i louvre you, paris {europe 2012}

This was our last full day in Paris. Sad news. We still had lots to see, but wanted to focus on the last two places that we had been passing by all week but had stopped at : Notre Dame and Louvre.

first stop:  n o t r e  d a m e

Aside from not seeing Quasimodo, this was perfect. We walked around the crowded sanctuary and admired the beauty of the candlelit and stained glass ambiance. 

 We then exited the sanctuary and proceeded to the line for the climbing the towers of Notre Dame ...
1.5 hours later (yikes!!) we finally reached the entrance for the long, winding staircase 350 steps later. It was all worth it once we saw this view! Words can't describe it, so I'll just stop here ---

We had our first -- and only -- sit-down lunch in a beautiful Parisian restaurant across the street from Notre Dame. I had a Croque Monsieur and Sarah had a Croque Provencal. Yum!

second stop:  l o u v r e 

We then walked from Notre Dame to the Louvre along the Seine River and enjoyed the view for the last time. Needless to say, I was quite excited!
 Along with the magnificent paintings, the ceilings were masterpieces in their own right.
After touring around many of the exhibits, we eventually made our way to see this pretty lady
I loved this room. It reminded me of Jane Austen characters. 
Although we quickly perused through many of the exhibits, we hardly covered a quarter of the whole museum. Here were some of my favorite highlights at the Louvre. 
  1. {of course} Mona Lisa (aka "La Jaconde"). She was worth the hunt & the crowd!
  2. Winged Victory {aka Nike of Samothrace}
  3. Venus de Milo {aka a big armless women not wearing any clothes}
  4. The Coronation of Napoleon {10meters x 6meters = HUMONGOUS!}
  5. Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss {for the romantic in me}
  6. The Wedding Feast of Cana {painted in 1511!}
We were exhausted  as we took the metro back to the apartment, but so thankful for a week full of memories and experiences we'd cherish for years to come.