Day one in Paris and we hit the ground running.
After some confusion at the machines where you buy your metro/RER tickets we finally made it to our hotel in Place de la République. The hotel, while not in the center of everything, was nicely located next to a Metro stop served by 5 different lines.
Our room wasn't yet ready--it was around 11:00 am so that was expected--and that was mostly fine because we really just wanted to get out and about. We wouldn't have minded a quick change of clothes but you can't have everything...
We thought we'd start wandering towards the Seine and headed out in what we thought was the right direction. When we hit the Belleville Metro stop we realized we'd gone the OPPOSITE direction of where we wanted to go and so we hopped on the Metro and decided to go to lunch at the Jacquemart-André Cafe. The museum itself temp
ted us but we had bigger fish to fry (the Orsay) and contented ourselves with lunch in the impressive dining room, under the Tiepolo Fresco. From there it was a pretty short walk to the Arc de Triomphe. We snapped a few pictures and then headed towards the river and the Orsay.
Now, I admit that I was doing this strictly for my mom. She likes Impressionist art. I like Renaissance art. So I was ready for the Louvre, with maybe a quick Monet stop at l'Orangerie. But when my mom heard about the Orsay, she was ready to go. I'm glad we went because she loved it and because I liked the physical space, the Van Gogh and the Redons. It was also cool to see the old ballroom with its over the top decor. But I'm not a converted Impressionist fan. I would highly recommend going to the Orsay on their late-night day. It wasn't that we wanted to stay till the 9:45 closing time--we just didn't want to feel rushed. By late afternoon the crowds weren't crazy (it was still crowded but there weren't long lines to get in) and we still had time to wander without feeling at all rushed.
After the museum, we headed back to our hotel via the Metro and totally crashed. A productive--but exhausting!--day.