• Lillian E.

Paris 2009 - Part 3: Art and Culture

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

The famous Louvre! We were so excited to go see the Mona Lisa because it was most likely the only thing I knew about inside. Like I said before, I took a lot of photos that I no longer remember why I took them, probably because I thought they were cool and I'd never seen anything like it. So I've included a few below that I thought were worth noting.

I also remember waiting in line to get into the Louvre and then running into a group of giggling school kids about our age that wanted to practice their English on us. Unfortunately their accents were so strong we only picked up "do you like Zac Efron?" before we were whisked away through the glass pyramids.

We had a guide with us all week name Madame Yolande, a good friend of my grandmother's who spoke French and helped us organize our itinerary. She was an absolute angel and made sure we had the best time while also understanding the things we were seeing.

I thought the people made of fruit were funny.

The Louvre houses some of the biggest paintings I've ever seen to this day. To 12 year old me, they were even bigger!

Below: my first glimpse of the Mona Lisa. I thought she'd be bigger and I was annoyed that all the tall grownups were making a crowd so I couldn't see better. Dad told me it was behind glass because someone tried to pour acid on it a long time ago.

A mirror photo to document our impeccable fashion choices. Peep mine and Charlotte's matching little cameras. I might actually still have mine somewhere, but it'll need a charge.

Also depicted: the winged Victory! Dad told me about her too, so I had to take a photo to show him I saw it.

I have no idea why I have a photo of the arches in the Louvre, but I liked them so I've included it on the post.

After leaving the Louvre we walked along the Jardin des Tuileries and tried our hand at "living like a French person" which meant taking a moment to sit in the chairs by the pond like all the other people were doing. Also probably because our feet hurt.

There were a lot of these guys around selling tiny Eiffel Towers and I snapped an obligatory photo of a French flag.

Someone explained to us that all the monuments line up, so I took a photo of that. And here is my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, so I took an off kilter pic of that as well.

NEXT: We made our way down the Tuileries to the other end where the Musée de l'Orangerie lives.

A fabulous photo of Charlotte and the water lilies.

A selfie of me with the water lilies (kind of). This was before backwards cam was invented, so I was doing my best, ok?

More photos of us and the art.

NEXT: The Musée d'Orsay! We did a lot of walking on this trip, but it was June and we were in Paris so who were we to complain??

I have less photos of the art in the Musée d'Orsay, but enjoy this photo of Charlotte *being* the art in a conveniently available alcove that seemed well suited for this purpose.

(I'm pretty sure that was the exact conversation that preceded this photo. "Take a photo of me being art!")

Madame Yolande told us that this museum used to be an old train station, and when it was converted they kept a lot of the station elements such as the massive clock. Honestly it's a work of art by itself.

AND FINALLY: Our last stop of the day was the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

I also took a photo of Charlotte and our cousin in front of the Assemblée Nationale at some point, but I can't remember when so here we are.

Back to our regularly scheduled content: The ceiling of the Galeries was the coolest thing I'd ever seen- so I took a photo. We had some time to spare before the main event so I bought my first ever pair of high heels. They were barely a half inch off the ground and I wondered what my mom would say, but told myself I was 12 and deserved a pair of fancy shoes. I just hoped I wouldn't wobble in them.

We were brought up to the roof of the building and we thought we were SO FANCY because we could see several cool buildings from our impressive vantage point. At some point we'd gone home to change and I put on my favorite dress in the whole world because.... *drumroll please*

We were going to see a real live FASHION SHOW. *wild applause*

This is me in my favorite fancy dress in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Also this pigeon because...uh... I guess I thought French pigeons were different than NYC pigeons. Was I right? I'll let you decide.

My lovely grandmother, Susu. She has the most impressive collection of hats you've ever seen in your life.

Here we are at the fashion show. Someone told us we had to be on our best behavior, so I was petrified of drawing any attention to myself. There were no other children in the audience and I wanted to seem as French as possible. I have no idea how I thought I'd pull that off, but we were too excited to think hard about it.

Honestly I shouldn't have worried so much, looking back it absolutely was nowhere near the caliber of Paris Fashion Week (I didn't even know that was a thing back then), but we felt like Anna Wintour herself.

Here are 2 of a few photos I took to remember it by.

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