Our final stop in Paris was Sacre-Coeur, aka The Church on the Hill. I have to say that this and Saint-Chapelle were two of my favorite stops in Paris." At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, two Catholic businessmen made a private religious vow to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ, should France be spared the impending Prussian onslaught. The two men, Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury, lived to see Paris saved from invasion despite the war and a lengthy siege -- and the start of work on the Sacre-Coeur basilica... The basilica was completed in 1914, but the consecration was forestalled by World War I until 1919, when France was victorious... The belltower (1895) is 252 ft (83 m) high and contains one of the heaviest bells in the world. The bell itself weighs over 18 tons and the clapper weighs 1900 pounds." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris, pages 226 and 227.)
Yup, more gargoyles.
These are a few more views of the belltower.
Photos were prohibited in Sacre-Coeur, but trust me when I say that it was beautiful. For me, it was another breathtaking experience.
As you now, I love photos of Emma and her uncles. This one is with Keaton.
This is such a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from Sacre-Couer!
There's always time to play with Papa. Check out the look on Emma's face.
About a block away from Sacre-Coeur, Rick and I stumbled upon this quaint shop. Get this: all it sells are perfume bottles, most of them vintage.
I fell in love with this perfume bottle displayed in the window. It's my favorite color and the atomizer reminded me of my grandmother.
It is from the 1920s, and all parts are original except for the atomizer tube, bulb, and tassel. Of course, it was way more than the budget I had in mind, so I politely declined and went to look at newer and less expensive ones. Then my very sweet husband asked the shop owner to wrap it up for me as an anniversary gift. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Isn't he wonderful? (Yes, he IS!)
Anyway, after visiting Sacre-Coeur, we decided to find someplace for dinner. We walked and we walked and we walked. Rick and I laughed when we spotted this car. Rick had the exact same car in college! I am sure my mama remembers it, especially the time when some of our friends turned it sideways across the sidewalk and lawn in front of her house!
These are just random photos I shot as we wandered.
Emma loved the fresh flower markets.
We eventually happened upon Moulin Rouge. "Built in 1885, the Moulin Rouge was turned into a dance hall as early as 1900. The cancan originated in Montparnasse, in the polka gardens of the Rue de la Grande-Chaumiere, but it will always be associated with the Moulin Rouge where the wild and colorful dance shows were immortalized in the posters and drawings of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The high-kicking routines of famous 'Dorriss girls' such as Yvette Gullbert and Jane Avril continue a glittering, Las Vegas-style revue that includes sophisticated light shows and displays of magic." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris, page 228.)
Unfortunately, the neighborhood surrounding the Moulin Rouge was, well, seedy. Let me just say that intimacy is a big business. It was so not the place we wanted Emma (or the rest of us) to see. So we hopped back onto the train and finally found a small but wonderful place for dinner. This day just happened to be Brennan's 24th birthday and we needed to celebrate!
That's how we ended our wonderful, dreamy, I-can't-believe-we-got-to-do-this vacation in Europe. We saw so many beautiful and interesting things, and we made a lot of wonderful family memories. And so I end your trip through Rome, Venice, and Paris. Thanks for joining me!
And just FYI, Mom: Rick and I will be spending the next several days celebrating Courtney and Nick's wedding, so I won't be posting. I know you're dying to see photos of my birthday, but they'll have to wait until next week. After all, I will be 50 for an entire year, so that gives me time, right?
Hope you are living life to its fullest today!