Monday, 29 April 2013

Museums in Paris

While in Paris we made the most of visiting as many museums as we could.  Everyone had a different museum they wanted to see.  I am showing just the highlights...

Daddy wanted to see the Museum of the Middle ages

They had many wonderful stain glass windows, some of the oldest I have ever seen

Beautiful tapestries were found there as well, unfortunately the one I most wanted to see "The Lady and the Unicorn" was on tour so we missed it:(

Kids taking a break and playing chess in the courtyard
Les Invalides which is a military museum and veterans hospital.

Napoleon's Tomb
The d'Orsay museum unfortunately no pictures were allowed inside.   The lines to get into the museum was so long.  Luckily we had bought a museum pass and were able to bypass this line.  But once inside it was CROWDED.  This museum is known for the impressionist work found here.

Nice statue outside the museum

The Louvre--this place is HUGE!!!

First stop for the children was to see the Mona Lisa

Look at the crowd in front of the painting we had to fight our way to the front row to get the picture above:)

This museum is so big we had to get DS guide to help us find the way to the works of art we wanted to see.  There was no way to see everything so we tried to find the art work that each of us wanted to see the most 

I of course had to see Vermeer's painting -- he is my favorite artist

my Husband had to see Rembrandt's work which is his favorite artist

This guide was so neat as you typed in what art you wanted to see next and it would tell you how far away it was and in what wing

and it even included a GPS type map which we used to get around the museum.  The kids loved this and I get to count it as mapping skills in addition to visiting an art museum...WIN WIN for me:)

the crowds inside the Louvre, we went on a Saturday and it was crazy busy.  

Del Orangerie -- where Claude Monet's Water lilies paintings can be found.  They are house in 2 large oval rooms , no pictures were allow but it was beautiful

It also housed other works as well  Kids found a Picasso and my husband was surprise to see Picasso really knew how to draw something more normal, and my kids promptly told Daddy that Picasso had 4 different styles of art

I loved these two paintings, can't remember who did them but they are of the same building by the same artist only 3 years apart.  

We didn't do all these museums in a single day, but spread them out.  We also enjoy trying out Crepes for one of our meals.  They were very good.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Eiffel Tower Trip

The kids really wanted to go to the very top of the Eiffel Tower and we had been warned to buy our tickets well in advance as the line to buy tickets on site can be up to several hours.  We bought our tickets in January.

Kids were thrilled to see a double decker subway car:)  It is the little things that enthrall children.

Pickpockets are every where in Paris, as we saw signs, heard announcements and were warned by hotel staff to be careful with our personal belongings.  

Walking up to the Eiffel tower there is a park nearby which was full of street vendors,   food vendors and activities for small children

There are 1165 steps to the Eiffel Tower--my crazy kids were actually disappointed they couldn't climb to the top because we had bought elevator tickets

There was a sign saying that up until 1987 the elevators were  manned by man, can you imagine

The first time This went passed me I thought a real person was on the outside of the elevator:)!!

Riding the elevator

This is the view from the first elevator stop about half way up.  There is a two story deck for viewing.  While there is wiring around the bottom deck it was quite large and there were many signs telling people not to drop anything from the tower.

Next stop the Summit.  Daddy bailed on us at this point (he is not a fan of heights) so the kids and I ventured to the top on our own:)

View of Paris from the top

Again there were two decks at the top this time one deck was surrounded by windows:)  They also served champagne for a price if you wanted to toast the city
Gustave Eiffel, built a small apartment at the top of the tower and he often hosted small private  receptions.   We weren't able to go into the apartment only look though small viewing windows.  The place was cramped and had a steel beam support in the middle of the room:)
The tower was used for many scientific experiment over the years.

When the Eiffel Tower was built it was originally bright RED and most Parisians hated it.  It was scheduled to be demolished 
I had to take a picture of the Evacuation Plan which was basically find the stairs and climb down.  the Eiffel tower has  at least one evacuation per year due to bomb threats.  In fact 3 days after we were there the tower was evacuated because of a bomb threat.  I am very thankful that didn't happen while the kids and I were up there.

If you have children you know they often announce they have to use the toilet at the most inopportune time.  Mine made this announcement the second they walked off the elevator on the top level and the line to return to the bottom had a  25 minutes waiting time:(.    I was so relieved to see they had a toilet available although I did wonder how they managed it.  Moments like these are so funny....

I love this shot of the tower from the bottom.

We had a wonderful visit and it made the Children's day to say they went to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  However next time they visit, they both have informed me they will take the stairs...:)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Spring Break -- Trip to Paris

We just got home after spending 5 days in Paris, France!  This is our last big trip before we head back to the states in less than 7 weeks.  The kids really wanted to see the Eiffel tower the Mona Lisa so that was on our agenda.  Daddy wanted to visit the Museum of the Middle ages, while I wanted to see the d'Orsay, Claude Monet's water lilies at the de' Orangerie and the Palace of Versailles.  We had a packed schedule and I can't wait to share with you what we saw and did:)  We decided to take the Euro star people train across the channel instead of flying as we haven't done that with the kids before

It took 2 hours by train to reach Paris and the kids occupied themselves with electronics and card games 

Princess was able to capture Daddy's undivided attention to play a game of chess.  Since this was very early Tuesday morning, she had Daddy on the run for most of this game but in the end he finally won.  It won't be too long before she is beating him;)

After checking into our hotel we made our first stop to see Notre Dame Cathedral!  I didn't realize that this year.  the Cathedral is celebrating 850 years!

there was a huge crowd and line to get in.  In fact every where we went in Paris there were huge crowds!

Beautiful Stain glass windows

beautiful wall decor


This was one of the Chandeliers that was brought down for cleaning I think

During our tour,  a service began so the kids heard a little bit of the service and the singing

I am trying to be artistic with this photo:)

The Cathedral's baptismal

Outside the the church by the front doors.  My only thought with this tour was we were really rushed through so we didn't get to spend as much time seeing the Cathedral as I would have like...

After the Cathedral we decided to take a city Bus tour to get the lay of the land

Driving by Arch of De Triumph 

Our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower!
We saw many street art and this picture appealed to me:)

It was a great first day and we packed as much in to every day as we could:)  Hope you enjoy this mini tour of Paris.