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Sunday, August 7, 2011

...Patrick's first week off

Since Patrick is taking the first two weeks of August off, we have been trying to do something out and about every day except for Monday (8/01/11).  To start out the week right with that "vacation feel" for Patrick, we just relaxed at home.  

Tuesday we first went to the American Library of Paris and while that might not seem very exciting, we were all looking forward to it!  The library had been closed for a month to remodel so we were all in need of some new reading material since we can't run down to the Barnes and Noble.  The kids are on a reading frenzy because we promised them "bucks for books".  We then walked to the Musée du Quai Branly.  We visited their permanent collections: Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas.  Saw lots of cool masks and artifacts.

Wednesday:  We finally went on river cruise.  Actually it was a canal tour, but very cool.  Went through the locks and saw lots of neat things.  The guide did the whole tour in French and English and was very fun.  
Notre Dame from the boat
Tunnel with holes to surface to allow light
in and gas to escape

Moveable bridge to allow
boats to pass

Entering a lock

Thursday we were going to go to Notre Dame and see some gargoyles, but by the time we got there, the line was already long and the weather was looking dicey.  So instead we walked around and found some birds to feed a leftover baguette (it was in the car for this purpose, you never know...!)  The rain started, so we called it a day.

Max and "Fred"
We have named all the pidgeons "Fred" for simplicity
(I don't know.....it's kinda funny)
Friday the weather was still yucky so we took the opportunity to see Cars II.  Cute.  Love that Mater!

Saturday we went to the Cite de Enfants which is a hands on museum.  The kids and I had been there once, but this is a place you can do back frequently and still not see everything and they have changing exhibits.  We spent about 5 hours there Saturday and still haven't made it to the third floor or the exhibits on the lower (negative number) floors.  They also have a huge Geode which shows 3D and I-Max movies.

Haven't been in it yet

They have an area where you get a wrist band and play a series of about 35 games (memory games, math games, and some physical challenges) and when you are done you scan your wrist band and it prints out your results.  So not only is it fun, but like a free souvenier of your visit.  Around these games are displays that show you how much the average human consumes during a year.  Really impressive.  This place is a must do and we will be going back again (and again, and again!).
One year average of 35.4 liters of beer

60 liters of milk

21 liters of wine

They also have a decommissioned sub that you can explore.
He really was enjoying himself.....really

Sunday (today) we went to the Conciergerie former royal palace and prison. Marie Antoinette was imprisoned here before her beheading.  Marie Antoinette's cell was converted into a chapel dedicated to her memory but they have reconstructed what it probably looked like.
Marie Antoinette's cell
 The Conciergerie and Palais de Justice underwent major rebuilding in the mid-19th century, totally altering their external appearance. While the building looks like a brooding medieval fortress, this appearance actually only dates from about 1858.  The inside is spectacular.
spiral stairs to kitchen off Great Hall

One of four fireplaces in the Great Hall
Checking it out for Santa, Patrick?

Great Hall

So not really sure what we will be doing in the upcoming week.......but will keep you posted!

On a side note, I did get some pictures of the Paris Plage from the canal tour.  Check out previous post for what the plage is ........

Sand castle built by Disney

Umbrellas and sand brought in to make a beach

Check out the size of those pots!
Lounge areas all along the banks of the Seine!