Wednesday, March 21, 2007


today is the first day of spring - what a gift to be spending it in paris. however, outside it's a pretty lion-ish first day of spring. the temperatures are in the 40s but with the blustery wind it feels downright chilly. fortunately for us my sister has plenty of jackets that we can wear since the optimists that we are only packed jean jackets - although I did include my lightweight (read non-puffy) down vest. the morning was fairly wet and grey, but the weather this afternoon has been a real mix. at times the sky is quite dramatic with rapidly moving clouds giving way to patches of blue that look like sky in a renaissance or romantic era painting - you know the ones I mean, those with those deep blue skies you just can't get enough of! then a bit later there will be a heavy downpour - crazy! is this a case of being in one of those locations that claim if you don't like the weather - wait a while and it will be something different. doesn't it seem that no matter where you go the people make this claim?

yesterday we were in the montmartre area for a big chunk of our day - checking out sacre coeur, 'window shopped' in the district's fabric shops (and even went in the one annie states is the biggest and best), winding about on the twisty little rues, basically doing what we seem to do best have one goal and improvise. we had to trim our plans a bit as my sister got one of those dreaded calls from the school nurse saying 'your child is sick.' soon off she went to attend to nina; emma and I reconfigured our wanderings so that we would be back near my nephew's school in order to pick him up at 3. and of course everything worked out well - adam's school is located near the tour eiffel and a trip to paris isn't complete until you get up close to this huge radio transmitter! we also ran upon a new museum that will be the centerpiece of either tomorrow or friday - quai branley (devoted to the 'new world' as it were - but the building alone looks like it will be worth the visit. anyhow, it turns out that my neice is indeed sick - she was able to see a doctor and he did the rapid strep test and it was positive, so with some antibiotics and a complete couple days of rest she should be better in no time. fortunately this call came yesterday and not today; today is the first day of being in charge of the kids as my sister and her husband left for prague at the crack of dawn this morning.

this morning turned out great with only one kid to get up, dressed, fed and taken to school. the routine seemed so easy and it all things considered it was pretty laid-back getting out the door, to the bus and to school. when we left the apartment emma and nina were still asleep. wednesdays are a short day at my nephew's school. feeling assured that nina was in good hands, instead of coming back I stayed in the neighborhood of the school - for me, ideally situated in the 7th arrondissement. I was able to visit the recently reopened petit palais, musee des beaux-arts de la ville de paris. unfortunately it didn't open until 10 so I spent the first hour finding a post office, and wandering the area a bit looking at the buildings and other pleasant diversions....I discovered a few incredible art nouveau era buildings on av rapp. I did make my way over to the petit palais area earlier than first intended as the rain was picking up. so for fifteen minutes before the museum opened I and about a score of other early arrivers took shelter under the building's entrance portico. although there was a special exhibit that sounded wonderful on john sargent singer I passed it up in favor of looking at the museum's permanent collection - which was pretty darned amazing! the museum is organized according to a principles of comparison and contrast and groups together sculptures, paintings, and objects d'art together of a particular movement or era. although the museum is small compared to the louvre or even the musee d'orsay its collection ranges from ancient greece to the early 20th century.

this afternoon after picking up adam and successfully getting back to the apartment on the bus (unlike yesterday it was successful yet a bit more twisted than it could have been seeing we got off the bus too early and had to figure our way to the apartment via an unfamiliar route - but no problem with the handy 'le petit parisien' which I highly recommend to EVERYONE coming to paris!) we've been chilling. the afternoon has been spent catching up on laundry, making a hearty lunch, writing postcards, putting my couple hundred (or more) pictures on cds, and giving the kids the opportunity have a home day of games, a movie, and just hanging out. hopefully the kids can get to bed on time and we all will get up tomorrow feeling refreshed, healthy and ready for whatever is in store!

lower pictures: coffee and croissants @ neighborhood boulangerie; rooftops as seen from sacre couer; fruit stand; cimetiere de montmartre avec chat; petit palais courtyard; seine view (building w/ adam's school located in american church - church tower to left)

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