I met her..."the" Mona Lisa. Yep. Flew across the Atlantic on a night flight, pinned down by my son's outstretched legs, that were strewn across me, while my daughter rested her head on my shoulder. Everyone on that damn plane was asleep but me. Seriously? Every time, People, every time.
We hit the Louvre early into the trip, still jet lagged and awestruck. We entered a room and saw a crowd had formed to view the Mona Lisa. We waited in line, my daughter, then age 12, saying she wasn't feeling well. It was seriously hot in there. I thought about taking my sweater off, but then thought better of it, because I was wearing only a cami underneath. When we got close enough to for a viewing, I was? Disappointed? Shocked? Unimpressed? This is supposed to be one of the greatest works of art and all I could think about is how small it is, and how hot I was. I was worried about my daughter's comfort, so I snapped a quick photo only because I felt like I should.
People say the Mona Lisa is famous for her enigmatic smile - that it's mysterious and hard to interpret. Maybe she knows the painting is overrated, and her smile is mocking us all. Perhaps, I was just tired, a bit moody, and uncultured that afternoon. Maybe it is truly one of the greatest works of arts, and I failed to appreciate it, but I'm okay with that. I did, however, enjoy the chance to rest my legs and savor a frothy cup of hot chocolate at Angelina.
photos: 3, 5 + 6
The best part of the trip was simply getting off of the Metro at any given spot and exploring each arrondissement. I wish I had a copy of, Janelle McCulloch's, book, Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart, to help me navigate the charming streets. This beautiful book is organized by arrondissement, and reveals little gems at every turn. Packed with gorgeous photography, a ribbon page marker, and tips on how to see the city by someone in-the-know, this book is eye candy for your bedside table, and a mini escape for all the dreamers who know they should have been born in Paris.
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Have you seen the Mona Lisa in person? What is your favorite arrondissement in Paris?