Since you all know the drill about Paris, I’ll just talk about our day off in Paris. (We were given the option to take an extra non-working day in Paris because we were working on Family Day).
Chloe had found out about a restaurant on an island and we wanted to go to it. It was too far away for us to do for lunch or dinner during the week, so we made a reservation for Saturday lunch. Well, we got David to make a reservation for us. And then he took the liberty of including himself in the reservation 😂 After lunch, we would go to Fondation Louis Vuitton to see Courtauld Collection: A Vision for Impressionism. That’s right, the Impressionist art exhibit Mara had wanted to see so badly had traveled on to Paris. I told her I was going to see it and she was not impressed 😉
We’re usually pretty tired after a week in Paris and so Chloe and I were in no particular rush to do anything before meeting David for lunch. We decided we’d have a lazy morning at the hotel and order room service for breakfast. I’ve only had room service once before in my life (that I remember) and it was a very long time ago (Fearless-era Taylor Swift concert, I’ll never forget you). What I’m trying to get at is that I didn’t really know what I was signing up for. I’ve walked down numerous hotel hallways with trays of consumed meals sitting just outside the door, so that’s what I was expecting.
Chloe came over to my hotel room and we ordered room service together. We both got omelettes. Shortly after, our food arrived. And…it was a whole table on wheels. It was fully set for two, just like you would expect a restaurant table would be, expect it had the food already and was being wheeled into my hotel room. After the steward left, Chloe and I both started freaking out. The omelet was very good.
We took an Uber to the restaurant but ran into some difficulties once we got into the park that the island and restaurant are located in. There are only a couple of roads that go all the way to the lake, and only one leads to the boat that takes you to the island. Our Uber driver took the wrong road. So we had to go all the way back out to come in from the other side. We were a little late, but when are the French not?
We were sitting on the patio which was very nice. The weather had been lovely all week, which I was very grateful for and jealous of now that I’m back in Canada. The food was good, but we all ate way too much. I got sucked into getting dessert, which ended up being a little disappointing. The pistachio ice cream that David got was much better. During the meal, Chloe asked David if he wanted to join us to the art exhibit. Turns out he had plans to see the exhibit in the evening with a friend of his! So he politely declined, because he didn’t want to see it twice.
After we finished eating (3 HOURS later), David took us around the island and then we walked through the park, where Fondation Louis Vuitton is also located. The park, called Bois de Boulogne, is quite large; two and a half time the size of Central Park in NYC (which when I went to look up the comparison, the Bois de Boulogne wikipedia page very conveniently provided me with). By the time we made it to Fondation Louis Vuitton, it was 5pm. David said he would just take a nap on a park bench somewhere until his friend arrived and Chloe and I went in.
Fondation Louis Vuitton is largely an art museum, although from my understanding doesn’t have much of a permanent collection. It was designed by Frank Gehry, the same architect who did the revitalization work on the AGO. I would like to state for the record that I recognized Gehry’s style upon seeing the building and Chloe doubted me. But I was right; it is the same guy. The building itself is beautiful and very imposing; all the pictures I had seen of it online didn’t give a sense of its scale.
The art exhibit was really nice. They had a couple sketches by Van Gogh, which I’ve never seen before. The other exhibit they had going on was a modern art exhibit. I was mostly interested in how disinterested Chloe is in modern art 😂 It was all very abstract. They did have an Infinity Mirror room by Yayoi Kusama though. Chloe and I had a little bit of deja vu because we had gone to see the Infinity Mirrors exhibit together when it was at the AGO.
The building has a number of terraces at the top for people to look out at the park and city. Chloe and I managed to arrive on the terraces just as the sun was setting, so we got to watch the sun set over Paris.
After we were finished at the foundation, we were at a little bit of a loss as to what to do. We weren’t hungry but it was technically dinner time. Eventually we decided we would find some light food and then retire back to the hotel early. I don’t know if you see what we should have seen coming, but the French don’t really do light food. We went to a Japanese BBQ place and got a dish called sukiyaki, similar concept to hot pot but with a soy sauce-based soup. It could have been light, except for the amount of food. We managed to finish it all though.
It was a really lovely day in Paris. One of the things I love about these trips is that there isn’t the pressure to be doing something in every moment. When I travel by myself, and especially to a new place, I want to be able to accomplish as much as I can in the time I have. But Chloe and I take a very relaxed (and often food central) approach to our tourist trips while in Paris 🙂