Paris, France: So happy to report we both slept like dogs, or logs, or whatever... and did not wake until 9a. A wonderful thing to sleep well. DT exercised while I finished my blog post from yesterday. Our plan for the day was to head over to the Rodin Museum and see what happens from there. Our goal for this trip to Paris is to visit places/museums/sites we have yet to see - and we have mostly stuck to this theme.
The wonderful breakfast buffet at our hotel dining room was way over by the time we went downstairs, so we trudged east towards the Rodin Museum and found a fun little place along the way - Le Flore (not Cafe de Flore) for brunch. The owner sold us on "the best" cheese in France, so I ordered that selection, while Dave ordered a mushroom omelet. His omelet came with fries (we are in France!), and my cheese plate would have been hors d'oeuvre for four people. We also had amazing espresso coffees.
The owner was most devasted I was unable to finish my cheese. Would I like to take it to go? (Can't imagine how stinky that cheese would have been by the time we returned to our hotel at 6p.) I think he may have cried.
After our meal, we trudged on towards the Rodin museum and came upon a Picard shop. Sorry, no English version of their website found, but they only sell frozen foods. Entrees, meats, appetizers, vegetables, ice creams, gluten-free, sides - anything you can heat and eat. My Brother Steve recently asked me if I knew of this establishment and I did, so I told him I would snap a few photos if we happened upon a shop. Imagine the frozen food aisles in a Trader Joe's on steroids and possibly opioids. Amazing selection and the quality seems first-rate as well.
After first walking past the entrance to the Rodin Museum, we eventually found the door. This museum is on the grounds of Auguste Rodin's home in Paris.
After entering the grounds, guests are herded into the sculpture garden behind the house. The first sculpture to appear is his most famous work - The Thinker.
After staring in awe that we were actually seeing The Thinker, we turned to see Rodin's backyard:
Maybe a hundred or so bronze statues are placed in the garden. To me, so many are terribly depressing or sad, the complete opposite feeling one should derive from such a gorgeous garden.
Without question, the sculpture in the house is beyond beautiful, the artist well respected, and his works known around the world, but to me one of the best things about the house was THE HOUSE. It was magnificent! The carvings, chandeliers, fireplaces, parquet floors, the windows - everything was stunning.
After spending several hours exploring Rodin's statues and house, we headed north. So much activity with construction, temporary road barriers, and police. We may have figured out what is going with the traffic disruption from yesterday. There is a bike race in the 6th Arrondissement tomorrow and it may be the trials for the men and women's 2024 Olympic Triathlon? We are betting on this, though the competition is a year out. We learned if we woke by 7a and poked our heads out the window, maybe we could see the racers speed by on their bikes. Will they be swimming in the Seine? I will report if I hear anything - or understand even half of what is going on around me at any given time. (Or I could be completely off-base.) I finally figured-out the massive holes dug into the sidewalk outside our hotel (could hold a VW Beetle) will soon hold trees. New trees are being planted all over town. For the Olympics? I don't know.
Next museum on our list was Invalides. Originally built as a hospital and a home for war veterans and the wounded, this building now houses the French Military Museum and a few famous tombs - and a church... but it still houses veterans. Doesn't look like any Veteran home in America.
One guy you may have heard of - Napoleon Bonaparte (Dave had lunch with him the other day?) is entombed under the dome of Invalides. Not just entombed, but cocooned inside a sarcophagus of FIVE separate coffins, all nesting-Russian-doll-style. He has 12 women (statues) protecting him 24/7/365.
After exiting Invalides, we walked a bit north to tour through the Petit Palais art museum, and I didn't even snap one photo! So sorry, but we spent about an hour admiring the paintings and sculptures and oohing and aweing over the beautiful building constructed for the same exhibition that showed-off the Eiffel Tower.
We continued on and saw more hints to the sporting event to be held this weekend - the famed Champs-Élysées was closed off to traffic, ala the Tour de France:
If there had been more time, or less than 200 people in line, we would have visited the Orangerie to see Monet's Water Lilies. Or... if we were not so dang tired. It was hot. So we trudged back to our hotel, splitting a dessert (with espressos) at a random café along the way.
Again, probably something lost in the translation, but it was a warm lava-cake-type thing, with an almond flavor. The ice cream was definitely vanilla. I ordered the cake, but the waiter knew to bring two spoons. Yummy! Dave and I have said every day that we need to stop in the afternoon and have a sweet and coffee and today was the first time we stuck with our plan. We are too busy to stop!
After a long rest in our air conditioned hotel room, we again headed out looking for dinner. Dave thought it would be fun to go to a nearby area popular with the young-set for a cocktail. He even popped his head into a few joints until he found one with a bottle of Tanqueray gin. I explained to the bartender what I wanted and, though I thought she understood I only wanted cold gin, I was presented with a cocktail in (maybe) a margarita glass (?) with Tanqueray gin, a lot of ice, and tonic. Okay. Whatever. It was super refreshing.
After walking the streets for another hour or so, we ended up back at the fabulous place we tried the other night - Le Pre Aux Clercs (another place Hemingway loved... or so says their menu). We were the only tourists in the bistro tonight. I ordered the confit again, and DT had duck breast with vegetables and he declared it the best meal he has eaten all week. He even told the waiter!
Back to our hotel, where I am still editing photos and blogging at 11p. Goodnight, everyone.
Until my next update, I remain, your carnivore correspondent.
Pedometer: Winner Winner
Chicken Duck Dinner - the most of the trip (so far) - 22,000 steps!