My Life as a Traveler

Paris – City of Culture

It’s a new day in Paris and we’re up and at ‘em. After experiencing the crowds at the Eiffel Tower, I want to hit the Louvre early before they all wake up and figure out it’s time to go to the museum. Today’s the only day we can go there, since it’s closed tomorrow.

The beauty of the city is that it attracts many of the best and brightest. It’s a place where, if you’re smart and creative, you will definitely find someone, or a group of someones, who share your passion. Many of the artists that we know came to Paris to create. They bounced ideas off of each other, laughed together, borrowed techniques from each other and changed them enough to make them their own. They built upon each other’s success, each time making something a little different from their individual authentic selves. For us today, we also migrate to the city to experience the result of their efforts.

Yesterday, I hopped over to Invalides to buy a museum pass, which allows us to skip the ticket lines. Thank goodness, because once we are through baggage check, we breeze right up to ancient Greece. The Venus de Milo is lovely, Victory of Samathrace is inspiring (even without head or arms) and Mona is, well, Mona. We dodge and dance around hordes of Asian tour groups following the inevitable closed umbrella held in the air by their guide, and see Napoleon crowned (actually, he crowned himself), more naked ladies, dying people on a raft, and the flying colors of the Revolution. It’s been 2 hours, and there is more, but the kids decline.

We exit the museum and walk along the Seine to Notre Dame. Anna buys a book from the booksellers along the quai, Le Petit Prince. The line at Notre Dame is halfway down the block, so we pass, instead opting to visit the Lady and the Unicorn in the medieval art museum. Morgan says he doesn’t feel 100%, so we head back to the apartment. I think Anna’s a little wiped out, too.

While they are resting, I’m on a mission. I really want to take Anna to see some professional dancers. I’ve searched online and found some performances, but they’re all sold out. I get on the bus, headed for the venue, the Paris Opera Bastille. On the way I stop at the FNAC (pronounced fuh-nack), a sort of Best Buy that also sells tickets to performances. No, nothing available. Sold out. I continue to the opera house anyway, hoping to beg, borrow, or steal two seats somehow. No one else is in line when I arrive. This looks bad. I belly up to the window anyway and ask if there are any tickets available for tonight or tomorrow. The man smiles. Bien sur! How many would you like for tonight? After I made sure there were no nude dancers (hey, it’s France!), I walked out with two tickets for tonight’s contemporary dance.

Back to the room I go. We have just enough time to go to the Orangerie, open until 7pm, then the opera at 7:30pm. Morgan declines, so Anna and I get dressed up and go. Unfortunately, the Orangerie was closing at 6pm, so we just missed it. We opted for a quick visit to the Pompidou to see some non-porno modern art. When we get there, we only have 15 minutes, but we use them wisely, get back on the Metro, and make it just in time to buy some cookies and a muffin and find our seats in the ballet. And the performance was wonderful.

When we got back to the apartment, it was still early. We scooped up George, got some fast food pasta to go, and went over to the Champs de Mars to watch the Eiffel Tower with everyone else in Paris. We walked over to where the line to the top was, and it was long, long, long.

Tonight we are so glad to share the city with Miss Venus, Mr. DaVinci, Mr. Rothko, and all the dancers and musicians at the Bastille Opera!

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