France #10- Impressionists, here we come

Friday, Nov. 1st, Toussaint Day (All Saint's Day) (aka we visit the Impressionists)
Unbeknownst to us until traveling up to Paris on Thursday, Friday, November 1st was a national French holiday- Toussaint's Day. This is a major holiday with many people traveling home to celebrate their loved one's. It's much like el dia del muerto. Celebratory flowers included mums and heather, available on many street corners. 
We celebrated this holiday by having a quiet morning-- struggling with the impact of colds & illness. As I was researching the atlas obscura list of top wonders of Paris, I found many interesting places, not the least of which is the Paris Sewer museum; I'll have to go sometime. A  to the Catacombs was out of the question- reserved tickets were only available 5 days out. After letting the rain hit the windows, we took advantage of a break in the downpour to find a Vietnamese restaurant for some pho- hot soup was a good thing on a day a quiet and rainy day.
Close to the subway, we braved it as a group for the first time. This subway system is cheap (1 euro a trip) but insane. This map is unlike any I've ever seen and the subway itself is a labyrinth, with entrances and exits at different levels. We managed to get across Paris, however. 

Emerging from the underground, we found our way to the Musée de l'Orangerie, home of Monet's famous water lilies. Elizabeth was intent on seeing these as her art class had tried to paint them last year. It helps to be familiar with the artwork you are headed to see!

Cool piece of contemporary art as you entered the museum: 

The museum itself was designed to hold the panels- the interior structure is oval, which provides a cool set of perspectives. Panoramic photos of curved walls = funky photos.

After seeing these, Elizabeth commented that she was impressed at Monet's skill- she had tried painting this and couldn't achieve anything like what he had. [Photos above by Elizabeth]. 

This is a smaller museum, so we then headed out the Tuileries Garden for some running around and a walk to the Musée d'Orsay


Walking over one of the bridges, we found the locks of love- we appreciated this particular salesman (unlike by the Eiffel Tower, where there were hordes of people selling stuff, this guy had the lock sales business to himself. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the underground economy of the salesmen and why they disappeared when the police came by).  


We found our lines- even having pre-purchased tickets, the wait to get into the Musée d'Orsay was a bit epic (maybe 30 minutes?). A bit of drizzle, but the storm mainly stayed away while we waited.


Finally in. Time for some more tussling while the adults got themselves organized, then up through the museum to the exhibits: more Monet, Van Gogh, Gaguin, Renoir, and more! We paired up to keep track of each other. Chris and Elizabeth, me and Stephen, Linda and Steve. Interesting to see different styles of painting, and even paintings in series. A few pictures below (including the picture of Van Gogh's room in Arles, the french town we'd driven through. Helped to be able to link Amsterdam & Van Gogh with France, and then his original works here in Paris).



Post-museum, more bear-cubbing while waiting for a ride back. A quiet dinner at a local french restaurant, and then bed-- hoping to rest up for a trip to the Louvre the next day!