Friday, July 17, 2009

Unexpected delights....

Wind and clouds followed those crazy storms last night. The sun briefly showed its warm rays but other than that this has been a chilly day for the heart of summer. To be honest, I prefer this kind of weather when I am not near the ocean and can easily find relief from the heat. However, on Monday when Paris Plages opens up we'll be wanting all that seasonably warm weather to heat things up for swimming and sunbathing along the Seine.

Not quite sure what to do today, I tossed a kids book on Monet in my bag and decided to head to the Tuileries to read to the kids before going to L'Orangerie to see the magnificently huge Waterlilies housed there. We walked down to La Bastille where Buddy informed me he was getting a blister and wanted to go home and change his shoes. So back we went and once he was donned in his crocs with the heal strap turned to the front we were good to go. Hopping on Line #1 we rode for about 5 stops until we came to the Tuileries station. Much to our (their) delight upon exiting the station we found that the Tulleries has a carnival from the end of June through the end of August. The kids went wild. It was complete with games, French carnival food and a huge ferris wheel.

The nice thing about doing carnivals in foreign countries is that they have all the fun - but probably dangerous stuff - due to the lack of being sued for personal injury. The carnival was empty so we had the rides all to ourselves. The other nice thing is that the ride operators here don't try and wait for the ride to fill up before starting it. They had two kinds of bumper cars - one with the regular cars and one with bumper motorcycles. Or as I like to call them, bumper Vespas! The kids and I decided to do the regular kind and when the operator discovered that the kids were too short to be both buckled in AND reach the gas peddle he shrugged his shoulders in a way only the French can and said "d'accord". So the kids drove around totally unbuckled and no one was wearing a helmet. Oh, the dangers!!! Well, it was just me out there with them so I took care not to bump them - well not that much anyway. They thought it was incredible fun. We then took a ride on the ferris wheel to grab some incredible views of Paris and with all the dramatic weather we have had lately, the clouds made for some great pictures.

Nice zoom huh?!

After the fun and games it was time to grab a sandwich jambon and a fanta to eat our dejeuner in the parc with the rest of the Frenchies on their lunch breaks. We read the book on Monet and then strolled down through the Tuileries away from the Louvre towards L'Orangerie. On our way we came upon a group - obvious from their office attire- still on their lunch break from work engaged in a heated game of boules. Lady in navy pants with cute sweater just bowled a show stopper and hit the little white ball with her first boule. You could tell the men were now taking the game very seriously and one by one got up there and failed miserably. Then second to last guy, with suit-pants tight enough only a euro guy could pull off, tossed his boule and knocked her out of the way. When the last office-mate tossed his first ball it was apparently close enough to require everyone to approach the mess of silver balls on the ground to examine who was winning. It was at this point that I noticed that all these well coiffed people had marched into the parc after a rainy night for this game of boules and their well healed heals were covered in the white mud of French parcs. Leaves and branches stuck to them but no one seemed to care. Realizing he had a chance to win this gig, l'homme returned to the line to bowl his second boule but the seriousness of the game at this point required him to put down his glass of rose and really focus. It was a failed attempt as was the last boule bowled by our lady in the cute sweater so alas, we think second-to-last-man-in-tight-pants won. Mind you, it was just about 2 pm. For those of you working in an office- do you get to take off mid-day for a glass of wine and a game with ALL your officemates? Ahhh the french workplace!

So off to L'Orangerie we went and had a wonderful time peeking at some of Monet's most impressive pieces along with lots of other impressionist works done by his compatriots.

The prize for being such a good maman today shelling out euro after euro at the carnival, filling my children's brains with important information about 19th century artists, and buying ice cream as we walked back to the metro was a complaint-free stretch of shopping for shoes!


Meg said...

thank you for sharing every detail- makes me feel like I am right there with you......what an adventure you guys are on!!!!! the pics are gorgeous.

Sue said...

looks like another glorious day in gay Paris!! I love sharing in this journey with you. Makes me want to go back again!


Chatty Cricket said...

I am airmailing myself to you RIGHT NOW.

I don't know what it is, but in that last picture Sweet Pea looks SO very French.