As I promised I will now reveal what my darling MtG and the lovely Mona Lisa have in common....drum roll please......both the painting and the girl were in PARIS, FRANCE last week! Paris!! France!! for six whole days! Of course, Mona is always in Paris, but let's not quibble. (I'm sorry, the "Irish" thing was a bit of a red herring....I thought if I could confuse you by trying to figure out the Irish thing, you wouldn't see the obvious.)
Anyway, going to Paris has been a heart's dream of Ratchlet's since she was about 14 years old. I can't remember what specifically lead to that desire, but it was a goal that she would accomplish, no matter what. Well, she finally made it! The whole family went (except, of course, for FloraDora, who stayed with us.)
I don't remember having anything in school labeled "Spring Break". Getting Good Friday off was about as good as it got back in "olden times." Today's school kids usually get one full week off school usually in March. Last week was it for this year. MtG was out of school for Spring Break! Ratchlet and co. usually go somewhere for a few days. Somewhere like Galveston or Padre Island, but this year they chose Paris!
From all reports the trip was everything they wanted it to be. They went to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, they spent a full day in the Louvre, the rode the train into the French countryside to the Palace of Versailles and spent the afternoon there, they went to Notre Dame de Paris, they took the water bus down the Seine, they took the Metro frequently. they went to the Musee d'Orsay, Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, they walked down the Champs-Élysées, they saw the Arc de Triomphe (did you know you can go inside that and walk across the top?? I always thought it was just an arch), they walked all around the City of Lights. Ratchlet was in heaven! I expected that. What I didn't expect was that TA and MtG were in heaven too! (Oh, by the way "chocolate chaud" is, indeed, hot chocolate in French.) They all had a wonderful time. They can't wait to go back!
They stayed at a 4-star hotel, so they were pampered and coddled....in French! They ate in several different cafes and restaurants where they ate rich and delicious French food. They bought crepes from a street vendor. They had lovely chocolate creations and French pastries. They took hundreds of photos, particularly TA. We were at their house Sunday and we saw the "travelogue" in photos. Just seeing the photos, I learned a lot I didn't know about Paris, like the Arc thing, and I always thought the Eiffel Tower was green! It's not, it's kind of taupe! The opulence of Versailles was even more grand than I had heard. And Paris has many things named "Madeleine" and they took pictures to prove it! (Unfortunately TA has not put the photos online, so I have none to show you.)
Rachlet, being the Queen of planning and organization, had researched a lot before they went so they were able to get tickets and info for some of the things they wanted to see to minimize their waiting in line times. Ratchlet had studied the French language in high school and college, so she had a bit more than a rudimentary familiarity with the language which was very helpful in conversing with the people they encountered. She and MtG had worked on their French before they went and by their return MtG's accent and basic French had her sounding pretty authentic (at least to us).
None of them could identify one single thing as the "best", all three of them loved "everything." Their only complaint was there wasn't enough time to see all that they wanted to see. It is almost impossible for me to believe but they did NO shopping!! You have no idea how amazing that is!!
Part of Ratchlet's heart desire has always been to actually live in Paris! I'm kind of worried that it could really happen. Of course I want my daughter's dreams to come true....I just wish her dreams didn't require her living oceans away from us!
All in all, this year's "Spring" break was a showstopper for my favorite people. What wonderful memories they made! A dream come true and the best Spring Break ever!