We slept in on Monday and enjoyed our mediocre breakfast at the hostel. Andy spent the morning geting the City Mapper app set-up on my phone, so Ally and I could navigate our morning without him. You see I've always been the driver and Andy the navigator. Even on trips I plan the destinations whether a hotel, restaurant, or other and Andy figures out how to get us there. City Mapper was awesome. You set your city and then put in where you want to go and it gives you ALL of your options. I mean all from walking to scooter rental to moped rental to bike to cab to buses to the metro. The part I was most frightened about was getting on the metro going to wrong direction, but it even told you that.
So with that about 9:30AM we were off and actually got to ride the first train together and the boys got off a couple of stops in front of us as they were headed to Musée de l'Armée while we girls were headed to the shopping district with our first stop being the iconic Galeries Lafayette.
The boys gave the Museum high marks and totally wished they had more time. But loved what they saw, but really wanted to make it around the back to Napoleon's Tomb. The exhibits range from arms and armor of the 13th century all the way up to modern day and the World Wars. It's definitely a place they want to return as their 2.5hours only scratched the surface.
Ally and I explored the floors of the Galeries with most being way to expensive for us. There was an entire floor with major designers that the pieces did not even have price tags and there were salons for you to view things with your personal shopper. We opted for the more affordable floor and even found a top on sale in orange (GO BEAVS) in the Diesel section. Then we scooted across the street to H&M, which mind you this is H&M Paris. So this Mom was very happy to see the more classy looks versus ripped jeans. Ally found a "going out" top as well as two pairs of pants for school. Then we agreed it was caffeine time, but there were not any traditional cafes in the area so yes, we went to Starbucks, but they had tables outside set-up like a normal cafe so we could watch the passers-by and even more important....a bathroom.
We were both pretty tired so we opted to walk to meet the boys at the Louvre for our 1PM entry. We got a little nervous as the boys metro'ed in and got lost in the labrynth that is a shopping mall and food court under the Louvre. But they made their way out and we approched the lines which wrapped and wrapped themselves around the glass pyramid entrance. After we found out which line we were to be in I almost threw in the towel, but we agreed we would give it 15 minutes to see how fast it moved. And it flew...and we were in quickly. We had a reservation and pre-bought tickets. Most of the scarey lines were people who were trying their luck at getting in without a reservation.
Once in though it was still packed and today the temps outside had finally increased to more summer-like and the a/c was struggling to keep up with the throngs of people packed inside. So we went on a mission...in 2 hours we would see the majors...Venus de Milo, Winged Mercury, and the Mona Lisa, and whatever else we happened upon while taking this path. And we did it...at the end of our two hours we followed the hundred of people to the room with the Mona Lisa. Andy more wanted the kids to see the craziness around it...this massive room and hung on a massive wall with tons of traffic control for the masses of people hung a painting that is only 30inches x 20 inches. Yep, that's it!
We wound our way out of the Louvre and back underground for Alec to secure his McRoyal with Cheese from McDonalds so he could send a pic to his friends. This is something to only be done once...our order took 45minutes. Ouch! But it gave us time to relax and discuss our evening.
Back to the hostel the kids were done! So we ordered pizza to be delivered to the hotel along with soda and they could chillax, take showers, and pack for our early morning flight. Andy would research and find us a wonderful French resturant close-by to go have a couple's dinner and we would bring the kids macaroons for dessert.
I love all the walking in Paris. We ventured down to the area of our first dinner and settled into outside seats and went all in on a French cuisine at La villa des abbesses. Andy started with French Onion Soup and I had mussels in escagot butter (I had escargot the previous night) for starters. For an entree I had duck and Andy had a pork loin. We both had traditional french wines with Andy having a Bourdeux and myself a Chablis (we had visited the Chablis region on our last trip). A couple of hours later and we were stuffed and ready for that walk and re-visited Dolce Pepone from our first night as they also had macaroons.
We now knew our flight was already a couple of hours delayed the next day, so we would get to sleep in, so after getting videos of our view we all settled in for a pleasant last night snooze in Paris. Tomorrow we were headed home and another amazing trip would come to an end.