Second to last day (still Paris)

day 42 (10/13)
walking. today was a day of walking. my mom and bill took the kids after breakfast and they headed off to the Luxembourg Gardens again to play. Paula and i set off for the Musée de l’Orangerie, which is near the Louvre. this museum hardly had anyone in it. we first saw a bunch of Picasso paintings in the basement along with Renoir, Matisse, Soutine, Gaugiun and Monet among many other artists. we finished with the many pieces of art in the main part of the museum and then decided to go and view Monet’s famous Nymphéas (Water Lilies). we were not prepared for what would come next. i wondered why they had a part of the building devoted to one famous painting. even the Mona Lisa was in a room with many other painting (sort of). well, this isn’t just one painting; rather, this is a collection of giant paintings that all flow together. first, i should note that there are 4 paintings in each room and there are two round rooms, which are pretty good sized. the paintings are like giant murals that are probably 7 or 8 feet tall and about 30 feet long. they then have about 10 feet before the next giant painting starts (and there might be a hallway out in those 10 feet). each room is 1 giant masterpiece. it’s hard to describe but it was breathtaking. i expected a normal sized canvas so this just blew me away.

anyway, Paula and i decided to walk from there to the Gardens of Luxembourg to meet up with the kids. this was a pretty good walk. we had lunch in the same place we ate back on day 39 and we had the same fun waiter. we decided to split up again after lunch. Grandma and grandpa Cook took the kids to some palace on a hill (or church, i think) while Paula went shopping and i decided to walk to the Picasso museum. i thought it’d be a 10 minute walk and it turned into 1/2 hour. i finally found the museum up a hill and discovered it was closed until October 24 for renovations. doh! so i walked back down and found Paula. we grabbed a Starbucks and jumped on a metro to near our hotel for more shopping. i was pooped so i headed back to the hotel while Paula shopped and eventually everyone came back to meet with me. the kids stayed with the grandparents and Paula and i shopped a bit more and then grabbed a great dinner at a sidewalk cafe near our hotel. i had a chicken skewer meal with an excellent sauce — like Tandoori Chicken and Paula had a delicious salad, which she said was very, very good. a fun day, but i walked from one side of Paris to the other and i wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. then again, i saw a lot of Paris today and i think i can get around without a map for the most part now. that’s got to count for something, eh?