Sunday, February 07, 2016

Free Sunday

The first Sunday of the month is "free Sunday" in Paris, and many of the museums, including The Louvre, offer free admission. We felt like it could be a risk to plan our visit for this day, but we decided to get there just as soon as the museum opened and take our chances. Once again, the crowd was surprisingly thin, and our gamble paid off. We got in very quickly and went straight to see our girl Mona Lisa. The kids have been enamored with the painting for years and have been looking forward to seeing it forever. This was the one thing we were determined to see, and we decided upfront that anything else would be icing. But, because there wasn't a huge crowd, we not only got to see Mona Lisa and snap a few pics of and with her, we also got to enjoy much of the rest of the museum at our leisure. It was a wonderful experience!

After that, we walked over to Luxembourg Gardens, where we enjoyed a lovely picnic and hours of fun at the "most awesome playground in the world." There is a small admittance fee for the playground, which was well worth it, but that was the only place we paid to enter all day! As we were leaving the park, we caught up with another lady we have long admired: The Statue of Liberty. The one that sits in the park is a replica of the model used by Fredric Bartholdi for the larger version which was gifted to the U.S. from France around 1880. The boys have not yet seen the Statue of Liberty in New York, but they were a bit disappointed that this one was so small.

Our last stop of the day was The Pantheon, which is a the final resting place of many of France's most important poets, writers, and scientists, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Marie Curie (and her hubby, Pierre), and Louis Braille. It is patterned off of The Pantheon in Rome, which also lends it its name. The building is beautiful and the crypts were fascinating to explore.

The iconic pyramid entrance to The Louvre

Photo bombed by "Mo Leese"

The Louvre is a statue-lover's paradise!
Clay tried to imitate the look of each statue and so refused to have his picture made with
any nude statues, after I told him he had to keep his clothes on.
Another funny statue story is that Max wanted to know why "The Tiber"
(in the upper right) was holding a cricket bat and leaning on an ice cream cone.
It seems like a fair question!

We exited at The Louvre at the inverted pyramid

On our way to the park, we passed one of the "love lock" bridges.
The idea is that lovers write their names on a lock, attach it to the bridge,
and throw the key into the Seine, symbolizing an unbreakable bond.

Picnic at the Palace in Luxembourg Gardens

The most awesome playground in the world

Lady Liberty and her man Clay

The Pantheon 

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