And here I am, back to the United States and recovering from jet lag (slurping from an empty latte as we speak). What a vacation! What a holiday! Can I go back?
Last Thursday concluded my Parisian adventures in the 2nd Arrondisement, and what a wrap-up it was. My boyfriend and I saw the Chagall exhibit at the Musee du Luxembourg. Note to other visitors: Get a reserved ticket when visiting the Musee du Luxembourg. It’s a very small museum and if you don’t reserve in advance you have to wait in line for people ahead of you to walk the entire exhibit. We went in the off-season and we still waited about an hour. Was it worth it? Of course! I adore Chagall and learned a lot about his earlier work and history. However the best part – I shallowly admit – I finally found a poster with the museum’s name on it.
Whenever I travel, I make sure to visit a local museum or gallery and I always try to leave with a poster (ideally of one of the featured exhibit’s paintings) that has the name of the museum on the bottom of it. Some people buy magnets, some coffee mugs. I buy posters. One note for Paris – they don’t necessarily believe in this collection practice. The Musee d’Orsay? None. The Louvre? Nope. So thank you, Musee du Luxembourg, for finally appeasing my tourist collection habit. However I did pay for the poster in more ways than one. Or I should say, others paid for it.
Dear individuals behind me when boarding the Euro Star from Paris to London, I apologize for accidentally whacking you with the giant poster sticking out of my bag. Dear flight attendants on the flight from London to Paris, no this will not fit in an overhead bin. Please place it in the closet with the business suits. And finally dear customs agent at O’Hare International Airport. It’s not a weapon, I swear!
The poster had its adventures (and is safe and sound in what I call my temporary “box room” until I finish unpacking) as did we. Our final jaunt in Paris was at the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts. Warning – it’s all in French. But – it is 100% worth it. My favorite museum has always been the Morgan Library in Manhattan. Sorry, Morgan Library; you just got ousted. Here is a photo I took of a manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yes, that is his handwriting that wrote “young idiot” – be still my book nerd heart!
Leaving Paris (bitter sweetly I admit) last Thursday, we then wrapped up the trip with a few final days in London. It rained; it was damp; but we still had a great time fully embracing our tourist mode. Of course the very first stop that Thursday evening was the pub down the street for much-needed pints and some fish and chips.
We only had two days, so we did the hop-on, hop-off bus tour to get a quick lay of the tourist land. It wasn’t our favorite way to tour, but we were in a time crunch and made sure to hop off at spots we wanted to dig into. That included a visit to the Sherlock Museum (yes, I’m a nerd) and the Globe Theater.
Yes I know it’s not the original, but it was still fascinating touring the theater and exhibition. And I of course walked away with some fun trinkets for friends and family.
We did some walking around between bus stops as well, and visited Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and others. It was really rainy and gross, so we didn’t stay too long in any one place. But we were at least able to snap some great shots! (Seriously, isn’t this umbrella adorable?)
Our last day wrapped with a theatre performance on Haymarket Street of “One Man, Two Guvnors” (hilarious – go see it!) and a final dinner and some wine. Then, it was Sunday. One Heathrow Express train from Paddington Station, one eight-hour plane ride and one taxi ride later, I arrived back at my apartment. But I brought my London coat with me.
I am now home and back to my daily commute. Dear vacation, I adored you. London, you are the bomb. And Paris, I will always love you.