By Sunday I had slept enough that my brain could once again perform basic functions like creating short-term memories, so I was ready to do something new after our morning training with EF, the company that brought me over. One of the other travelers had mentioned going to the Musee D’Orsay, one of the art museums in Paris, and the museum with the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. Having traveled with students, I realized that I would probably never be able to talk students into touring that museum. Even if they agreed to go to the museum, that agreement would be code for, “I’m up for briefly setting foot inside that structure for as long as it takes me to see their most famous painting and use their free bathroom.” So seeing the museum on this trip was ideal.
The museum does not allow photography (which was odd because the Louvre does). A lot of people took pictures anyway, which resulted in comical scenes of people secretly photographing paintings. Mostly, these people would hold the camera/phone up against their chests and stand directly in front of the painting like they were taking photos of Russian military secrets or something. Some of the people with vision problems were trying to be secretive while holding the camera at arms length so their eyes could focus, which is about as sneaky as McKenna’s hide and go seek spots where she stands behind a curtain that covers half of her body.
The museum was awesome, and it’s much easier to navigate than the Louvre. I feel confident that I could find the really cool paintings in the D’Orsay again, whereas if you put a gun to my head and threatened to shoot unless I took you to the Venus de Milo in the Louvre, there would be brains all over the wall.
After they kicked us out of the museum at closing time, we went back to the Latin Quarter for a dinner of… Duck. While this duck, unlike the duck I had Saturday night, had been cooked enough that I could actually cut through it with a knife, I’m not sure if it would make my top five meats.
At about 10pm, the group went on a river cruise of the Seine, which was a lot different than the cruise I went on with students last year. Part of the difference was the time of day – the cruise was definitely better at 10 than earlier in the evening because everything was lit up. And the other reason this cruise was different was that some of the people working for EF bought bottles of wine which they shared with all of the travelers. That changed the dynamic just a bit, especially since some of our travelers in effect created a new drinking game – drink when you see a French monument; chug when it’s an internationally famous French monument.
Since we were all leaving the next day, with most of our flights departing early, we began heading back to the metro when the cruise ended. Some of the female travelers, though, decided to just stay out and go to a male strip club that our French tour director described as having strippers “like Chippendales but smaller.”
On the way back, we got to see the Louvre at night.