After our shopping excursion we followed the signs to the Musee D'Orsay - we knew it was closed, but we wanted to check out where it was for our visit later in the week. We found out one thing for sure - just because you see a sign it does not mean that your destination is a short distance away! But it wasn't really raining, and we felt a bit rested after our easy afternoon and thought it would be a pleasant diversion.
We enjoyed checking out the outside of this Museum, which was a former train station. The plaza outside boasts several statues that are very neat. One of our favorites was of a series of women representing the continents. There was someone else taking photographs with them, so I intended to come back later and take pictures, but ended up forgetting. Oh well. We then realized we were right across the river from the Louvre, so decided to walk over there and see if we could buy our museum passes for the next day. They had just closed, though, so we settled for a couple of photos in the emptying courtyard! At this point it was time to make our way back to the hotel and get ready for our big night out in celebration of my Birthday.
When we returned to our Hotel we figured out where we went wrong that morning, and had no more difficulties with our travels back and forth from that point on. We were determined to go all out, so dressed up in our finery and set forth, hoping that we wouldn't get soaked by the rain again or that the weather wouldn't turn too cold. Thankfully it didn't and we had a fine time!
We ate dinner at the Cafe George V on the Champs Elysee. This well known spot was absolutely charming. The waiter was the epitome of what we pictured as a french waiter - a sophisticated looking older man who was very charming and great at drawing people in. We were asked whether we wanted to dine inside or out on the sidewalk. We chose to eat inside and am glad we did as the diners outdoors smoke a lot! The seats all face outside, and we were in the second row, enjoying a good view of the sidewalk and all the people passing by. I had the famous French Onion soup which was outstanding! My daughter started with a Caesar salad. Both were huge portions and could have been a meal in themselves, but we were going all out - she followed her salad with the Boeuf Borgignon and I had a steak with frites (french fries!). We asked for a carafe de l'eau (pitcher of tap water) but it never arrived. We thought about ordering champagne, but since we were feeling a bit worn down decided against it. Later I realized that was a good thing as the drinks there are very overpriced. We thought the food was great, and tried to eat as much as we could, but still ended up leaving part of our meals behind!
The last order of the evening was to take the metro to the Trocadero and pay a visit to the Eiffel tower! The Trocadero is a large paved plaza, filled with all kinds of vendors wandering about, selling miniature Eiffel towers, and at night they have little flying things that light up for sale among other things like purses, scarves and all kinds of oddities. We walked across the plaza until we were almost at the stairs that go down to the reflecting ponds. Just then the Tower started sparkling as the lights came on for a special light show (which happens at every hour in the evening). It was like a special show just for me - as I watched those lights sparkle and glow I was thinking how wonderful it was to be spending my birthday in such a wonderful place with my daughter. I thought about how blessed I was with such an opportunity and how grateful I was for all the wonderful experiences I was going to enjoy during the week. I will never forget it!
After enjoying the light show we headed down the stairs (nearly 100 of them), crossed the street, and stood beneath the Eiffel Tower! I was amazed at how much larger it was than I realized, and how beautiful and graceful, yet sturdy and strong at the same time! About this time we realized that it was 11:00 at night and that we should probably head back to our hotel room to get some rest before our big day tomorrow - Notre Dame, and medieval Paris was our theme for the next day, and we still needed to buy our Museum Pass. Back across the street, a quick stop for crepes (coconut and chocolate for me, banana and chocolate for her) so yummy and so many choices for filling! Then a quick subway ride and off to bed, once again tired, sore feet and legs, but full of joy for the wonderful day.