Confession time: I am not an art person.
I wish I was. I wish I could be that kind of cultured person. But I'm not. Standing staring at paintings is painful on the feet - I'd rather just be walking. And if I do try, I stand in front of a painting hoping some kind of great inspiration or moving sentiment will strike me. It never does. It just looks like a painting. Nice, pretty, but nothing earth-shattering. I have been extremely moved by a gorgeous landscape or a good meal, but never a painting or sculpture. I still haven't even been to the Louvre.
So going to the Musee d'Orsay was a bit of a stretch for me. A learning experience, if you will. Nothing really jumped out at me or moved me, but I did like a couple of paintings. This one was my favorite:
Regardless of my newfound appreciation of Paul Signac, I was pretty excited when it was time to meet my in-laws, who had just arrived, and have lunch. We found a nice little restaurant not too far from d'Orsay, and we had to wait about a half-hour for a table to open up. It was also hard on the feet, but beyond worth it. It was called Cafe de l'Empire, and it. was. amazing.
On a whim three of us ordered the duck simply because it smelled so good as we saw waiters carrying it to other tables. I don't even know if I've ever had duck before, but after smelling this business I had to try some.
Now that caused an inspiration. The duck AND potatoes were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This was a phenomenal meal. I cannot adequately explain how good this was - and what a good deal this was. Pretty sure the duck was around 10 euros, give or take. I mean, seriously.
And the cafe gourmand? Don't get me started. That's a common thing here, the cafe gourmand. You get a shot of espresso and several different mini desserts. I liked every single one of these except for the one in the little pot. It was like yogurt with fruit on top, and I do. not. like. yogurt. But the creme brulee and the macaron and the fudge-y chocolate cake thing? Yes, please.
After we were all adequately refueled, I set off with the in-laws for a day of exploring Paris. Have you ever taken a double-decker tour bus? I hadn't. B and I had kind of dismissed that as a "tourist" thing. But after spending the morning on my feet at the Musee d'Orsay, the idea of seeing the city while sitting down sounded like an absolutely delightful thing to do.
And it was. You could hop on and hop off this bus wherever you wanted, but we mostly stayed on. And I got some phenomenal pictures. Being in the open air, high above everyone else, lends itself to pretty good photography. Occasionally I got irritated when I got the heads of the people on the other side of the aisle in my photo, but that's kind of unavoidable.
So I say to you, dear readers, don't knock it 'til you try it. See my pics of Paris from the tour bus below, and enjoy. What a gorgeous day we had. And you do YOU. If you're more inspired by a really good duck than by a painting, well, so be it. And call me, because we could probably be good friends.
More adventures with the in-laws to come...in TWO more countries! Stay tuned...