The first afternoon, we wandered the neighborhood. The kids played at the park while my parents glanced at St. Eustache church. Next, the kids frolicked on the head (see below) while my dad took pictures of all the French oak he could find (doors, mouldings, etc.). Then, of course, we were off to do the shopping for the evening.
Side note . . . Dado made the most amazing and delicious experimental chicken dinner! We bought fresh chicken from the boucherie (butcher), which he made paella-style with rice. However, instead of water, he used our leftover champagne from New Year's Eve. Wow, wow, wow!!! And, this is how we learned that fresh meat from the boucherie is definitely worth the cost. The chicken was actually a different color than what we are used to from the supermarket. We found that the fresh pork was equally delectable. Thank you, Dado!!
The next day, we covered a lot of ground! The agenda:
- Pantheon - Dado wanted to see the Pantheon because he wrote a paper about it for his French class at Mission Valley College
- Lunch at Le Polidor
- Luxembourg Palace & Garden
- Arch de Triumph
- Eiffel Tower
Before the Pantheon, we ate lunch at Le Polidor. This restaurant was recommended by Mark & Susie who ate there while they were in Paris last February. It was uniquely French in ambience and absolutely deeeelicious!
Josey, my mom and I had Beef Bourguignon; my dad had salmon; Dado had Coquilles St. Jacques; and Max ordered curry pork. The ordering is note worthy because Mike said, "I wouldn't order the curry pork because it's the least French thing on the menu." However, everyone agreed that Max's lunch was the yummiest of all. And check out the great chocolate sundae!
Next stop was the Luxembourg Palace & Garden (which was between Le Polidor and the Pantheon). This was an exciting detour because Dado's other French class used a text/video combination called "French in Action". In several of the videos, the cast was in the Luxembourg Garden. Dado recognized one of the fountains and the benches. LOL
Here is another beautiful fountain in the Garden
While we walked up the street from the Luxembourg Palace to the Pantheon, Dado befriended an oyster street vendor, where he received his own personal lesson in how to open oysters.
The Pantheon was enormous, with a labyrinth of tombs underground. This is where many famous Frenchmen (men only, thank you very much) are entombed, including Voltaire. Well, to be honest, only Voltaire's heart is in the Pantheon. Wow. It's in the box behind his statue.
The Pantheon is quite impressive from outside.
However, I actually thought the church right behind the Pantheon was more picturesque.
Here are Josey and Dude being silly inside the Pantheon.
The inside of the Pantheon is surprisingly empty, considering that we are used to churches filled with pews, sculptures, altars, organs, etc. Although, as you can see, the ceilings are very similar to those in a church.
The view of the Pantheon from the top of the Luxembourg Gardens
And a view of the Pantheon in the background, captured by Dado while the rest of us were buying souvenirs and acting exactly like tourists!
While touring Paris, we became very, very familiar with the Metro. Gotta love some of these pictures. Note the view above the Dude!
We took the Metro to our next destination - the Arch de Triumph! We climbed the 280 stairs to the top (that sucked!), and here are some views from the top. The first is a view of the Eiffel Tower (obviously), and the second is a view of the Champs Elysees.
Because the Eiffel Tower looked so close from atop the Arch de Triumph, we decided to head there next. We hopped back on the Metro to save our feet, and here is what we saw. Beautiful!!
We finally headed home, racing the setting sun, with tired little feeties.
Love to all!!