Tag Archives: Picnic

McLaughlins @ Paris

I was lucky in that my Uncle Jack and Aunt Anne Marie, as well as their good friends Misty and Allen, were vacationing in Paris while I was here.  I tagged along with them as much as possible…time flew by as we wandered through museums, parks, and the streets of Paris.

Americans in Paris!

Today's catch on Rue Cler.

We had perfect picnic weather!

We saw the “Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso… The Stein Family” exhibit at the Grand Palais, as well as a Monet exhibit at the Marmottan Museum.  Cameras were forbidden, so I don’t have pictures from the exhibits to show you 😦

Grand Palais

We also spent a day at Fontainebleau, a chateaux built by Francis I in the 1500’s.  This chateaux was the location of Napoleon’s farewell before going into exile. Although much smaller than Versailles, the lack of crowds and peaceful atmosphere made for a very pleasant visit.  I must admit, visiting Fountainebleau is both breathtaking and unsettling–the palace itself is gorgeous, and the treasures inside are very impressive (albeit a little kitschy with modern eyes).  However, the amount of wealth and effort poured into this residence is somewhat disturbing, an overt downside to the power of these royal individuals.  It was kind of like watching Cribs, but more surreal.

View of palace from gardens.

Library.

Chapel.

Throne room.

Marie Antoinette's bedroom. The wallpaper is horrendous.

Napoleon's bed.

Napoleon's make shift office bed (just in case he was too tired to walk next store to his bedroom bed).

And finally, a picnic refreshment!

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7th arrondissement

We are definitely getting settled into our temporary French lifestyle–we drink wine most nights and enjoy late dinners (haven’t started smoking though).  This weekend in Paris was very relaxing and the weather continued to be amazing…

We spent a few hours at Musee Rodin, where we examined sculptures of all sizes and learned a great deal about the artist and his path to fame, fortune, and lady-troubles.

View of Hotel Biron with 'The Burghers of Calais' in the foreground.

Garden view (taken from upstairs Hotel Biron window).

Here is a taste of what we saw in the museum:

‘The Kiss’ depicts the initial moment of passion between Francesca and Paolo (which consequently damned them to hell since Paolo was the brother of Francesca’s husband–whoops!).

'The Kiss'

'The Cathedral'

Bearded men: Charles and Rodin.

'The Hand of God'. Adam and Eve are in the foreground, whereas you can see the hand of god cradling them in the mirror view.

Charles examining 'The Crouching Woman'. Like many of Rodin's pieces, this sculpture was initially created for 'The Gates of Hell' before becoming a stand alone work.

Headless and armless, 'The Walking Man'.

NSFW: 'Iris'.

A room in the museum featured the work of Camille Claudal, Rodin’s padawan and mistress.  ‘The Age of Maturity’ is shown to the left, which reflects the couple’s dramatic breakup (an older man is pulled from a kneeling younger woman by Time).  Claudal was eventually committed to a mental institution.

Sculptures by Camille Claudel.

‘The Duchesse De Choiseul’ was Rodin’s mistress later in life.  The Duchesse tried to take all of Rodin’s money…his bros finally talked some sense into him and he broke it off.

'The Duchesse de Choiseul'

Famous French writer Balzac.  Rodin completed multiple sculptures of this writer.

'Balzac'

A few prominent larger pieces lived in the museum garden:

Charles at 'The Gates of Hell' (a work that Rodin never finished despite working on it for 37 years).

I don't remember the name of this one.

After the Musee Rodin we walked by the L’Hôtel national des Invalides, a stunning complex.  We were too hungry to go inside, but at least saw the outside!

L'Hôtel national des Invalides.

We grabbed supplies for a picnic on Rue Cler then enjoyed our feast near the Eiffel tower.

Baguette, pâté, salami, prosciutto (or something like prosciutto, not really sure what we bought), gouda, plums, blackberries, beignet, sparkling HOH, and of course wine!

Until next time, au revoir!

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