. Hotel de Ville – pretty amazing city administration building. No wonder it is such a cool city. We then took the hike up the steps to the top of Notre Dame.


This guy is cool. Just chillin’ there watching over the city.


I think the one of the coolest parts of being up there was the view of all of the Paris rooftops.


This guy deserves a second photo.


After coming back down, we went back to this amazing gyro place that we had gone the night before to get lunch. I would fly back to Paris just to get another one of those. And, things probably taste better when you are eating them on the banks of the Seine.


Next stop was the Pompidou. Amazing art. Even the building is a fantastic piece of modern art.


This is the restaurant there. How cool is that?


This is a piece by Gerhard Richter: one of my favorite artists.


How do these artists come up with the ideas for these pieces? Then how do they transform their idea into the actual piece?


This is the best shot of our trip to Paris. Julie is awesome.


Inside another church on our way to Sacre Coeur.


After all the rain earlier in our trip – the weather could not have been more perfect on this day. Did you know that Sacre Coeur is made out of a rock that gets more white over time? It is like blindingly white.


They were serious about no photos in Sacre Coeur so I failed to take any photos inside. The red stained glass in there is amazing though. Above is inside a little church next to Sacre Coeur – the sun streaming through the stained glass was beautiful.


Just having some gelato and seeing what Rick has to say about the Montmartre. It was so cool to walk through the little streets of this neighborhood and see the little houses where some of the greatest artists of all time lived and painted. I can see why they chose to live in that part of Paris as it is up on the hills overlooking the rest of the city.


The Opera House.


We found this store that had some awesome baby clothes. We broke down and bought this little dress. This was the first piece of clothing we had bought for baby girl. Good thing we don’t live in Paris or we would be throwing down some serious cash at this store. Parisians realize that there can be more in a baby girl’s wardrobe than pink and pastels.


We finished the night with a trip up the Eiffel Tower (and some awesome line waiting). It is pretty dang spectacular up there though. Going up the elevator kind of gives you the willies cause you can’t see anything below up and you are just shooting up in to the sky.


The Louvre from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Pretty cool huh?


The Louvre on the left and then the Seine in the middle, and Notre Dame on the right.


We struggled to get a good photo up there. We were kind of distracted by this fifty something couple that were drinking champagne and going at it (making out) next to us. It was really romantic. Really though, this was a great way to finish out trip to Paris – from the top, looking out over this great city. We had such a fun trip. Julie is the best travel partner I could ask for.


We had a long layover in Frankfurt on way home, so we jumped on the train and went in and checked out the town. It doesn’t hold a candle to Paris, but it was fun to be in Germany for the first time.


Experiencing “curry wurst” – a big old hot dog with some curried ketchup lathered all over it. Interesting.


The best part of Frankfurt though was that we were in the mother land for gummy stuff. In particular, the home land of Haribo. I was in heaven. After we almost accidentally bought red-bull infused gummies at another store, we found this store chuck full of every kind of Haribo you can imagine. Yum.

Well, that’s it for the blogocation to Paris. Hope you had a nice trip. We are now 10 days away from baby girl’s due date. We are getting SO excited. Julie is still working and feeling really great (her last day before maternity leave is next Friday). She is 38.5 weeks now though, so really, this girl could be here any day. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

paris: part two

Due to the fact that every day in Paris presents itself with endless photo opportunities – it is going to take more than two posts to get through this trip. So here is the second installment: The next morning we got up early to head out to Versailles in an attempt to avoid the crowds. We failed. It was crowded. Asian tourists really like Versailles.


The amazing chapel.


This was Louis XIV’s room I think.


I think I liked this view better though.


Apparently, the Hall of Mirrors is a cool spot. There were a few people there to see it with us.


Talk about extravagance though – I am dumb for not knowing this beforehand – but apparently larger mirrors were very hard to come by in that day and age. So Louis decided – hey, make me a hall of them.


After feeling a bit claustrophobic and seeing the palace – we went out to see the grounds. We were greeting by the sun and blue sky! This was the first time we saw either of those since getting to Paris. It warranted a photo.


We happened to be there on the one day of the week they turn all the fountains on. It also means that is the one day you have to pay to see the gardens. Oh well. It was really enjoyable though to see the fountains and hear beautiful classical music playing throughout the gardens.


We walked over to Marie Antoinette’s estate – I guess she felt like the palace wasn’t big enough and she needed some more space. The gardens there were really beautiful. Everything is just so perfect and precise.


It turned out to be a perfectly beautiful day to wander around the gardens. You could probably spend weeks there and still not make it through the whole garden.


From there, we jumped back on the train and headed back in to Paris to make it to the Rodin Museum. Julie really wanted to go, and I am so glad we did. There is this beautiful mansion and grounds where Rodin actually lived for a period of time. His sculptures are placed around the garden, then his art collection is inside the mansion. You can probably tell that I really liked “the thinker”… it is such a fascinating sculpture and concept.


The houses surrounding the estate (and in all of central Paris for that matter) are amazing. I love the little chimney’s on every house in Paris.


This was Julie’s favorite sculpture. The Burghers of Calaith – men who turned themselves in to save their town from being destroyed during the hundred years war. Pretty amazing to see the emotions he captured on their faces.


At the center of the garden.


We hurried from the Rodin Museum to the see the Catacombs before they closed. Unfortunately, after hurrying to get there, we were greeted with this sign. Hmmm. Well, at least there was a cool metro sign to take a photo of across the street.


Then we went to see the Pantheon and saw this amazing Smart Car sized truck. That dude probably feels like a real man cruising around Paris in that orange hotness.


Interior of the Pantheon.


View outside the Pantheon.


Not bad hops for a 7 month pregnant lady right?


Luxembourg Gardens took us by surprise. We just kind of happened on to it, and it probably was my favorite part of Paris. We got there just a “the golden hour” started and the weather could not have been more perfect. Here is this meticulously manicured park in the middle of the city full of all kinds of Parisians just sitting back and enjoying the beauty. I could have stayed there for the rest of the day.


That building behind us is where their Senate/Parliament? meets. I wouldn’t mind that being my office.


As darkness approached, we stopped by and saw St. Sulpice – another amazing church.


Just another Parisian street.


We finished the day in front of Notre Dame at night.


Here is Hotel de Ville – another really cool building just as we walked down in to the metro station to head back to our apartment. Paris is quite the city.