Avril à Paris

It has been a while since our last post and we are happy to report that April has arrived in Paris! March ended with both of us being a bit under the weather, so after some much needed rest, we are back en bonne forme, ready to take advantage of everything that Paris has to offer in spring.

Flowers in Le Jardin des Luxembourg

It seemed like overnight the trees began to bud and flowers started to bloom all over the city, including these along our running route in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Spring in the Jardin

Any time the temperature allows, the parks fill up with people reading, enjoying a bite to eat, or socializing with friends.

Sammy in the sunshine

Humans aren't the only ones that get excited for spring. Sammy enjoys looking out our apartment window, sniffing the Parisian air and basking in the sunshine.

This past Sunday, many locals celebrated Pâques (Happy Easter to all of you in the states!). This meant that the stores were filled with chocolates for eating and hiding. It was also the first Sunday of the month, so all of the museums in Paris were free. We did our best to take advantage, despite the fact that the city centre was full of tourists who also had the same idea.

Dancing on Pacques

We found some locals playing music and dancing in the street to celebrate Pâques. We thought about busting out some of our swing moves, but we didn't want to steal the spotlight from this Parisian couple.

Mel at the Louvre

Mel poses outside of the Louvre. We tried to get inside, but decided on another museum after we found that the line was 4+ hours long. And yes, Mel was back in her winter coat… The weather has been a bit chilly lately, but there have been a few nice days that give us hope that summer will eventually arrive.

Marc at l'Orangerie

We found a smaller museum, L'Orangerie, that had a much shorter line. We were happily surprised to discover that the exhibit was impressionist artwork, including this painting by Renoir that Marc is admiring.

Water Lillies

Nothing says spring like Monet's 'Les Nymphéas'. L'Orangerie has two oval rooms in which the walls are covered with colossal canvases painted by Monet. It was a great place to sit for a while and imagine how someone can create such beauty from rough strokes of a brush.

L'Orangerie

The other great thing about this museum was the natural light. The roof is made of glass and steel, which allowed for diffused sunlight to wash the artwork throughout the galleries. On this sunny afternoon, it created a bright and uplifting museum experience.

Most Parisians had the day off on Monday in observance of Pâques and therefore took to the streets. Our school was also closed, so we decided to avoid the crowds and spend our time in quieter company exploring the Père Lachaise Cimetière. Afterwards, we headed to a nearby park and celebrated the living with our first picnic of the season!

Pere Lachaise Cemetary

Located on one of Paris' prominent hills, this cemetery is very picturesque with views of the surrounding area.

Jim at Pere Lachaise

There are many famous people buried at Père Lachaise, including Delacroix (painter), Chopin (composer) and Arago (scientist who our street in Paris is named after), but the most infamous being Jim Morrison. Unfortunately someone stole his bust, but here is a look at his tombstone which had not only the most flowers, but also the most vistors on the day we were there.

Marc picnicing

Marc enjoys a sunny afternoon picnic that wasn't complete without a bottle of wine.

Mel picnicing

Here is the chocolate bunny that we ate in celebration of Pâques. Très délicieux!

Opening Day

It should come as no surprise that the world's biggest Cubs fan was able to find a place to watch opening day, despite being thousands of miles away in a place where soccer and rugby are the sports of choice. However, we did our best to recruit new fans — Lewis, our English friend from school, joined us to watch his first baseball game (despite the score). After Marc explained all of the rules to him, they both show off their best batting stance.

Some of the most memorable moments of our trip have been simply walking the streets of Paris. There is so much to take in from the architecture to the people to the language, and everything in between. We try to savor each step of our Avril à Paris.

Arc en ciel

Quel arc-en-ciel! No photoshop needed to enhance this image — the colors in the sky were extraodinarily vibrant! We're still searching for the pot of gold… Somehow we think that just being here to see such a sight is the treasure.

~ by marcandmel on April 7, 2010.

4 Responses to “Avril à Paris”

  1. LOVE that Sammy looks so at home being a Parisian chien. LOVE the lady in the leopard coat dancing in the streets, and LOVE the picnic complete with the bottle of wine. SIgh… I love living vicariously through you!

  2. Ahhh the Cubs. I have two extra tickets to the Cubs/Phillies game in Philly on May 20th… Too bad you guys are WAY over there… It’s good to see you can still catch the games over there. I don’t see any Miller Light on tap though… I guess a glass of France’s finest red will work in a pinch.

  3. Jeff and I represented for you at Wrigley opening day, with a much better score! Glad the weather is warming up and all the pretty flowers are sprouting. Love the pictures!

  4. April may be beautiful everywhere, but April in Paris is tres magnifique! My favorite day in April is the 24th. Happy Birthday, Melissa! I’m sure your Paris birthday will be wonderful. Even though I won’t be there in person, as you are everyday, you will be in my thoughts and in my heart. MOM

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