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It Doesn't get any Better than Paris at Christmas!

In December, 2011, Shelly and I flew to Paris to meet Melissa and tour the City of Lights during Christmas.  It was a bit cold, but fabulous.  The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Christmas Market, the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame Cathedral, and other sites and museums!  We stayed at the Hotel Francois near the Arc de Triomphe and a couple short blocks from the Champs Elysees.

We first toured the Arc de Triomphe which was within walking distance of our hotel.  The construction of the Arc de Triomphe was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon, the French Emperor.  Napoleon wanted to honor the Grande Armee, the name of the French army at that time. The Grande Armee had conquered most of Europe and was then considered invincible.  We got some nice day and night pictures.

From the Arc de Triomphe, we walked the Champs-Elysées and shopped at the stores and Christmas Market.  Shelly bought a purse at Louis Vuitton and we saw a cabaret at Le Lido.  The show was OK, we've seen better in Las Vegas.  

You can see the Eiffel Tower from all over Paris.  We toured it during both the day and night.  We took the elevator to the top at night and had some spectacular views of the city.  

The Louvre was amazing and overwhelming.  So much art to see.  We saw the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de MiloI.M. Pei’s Pyramid, the Mona Lisa, and much more.  

We took a day trip to Versailles to see the Palace of Versailles.  What a huge palace and grounds, and so much to see.  The Hall of Mirrors, the Grand Trianon, and the Fountains were massive and beautiful.  A trip well worth it.

Notre Dame Cathedral was of course magnificent.  We did not catch a mass there, but that was OK as we were able to roam free and take in the beauty and history.

On our last day we toured the Musée d'Orsay.  Unfortunately there were no photographs allowed.  We saw Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone, as well as works by Renoir, Manet, Cézanne, Matisse, and Monet.  This was truly a fantastic experience.  

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