Our second day in Paris started very early with a trip to the most famous museum in all of Paris: The Louvre! I can honestly say I was beyond excited to see the Mona Lisa and all the other famous works of art that are in the Louvre.
Once we got inside, it was amazing to see the iconic Pyramid that the Louvre is so famous for! After getting over our initial awe, we headed off to the sculptures portion before trying to find our way to the Mona Lisa!
I obviously had a really great time photographing this room! It was on this trip that I discovered my new found love of photography. Statues provide so much potential for photos! There was so much to capture in this room that these pictures are only a small portion of my favorites.
After this room, we moved on to the next. Little did we know we accidentally left poor Kelsey behind. Luckily, we found her a little bit later on, but for a while there it was a little bit scary because the Louvre is gigantic and you can get really lost in there!
By this point, Kelsey had caught back up with us. Turns out she had gotten distracted taking pictures in that first sculpture room and didn’t notice that we had left. Luck for us, she did end up finding us again! After that, we made a point of always making sure we had Kelsey with us before we moved on to the next room.
The next room was this beautiful courtyard that housed some very old looking pieces.
At this point we realized we had better start trooping to find the Mona Lisa. It ended up taking a few tries to actually find her, but more on that later.
We ended up in this hall full of beautiful glass and pottery vases, instead of finding the Mona Lisa.
Eventually we found the Grand Gallery! The Mona Lisa is housed in a room just off the main hallway.
We finally found her! Not that you can get this close to her without taking out a few small Chinese tourists on your way.
This one is more accurate. I think I went into it expecting the painting to be bigger. She’s actually tiny and just up there all alone.
At this point we met back in the lobby with the rest of our group and headed out through the gift shop to the front of the Louvre so we could get some pictures out in front.
Once we were finished at the Louvre, we began a “Bataan Death March” (not by words, but the words put on itinerary by the wonderful Heidi Hosey) to the Arc de Triomphe! We hiked down the Champs-Elysees (known as Paris’ Fifth Avenue). It was a beautiful (if slightly long) walk. It crosses into an area full of little shops and restaurants, and then into the area with the crazy high-end designers. I was afraid to even breath in this area that I might accidentally break something!
When you leave the Louvre and head towards the Arc de Triomphe, you pass through a large park. You pass the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (pictured below) that is like a mini version of the Arc de Triomphe.
We also got to see the Luxor Obelisk. I love finding obelisks in cities I visit! I love the mixing of histories and cultures when you find an obelisk where you don’t expect it.
We found the French Disney store! I think I was the only one who was really excited about this! I ,fortunately for everyone else, didn’t drag anyone in there to look around.
By now we were in the high end area of the Champs-Elysees. I was afraid to touch, read as look, at anything.
Seeing the Arc de Triomphe in real life was another very surreal moment. I think it’s another very iconic Paris site and being there, seeing it in real life, was so amazing!
At this point, we were given free time to explore the area, and climb the Arc de Triomphe if we wanted (we wanted!). But first, we stopped for macaroons!
I branched out and tried two: a chocolate one and a rose flavored one. The rose was surprisingly delicious! I was really glad I tried it!
Before attempting our climb, I pulled out the selfie stick and did some damage!
We explored around the outside a bit before making our way to the top. The Arc, for those that don’t know, is to honor fallen French soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars.
The climb up was rather harrowing as it was a very narrow spiral staircase that was really rusted looking…
and then you were met by this guy at the top. But the views were totally worth it!
What was really cool about the top of the Arc was that they had viewing platforms with the skylines pictured on them telling you what they were. So, you could look off into the distance and figure out the buildings you were looking at!
After we were done up top, they had an exhibition inside showing soldiers uniforms over the years.
Once we got back on ground level, we checked out the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe.
And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take at least one goofy picture…
Luckily, Kelsey joined in too! (#tacky americans and proud)
At this point, we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We were being taken to a really fancy restaurant for dinner so we needed some time to get gussied up! It was a long train ride, and an even longer walk, but the food was amazing!The restaurant, called L Escarmouche, was amazing!
The inside was gorgeous, and they created a menu just for us!
The night started off with a champagne toast, followed by unlimited red and white wine! I figured since I was in France, I needed to try the escargot for my appetizer.
The snails, and the little snail pinchers and fork, were super intimidating! I was very apprehensive!
So, I had Kelsey snap pics of me as I was trying my first one. They’re entertaining. Enjoy!
They were actually quite good. I think I psyched myself out before trying it by thinking it’s snail! As long as I made a conscious effort to not think about it being snail, they were really good! They had the consistency of mushroom covered in garlic!
I had veal for my main course, followed by the creme caramel for desert!
The night ended on a good, and slightly drunk, note. We hopped the train back to the Avalon, and all fell into bed. We would be headed to Notre Dame in the morning!