After our Eiffel Tower escapades, we hopped a cab to the Musee d’Orsay. My favorite art museum in the world. Walls and walls of impressionist art that just blows you mind–Renoirs, Monets, Cezannes, Degas.
Lesson learned from previous visits–start at the top where the the good stuff is! We were so jet lagged and cold, this lump resting spot was hard to leave near one of the clocks.
We wanted to rest and have a good bite to eat before seeing the art. The cafe at the top of the Musee d’Orsay is gorgeous. A work of art in itself, and we had fun playing the game of which artisitic features we loved the most. And also which feature we might want in our own home–not the same question, actually!
Unfortunately, the menu was unbelievably NOT kid friendly. For a museum, I was really surprised. No pommes frites? No crepes? Carson’s “ham and cheese sandwhich” was covered on top with bitter, fancy cheese. The cheese plate for Kaden was only the very fancy stinky cheese. I love cheese, but even I couldn’t eat it. As Carson said, “It tastes old and spoiled.” I am a foodie, but I was surprised that they didn’t have something simple on the menu. Plus my carrot soup was bland. But mom’s pasta with pesto and ham and fancy cheese was good. And I did enjoy Carson’s ham sandwich even though he didn’t. But for the price, it was a frustrating food experience. After four months in India where I felt that waitstaff bended over backwards to accomondate the kiddos, I thought that Paris with all of its kid friendly talk would do the same. Not so! The view, though, was exceptional.
And the real reason to be there was the art. I was THRILLED that the kids got absorbed into the paintings, despite our fatigue. We played our art game again–“Guess which picture on the wall is my favorite.” It really helped the kids to study each wall of paintings carefully and to reflect on their own favorites plus others. When walking through some of the early impressionistic paintings that are much more realistic than the Monets, we played another game–“Where is the light shining in this painting? And why would the artist want to draw your eye to that spot in the painting? ” Again, this game was surprisingly a big hit! And in the end the kids developed some definite opinions. Much to my surprise, Kaden is a huge Cezanne fan. Below was one of her favorite paintings.
Carson liked Monet and Van Gogh. We talked a lot about how different it is to see a Van Gogh in person because of his thick brush strokes, swirls, and density of paint. They really appreciated this difference. This painting below had been on his wall in his room for many years. He really enjoyed seeing it in person.
After the museum, it was time to do some souvenier shopping. Kaden insisted on a beret. Here she is outside the Musse d’Orsay.
In the museum shop, I also saw this sign about learning English on the door. I was fascinated, since I think in general the French are not such fans of using English. The times they are a changing I guess.
Then it was time to head home, which unfortunately for us, led us in a big circle trying to find our train back to the apartment. Note to travellers in Paris: the metro and the RER lines are viewed as very different to Parisians even though they are on the same map and tickets are the same for each. So if you ask for the nearest metro stop, even though the RER line is literally ten steps away, they just might send you four blocks away to get to a proper metro train. Lesson learned!