Merci Paris

Paris has treated us so well. We have been completely enamored with the views, the people, the food (!!) and the general sense of being in one of the world’s greatest cities. Veronica has begged us to stay longer. Ryan has come up with ideas of how to stay. And Joe is obsessed with figures of the Eiffel Tower.

We started the day with seeking out some food. Ryan was completely thrilled to find his favorite US fast food chain.

Ryan isn’t good at fake smiling- so that footlong was worth this million dollar smile.

V and Joe enjoyed some 5 guys, right across the street. We met some other Americans later in the day that ran into the Charlotte Hornets in 5 guys! The Bucks are in town playing the Hornets but sadly tickets were well out of our price range.

After everyone’s bellies were full, we headed to the Louvre. I assumed this would also be a highlight of the trip. However, the amount of intense family time and probable jet lag had caught up with the kids.

You might be able to see the beginnings of a few hours of boy bickering in a world famous art museum?

The first area of the museum we entered were the sculptures. You can imagine how the McCarthy boys may not be able to fully appreciate this art that celebrates the human body. I, however, completely understood this artist’s interpretation of motherhood.

The Soldier of Marathon announcing victory. Again, I understood as I felt similarly after my first marathon.

Joe wouldn’t even be impressed with Hercules fighting Achelous transformed into a snake.

After Achelous was transformed into a snake, he was transformed into a Bull and this Bull boy still wouldn’t show a shred of enthusiasm.

We headed to Napolean III’s “apartment” and I was blown away by the beauty (John was nonplussed and understood the Paris Commune even more after seeing this).

At this point, the bickering was worsening to the point that I had visions of the boys tackling each other into a sculpture and my stay in a Parisian jail. John and I decided we had to find the Mona Lisa and then get out. But not before more antics….

There she is! There was an enormous line to get a better look so this was as good as it got.
Yep, time to go.

Even outside of the Louvre is incredible. No one was willing to take a pic so I asked the kids to take a picture of John and me. I like how they captured John disciplining them.

And then, smiles!

Outside the Louvre, there was a large protest by the train workers. Joe was awestruck by the police in riot gear. This led to a long conversation about unions which, along with more fresh crepes, made the mile long walk to Notre Dame go quickly.

One of the observations I have after spending so much intense family time together is how Joe is still in his world of imagination and Veronica is in her world of attempting to be an adult. Joe walks along talking to himself- tales of fights with bad guys and using his beloved Eiffel Tower as a weapon. Veronica on the other hand wants to non-stop shop and eat delicious and extraordinarily expensive food. Ryan is so much like John that it is uncanny.

The next destination was the Saint-Chapelle but we arrived just as it was closing. We walked down to Notre Dame and everyone sensed the enormity of the fire damage. There was an exhibit along the perimeter that told the story and it was a very quiet and somber walk around. John and I are both grateful that we were able to experience Notre Dame before the fire and were so sad to see the damage up close. It is clear how much this hurt France.

Right by Notre Dame, the colors of France light up the night. It felt like a symbol of hope for Notre Dame’s future.

We made it back to our neighborhood for our last French meal. Joe said he had the best hot chocolate of his life.

Ryan loves this city so much and bought a shirt to remember it.
V convinced us to buy one more sleeve of macarons.

Just a couple of things I want to remember… the hotel we stayed in was the Art Hotel Lafayette. We booked two rooms which suited us perfectly. I would stay here again! We bought train tickets instead of passes and that also worked out well. The corner stores have fresh fruit and vegetables and of course various forms of bread. I’m sure I’ll remember more later.

We must attempt to sleep because we catch a 6:40 am bullet train to Munich!

4 thoughts on “Merci Paris

  1. Stay strong, Comrade John!

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    | \___/ / \______/ |
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  2. I just caught up on all your adventures! Your pictures and storytelling are fantastic! I’m sure you and the kids will appreciate being able to look back at the memories. This reminded me of our European vacation when I was 10 and my sister was 13. We were in Paris around New Year’s Eve. Some of our favorite things were hot chocolate, croissants, and chocolate crepes!

    Liked by 1 person

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