Thursday, October 25, 2012


Waking up from a nice long sleep, I look out the window on our first full day in Paris and see this:

Rain!  Lots and lots of rain!  And it's Monday, which means most of the major museums are closed.  But the Musée de l'Orangerie is open, so we grab our umbrellas and hit the streets.  I've packed the same pocket-sized travel umbrella on numerous trips over ten years.  When I opened it, I laughed when I saw that it still had the price tag on it!  My luck with the weather was bound to run out sooner or later.

When we reach the Musée de l'Orangerie, the line is long and slow moving.  We strike up a conversation with an American couple behind us.  It turns out that he grew up in a nearby suburb of our home city.  The time standing in line begins to go by more quickly as we swap our opinions of various Kansas City barbeque restaurants.

My husband and I take our time enjoying the artwork, hoping the rain will let up outside.  Leaving the museum, we stroll through the gardens toward the Louvre, which is closed on Mondays.

When I review the photos back at the hotel later, I realize I had taken pictures from the exact same spots five years earlier.

Booking this trip in October means we're missing two things back at home: The start of the big run-up to Election Day and autumn decorating.  I don't miss the politics at all (if you live in a swing state, I feel sorry for you).  I'll miss most of the colors of autumn at home, and there is not one sign of Halloween in France.  I kind of think Halloween has become over-commercialized, so I really don't miss it either.
We had some great photos of the Louvre's famous (or infamous) pyramid taken at night on our 2007 trip, so we decide to come back when it isn't raining for more evening shots and move on to revisit one of our favorite churches, La Madaleine which overlooks the Place de la Concorde.
Back at the hotel at the end of the day, we study the forecast for Paris, which calls for rain for the rest of the week.  We have three more nights booked in Paris, but the extended forecast shows rain throughout all of France.  What if it rains during our entire trip?  In a moment of panic, we consider changing our plans and heading for Spain or Italy if the rain continues, but it seems to be raining everywhere.  We've lived through one of the worst droughts ever this summer in Kansas, and now we can't get away from the rain.
In the meantime, there is only a slight chance of rain in Reims, about 80 miles northeast of Paris, so we'll catch a train tomorrow morning for a day trip.

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