Wednesday, September 11, 2019

1st Day of School

And just like that, another fun filled (moving filled) summer ends & a brand new school year begins.  This year is going to be an adventure for my kids because we're in a new country with new schools.  Luckily, there are schools on base here & the DODEA are supposed to have fabulous teachers so we're really excited.

After our whirlwind in Paris, we went to meet all their new teachers & poor Canyon fell asleep as his teacher was introducing herself.  Silly boy.

They were all SO excited to jump on the bus the morning of the first day.  Canyon is a 1st grader this year & is at a school all by himself again.  He's a pro at it now.

Craiger is in 3rd grade this year & will be going to the same school as Bladen.

Bladen is in his very last year of elementary school this year as a 5th grader.  He goes to the same school as Craiger.

Miss Taya starts her adventure in middle school this year as a 6th grader.  She's been a little nervous about middle school, having multiple teachers/classes, & then being all by herself in a big school.  She's SO brave, she's going to do great.

This year is Lorien's first year of High School.  She's a freshman this year, starts Seminary before school with Cadence, & is tackling some HARD classes.  She is excited to finally be in a school that has a string orchestra for her to play cello in & she's starting her first AP class this year as well.  She's going to be amazing.

And Cadence is a Junior this year.  She reminded me on the first day of school that I only have one more year of "1st day of school pictures" with her.  Way to make me cry baby girl!!!!  I can't believe she's a JUNIOR.  She is excited to have Lorien in her early morning seminary classes, loves playing oboe in advanced band, has 2 HARD AP classes this year, & is in the SAME German class with her sister.  I think it's hilarious that they have the same class, same teacher, same period.  At least they can do homework together.

We have the cutest little bus stop in our village.  The kids love riding the bus together (all ages ride the same bus).  Canyon loves having a little extra time with his big sisters each day.

It's going to be a great school year.  I just know the Potter kids are going to do GREAT THINGS.

The Louvre

And you just can't go to Paris without visiting the Louvre!

We've been to the Louvre every time we've visited Paris, but since Canyon & Craiger have never been to Paris (they were both born after we lived in Europe before), we HAD to take them there so they could say they've been.  Plus, we just LOVE the Louvre!

The outside of the museum is just as spectacular as the inside.  You can't even begin to fathom the size of this place.  As you're walking through it, you realize just how big it actually is.

The minute you go in, you are herded like cattle straight up 3 flights of stairs, through 2 large rooms, & finally into the room where the Mona Lisa is.  (It took about an hour from the entrace to the room).  This is not Mona Lisa's normal room, but she is housed here until October 2019 when she'll be moved back to her original room that has recently be under restoration.

The amount of people in here was insane.  They literally let 5-10 people up at a time to take ONE picture, & then shuffle them off to an exit.  

The Mona Lisa is much smaller than you imagine it is, but is is spectacular to see in person.  Such a neat experience to have with my kids.

We spent almost 4 hours in the Louvre this time.  We've seen so many of the exhibits in previous visits, but we're still no where near seeing everything.  It's just massive.  But we saw a lot of new things, some regular famous things we always see (Mona Lisa, Venus DeMilo, The Scribe, the headless angel, etc.), & this time we ventured into the furniture section, the ancient Egypt section, & the middle age architecture sections.  I really should have taken more photos, but were were SO engulfed with what we were seeing that we lived in the moment rather than having our phones out 24/7.  The kids enjoyed our deep discussions, our history lessons, & just the amazingness of what we were looking at.

After spending several hours here, our whirwind Paris trip was over.  We had to say goodbye to Justin & Cari & drive the 3.5 hours back home so we could be back in time for all the school open houses the next day.  It was a very short trip, but much loved & we had a blast.

Je'taime Paris!


The Louvre Musee

Open 9am - 6pm every day EXCEPT TUESDAYS

BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE (they only allow a certain number of people in the museum & you are given tickets for specific times so if you want to guarantee you go inside, buy the tickets in advance from the official website I've linked above)

Admission: 17 Euro Online (recommended) or 15 Euro in person (if tickets are available)
Kids under 18 are FREE

Subway Stops: Lines 1 & 7 at Palais Royal Musee de Louvre, & Line 14 at Pyramides


Another new adventure for the Potter family was the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral.  I've always admired this building when we've gone to Paris, but I've never visited it.  It sits on top of a hill & almost looks like Jasmine's Palace (Aladdin) from far away.  I was excited to visit.

We took the 4 subway line to Chateau Rouge which was kind of a walk, but all the stops near here are a walk (just know that).  It was kind of a scary part of Paris, but we survived just fine.  There are several steps or a hike to get to the actual cathedral.  My boys informed me that they "just couldn't do it anymore," (it's definitely a hike), but they made it.

The building is absolutely gorgeous.  The white stone is just spectacular to see & the design of the building is SO unique.  There's nothing like it anywhere else I've ever been.

We loved it because it was FREE to get in.  I love places like that.  They do require silence at all times inside though.  It is a working/functioning church after all.  We had one security guard approach us to tell us we had the quietest, most well behaved kids he's ever seen which made me very proud.  All those years of shushing my kids in church finally paid off.  ha ha ha.

This church is gorgeous.  There is gold leaf pressed into every painting, every mosiac, every surface.  The whole place just glitters in gold.  And the artwork in the mosiacs & stained glass is just amazing.

One of our family's favorite things to do is climb the stairs to the top of these beautiful buildings.  We definitely wanted to go to the top of this basillica.  It was 330 steps & Bladen led the way & counted every single step for us.  Every time we stopped to rest, he'd calculate how many steps we'd taken & how many more we had to go to reach the top.  If you are claustrophobic, this might not be the climb for you.  It was a VERY narrow staircase in some places!

The views from the halfway point & from the top were amazing.  Absolutely breathtaking.

My sweet little Lorien doesn't do very well with heights, & this was VERY high, so I was SO proud of her for being brave enough to come to the top with us.

This is a MUST see in Paris.  It is now one of my favorite sites.



Cathedral Open 6am - 10:30pm
Admission: FREE

Access to the Dome (330 stair climb)
Cost: 7 Euro per adult over 16 & 4 Euro per child 4-16
8:30 am - 8 pm every day in May to September
9am - 5 pm every day in October to April

Subway Stops: 4 Line at Chateau Rouge, 2 Line at Anvers, or 12 Line at Abbesses (it's near the Moulin Rouge too!)

35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre
75018 Paris, France