One thing that we did every morning that was a little painful but totally worth it was waking up early enough to get there right as the museum/park/whatever was opening. There were way fewer people right at the beginning, and you can actually enjoy the art and sit and look without a thousand people around! Not pictured from yesterday was waiting in line at the Paris Tourist Office to buy our Paris Museum Passes. We totally recommend getting the Paris Museum Pass if you're planning to visit any museums (including Versailles) - it's such a good deal! Oh, also you get to skip the normal lines to buy tickets at each of the museums/monuments, which is awesome. It was very much fun skipping those lines and just heading to the front! So, we got the 4 day pass, which was 54€ (still expensive obviously), but we visited Musée Rodin, the towers of Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, the Pantheon, the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée de l'Orangerie, Versailles, Musée Cluny, and Centre Georges Pompidou, which would have been a total of 100,50€ each...so I'd say it was a pretty amazing bargain! I'm glad we did the four day museum pass - two days would have felt too short, and six days would have felt like all we did was go to museums (the six days must be consecutive), so it was really great for us. The line to buy the museum pass was pretty lonnggg, but we found a better place to buy in the future -- they sell them at every monument on the pass (pass excludes Palais Garnier and Eiffel Tower), and you can buy them in the Carrousel mall at the Louvre, which is underground, and I'm sure hardly anyone knows to go there!
Up first was the Rodin museum. We both love Rodin, so we thought it would be a great kick off to our museum tours!
The garden was beautifully laid out and manicured - we loved ambling about and finding each sculpture. I never knew how prolific Rodin was! There are SO many statues! And after spending an hour and a half, we realized you could go inside...where there are even more statues! I have no idea how someone could make so many incredible pieces of art in just one life time...I would get exhausted. There also was some Picasso inside, which was pretty sweet. I love Picasso, because it just seems like he was adored by everyone, and there is like almost always a random Picasso in everyone's house/museum.
Ten minutes later, this guy was swarmed by at least thirty people. Get there early! It's so much better to enjoy before all the crowds. The Thinking Man was just as ponderous as you always thought he was.
We found a nice bench to sit on and discuss the gardens and sculptures. We started wondering what the inspiration behind Rodin's pieces were, and as we stared at the man in front of us for a while, we decided...
He obviously was dancing the Beyoncé signature move from Single Ladies!! Definitely with a little less booty action, but we're pretty sure Beyoncé came here and stole a move from a super old statue dude. Brilliant!
After that, we started getting a little goofy, and decided that instead of the tortured beings that most people assume Rodin based his statues on, everyone in the Rodin museum was just dancing!! SO many of them legitimately looked like dance moves and facial expressions. For so many years, people have been trying to understand the complexity of Rodin's work, and really he just invited a few friends over for a serious dance party.
Owen's going to be mad since you can't really see the two statues in front, but it was a progression of the same statue in three different phases, and obviously Owen thinks that he is the perfect, completed work of art :)
The beginnings of the dance circle. Party on, stone guys!
Obviously we know this is not the most high-brow way of looking at art, but it sure was fun!
After the Rodin, we went to find some lunch. I had a bakery on my itinerary that was supposedly the best bakery in all of Paris, Poilâne, (they all say that...), and the street was relatively close to the museum. Of course, it was all the way on the opposite side of the street - we started at like building number 254 on Rue Cherche Midi, and it was all the way down at 8! It took us soooo long to walk all the way down there, and then when we got there, I was totally surprised. I thought they would have some pre-made sandwiches, at least basic ones, that we could actually eat for lunch, but it was JUST BREAD. No messing around. And loads of locals came in, ordered their bread super quickly (in French obviously), and then popped out, so it was obviously a popular place. I didn't want a whole huge round loaf (they were at least a foot in diameter), so I almost gave up on the whole thing! Luckily Owen had a bit more guts than me, and he managed to buy us some bread, and we also got a back of little punition (punishment) cookies (going to try this recipe soon!) that were super yummy - and I don't even like shortbread. Since we didn't want to eat just bread for lunch (though it was as promised, wonderfully delicious), we wandered around looking for some other type of food, when we stumbled upon a local produce market and bought THE MOST DELICIOUS cherries I've ever eaten in my life! I had no idea how to buy them of course, but I knew you're not supposed to touch the fruit - you just tell (or point in our case) what you want, and the produce person will pick out the best and ripest fruit that will be the most delicious that day. It's amazing. We were super confused about how much they cost, since the ticket he gave us said something like 11 euros, which was a lot, but we bought quite a few cherries, and I feel like they are always expensive (even like $9 at freaking Walmart), but they ended up being around 2 euros! If I could have remembered how to get there and if it wasn't so far away, I wish we had bought cherries from this guy every day!! We ate our bread and cherries in park, and then went shopping of course. The bread was way good, like I mentioned - it was really crispy crunchy on the outside, and unbelievably soft inside. And the outside crust had this really interesting flavor, almost like burnt marshmallow or something smoky and caramelized. It was so good and we were so hungry, we wolfed down all that bread!!
We were on our way to some other stores, when we ran into the original Bon Marché! Since I totally remember the old-school, awesome commercials for this incredible department (which no one else seems to remember...), I had to go in! The store was huge, the sales were on, and it was awesome. And expensive. Paris, you never change.
Window shopping for things I can't afford always makes me hungry, so we went to Pierre Hermé - supposedly the greatest competitor of Laduree.
We got six macarons this time (no messin' around) and also this amazing wonderful chocolate dessert called plénitude.
Awkwardly close photo of me, but hopefully you can see inside the case a little bit - I really couldn't saw which I liked better between the two boutiques. Laduree was much more girly and adorable, and Pierre Hermé was more refined and serious-business desserts. I loved them both!
This chocolate dessert was really a mystery - the description was something like bittersweet chocolate with crunchy caramel inside. Yes, and it was so much more than that! Man it was good. A goal in my life is now to figure out how to make that thing.
Sadly, we did not get a photo of the macarons - I wanted to wait until we got home to eat them, but they kind of got smashed and not so pretty by then, and the caramel ran out of the salted caramel one onto other things. This was very sad. Please, eat macarons as soon as you buy them. We still thoroughly enjoyed them - we got salted caramel, jasmine, apricot + pistachio, dark chocolate, raspberry, and one more I can't remember (maybe milk chocolate + passion fruit?). They were still amazing flavors, even though a little smooshed, and I am so disappointed we didn't go there again!
You must think all we do is eat, but here we are at dinner. We opted to sit inside to hopefully avoid some smokiness, but it was SO INCREDIBLY HOT inside the restaurant! I was just sitting and sweating and couldn't eat! Luckily, the people were very nice and they let us move to a table outside, or else I think I would have died. Owen got a ratatouille, and I got a salad with prosciutto and gorgonzola and other tasties.
After dinner we went to Notre Dame, because for some reason, I had on my schedule that it was open late that night until 9 p.m. Wrong. It was open until 6. Which we found out right as we were going in at 5:45. Oops. We were pretty lucky, because we made it in just for the last bit of a mass ceremony, and got to hear some pretty amazing music with fabulous acoustics. And the church itself is so big!!! Notre Dame is Owen's favorite, so I knew we would have to come back on a different day! Also, it's weird taking pictures inside a church, let me just say that.
Walking home, cool tower by our house.
That day, I took a video of the view outside our very high up (sooo many stairsssss) apartment because I think the view was quite nice. And luckily the building directly across from us was an office building, so no one was there at night. Our street was so noisy!