Friday, November 25, 2011


We actually began our time in Paris at Disneyland, but in order to avoid a post of over 300 pictures I've opted to separate our time at the park into its own post.

Our lovely guides, Suzan and Josh checked and double checked the train routes from our hotel at Disneyland into the city.

For two little girls being ripped away from Mickey, Ava and Gabby were wonderful.  They cheerfully read the paper on our ride to the Eiffel Tower.

I still can't believe we actually went.  Our time in Paris was surreal and magical.  People were kind, landmarks sat exactly where the maps led us, and we were wearing just the right amount of clothes to be warm in the crisp November weather.

Ava and the Eiffel Tower

Cole and the Eiffel Tower

Josh and I had a little scuffle about where he should keep his wallet during our time in the city.  Here we were reenacting the disagreement.

We worked it out thanks to a passing cloud of Parisian love.

By the way, no matter what they say on Friends, Tulsa is not "the Paris of Oklahoma".  It's just not.

The tower did not disappoint.  It was larger than I imagined, and so majestic.

Crossing a bridge over the Seine River

A shot through some fall trees

Some sculptures in a garden just across the river

Check off another country Ava has scootered through:  Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France (coming soon Italy and then the good old USA!).

The four Swiss Locketts

Josh's view through the lens

My favorite of the whole day

We took a couple of pictures here.  Paris was such a dream-come-true for us.  I didn't want to risk blurry pictures or squinty eyes.  We took every possible shot multiple times to ensure at least one good one.

Wearing her very appropriate Eiffel Tower shirt, thanks Mimi!

Is it weird that I feel like I cheated on NYC?  I've always wanted to go to New York City, but made it to Paris first.  Not that I'm complaining!

Taking a little break to wait on Tim, who believe it or not takes more pictures than I do.

Ava and Gabby walking down by the Seine searching for Remy from Ratatouille.

This one is just for you Adriane.

A scenic walk

We stopped at this little cafe for lunch

Our table

Our view

Cole ordered lasagna


Ava enjoyed an omelet

Josh ate beef burgundy

And I had to try French Onion Soup.  It was delicious.  Please forgive my sleepy eyes.

Revived from lunch, it was time to see more of Paris.

A gorgeous tree on a gorgeous corner

The weather was cool but beautifully sunny.

Loving the trees

Little markets everywhere

The museum that holds Napoleon's tomb

A princess I love

Taking a scooter break.  See the tower in the background?

The Arc de Triomphe

Another landmark that did not disappoint. I could not get over the size of the arc.

Someday we'll go back and have more time to spend.  No time to stop and go up in the arc today.

Walking from the arc toward the Louvre

The whole time we were walking around Paris I kept running lines from the Madeline books in my head, 
“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”

Hooray for Christmas!

A Christmas market ran along the street

One booth caught our attention with two words:

So thin and rich

Sugar highs are fun

Grand Palais de Champs-Elysees

Y'all this is our crew.  Not staged, just us.  I'll break it down for you from left to right:
Ava - scootering and saying "Daddy" over and over
Tim - taking a picture and holding lots of things
Gabby - waiting for Suzan while gently tapping her over and over
Suzan - checking the map to chart our course
Josh - double-checking the map and holding lots of things
Cole - well, just being Cole...maybe with a slight Jack Sparrow-esque quality
Me - also taking a picture and laughing hysterically at us all

 More scenic streets


I have to give a big SHOUT OUT to Tim now.  When I found out we would have some time in Paris the Louvre was not on my list of things to do.  I'm not the most cultured person, not an art lover, and usually bored by museums that aren't sciency.  Tim kept insisting that we had to go to the Louvre.  He, like Uncle Rick, hasn't led us wrong yet so we gave in.  Best decision of our trip so far.

From the moment you walk in the doors this museum soaks into your pores in such a way that you know it'll always be a part of you.

Ava in front of a model of what the Louvre once looked like.

Pictures can't do it justice, but we tried.

View through the pyramid onto another section of the museum

The entire art museum is arranged inside an outrageously oversized fortress built in the 12th century.  I would have been happy to walk through the old palace without the famous artwork inside.  It is a masterpiece in its own right.

The Great Sphinx of Tanis

Remnants of the original fortress walls

Walking where a moat once was

We paid a couple of Euros to have the guided audio tour to help us appreciate what we were seeing.  I highly recommend this if you ever visit.  They even have a children's version of the tour.

An Aphrodite

In the Greek statue area I had the following conversation with Ava,

Me:  Can you believe all of these fancy statues?

Ava:  Mommy, they're not fancy.  I can see their hineys!

