Email from June 28:
We headed straight for the Musee D'Orsey this morning and ate croissants in line. This line was only 20 minutes, so it wasn't too bad. The painting of the girls playing the piano wasn't there this time, though maybe we missed it. For being a much smaller gallery, it's sort of confusing and hard to tell which rooms you've already seen without walking into them all again (which we sort of attempted to do). My favorite part of this museum is, of course, the building that houses it. But again, the crowds were crazy and it was hard to really even experience the backside of the clock tower. Alas. We did see everything there (we think). And overall it's still a more pleasant museum experience than the Louvre. It also covers a time period of art that isn't very well covered by the Louvre.
From there we headed back to the hotel to pack up and check out but keep our bags at the hotel. We rode bikes from the hotel to the Pantheon which took quite a while because they're on opposite ends of town and we had a bit of a tricky time finding the Pantheon. Mainly because of all the one way roads. We would get to a road where we planned to turn and it would need one way the wrong way. So we would go to the next, and it would also go the wrong way. So we go one more, and it's also the wrong way! Eventually we made it there. Hugo, Dumas, Voltaire and many others are buried beneath Foucault's pendulum.
At this point, it was around 4pm and we had only had one croissant each and I was dying, so we bought some bignets off a street vendor and ate them on the Metro on the way to Rue de Grenelle (the place a friend of ours said to eat). There really weren't many cafés there, but we found one. I had a Croque-Madame and Tom had an "Ocean Salad" (with seafood in it, obviously).
We biked from there to the Trocodero to see the Eiffel Tower up close and saw hilarious professional engagement and wedding pictures being taken with the Eiffel tower in the background (again, with a giant football hanging in the middle of it... how romantic).
We took pictures and then took the Metro to the Arc d'Triomphe. There was some military gathering happening under the arch, so we couldn't walk under it, but we walked the loop around it on the opposite side of the street and took pictures. We then walked down the Champs E'Lysee stopping in Sephora to smell all of the "perfumes les enfants" (kid perfumes - a tradition of mine). I remember finding Mulan perfume the first time we went to Paris. This time they had Hello Kitty, Frozen, Playmobile Gene (?), Star Wars, Spiderman, and some Japanese character I didn't know. Our favorite kids fragrance was Star Wars.
Around 8:30pm, we got our bags at the hotel, walked to the airport bus stop, rode to the airport, walked to the hotel shuttle, packed on the shuttle bus to the hotel (Parisians really pack in the metro and busses!), and got here after 10pm. Because we have "status" (thanks to our credit card), we have lounge access, so we went and got the complimentary pastries and fruit and brought them back to our room. Then we're off on our long journey home! We love you all. Thank you for taking such great care of our kids while we've been away. I'm worried they won't even want to see us! :)