Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When You're in Paris with Twelve-Year Olds

When you're in Paris with twelve-year olds, you don't get in a long line at the Louvre to see great art, or  have a long, leisurely breakfast at a cafe, or spend the afternoon browsing expensive shops.  Those activities are for another trip.  Instead, you have croissants, coffee, and yoghurt with fruit in your apartment while they have Frosted Flakes and milk, after which you let them navigate your way on the  Metro down to the Pont L'Alma.  There you find the entrance to the Musee des Egouts, the Paris sewer musuem, which, oddly enough, has no line.  What?  No one wants to go learn about the history of sewers?  It was actually quite interesting, at least to the boys and me.

The displays about the history of water and sewer management in the city were very well done and only about a quarter of the tour involved looking -- and smelling-- actual sewage.   But oh my, how that part did smell!

 You were walking right above an actual working sewer; as a matter of fact this one was from the Avenue Bosquet, right near our apartment, so I joked that I saw our poop floating by!

Having survived a look at reality, we were off to the Champ-Elysees where, if you are twelve, the exciting thing is looking at the futuristic showrooms of the big car dealers, including Renault, Mercedes, and Peuguet, all of which had fantastic displays of cars of the future and of race cars.

After a while we were hungry and hit the L'atelier Renault Cafe, above the Renault showroom.  We had dessert there, which was very good, and the boys loved the cool swivel chairs.

After dessert we checked out this car, which was featured on the big screen TV in the cafe.  Pretty cool.  Of course it is all electric, getting 3.5 hours of power in one charge.   

Then we then headed up the street to McDonald's, but I was so proud of the boys when they decided that McDonald's was too crowded and unpleasant and choose instead to eat in a cafe on the avenue.  Okay, it was a pasta place and not French, but at least it was real food and we could "people watch" all the activity on the street.  

Then it was off to the Mercedes showroom; loved how the doors on so many of these cars opened up.  

I loved this beautiful car, named a G86, from Toyota, which is apparently going to hit the European market this summer. 

At the end of the afternoon we grabbed a cab and went to the Rodin Museum only to find that we were 15 mins late to get a ticket to the sculpture garden which closed in an hour.  Ouch! 

Oh, well, it was a good day nonetheless.  

When you in Paris with Twelve-Year Olds, you may not see a lot of art, but you sure can have a lot of fun!

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