Saturday, July 30, 2011

I’m Not Forrest’s Daddy

I’ve been thinking a lot about that line from Forrest Gump when Forrest asks his mother, “What’s vacation?” and she replies, “It’s where you go somewhere and don’t ever come back.” She was referring to Forrest’s father who wasn’t in the picture. Many years ago when I watched the movie with my grandparents, my grandfather Ben said to my grandmother, “Momma, I guess we’ve never been on vacation.” That line and my grandfather’s comment always make me laugh. If I’m going by Forrest’s Momma’s definition then I guess I’ve never been on vacation either since I’m headed home tomorrow.

For our last day in the city, we made a few small stops. This morning, we headed over to the Tuileries gardens since when we originally planned to go it started raining. There are a lot of gardens around and we have enjoyed seeing each one of them. After strolling through the Tuileries for a while, we took some pictures of the Place de la Concord and then headed over to the Musee D’Orsay. Really wanted to make this stop but wasn’t sure if we would be able to fit it in, thankfully we were. The museum itself was once a train station and is a rather large building, but there isn’t an overwhelming amount of art. I could have spent a lot of time looking at many of the paintings, but since we had some other stops to make, we only spent about an hour and looked at the Van Gogh’s, Renoir’s, Monet’s and a few other things.

After strolling through the D’Orsay, we walked to the Military Museum. We actually didn’t go through this museum although I’m sure it would have been interesting. The reason we went here was to see Napoleon’s tomb. I’ve been fascinated with Napoleon since high school and find him to be an interesting character so I wanted to see the tomb.

When we were finished looking at the tomb, we headed to Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. I have always been under the impression that artists would be along the streets of Montmartre selling their original artwork and I wanted to get a piece or two for myself; but when we got there, there were no artists or original artwork to be found, which was quite disappointing. In fact, the area is filled with tourist shops and people peddling fake handbags and hats and little Eiffel Towers. I bought a few prints of Paris as that was one of the things I wanted to get. They are good for framing and hanging up in your home.

As for Sacre Coeur itself, it was a total disappointment as well. We climbed the steps up to where the line to get in was. This is the highest point in Paris and so it provides a good view of the city. On our way to the top there were a couple of spots that had human feces on it, which was a huge put off. Apparently, or at least we think, homeless people must live in this area. The line to go in to the church was quite long and even though the museum pass covers the cost to get in, there was no express line and I didn’t feel like waiting in a long line to see the inside. With so many people around, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I really don’t think it could be better than the inside of Notre Dame which was quite beautiful in my opinion.

So, we headed back down the hill. Midway down, there is a fountain and my dad commented that the water looked like pee. I told him it might be judging by the sights and smells of the area. We got back on the metro and stopped off at a shopping center. There was a Starbucks there and we both had a Frappuccino which was really good. The Grande here is larger than the Grande at home, or so it seems. We sat and enjoyed our drinks and then did a little shopping where I bought a few small things. I could have and actually wanted to do a little more shopping, but my dad needed to find the toilets and there were none in the shopping center, so we headed back to the hotel.

We are at the hotel now resting before we head out again for dinner and a night boat cruise on the Seine. I did this on Sunday, but it was really a lot of fun and a great way to see the city. We are hoping to find some place to get pasta for dinner. My dad is in hopes that pasta will not make him sick. I stepped out a while ago to go get a pedicure at the place next door to the hotel, but they are all booked up for the day. So, now I’m hanging out at the hotel for the next couple of hours until we head out for dinner. I suppose I will repack my suitcase in preparation for our departure tomorrow. My dad is sacked out on his bed. I think all the walking and what not has caught up with him because he seems to really be struggling today.

We’ve had a great time since we’ve been here and I hope to come again in a couple or three years. I think I will definitely do another Tour de France trip, but not any time soon. I’ll have to save some more money first. Thanks again for reading along and following our adventures. I hope to see you all soon!

Clock at the Musee D'Orsay

This is the building where Napoleon's Tomb is.

Our hotel

My dad taking a photo

Place de la Concorde

My dad in the garden by Napleon's tomb


Erika said...

So glad you had a good trip.

Mary McLaughlin said...

I'm so glad your trip was enjoyable! I would love to travel there one day myself!