Sunday, March 31, 2013

Going to Paris, Again!

I know, AOTHER trip to Paris, I am the luckiest girl.  I have been to Paris once a month for the last 3 months.  This was the first trip that I had planned, I wanted to take Addie to Paris in the spring on a girl's weekend.  My mom and my sister thought that sounded like a good idea so we all woke up super early on Monday morning to make our way to Paris.   
When we arrived in Paris we headed to our hotel, the Park Hyatt in Place Vendome.  This was a special treat from my dad who has basically lived in a Hyatt for work this year.  He was able to book us  some amazing rooms.
The hotel was so fancy, it was a fun experience.  
This is the upgraded room that my mom and my sister stayed in. 
Addie and I had the 'basic' room down the hall.  It was still amazing and had all the same luxurious details, just not quite as much room.  I will tell you compared to most Parisian hotel rooms these rooms are huge.   
This is the luggage room.  

The dual vanities in the first part of the bathroom.

The shower with a rain shower head and a nice soaker tub.
On our way to and from the hotel we walked past Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Chanel, just to name a few.  These stores all had locked doors and security guards, we had fun just window shopping.

Our first order of business was to walk to the Louvre, our hotel was so close, it was just about a 10 minute walk.  

Love these girls so much.  That is the Eiffel Tower on the left.

While we waited for our tour of the Louvre to start we head to Starbucks for a little pick me up.  Addie is too funny right now with all of her posing.

Waiting for our tour to start.  
We really lucked out with our tour, just us with one other woman and our tour guide.  It was the perfect sized group to make our way through the busy Louvre.  I was so excited to actually go into the museum, I have walked by it on my previous 2 trips and never committed the time to go in.  
The tour started with the excavation of the medieval castle that was originally built on the site.  It was so neat to see the base of the castle.

Addie peaking into the dungeon, she did not like it much at all.

I don't remember all of the dates of everything I saw, our guide Laura was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of information.  I did like this ceiling decoration though.

This gate to enter a room was so pretty.

Addie was beging me to use my camera, while I was not about to hand my camera over to her I did give her my phone and she was content to use that camera.  She was so happy to be able to take pictures.  This little girl LOVES history.  She is slightly obsessed with Louis XIV and I love it.

Winged Victory, this statue is HUGE.  It was moved to safety during WWII which is just amazing.  

This is the other side of Winged Victory.  This side has more detail because it is original, the other side was made to match this side.
France has very few of their crown jewels remaining.  This little crown of Emeralds and Diamonds was made for Empress Eugenie for the 1855 World Fair.

This is the Grand Gallery, it was built to link the Tuileries Palace (which is no longer standing) and the Louvre.  It is a lovely gallery, but I can't imagine it before the sky lights were added, it must have been a very gloomy place.

I love the colors in this painting, I have no idea who it is by.

A piece by Leonardo Da Vinci, there was a steady crowd going by this one, but we were able to move up and get a good look at the painting.

Our next stop was this room.  Can you tell what painting is on the other side of that throng of people?

That's right, the Mona Lisa.  Addie was so excited about seeing this painting.  It really was neat to stand in front of this amazing piece, but the jostling from the crowd was not so amazing.  It was still worth it.
The other interesting thing about this room, besides the bullet proof, humidity controlled case that the Mona Lisa lives in, is the fire protection system.  These steel doors come down in case of a fire.

These air vents suck all of the oxygen out of the room, not a great place to be in case of a fire.

Here is Napoleon.

Just an interesting piece.

I love this group of women, their dresses are so pretty.  There are form the painting depicting Napoleon crowning Josephine empress.

Here is Josephine awaiting her crown.
This guy was part of a bigger painting, but I thought he just looked crazy!

Here is Addie with our tour guide Laura.  This is how Addie spent most of the tour.  Laura was amazing, she was so patient with Addie, answering all of her questions and listening to Addie's enthusiastic response to everything she was seeing.

This woman was a famous socialite, she was famous for sitting like this.

Addie and the Venus de Milo.

This statue in the apartment of Napoleon III.  We all saw this and thought of Ben and Garrett and crazy little boys.

And another one for Jon, Charlemagne's sword  
I am so thankful we decided to go with a guided tour for our first time in the Louvre.  The museum in huge and all of the exhibits you really want to see are spread through out the space.  We would not have been able to see all that we did with out having our guide to show everything to us.  We went through and I would highly recommend them.

After the 3 hour tour of the Louvre our 3:30 AM wake up call was catching up to us.  We made it back to our hotel to freshen up and then made it around the corner to a restaurant.  One draw back to staying in such a nice area means that a lot of your dining options are tourist trap type places.  Thankfully we all had a nice meal and we all made it back to the hotel to prepare for the next day.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Now that my Dad and my sister are in town the tourist extravaganza has begun.  We got up this morning and Aunt Laura gave a few hair cuts and then we headed out for a fun filled day.  We jumped on the T-bane and headed into town and walked to Vigeland Park.  The day was perfect, the sun was shining and the temperature was above freezing.  
Here is Aunt Laura with the famous Angry Boy sculpture.
This statue is a picture of our crazy life.

Here is our whole crew, coffee in hand.

Nannie and GeeGee

I love my family.

And, of course, some pictures of the kiddos.

This girl cracks me up!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Play dough with Nannie!

My mom, AKA Nannie, got here last week for a month long visit.  We have all been so excited about her visit.  With winter lingering longer than any of us are used to, we were all very ready for some distraction.  Nannie is so amazing, she has swooped in and caught us up on laundry, made waffles almost every morning, and today she made homemade play dough with Addie.  The boys were so excited to get to play with the play dough when they woke up from their nap.  Bennett LOVES play dough.  I feel bad that I am usually too mean to let them get it out because of the mess.  They were all really good listeners today and they had so much fun.  Thank goodness for grandmothers that can come and help us all have a little more fun.
 Addie was concentrating very hard.
 She was having so much fun creating.
 Garrett really just liked to tear the play dough apart.  He got really upset if you tried to help him use cookie cutters on it.  
 Playing with play dough is hard work.
 Love this little cutie pie.
 Ben was so happy, his favorite cookie cutter today was the pirate ship.
We have more visitors coming this weekend and we are really excited about getting to show off our home for the last 6 months, beautiful and chilly Oslo.