day 40 (10/11)
we ate at the cafe on the corer again for breakfast — a little over 12 Euros. we were then off to Bois de Boulogne on the west side of Paris. this is a giant park (perhaps 4 kilometers across) and they have a giant amusement park area for kids. JD and Ellie rode various rides all morning and then it came time to try the labyrinth house of glass. they both entered quite excitedly and immediately split up. after a while they didn’t emerge. we could sort of see them in various places and we heard a big bang — JD had crashed into a glass wall. after that he was no longer enjoying the labyrinth and Ellie heard him cry a bit and she stopped enjoying it. so i went in to find them. i found Ellie pretty quickly. she grabbed my hand and said, “come on dad” and turned quickly and smacked a wall. so now she’s crying as well. it took us another minute or so to find JD. i guided them out and they decided it was a horrible thing and that it should have never been built.
we jumped on the Metro 1 and jumped off in the center of the city where we ate lunch. it was right next to the Louvre. i walked up and bought tickets (no line). and we entered (again, no line at all). in fact, we sort of had trouble finding the entrance under the giant glass pyramid because there was no line to follow. heh.
we immediately made our way to the Mona Lisa. awesome. this was one of the few places that had many people, but we could easily get to the front of the crowd for viewing. in some parts of the Louvre, we’d have whole rooms to ourselves. when Michelangelo’s Dying Slave came up in conversation, JD perked up and said, “hey, didn’t Van Gogh paint the Dying Slave also?” he was correct. i guess he’s taking in much more than i’ve given him credit for on this trip. ;~)
we viewed as much of the Louvre as we could and then grabbed a Starbucks coffee — it’s amazing how they get the best locations in all of these cities. we then headed out to the gardens outside of the Louvre while grandma and grandpa headed back to the hotel to get ready for church. the kids played tag for quite a while and then we discovered a carousel. we jumped on the Metro 1 and rode to the FDR stop for shopping on the Champs Elysées — the most expensive real estate in Europe, so i have read. this is the high class shopping district. we didn’t buy anything, but it was a site to behold. we also got to see the Arc de Triumph at night so that was really worth it. we ate sushi and headed home. fun times.