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D’Orsay and Louvre

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What do you do with your first rainy day in Paris? Why you wait hours in outdoor lines to hit up the museums.

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Added bonus: 1st Sunday of the month brings free admission (and lots of people). I am taking this picture at the sign that says “at this sign your wait time is 3 hours.”

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It may be sacrilege but I actually preferred the Musee D’Orsay to the Louvre for the concentrated Impressionist works. Just a beautiful collection.

Mona Lisa

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She’s okay. But what it took to get there…

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Oh the humanity

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Saw this handsome devil in the cemetery. Didn’t scare me one bit, I swear.

Museum Day

Pere Lachaise cemetery

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Next we got a bit out of the city center and visited Paris’ most prestigious cemetery featuring the grave sites of Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison.

There was even this touching addition of a young girl recently killed at the Bataclan concert venue.

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This place was a welcome reprieve from the bustling city full of tourist hoards. You can really get lost here. I found myself imagining the conversations that took place amongst the spirits of the deceased residents.

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Jim Morrison’s grave was a popular destination for sex romps and rampant drug usage so they put up this handy dandy gate to keep the fornicators out.

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Oscar Wilde’s grave had a glass partition installed because female admirers were defacing it with lipstick kisses. Mom swears he was a known homosexual so I don’t quite get the symbolism.

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Pere Lachaise cemetery

NYE

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Ventured out to the champs-élysées early…

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than scooped mom up and headed out to the park beneath the Eiffel Tower at around 11 to set up for midnight.

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Kind of an anything goes party in Paris where street vendors will sell you bottles of champagne on the street in advance of the calendar flip.

New Years Eve

Cork

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Cork may have been my favorite city in Ireland. I was nervous as we entered town as the girls seemed to prefer the smaller towns to the big cities and Cork is Ireland’s third biggest city. It sure doesn’t feel this way.

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We stayed on the outskirts near the University of Cork which was beautiful. The main quadrangle was a sight.

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Just up from the university is fitzgerald park which was throbbing with people due to the abundance of sunny days which we were fortunate to experience throughout our journey.

The city is framed by several rivers which seem to divide the city into districts. The downtown area is a charming little series of interconnected streets with some being blocked off to car traffic.

Found an amazing brewery and beer garden called the Franciscan Well which was built into the wall of an old monastery with a well that was thought to possess healing powers.

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From Cork we took a day trip out to Cobh which is a pretty little port city which happened to be the last stop of the titanic before its ill-fated journey to NY and then on to Blarney castle which houses the world famous blarney stone.

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As with any vacation ours could have lasted a wee bit longer but every stop along the way was more enjoyable than the stop before so I think we got a good impression of what the country has to offer.

Cork

Second day in Killarney. We toured the Ring of Kerry which provided endless views of the south easternly part of Ireland.

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Also saw a sheepdog demonstration that was pretty excellent. The guy had the dogs trained on their own commands so they didn’t react to each others.

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When we got back to Killarney that evening we discovered there was a Gaelic football semifinal between Kerry and Watertown. Went down to the stadium for that and found out how complex and active the game is. It is a combination of soccer, football, rugby, with a little basketball mixed in.

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Closed it out at the pub where we listened to traditional Irish music being played at the next table over.

Killarney

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