It was our first day in Paris and we were going to the Louvre. Every day was planned leaving no room to adjust our schedule, which meant when we slept in until 1 pm it didn’t matter. If we were going to see the Louvre, we had to go that day.
We woke up at 1pm and my mom was immediately in a panic. We were running later than she wanted to be. How could we sleep in so much? We were going to miss the Louvre (which at this point seemed to be the only reason she came to Paris. It was the Louvre or the trip was ruined). We were in a frenzy to get ready. I woke up jet lagged, missing Jake, and now my mom was whirling around the room in an angry panic that was making me dizzy. My mom showered and stressed the importance of my speed to get ready as I jumped in the shower. I was lathering the hotel shampoo in my hair as I started counting the days. Only 13 days left until I was home and with Jake. It seemed doable.
I finished my shower and was ready to leave the hotel in about 40 minutes. My mom was walking as fast as her legs could go.
“I guess we should get breakfast first. Something quick.” My mom kept looking at her watch as though she could slow time down.
“Let’s grab Starbucks. It’s quick and right there!”
“Fine. I guess we don’t have time to go to a real cafe.” The disappointment of another non-french restaurant was palpable.
We walked to the Starbucks and my mom’s attitude immediately improved when she realized the menu included different options than an American Starbucks. We quickly ate a croissant and started walking down the street with our coffee heading to the Louvre.
We got to the Louvre and stood in line, my mom peering down at her watch every couple of minutes.
“They close at 5. It’s 2:30 now. We will have to hurry.”
“Can’t we come back another day?”
“No, tomorrow we are going to Musee D’Orsay. The day after we are seeing Notre Dame and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Then we are off to Nice. If we don’t see it today, we won’t see it.”
“Ok, well maybe we just split up? So we can both see what we want.” I didn’t really have anything I specifically wanted to see expect the Mona Lisa, but my mom’s anxious compulsive time watching was driving me up a wall.
About 30 minutes after being in line, we were entering the Louvre and my mom was practically bouncing with excitement. We looked at the map of the Louvre and walked straight into the room with the Mona Lisa. It was amazing and looked exactly like every picture you have seen of it. It was just more exciting to see it in person. All of a sudden something that I had seen a million times but never admired was right in front of me. It was worth the wait and stress to get into the Louvre. My mom oh’d and aw’d next to me, and I was suddenly transported back to the present.
I don’t remember what my mom said she wanted to go see, but she was anxious and time watching again, so I didn’t want to go with her.
“Ok, let’s meet right at the entrance in an hour and a half.”
“See you then!” I took off in the opposite direction of my mom. I didn’t know where I was going or what I wanted to see, but I knew I wanted to see it. I sped walked down staircases while gazing around at the art surrounding me trying to soak it all in. That’s when I came down another staircase that led me into an empty room filled with gorgeous marble statues. Directly across the room was the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It was gorgeous. I walked over to it slowly appreciating the magical find. I was all alone and took my time appreciating its beauty. I don’t know how long I stood there staring until I realized it was time to meet my mom. I took one finally glance at the statue and walked back towards the entrance, following the map this time to find the meeting point as quickly as I could.
We met at the entrance right at the time the Louvre was supposed to be closing and realized that there were still people coming into the museum. My mom confused as ever looked at her map and realized that we had come to the Louvre on a Thursday, which meant we came the one day a week that the Louvre was open later.
“Well I saw what I wanted to see. Did you?”
“Yeah I’m good!” I just wanted to be outside in Paris.
With that we left through the underground exit passing another Starbucks on our way out.