day 41 (10/12)
first, i need to let my father know that we’re thinking about him and sending our best vibes his way. we love you dad.
today our corner cafe was closed so we found our breakfast elsewhere near the train station across the street. we were then off towards the Seine. we hoped off near the spot where Princess Diana had her fatal crash so there is a monument there commemorating it and people still leave fresh flowers and notes, etc. we also noticed that a marathon was happening so we watched and cheered for runners for a bit — i heard there were 35,000 runners so the flow of runners going by was non stop. we enjoyed some time near the river and then we headed down to the river and boarded a boat for a lunch time cruise. this lunch cruises up and down the Seine, but i have to tell you they served one of the best meals we’ve had. first, they brought out a sweet tasting pre dinner wine, which was pretty good. then, they gave us choices — i’ll go over my choices and try and fill in some of what others had. i had a duck breast starter and it was sliced with a little bit of pate and fresh green beans. i believe others ordered a pate of duck something, but it wasn’t as good as the duck breast. we then had the main dish. Bill, the kids and i all ordered the Filet Mignon and it was incredible. soft and easy to cut and good sized. both Ellie and JD ate all of their meat and potatoes. i have to say, it was very, very good. Paula and my mom both had the salmon and they were also impressed, but it couldn’t have been as good as our food. Bill, the kids and i all ordered some chocolate dessert and it was also very, very good. Paula had ice cream something or other — meh; and my mom had the Baba in Rum, which really tasted like Rum with baba. heh. they brought us two bottles of red wine and 1 bottle of white wine and the kids had orange juice. we finished the meal with coffee. this meal and tour lasted a couple of hours and was worth every penny. oh yeah, they had an accordion player come to each table and play a few songs. we had him play happy birthday (late, i know) for JD and JD thought that was just the coolest thing in the world.
we then walked across the bridge over the Seine and caught a bus at random. fortunately, it stayed next to the Seine and went in the right direction so that 3 or 4 stop later we jumped off and found ourselves at the Museum — errr, Musée d’Orsay. this is a museum that has Picasso, which i really wanted to see . . . but it also has Degas, Manet (Picasso devoted many of his works to Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass and this painting was here as were Picasso’s), Monet (not to be confused with Manot), Renoir, Seurat, Van Gogh (including Ellie’s favorite Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles, and a self portrait), and also Whistler (portrait of his mother) among many other famous artists. all i can say is WOW! this museum was just awesome. and kudos to the kids for walking through the whole thing — we even got kicked out at closing because we were trying to stay as long as possible viewing stuff. heh.
off to near the Eiffel tower. we found a grassy area and just hung out and chatted and enjoyed the park by the tower. as it started to get darker, we headed across the street and found 2 carousels for the kids and also found waffles to eat with chocolate on top. we headed up the hill to get a better view of the Eiffel tower and then the lights came on. the tower is blue at night and gorgeous so we took a bunch of photos and watched people and finally grabbed a subway home (home is relative when you’ve been on the road this long without one). today was just a perfect day in every way.
and the photos from today are great so check them out here: http://flickr.com/photos/jayhawk/