Weekend In Paris | Museums
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DSC_0968It would be hard to find a better place to begin our gal's trip to the Loire region than visiting France's Chambord Castle, the best in France. Feeling regal, we checked into the Grand Hotel du Lion d'Or a Relais & Chateaux property where we were treated like queens. 

Notre dame nightThe lead up to Easter in Paris was phenomenal. I had a wonderful chocolate tour with Context Travel's docent Alisa Morov and I visited several churches in preparation for Holy Week and the finale of Easter Sunday. I am thankful to be back in the U.S. with Mr. Weekend In Paris and our two sons to celebrate together. What a blessing! After all, you are, "no bunny, until some bunny loves you." Please enjoy my Easter tribute to Paris...

saint chapelleVery soon from now (estimated to be in December, 2014) the restoration of the stained glass windows at France’s National Monument Sainte Chapelle (Sainte-Chapelle or Saint Chapel) will be finished. It has taken thousands of hours and several decades to complete, but the efforts have been well worth it. Once finished, the 1,113 scenes from the Old Testament and the Passion of the Christ will be on full display.

DSC_0270When I began the morning with a fresh cup of ripen strawberries, a warm croissant and a view of hot air balloons in the background, I knew it was going to be a terrific day. Although I hated to leave our outstanding Hotel Saint James Paris for a minute, Sunday in Paris, for me, obliges a visit to church and a mandatory stroll of Montmartre hidden gems. For others in our party, who shall remain nameless, my stroll was more like a forced death march up the stairs, down the hill and back up again. C’est la vie…

Wall of Copperby Contributor Margo Waite: When my friend Michael Kathens, architectural and interior design historian and author of the book American Splendor, told me about Museum Nissim de Camondo several years ago I should have dropped everything and gone there. Finally last December I did visit the Musée Nissim de Camondo. And even then I had to make two trips because I neglected to note that this museum is closed on both Monday AND Tuesday. Now that I’ve visited this incredible home I’ll return to it again and again. The vast array of exquisite art, furnishings and architecture makes it difficult to absorb in one visit.

Cernuschi guardJust when I think I’ve got Paris mastered, I’m foiled. This time it was by a museum. I know that most Paris museums are closed on Monday. After a trip across town on Tuesday, I was surprised to learn that our destination, the Musée Nissim de Camondo at 63 Rue de Monceau in the 8th, is closed Monday and Tuesday. To make the best of our trek, we discovered that little more than a block away at 7 Avenue Velasquez is the Musée Cernuschi (Museum Cernuschi) and that, as a City of Paris museum, it is open on Tuesday. We were delighted to tour this mansion, commissioned by Henri Cernuschi to hold his extensive collection of Asian art.

Princess Grace's tiara Princess Grace's tiara If diamonds are a girl's best friend, the Cartier Exhibit at the Grand Palais has become the BFF (Best Friend Forever) of thousands of visitors. The exhibition covers two centuries of history in the world of jewels and the famous women who adorned them. Everyone from Marie Bonaparte to Queen Elizabeth, and beloved Princess Grace wore tiaras made by Cartier that lucky museum visitors can view until February 16, 2014. Stephane Bern, television presenter, was at the opening of the exhibit and was quoted as saying, "Cartier is the king of jewelers, and jeweler to the kings." He is too right!

20131130_135930by Contributor Margo Waite for The Weekend in Paris The City of Paris owns 14 museums (les Musées de la Ville de Paris) ranging from the Catacombes de Paris and the Musée de la Vie Romantique to the lesser known, but important Musée Bourdelle. One wonderful thing about these Paris museums is that admission is free AND they are generally open every day from 10 to 6 (except for Monday and holidays).   There is, you should know, a surcharge if you wish to see the temporary expositions.

[caption id="attachment_7712" align="alignleft" width="225"]Cour du Commerce Saint-André off rue Buci Cour du Commerce Saint-André off rue Buci[/caption] You've dreamed of Paris your whole life - walking along the River Seine, the views from the Eiffel Tower, or having a picnic in the Jardins du Luxembourg only to arrive to a nightmare cold and wet City of Light. What is there to do in Paris in the rain? Plenty! Do not be discouraged; a rainy day in Paris is better than a dry day in most of the rest of the world. Button up your overcoat, throw on a scarf, muster up a positive attitude and you very well just might have one of the best days of your life, rain and all. Here are a few suggestions of what to do when faced with less than stellar weather: