December 24th, Christmas Eve! It was time to go sing some Christmas carols at the Royal Albert Hall. Ever since we moved here 5 years ago, this has been a lovely tradition and once again this year, (our last), it was a lot of fun. After all the singing was out of us we went home and the Things, even though they are 22 and 19 years old, asked to open one present. I poured some Baileys for everyone and we opened one present before going to bed.
Christmas day! After all the presents are opened and a hearty brunch, the Coopers play cards while watching Lord of the Rings. I know, not the best Christmas movie but after years of doing this, Thing 2 can now recite the lines of the actors, it is quite funny. We always have a good time.
Around 4 pm, Sarah suggested we go for a run before eating our huge Christmas dinner. So off we went for a 5 miler around Big Ben and back.
The tree in front of Parliament.
December 26th. After enjoying brunch at Yauatcha in Soho, we just chilled around the house and got ourselves ready for Hamilton. I had bought the tickets last January and Sarah has been rapping in my ears ever since. I had not listened to any of the music and did not know what to expect. Yes, it is worth all the hype. The cast was phenomenal. To sing and rap all this and show emotions to the point they had me shed a small tear at the end…(maybe I was tired???) It was a great show. I don’t care what the The Sunday Times critic said.
December 27th. We got up before the sun and we were in a car on our way to St. Pancras station by 6 am.
Back in August, Thing 1 called me and said, “Mama, there is this great Dior Exhibit in Paris. It ends at the beginning of January, could we go during our Christmas break?”
Me, being me, I had to look into it and get it organized. It was one of her Xmas presents, a trip to Paris to see the exhibit and it was a Xmas gift for Thing 2 as well since he had never been to Paris.
So off we went. We arrived in Paris at 10:17 am, Daddy Cool ordered a Uber and off we went to stand in line for this exhibit. When we arrived there were 3 lines. The line with tickets with designated hour, the line with tickets (us) and the line without tickets. The last one went all the way around the building and they were told there was a 4 to 5 hour wait. After standing in our line for 20 minutes I went to ask someone who told me, “It will be almost two hours before you get in. Why don’t you go have lunch and when you get back, you will see, there will be no line.” I was skeptic but the troops needed food and I needed caffeine. So we went to Café Marly and enjoyed an early lunch and by the time we came back, there was no line for us and we just walked in under the mean eyes of the people in line with no tickets. The exhibit was AMAZING. Dior was ahead of his time and I also realized why I like Yves St-Laurent so much. I knew he had started at Dior but man o man, their dresses were/are still amazing. I just loved it. Sarah was going through the entire exhibit with me and we agreed that Dior, St-Laurent and Raf Simons were the better designers. I don’t care much for Galliano and Bohman.
After the exhibit we checked into our hotel and just walked around before dinner.
Dior on Avenue Montaigne.
We started the day by walking to the Louvre. Daddy Cool was taking Thing 2 since he was the one in the family, who had never been. While they were at the Louvre, Thing 1 and I went to look for croissants, pain au chocolat, pain au raisins and chausson aux pommes.
After they were done at the Louvre, we got together to eat all our pastries and off we went to Les Galeries Lafayette.
Just to see this tree. It was beautiful.
After Les Galleries, it was off to the Musée D’Orsay. I was the only one who had previously been.
When we walked into the room with the Georges Seurat collection Sarah looked at the Cirque painting and said, ”I’ve seen this before. I had to reproduce this at art camp at the Currier in NH.” Boy she has a good memory and it’s also hanging on her bedroom wall.
The original, ”Cirque” by Georges Seurat.
The copy, ”Cirque” by Sarah Cooper, circa 2003 (she was 8 at the time, not bad).
Some of the many treasures in the Musée D’Orsay.
After all that art, we spent the rest of the afternoon on a Big Bus Tour looking at the many palaces and landmarks around Paris.
It wasn’t long before we had to get back on the last train out of Paris taking us back to London.
Thing 2 being silly with Thing 1’s beret.
Today is Day 8th of the CCE and we are doing NOTHING!!!!! Just recovering.