Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Louvre

Of course while we were in Paris we visited the Louvre. It was ginormous!! We finally did something right. We bought our tickets ahead of time so we didn't have to stand in that line, only the security line. We also got there early, so we really had a very short wait. We figured out ahead of time where the Mona Lisa was, and since this is the most famous piece of art that people go to see, we went right to her first.
Mona Lisa was very small, in comparison to the other paintings, and under much more glass! We were able to get close easily, which we're told is usually hard to do...so we were thankful. Even as an artist I often go away after looking at paintings wondering what the fuss is about. Yes, I know it was ahead of its time and it is beautiful....but beyond that...well...maybe I am just jaded, who knows.

On the way there we saw Nike (winged Victory) and since that is one of my all time favorite sculptures (I have a small replica in my house) we had to stop and see her first. She is alighting on the prow of a ship.

There were many beautiful courtyards with statues throughout the Louvre
I enjoyed seeing this piece, it is part of the frieze from the Parthenon in Greece

And here is Diana, goddess of the hunt

And Venus, goddess of love...yet another very popular statue (Venus de Milo)

I think my favorite piece ended up being this one; it is the kiss between Cupid and Psyche. The wings were so beautiful and the sculpture had so much movement in it...and it was fully intact!

A hall of more Roman statues....some included the Caesars
These are Caryatids from one of the ancient Greek temples....Caryatids are columns that are sculpted in the form of women.If you looked closely under some arches along a stairwell you could see this room where it looks like they are restoring or caring for the sculptures.
We spent some time in the ancient Egyptian portion, this was really cool...it is a real mummy unwrapped....well, not unwrapped, but uncovered so we could see the wrapping.

The face was so intricate!

Of course we saw a gazillion paintings by all the famous artists. This one was fun: This is a painting of the hall we are currently standing in, of people painting the paintings that are in this hallway. My understanding is that artists used to do just that, to learn techniques, etc., as there were no photographs to copy from!!

A whole wall of Rembrandt...so many of the paintings were huge!
The beautiful cafe outside in the Louvre's courtyard

I think we covered the whole Louvre in about 4 hours....we were able to get really close up to the art and there were very few crowds, so it made it easy! About the time we were leaving it was starting to fill up. Like I said, I think we finally planned something right!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Josh and Jordan's Visit

Last month (July), my brother, his wife, and their kids (Josh and Jordan and Austin and Micah) were able to come down and visit....we had such a great time! They handled the summer heat quite well, I might add!! No burns, no sun stroke....

We tried to take it easy, but still managed to fit in a lot of activity....especially David and Josh who golfed 4 times. The rates are so cheap this time of year, so you've got to fit in all you can!

Ah yes...quintessential Arizona photo ops......

Of course there was plenty of swimming..Micah loved it; I think he enjoyed drinking the water as much as swimming in it!!!

These pictures below are not at our pool...so don't be disappointed if you come to visit....:) There are a couple of city-owned water slide parks near our home...they are great because they are sooo cheap!! Austin was very brave and jumped off the diving board!

And of course we went to Rawhide...After everyone went into the "jail", Hannah and Abigail got "locked" in....Austin wanted nothing to do with that! But he did ride the donkey :)

The Desert Botanical Gardens....you get to see all the crazy cactus and succulents...there are some weird ones! I think this one looks like something out of an old sci fi movie!

Micah next to an "Old Man" cactus....see....it has a beard!!! :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

First Day of School

Here are the girls on the morning of their first day of school :)

Yes, they start school in the summer here (July 31st)

We have what is called a modified year-round school year...I love it, only 8 weeks of being "bored"!

They are really growing up...they each got new hair cuts for their first day...and not by me, I took them to my stylist and they got to pick what they wanted:)