16 Days in France (Day 12, Part 2)

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[Leaving the Louvre and entering the Tuileries Gardens where a photographer was shooting crows?]

Paris

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[The crow took refuge behind people enjoying the sun on the grass.  Oh, and I believe the statue to be a Maillol named “Mediterrane.”]

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[Then it was full speed ahead into the Tuileries . . . ]

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[A really large area that appears to be really well-groomed public gardens.]

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[“Diane”]

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[Worthy of being drawn . . . ]

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[But not of being found on the internet?]

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[Goats?]

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[Apparently used for grounds maintenance under the supervision of the crows.]

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[Looking back toward the Louvre while Elizabeth and Reetz admire the flora.]

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[We’ve reached the center “pool” but in a desperate search for lunch did not meander over for a look?]

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[OK, maybe we did give it a brief look.  😉  ]

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[Oh, oh, an outdoor café in the gardens has been spotted by our alert forward scouts.]

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[I think we all opted for the quiche.  Is it true the French don’t have a word for “quiche”?]

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[Ever eager for a photo op, I leapt from the lunch table . . . ]

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[To capture the crow, who obviously also monitors the statuary.]

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[Then he/she flew away . . . ]

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[Only to return to keep an eye on our dining progress.]

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[Kay captures the action.  No birds or animals were harmed during the photographic shoot.]

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[Be honest, did you think this was a de Kooning?]

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[The Biddies are just delighted.  We recently heard Reetz is already planning her next 20 visits to Europe!  🙂   ]

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[“Colossus of the Nile”]

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[We’ve finished lunch and . . .]

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[All roads lead to the Tower?]

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[The Obelisk of Luxor in Place de la Concorde, the opposite end of the Tuileries from the Louvre.  The cops obviously heard we were in town!]

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[You’ve probably heard of this before?  It’s at . . .]

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[The Musee de l’Orangerie, still in the “flight path” from the Louvre to the Tower.   ]

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[The Orangerie features the impressionists, much to the delight of The Biddies.  There was no inside photography allowed however, so I took a shot out the window.  🙂  ]

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[A couple of closer-upper looks at the Obelisk of Luxor as we continued our adventure toward . . .]

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[The Arch de Triomphe . . .]

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[Down the Champs Elysees.  It’s farther away than it looks, so The Biddies decided not to make this trek with us.]

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[French author Alphonse Daudet, as we continued toward the Arc.  One of his more memorable quotes was, “You can call me Al,” which later went on to become a famous lyric in a Paul Simon song.]

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[Believed to be the Petit Palais . . . ]

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[Though none of the internet photo posters deigned to take a shot from this angle on the other side of the Champs Elysees.  😉  ]

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[Ms. Monroe now appears to be the poster child for every film festival.]

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[Yeah, he slept here . . . ]

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[Not too far from here, where he probably went for evening entertainment.]

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[Little did we know that King Tut was in town . . . not to mention King Luis and ’57 Chevy!]

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[No, I did not shop here.]

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[The Arc is in a traffic circle, about 400 lanes wide.  It would be impossible to cross above ground . . . so they built a tunnel.]

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[And here we are . . . ]

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[Bill decided that he, and I, would take the narrow spiral stair case to the top – some 280 steps!]

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[We made it!  And the view down the Champs Elysees was worth it!  😉  ]

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[Montmartre, the hill in the distance will come into play at the bottom of this posting.]

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[Views all around.]

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[I was surprised that none of us wanted to go the top of the Tower – the lines I suppose.  But Bill also thought the view from the top of the Arc would be even better.  Well, for one thing, you get a bird’s-eye view of the Tower.  😉 ]

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[Bill secures a photo op spot . . .]

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[Then shoots me in my Mary Tyler Moore moment!]

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[Have you been counting the number of Tower shots?  I think it’s over three now?]

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[A couple last shots on a walk around . . .]

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[Commercial Paris?]

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[A closer upper view of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur on Montmartre.]

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[This is the city . . .]

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[Back down on street level, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.]

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[An Arc support.]

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[And the whole thing as we head for home.]

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[Bert and Kathy may have gone back to Huntington, WV, but we found Bert’s bar!]

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[Paris, the Tower and the Seine.]

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[Crossing the Seine.]

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[Unbeknownst to us during the day’s activities, Elizabeth had a plan for the evening.  A café on Montmartre appealed to her sense of dining adventure.  And what fun, the classic subway exit/entrance at Montmartre.  🙂    ]

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[Let’s just walk around the area . . . ]

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[Just your basic avant-garde dining area.  😉   ]

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[But we’re not there yet . . . we have to take the Funiculaire to the top of the hill.  Our subway tickets worked for this.]

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[Up we go . . . ]

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[Soon to have . . . ]

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[A view of . . . ]

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[Paris!  (You were expecting . . . Milwaukee?)]

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[It was getting late but the sun stays up late here.]

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[Finally, a spot where we couldn’t see the Tower.  It was about 20 degrees further right of this photo.]

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[The Sacre Coeur was behind us.  I guess people were sitting on the steps waiting for the City of Lights to . . . light up?]

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[Can you find Anne, Elizabeth and Bill at the top of the stairs.]

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[Quite the viewing area.]

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[Just going to see if anything was around the corner?]

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[I walked down a set of stairs to shoot back up at The Biddies.]

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[Well, who needs the City of Lights?  We were hungry and it was probably 10:00.  So we  walked down about half of what the Funiculaire took us up in search of Elizabeth’s café.]

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[And here it is – Chez Marie!  🙂  ]

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[Tiny little place – could probably seat about 20?  The super liked the wall of kitties.]

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[The party attempts menu comprehension, while enjoying the ambience.]

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[Merci beaucoup again to Elizabeth for finding this place.  It was a perfect ending for a perfect day.]

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[The stairs from whence we came.]

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[Mmmmm, this is good!]

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[OK, I can’t remember what we all had, but it was very tasty.  Looks like I had a soup or stew?]

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[And now it’s dark . . . and way past our bedtime.  We had to hit the subway, with a transfer, to get back home.]

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[Waitin’ for the train.  Don’t get me started about why the Twin Cities absolutely needs a commuter/tourist light rail system!]

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[Back at the hotel, we hied the three blocks for this view.  It must have been 11:00, because the Tower puts on a light show the first ten minutes after the top of the hour.]

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[The end of a most memorable day.  Bonsoir!]

One of the many advantages of having a boyfriend who is half French is that his culinary repertoire extends beyond mac and cheese. Plus, there’s the kissing.  ~  Meg Cabot

Up next:  It’s a surprise!

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