146 Down, One to Go

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The Mona Lisa at the Louvre
The Mona Lisa at the Louvre

We have been traveling for 146 days now and we are in Paris for our final full day. Our flight is tomorrow at 9:45 am, so a 7 am taxi will take us to the airport and we arrive in Newark around noon if all goes as planned. For our second to last day in Paris we spent about 3 plus hours walking around the Louvre. That place is HUGE! OMG, I can’t believe all the artwork, statues, estate rooms and so much more. The place was once a palace, I can’t imagine living there and trying to keep the whole place running. I can imagine what a great place to play hide and seek though. You could hide for years and no one would fine you.

Ilise with some Da Vinci statues
Ilise with some Michelangelo statues

At the Louvre we saw as many of the Must See exhibits as we could, including the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the estate rooms of Napoleon, sculptures by Michelangelo and so much more. I know that Drew and Noah enjoyed every moment of it, NOT, but they were well behaved and stayed with us through a lot of walking. We went from one end of the building to the other and back. Did I say it was a big place? After we exited the museum we walked to the Metro to find our way to the Eiffel Tower. We were hoping for another sunset like the night before and stayed around the tower for about 2 hours, but there were no clouds in the sky so we didn’t get any special colors, just a simple sunset. Maybe someday Drew will come back and get a picture of the tower during a beautiful sunset, but it didn’t happen this time.

Ilise and kids in front of the Louvre
Ilise and kids in front of the Louvre

After hanging around the Eiffel Tower we decided to head back to the apartment to get some dinner. On the way to the Metro we spotted a make your own yogurt shop and thought, perfect, a replacement for dinner. Well, we all chose our flavors and toppings and weighed our cups. I didn’t really look at the prices, thinking they would be in line with what we pay in the states, or maybe a bit more, but the bill came to over $40. Ouch! We’ve had meals in Prague, Budapest, Greece and Istanbul for far less than four servings of yogurt in Paris. I couldn’t believe it, but paid the bill and headed to the train to go home. We got home around 11 pm and it was time to call it a night.

Magnificent Eiffel Tower from below
Magnificent Eiffel Tower from below

Today is our last full day in Paris and we plan to go see the Arc d’ Triumph and Monmartre and then try to get to bed at a reasonable time so we can get up early tomorrow for our ride to the airport. Paris is an amazing city and we have enjoyed ourselves, but as I’ve said numerous times in the past week or so, we are all ready to be home. Ilise has said many times “I can’t imagine if we had actually done this for a full year.” The original plan was a full year for this trip with time in Asia and Latin America, but we cut it to 6 months instead. That was a wise decision.

Sunset at the Eiffel Tower
Sunset at the Eiffel Tower

In the end this trip has provided everything that I had hoped for. It provided some time for us to get more connected as a family, to spend more time with our teenage children in a period of their life when we normally wouldn’t. It gave our kids a perspective of the world most don’t get at their age, and it provided them an opportunity to get to know themselves better. It gave me time to separate from my business completely and the time to process what was and what will be. It provided Ilise and I an opportunity to travel to some places that we had always dreamed of and to see some of the best the world has to offer. I look back over the past 6 months with amazing gratitude and appreciation for what we have experienced. I also look forward to the next journey back in San Diego building a new life together in a new house with a new business and solidifying the friendships we already have and building new ones. Life is a blessing and I am excited to be coming home. To a life well lived!


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