Friday, October 27
|Seemed only to open at night|
After eating and another cup of coffee, we headed out to find a taxi and headed to the Louvre. Things were really hopping there. We had our museum passes, so I expected to get in fairly quickly. But there was a security line, and the things they were checking were purses, backpacks and the like.
|Kittie and David at the Louvre|
I think they would do well to create two lines, one for those with bags and one for those without. The French, though, don’t seem really good at streamlining that kind of procedure, though they excel Americans in setting up and installing (instilling?) bureaucratic structure.
I had started out the day feeling good, but by the time I had stood in line, my hip was aching once more, but a good stride and the reasonably wide open spaces of the Louvre would work that off.
|The graces or muses or something|
|Venus and Cupid|
The things we did not get to see that I would have liked: the Asian-Oceanic exhibit and the collection of Arab art and artifacts. Another closed-off area was the medieval art wing. All three of these are exceptional collections.
|It's that satyr guy I can't remember|
After we cleared the Roman sculpture and finished the smaller Roman artifacts rooms, we headed over to see the most famous painting in the world: her; the L de V bee-atch, the MoLi, dog.
|Emperor Claudius, my favorite|
Now my back was bothering me. I hobbled and bitched. Kittie and David tolerated it as gracefully as possible, but I could tell it was getting as tiresome for them as it was for me. So we wandered around and got lost once or twice, but we finally found the main area below the pyramid and headed to the eatery (a cafeteria/restaurant affair with a food court atmosphere).
|There she is back there!|
After lunch we were all refueled, slightly rested, and I suggested that we walk over to Notre Dame. My back was feeling much better, and it couldn’t be more than half a mile. That way, we could see the Seine. Of course, as usual, it was rush hour and the Quai du Louvre, which we walked down, was crowded with pedestrians.
|Look at them look at her looking at them.|
The woman from whom I purchased the magnets (two of them; one of Monet's Irises and one of Lautrec’s Chat Noir) didn’t say a word to me, but earnestly wrapped the magnets each in a little bubble-wrap bag inside a tiny white paper bag. She then handed me the items and a lovely smile broke across her face as our eyes finally met.
|What would you keep in this box?|
It was around 4 p.m. when we got to Notre Dame. It was as crowded as any other popular landmark, and there was a long, long line to get in. Since the cathedral closes at 5 p.m., there was little point in standing on line. And even if we did get inside before closing, the sun would have gone down by that time, and the whole point of Notre Dame is the stunning stained-glass windows. Kittie and David saw the wisdom in this, and spent some time wandering around the exterior as I sat on a stanchion and stretched.
|Notre Dame Cathedral.|
The long lines are behind the doors.
So we walked up the street to our place, climbed the four flights of stairs to the apartment and I, at least, collapsed. But only for a time.
|Selfies prove you were there.|
|Cantina California was open|
once a time for partying and celebration, as I’ve aged, evenings have become the time when I unwind, relax, withdraw from the crazy and find my center. Perhaps this is why I can’t clearly remember what thing happened on which evening.
In any case, we headed out to dinner and ate at a place called Cantine California. David had poo-pooed it once earlier in the week when we walked past. In Paris, he thought, we should be eating French food. He would derisively point out every Starbucks and McDonald’s that we drove past in taxis.
|The bar inside Cantina California|
After once or twice around the block looking for something new, we stumbled upon Cantine California. I was just wanting to sit down and have a drink. I don’t know whether it was my whining or his spirit of adventure, but David decided to give it a try. I’m glad he did, because it actually became one of my favorite meals of the entire vacation.
|My bacon-guacamole burger with fries. I'm sorry, but|
the French do better American food than we do.
Our server was new to the job, and she spoke a fair amount of English. She was kind of amused that people from California were coming to eat there. Her service was wonderful and attentive, and David flirted like hell with her, which she loved. I left her a €10 tip, even though the tip was included in the price.
After dinner and a drink, I was feeling much better. We got back to the apartment at a reasonable time, though, because the next morning was the raison d’être for the trip: le Salon du Chocolat. It would be our last day in Paris.