Saturday we packed in lots of museums and started the day with my highlight, the Orangerie. Built to shelter the orange trees from the Tuilleries, the museum is most famous for it’s panoramic paintings of Monet’s water lilies. And they are breathtaking.
When I was younger, we spent a few months living in Italy as a family and we’d spend hours in art museums. Maybe it was because we knew we could come back the next day, or maybe it was because I was a child, but I never felt rushed in the museums. My mom gave us sketchbooks and, after picking a favorite painting in the gallery, I sat on the floor with my sketchbook and pencil.
I wish I’d had hours to take in Monet’s pieces on Saturday – to sit there and take in the colors and brush strokes. But also just to consider questions in my life, while surrounded by such beauty.
But there was a lot left on our agenda, the other girls in my group had already seen the painting, and I was really there to spend time with them. After a few minutes taking in the other impressionist paintings in the basement, we made our way to the Musee d’Orsay.
While the Orangerie was the highlight for me, the Orsay was the museum that I had been the most excited about. A favorite from my last trip, this old train station turned museum is such a fun space. We breezed through pretty quickly and stopped for a few pastries on our way to the next museum, the Rodin gardens.
We walked through the gardens and I took a few quiet moments to read through these descriptions of Paris before our morning of museums turned into an afternoon of shopping.
We started at the Gallery de Lafayette (by way of Cyrillus, another darling boutique). I picked up something for Lincoln and Adelaide before we decided we REALLY needed to find some lunch. Trail mix held us over as we stopped in Zara before settling in for a late lunch at the top of Printempts, under the stained glass dome.
From there we rushed to meet the rest of the group at the Arc de Triumph for sunset but the line was so long to go up the Arc, we opted for watching the sun go down on the Eiffel Tower instead. Sitting on a ledge, legs dangling above passerbys below, we shared our favorite moments of the trip. The collective “oooh” from the huge crowd when the Eiffel tower began to twinkle let you know you weren’t alone in feeling the magic of this place.
We all ended up together for dinner at a quiet little french restaurant for my favorite french food of the trip. Reasonably priced for a good french meal, you should go eat here at least once the next time you’re in Paris. Order the pumpkin soup if it’s on the menu, the steak (that sauce!), and whatever you do, be sure to end with the dessert with hot chocolate sauce poured over it. Throughout the weekend each of us was responsible for picking up a treat for everyone (macarons, pastries, chocolates, cheeses, etc), and Rachel and I went in on ordering these for the table when we saw how much the old french couple next to us was enjoying theirs.
We ubered back to the hotel and stayed up too late, again, talking and planning our our last morning in Paris.
Day 3 Pastry Count:
- 1 pain au chocolat
- whatever that delicious dessert was (pastry stuffed with ice cream and covered in chocolate)