April 22, 2012

Chapter 1: The Beautiful and Free

The Tales of Ki-Tan
Chapter 1: The Beautiful and Free

(Author's note: "Ki-Tan" is short for Kia and Tanya, my wonderful best friends who prohibited me from blogging - er, I mean, who made my days even more fun this past month. This is Chapter 1 of a five-chapter saga. Welcome.)

I'm not a museum fanatic. To be sure, I visited Paris 4 times last spring, and have now lived 30 minutes outside of it for 8 months, and I haven't even gone inside the Louvre yet. I think I'm saving it for a special occasion, like when some visitor of ours will offer to buy my entry ticket. I can wait.

But in the past week I've been digesting Rick Steves' Paris 2008 (thank you, Kia Gibson) tour book, and I am warming to the idea of viewing the art that is all around me.

Look, I'm reading!
Especially warming are the FREE museums. They are not always easy to find, but when we found the Museum Carnavalet, we struck gold.

This 16th century "hotel" (read: big house) is full of everything you could possibly want in a Paris museum: it's the one dedicated solely to the history of Paris.

So rich and so famous.
So while we sauntered throughout, pretending to be a part of the elite hotel crowd from bygone days, we also continually exclaimed, "Look at THAT!"

The whole place is an experience in time travel, with signs from forgotten store fronts, marble staircases, jewelry displays, musical instruments, archaeological finds, and antique furniture galore.

The museum is massive, and actually spans two hotels around a courtyard with more discoveries. We just couldn't get enough of this place, and we really couldn't get over the fact that we were privy to all of these beautiful things for free.

A grand late 19th century Parisian party.
The icing on the cake our first time through (yes, we went twice, we had to show Kia!) was walking into one of the Revolution rooms, and, HELLO!

Marc's doppelganger is Napoleon-freaking-Bonaparte? My new idea is to have him work period piece tours at Chateau de Fontainebleau dressed as Napoleon. Just more proof that there really are jobs out there to be found.

We had an absolutely smashing time with both Kia and Tanya while they were here. You will continue to see this truth in The Tales of Ki-Tan blog series.

The Tales of Ki-Tan
Chapter 2: To Mob, Or Not To Mob
Chapter 3 VLOG:  Le Printemps en France
Chapter 4: Holland & Coats
Chapter 5: The Color of Monet