The Venus de Milo, "hiney" covered thank you very much.  We all three liked this statue, and it was a close second place to our favorite.  The Louvre describes this piece, 
"This graceful statue of a goddess has intrigued and fascinated since its discovery on the island of Melos in 1820. Is it Aphrodite, who was often portrayed half-naked, or the sea goddess Amphitrite, who was venerated on Milo? The statue reflects sculptural research during the late Hellenistic Period: classical in essence, with innovatory features such as the spiral composition, the positioning in space, and the fall of the drapery over the hips.
The Venus de Milo was discovered in 1820 on the island of Melos (Milo in modern Greek) in the south-western Cyclades. The Marquis de Rivière presented it to Louis XVIII, who donated it to the Louvre the following year. The statue won instant and lasting fame. Essentially two blocks of marble, it is comprised of several parts which were sculpted separately (bust, legs, left arm and foot) then fixed with vertical pegs, a technique which was fairly common in the Greek world (especially in the Cyclades, where this work was produced around 100 BC). The goddess originally wore metal jewelry — bracelet, earrings, and headband — of which only the fixation holes remain. The marble may have been embellished with (now faded) polychromy. The arms were never found."

Again, the setting is as stunning as the art.

One of the many gilded ceilings

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, 
the unanimous Louvre favorite among all three Locketts.  It was funny because we let Ava answer before Josh and I told her our favorites, and out of everything we saw she liked this the best.

According to the Louvre description of the piece it is,
"An original Greek statue probably destroyed by an earthquake, this work was found in countless pieces in 1863 on the island of Samothrace, in the northeast Aegean. The right wing is a plaster copy of the left wing, the only one to have survived. The cement base beneath its feet is also modern; the statue initially stood on the sculpted prow of the ship. It loomed out of a hilltop sanctuary at an angle, which explains why less attention was paid to carving the right-hand side.
The Victory — “Nike” in Greek — is shown as if she were just alighting on the prow of the ship to which she is bringing divine favor. Discovered in 1950, her right hand enabled her original gesture to be restored: with her raised hand, she announces the coming event. Staged in spectacular fashion very much in keeping with Hellenistic taste, she could be seen from afar by ships approaching the island. The proportions, the rendering of the bodily forms, the manner in which the drapery flapping in the wind is handled, and the expansiveness of the highly theatrical gesture all bear witness to the search for realism in sculpture dating from this period.
After examining certain stylistic details, scholars believe that this monument might be a votive offering from the Rhodians to thank the gods for a naval victory around 190 BC, but André Malraux was delighted with the accidental mutilation of this statue, which turned it into a timeless icon of Western art — “a masterpiece of destiny.”

The Victory's hand

View onto the courtyard

Look at these hallways

I really loved this piece

 One of the many Italian primitive paintings

Josh and the famous  Mona Lisa

The Wedding Feast at Cana, took three years to complete

A Greek funerary monument

Through the pyramid at night

 Taking a much-needed after Louvre Starbucks break

Scootering around while Daddy found a WC

These kiddos were rockstars, such a long day

On Hannah's recommendation we went back to the Eiffel at night to see it sparkle.

Then we waited in line to go up to the "tippy tippy top," as Ava put it.

The kids played opossum,

but were so excited to see Paris from the top of the tower.

The City of Light indeed

We tried to walk onto the outdoor observation deck, but were blown back inside by the most blustery wind you can imagine.  Josh braved the cold to snap a few pictures while we stayed inside to peer through the windows.

At the top!

The distance to DC and NYC from Paris

Taking a rest near the massive beams

The Arc de Triomphe

Part of the pulley system used to operate the elevators up and down the tower

On a lower observation deck, so we could take some shots outside

Ava crashed as we waited for the train back to Disneyland.

We enjoyed our time in Paris, and hope to go back one day and see everything we missed. It is a magical place that really lives up to the hype.  I'll say 'au revoir' for now, but watch for our Disneyland post soon.

***Also, Josh and I are perfecting a bit called, The Rednecks Visit the Louvre (which we pronounce 'Louv-rie').  We ramble on about how "them statues ain't even finished, arms and heads all gone a missin', " and how "there's not a one taxidermy animal in the whole dern place, and they call it a classy establishment."  Hopefully we'll have it all worked out by Christmas.  You're welcome family and friends, you're welcome.***

1 comment:

Adriane said...

Ha! Thanks for the shout-out in this post...I hope you know I was just teasing about all the pictures of the Eiffel tower - I absolutely LOVE reading about your adventures and looking at all your neat pictures. Plus, I'm guilty of the same's not uncommon for me to take 150+ pictures within a 15 minutes-or-less photo shoot of Cash. :-) You're in good company, my friend.