Spring followed us back to Paris! It was a gorgeous day so we walked all the way to Invalides to see Napoleon's tomb. Wowsa!! It really gives new meaning to Napoleonic complex. The tomb itself was massive, surrounded by 360 degrees of sumptuous, decadent ornamentation including two levels of viewing around the rotunda, a ceiling that could rival the Vatican and tons of marble.
Since we were already there, we took the opportunity to explore the museum within Hotel Invalides. We did not take many pictures because so much of what we saw were things of which we would not want to have photographs, for example, there was Napoleon Bonapart's taxidermed horse. Yuck. However, even though some of the material was challenging, we learned a great deal. The exhibit on WWI and WWII was extensive. It was four stories tall and filled with amazing memorabilia, interactive media centers and extensive research and analysis clearly displayed in three languages. The section of the museum dedicated to the history of The American Revolutionary War was more comprehensive than any I have ever seen in the USA itself. It was so refreshing to examine it from a more global perspective. I truly have never seen or heard so much about the extent of the French's involvement.
Another interesting display was one that focused on the art form of creating armor. There were entire coats of arms, armor for horses, shields, helmets etc...all explained as a craft from pattern making, to metal work, to the art involved in creating the decorations.
After that much exploring and learning, we were famished. We splurged on a nice dinner out. I had the most magnificent Artichoke soup. It was creamy, yet light, almost frothy. It was the perfect balance between buttery smooth soup and crisp croutons. Delightful. Emma had a mushroom pasta sauce that was incredible. It had at least four different types of mushrooms and they were so fresh and cooked perfectly. They were tender, but not at all mushy or soggy. I also had lamb in a lemon sauce, served with mashed sweet potatoes. Magnificent! It is also noteworthy to mention that the bread was incredible. All bread here is amazing so to have one stand out among the rest was a very pleasant surprise. I will never know how they improved upon perfection.
After dinner we went directly to the Louvre again. We were excited to go on a Friday when they do not close until 22:00. We stayed until closing, once again not managing to see everything we had hoped to see. It was very cool to be there so late, especially when we walked out through the Denon wing past the Mona Lisa and had the extra thrill of seeing her wihtout a massive crowd surrounding her.