For our first full day in Paris, we had a lot planned. First on our list was the Eiffel Tower. Now, remember from yesterday that I had maybe 5 hours of sleep, plus we had the World Cup neighbors keeping us up until after midnight. Bottom line? We slept in until 8:30, and the tower opened at 9. One thing we've learned is that Paris is like Disneyworld. You need to be at the attraction before opening or use extra magic hours (in Paris when the museums stay open late on different nights of the week.) Needless to say, we were not at the Eiffel Tower at opening, and the line was already hours long. Thankfully, we had spent time by it the night before and had excellent pictures. Our great views of Paris would have to come for another source in a couple days.
Trekking on, we saw the Arc de Triomphe, which was more stairs than I was prepared to climb at 284, but I made it like a trooper. We wandered the Tuileries Gardens (and by wandered, I mean laid back in comfy chairs under shade trees, looking at statues) and saw Monet's water lilies and other Impressionist paintings in the Orangerie. Side note: Renoir's paintings are pure confection, and I liked Cezanne more than I expected to. Lunch was a much needed long affair after so much walking which featured creme brûlée, French onion soup, steak au poive, and goat cheese salad. (Not in that order)
As we kept on through Sainte Chappelle, a jewel box chapel of stained glass, and the Conciegerie where Marie Antoinette and other prisoners were kept before the guillotine, James developed a heat rash which meant he could barely walk. He suffered through Notre Dame, and I knew we were done for the day, despite "extra magic hours" at the Louvre.
We returned to our apartment with microwaveable meals and chocolate from the grocery store down the road and watched sports documentaries on wifi for the rest of the evening. And it was fine. Sometimes you have to give yourself a break in order to keep going later. Maybe we won't see Mona Lisa on this trip, but I guess it gives me a reason to come back.