Occupée mais pas fatiguée

It has been a little while since my last post but that only means I have been busy enjoying and exploring France! Since I last blogged I have seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, visited the Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, seen works by Monet, Manet, and Rodin at the Musée d’Orsay, tasted French hot chocolate, tried escargot, visited the South of France, and even had my twenty-first birthday!

Most museums in Paris are free for “les jeunes,” people between the ages of 18 and 26. My friends and I frequent the museums because they are an inexpensive way to spend the afternoon while seeing some amazing things. Both the Musée du Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay are located in Paris. They were crowded when we visited, but we still saw many famous artworks including the Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s self portrait, Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, as well as impressionist works by Renoir and Monet among many others. There was so much to see, we will have to go back to see what we missed! Here are photos of the museums:

Musée du Louvre

Musée d’Orsay

The weather was particularly nice a few weekends ago (usually it is cloudy and rainy here) and my friend Ali and I visited the Sacre Coeur. It was so warm, I wore a dress! The view was clear and beautiful, we even laid out on the grass for a while. I can’t wait until the weather gets nicer and spring finally arrives!

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Sacre Coeur

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Spring flowers in Montmartre

Moulin Rouge

I was also very fortunate to celebrate my 21st birthday in Paris last week! I feel so blessed to have met so many new friends who wanted to enjoy the night with me. The night before my birthday we went out to dinner at The Bouillon-Chartier, a restaurant offering traditional French cuisine on a budget. We all shared a round of escargot and for dinner I had confit de canard, or duck. Both were absolutely delicious. After dinner we went to our favorite bar in Paris, the Auld Alliance. My friends all sang to me and toasted my birthday at midnight. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. Here is a photo from dinner:

Birthday dinner at the Bouillon-Chartier

Birthday dinner at the Bouillon-Chartier

On the day of my birthday, Ali and I went to teatime at La Lutecia, a restaurant in the 6th arrondissement. I won a raffle sponsored by CEA so the teatime was free! We had chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) which was so thick it tasted like a melted chocolate bar! We also had sorbet, chocolate mousse, a pistachio macaroon, and an espresso. It was a very yummy birthday lunch!

Saturday morning we all woke up bright and early to go on an excursion with CEA to Southern France. We visited the Palais des Papes in Avignon (where the Popes lived before the Vatican), Saint-Rémy, Les Baux, and Roussillon. We also did a wine tasting at an organic vineyard and saw an animated slideshow of French impressionist art projected on the inner walls of an old quarry. The weather was not very good on the second day, but we made the best of it and enjoyed ourselves a lot. Here are some photos from Provence:

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Le Pont d’Avignon

Les Carrières de Lumières

Roussillon, Provence

So there you have it! More to come next week and thank you for reading.

Shannon

2 Responses to Occupée mais pas fatiguée

  1. Barbara Earle March 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I’m so glad you are an adventurer. What wonderful memories you are building. I gave your Mom a check to deposit in your account for your birthday.

    Love you, Grandma

  2. Aunt donna March 29, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Hi Shannon,
    I love your Blog & happy to hear that you are experiencing so much & traveling around. Sounds like you are taking so much in and making wonderful memories for yourself. Happy Easter to you. We love you!
    I gave your mother a check for you for your birthday, hope you got our card. Miss you! XXOO.

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