Friday, April 12, 2013

Mona and Meurice

Dave and I braved the hordes at The Louvre yesterday, in order to get some face time with Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace (among others). As you can see, Mona was thronged, as usual. It's kind of an extension of our culture's celebrity worship, isn't it? Out of all the 35,000 artworks in The Louvre, it's funny that we've settled on just one as the absolute must-see.

And that's as close as I got.

We spent several hours at the museum, wandering through the Italian and other European painting sections, gazing at Albrecht Durer's self-portrait and works by many French artists, like Poussin, that I barely know. (The galleries containing Vermeer's lacemaker were closed for some reason. Sacre bleu!) We also went to the African and Pacific Island rooms, where we spotted this character from Hawaii.

He's a good antidote to the toothless man banging pots that we encountered on Wednesday, isn't he? And aside from the teeth, he's wearing approximately the same expression.

Dave and I got separated at one point and I despaired of ever finding him again. The Louvre really is incredibly vast, and so crowded. But we both instinctively went back to the grand entrance foyer beneath I.M. Pei's glass pyramid, and somehow I spotted him amid the mob.

Last night we had dinner at Le Meurice, which Dave chose from among all the restaurants in Paris as the one for our special meal. It was stupendous, no question. We both got the tasting menu with wine pairings and I have never eaten so well -- pigeon, asparagus with caviar and other dishes simply too delicate and complex for me to describe.

We have also never paid so much for a meal. Holy cow. I have to remind myself that food is Dave's passion, and this is the equivalent of him buying a fancy camera lens. If I can do it, so can he!

We'll be back on the train to London this afternoon, to be reunited with Olga this evening. We keep joking that the folks at the kennel have probably locked her in a crate, she's such a wild thing. We'll all be happy to see each other, I'm sure.


  1. Welcome home! I have loved following along on your Paris excursion!

  2. Ah, Mona. I was so disappointed the first time I saw her. She was much much smaller than I had ever imagined and being behind glass you really couldn't see the painting very well anyway. I love your take on it by getting everyone else taking photos of her.

    The Louvre is immense and so easy to get disoriented in, but fascinating.

    I'm sure Olga will be all wiggly with gladness to see you again! She'll have some stories to tell as well!

  3. I really really hate crowds. We went to see the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit here & it was almost too much for me to bear. Wonder if I'm getting a phobia?

    I think spending a fortune on a meal in Paris is what you're supposed to do - right? Meanwhile, I'm eating another frozen dinner for lunch. Ha!

    Can't wait to hear how Olga's stay went.

  4. I thought of you and Dave all day yesterday as I listened to NPR describing a strike at the Louvre warranting its closing! I think the security guards were striking in anger of the amount of pickpocketing? It all seemed so impossibly French!

  5. I.M.Pei designed the building I work in. It is a combination of 7 atriums all at angles to eachother. I've been told he never uses right angles in his work and re. the pyramid, I guess that's correct. Cannot wait to hear about the reunion! PS...LOVE caviar! Lucky you!

  6. A meal that good lasts forever in the mind and thus, is worth the price.