France/Belgium c.2011: Day Two

We sat on the steps of the Église de la Madeleine (St. Mary Magdalene Church) and ate jambon and fromage (ham and cheese) sandwiches purchased from the shop seen above. The shop was blocks from our hotel room and the smell of freshly baked bread was irresistible.
We walked past Fauchon and noticed their decorated cakes in the window. There was SO much hot pink involved with this store. We didn't sample anything as it was located in a tourist-y area and was very busy. We did, however, find Ladurée (which does not take kindly to photography - so I was able to sneak just a few before becoming the "Hey you! Don't take pictures!" example for the rest of the crowd inside.
So many macarons to try... So little time.
Their desserts and packaging are all extremely "boutique" in appearance - nothing without plenty of consideration of presentation. This must be the reason they want to guard their success. We heard that they opened a shop in New York after we returned home.
We walked past this thing peeking out of the trees while on our way to the Louvre.
Where else will you get a spoon wrapped in a napkin with a bow?

Ispahan from Ladurée
Saint-Honorés from Ladurée.
Pistachio, Soft Salted Caramel, and Orange Blossom macarons.
We approached the Louvre and after passing under an arch, noticed the glass pyramid (which appears as a predominant part of the conclusion to Dan Brown's Angels & Demons). It's a nice blend of the old and new coming together into one experience.
It's easy to imagine the Winged Victory statue sitting in it's natural setting - as the interior space makes you feel like you've been transported to an ancient place. Such a prominent piece of art history appropriately placed as a focal point.
The Winged Nike of Samothrace seen from below. (I had to walk around to the back to take a look because you never get to see the back in Art History textbooks.)
You can probably guess what this crowd was trying to view over each other's shoulders...
DaVinci's Mona Lisa behind some protective plexiglas.
Wendy is busy inspecting a spectrum seen at the bottom of the pyramid.
There's also a La Maison Du Chocolat amongst the shops of the Louvre. Essentially, we spotted this upon turning around from the pyramid.
Most chocolate sculptures we saw had playful themes to them - to the point of being cartoon-ish. So much fun. We obviously were there as Easter was approaching.
Another La Maison Du Chocolat we passed on the way to the Arch
Stacks and stacks of truffles on the counter. This is not the usual presentation of chocolates (in a refrigerated case) as typically seen in the states. This is the predominant style of presentation within European shops.
We had a tough time getting to the Arc de Triomphe as there's cars driving around it "round-a-bout" style. There's one underground tunnel over to it. We had walked the Champs-Elysees to make it to it before sundown. The terrific view from the top of the Arch (seen below) shows that it was well worth it to trudge all the way up that spiral staircase.