I’ve fallen way behind in keeping this up to date, as I spent much of the last week either visiting with friends – a good thing – or trying to track down my lost luggage after I arrived back in the States. Not such a good thing. Before that fiasco, though, we spent five more days in Paris. And once again it was nearly perfect. Great weather, great food, great walking, great parks.
One highlight was what might have been my first ever visit to the Musée de l’Orangerie, an impressionist and post-impressionist museum in a corner of the Tuileries Garden. It was closed for renovations from early 2000 through 2006 and somehow I think we’d just never made it there. The star of the show there are Monet’s Nymphéas, eight large water lily canvasses in two separate oval rooms. Beautiful, and I appreciate an exhibit that only takes a few minutes to enjoy.
They were appropriately great, but I really enjoyed the exhibit one floor below made up of Guillaume Walter collection of early 20th century art. There’s a fun story about the Guillaume Walter collection. It’s named not for a Mr. Guillaume Walter, but rather for Paul Guillaume and Jean Walter. Guillaume was an art collector and, when he died, his widow Domenica married the wealthy Walter and continued to expand the collection. On her death, she donated the collection to the museum. What makes it really interesting, though, is that Paul Guillaume died early and under suspicious circumstances. Some thought Domenica may have been involved, but charges were never brought. Then she married Walter … and he died suspiciously after being hit by a car. Oh yeah, and her adopted son survived an attempted murder.
Apparently she lived out her life as a widow but somehow notwithstanding her inherited wealth other men weren’t flocking to marry her.
Otherwise it was a lot of walking, drinks one night before dinner at the newly renovated Ritz Hotel, and lazy afternoons in the parks. And starting to plan in more detail our fall jaunt through the South Pacific including, it seems, a couple weeks in Papua New Guinea. That’s all a few weeks off, though, as first from here it was back to the U.S. for a couple weeks visiting family.