Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris (2015)

Arts and Metier metro Paris
coffee shopA morning planned at the Arts and Metier museum. It’s a showplace for scientific instruments and inventions. The metro station is designed to advertise it.

It’s Sunday and before the museum, we need coffee. We walk for blocks. Most places closed but we found this one. Note the chandeliers. Only the waiter spoke any English. Since we hadn’t seen the museum, we asked him. He’d never heard of it. Turns out we’d walked in the wrong direction – it was right at the metro stop.

Arts and Metier Museum

It’s in a church so we were fooled. (See the grey, rainy day. It rained everyday we were in Paris…) The scope of the displays is broad, ranging from a fancy coal measure to a space module.  Here’s a magnet built in the late 1700’s and some old bicycles.
metier magnetAntique bikes




After the museum we metro to the Sunday bird market near Notre Dame. I find the little birds so dear. There’s a man with a pet duck.
b white fluffChickensBirds with orange beaks2





We then metro and walk to the Tuilleries Garden. Time to sit and rest feet at the pond, people (and boat) watching. The chairs are comfy, the crowd entertaining.Boat in the Tuilleries

Next: the Orangerie museum to see Monet’s Water Lillies which he painted at Giverny. I’m  very glad we had the pass. The line was the length of the museum. I’d have been sorry to waited for what we saw. The paintings look better to me in photos than in person. They are kinda muddy and dark. But I loved this Urtillo.Utrillo

Walk to the Grand Palais but decide not to go in. Then we get lost and walk for blocks and blocks. Got some good pictures, but oh, my feet.

It’s our last night in Paris and we eat outdoors in thin sunshine. The waitress is nice, the food good. What a pleasure. This is what I expected (hoped for) in Paris.

I’ll close with some last glimpses of this interesting city. Boats on the Seine, one obviously a house boat — note the bicycle and motorcycle.House boat on the Seine
Trio of Boats on the Seine
A street vendor of oysters and lobster. And a shot from the Place de la Concorde. Au Revoir Paris. On to Chartres and the Loire Valley.
Oyster Vendor b2 towers

Birds and other wild life

A day roaming Florida beaches. boys2

bird upside down

Spending time outdoors rejuvenates me. My natural habitat is the mountains, but in a pinch the ocean will do: wonderful smell, the sound of the waves, and entertaining birds. This sunless day was particularly soothing. Then these young boys passed us, their swim trunks a jolt of color. Not exactly “wild life” …

Did you recognize the sea foam? That little bird ran up and down, sticking his head into the sand as the waves retreated and racing away when the water returned. His body was completely still as he ran: a feathered blob over the blur of legs. A living cartoon.

jellyfishI think this might be a jelly Fish. We saw several of them. This one was still alive; the air pod was moving. But because I have often heard about jelly fish stings (my father once had a terrible one), I was afraid to pick it up and put it back in the waves. I was surprised that the sand was so grey in this closeup shot.

bird with ruffThis is a new bird to me. I think the ruff and the orange beak makes it clown-like. There were many of them, clustered around the fishermen, hoping for handouts I’d assume.

little surferLittle surfer

sea grapeThis is Sea Grape. It can grow to tree size and it likes to be planted in sandy soil. The new leaves are the size of dessert plates.

fishing kitWe went out on a long pier that was clotted with fisherman. The colors of this gear and the shapes caught my eye.

bird with pink beakPink Beaked Beauty

bird with boThere were bunches of pelicans sitting on rocks. Sometimes their feathers look like fur. This one made me laugh, airing out its arm pits. Notice its feet, like thin rubber.

white pelican 2Most of the pelicans were brown. This white one held itself aloof as if its color conveyed royalty.

Next time, a return to Italy, to an olive oil tour. Did you know it can be tasted like wine? Tune in for details.