paris, day two

Connie and I were both dead to the world by 9:00 p.m., and when I next opened my eyes, it was 8:30 a.m. Yes! That's an unheard of amount of sleep for me, and I needed it. We had breakfast in the hotel and were soon back on the Metro.

Since we didn't get the earliest of starts, by the time we got to the Musee D'Orsay, the queue/line/lineup (UK/US/Cda) was very long, snaking around a good eight or ten times. But no bother, we were patient and made our way in. The D'Orsay was Connie's number one site - as it had been mine on my last two trips to Paris - so we planned to spend the day there.

We saw about half the museum, then had lunch at the restaurant, as opposed to the cafe. The menu (i.e. prix fixe) no longer includes a quarter-litre of wine as it once did, but it was a full and wonderful meal... and I drank wine anyway. I notice Connie generally speaks English as if she's home, as if she expects everyone to speak her language. But my mom is not an "ugly American" by any means, and an extremely friendly and pleasant person, and so far everyone very nicely uses English in return. And by the way, Connie says this was the greatest lunch ever. "This is the most scrumptious chocolate cake I have ever tasted."

After lunch I was ready to call it a day at the D'Orsay but I didn't say that. In fact, I think the gateau must have gone to Connie's head because I had to ask her to enjoy the paintings without tugging on my sleeve and narrating and telling me stories. I did - I think - convince her to enjoy the remainder of the museum at her own pace and leave me to mine. I still think she was rushing at the end, but maybe she had had her fill, too.

One of the coolest things about the remodeled D'Orsay is the colour of the gallery walls. Guy Cogeval, the museum's director, eschews the standard whitewash for deep burgundy, eggplant, indigo, and such. The effect is like seeing paintings for the first time. But the very best thing about that museum is simply the physical space. No matter what's on display, it can't compete with the remodeled train station.

We took the metro back - rush-hour crowds this time - and in short order were lying on our beds resting. Coming back to this neighbourhood is wonderful. It's so lovely and looks and feels so Parisian.

Eventually lunch faded away enough to think about eating dinner. We went back to Au Tramway, and had a perfect meal of lamb chops, roasted potatoes, and green beans. [Allan: I miss you. You would love this place and you belong here with me!] Connie had the world's most delicious tarte au pomme while I had more vin rouge. I told my mom that Allan says she is always eating the most delicious [whatever] she has ever had in her life. We had a good laugh over it. 

Talking over lunch and dinner, we realized that even our modest and restrained sightseeing wish-list must be cut back. The toughest part of travel, for me, is always what to leave out.

Tomorrow we are spending the day with R from London! Can't wait.

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