We hit the ground running after our return from Paris. I had four shoots the week I got back plus sorting paperwork, appointments, restocking the fridge and best of all...kissing up our kids! Life just keeps moving and truthfully I wouldn't have it any other way. I've been catching up a wee bit on blogging sessions as I try to have a preview up for clients within two weeks. In my spare moments/ the middle of the night, I've been working on my Paris photos. I have well over 400 edited and I've been trying to figure out how to share them. I posed the questions to friends on my facebook page and the consensus was to take my time and share them as a bit of a mini series. Perhaps the people who were thinking, "Alight already, we don't CARE to see all the pictures of the escargot that you ate" remained silent. At any rate, I was relieved and now have decided to go the route of a short series. I am going to present my favorites from the trip grouped by subject since a day by day journaling might be a bit much for my Type A tendencies to keep straight! If you did miss my first post, I did talk about our cooking class at La Cuisine in the heart of Paris. (I'm still licking my lips over that one!). I also did my first photoshoot in Paris of darling Fiona and her very kind husband, who were celebrating 10 years of being in love.
Here are a few shots of our trip over, which was rather unmemorable. I like unmemorable. It sure beats memorable exploding diapers, crying babies and throwing up kids on planes, doesn't it? We drank a lot of Starbucks, watched a couple movies, and I read Rick Steves' book on Paris on my kindle fire which was so helpful.
We got off at Charles de Gualle, feeling a bit germy from that many hours on the plane, perked up at the sound of all the French around us, and found out where we could get our Metro tickets to get to our hotel. Below is Ben on the train and then us at the hotel. I succumbed to a nap (3 hours), even though I knew that jet lag wisdom would say to stay up but I was toast after over 30 hours up with just one hour sleeping on the plane. Confession: it irritates me to no end that my husband can sleep anywhere at anytime. He slept away hours and hours on the plane while I writhed on my seat and finally gave up.
On our first night we walked around for hours after having an amazing pizza ( fresh marinara, French ham, cheese, artichokes). We were absolutely delighted to find that our hotel really was so very close to everything. We were just a five minutes walk from the Seine and Notre Dame and all the shopping and restaurants in the Ile de la Cite. I was marveling as we walked by so many streets, buildings, and places that I'd read about my whole life. I loved how beautifully the city was laid out for pedestrians and how there were lovely flowering trees, quaint shops tucked down streets and beautiful food smells everywhere. More (plenty more I promise you) about the food later, though :).
Our first morning, on the advice of my friend, Shelly, we headed over to Shakespeare and Co. Antiquarian Books, which was just across from Notre Dame. We went over the Seine and we were there. I remembered seeing in the movie Julie and Julia, Julia Childs digging through their books, looking for an English book on French cooking at it was also pictured in the movie Midnight in Paris. It's a famous English bookstore, started by an American ex patriate. Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, George Antheil and Man Ray spent much time at this lending library/bookstore. It was previously in another location but landed in this lovely spot in the early 1940's. Run since the 1960's by the Whitman family, there are regular readings, Sunday teas and writer's meetings. Writers are allowed to live and work in the shop and apartments.
It was absolutely delightful. Old and musty with chunky beams and funky signs and drawings, it was pure fun to be in. Photos were not permitted on the first floor but I sure had a great time upstairs.
Benches and worn out chairs lined the rooms and the windows were thrown open to let in the sunshine and the busy chatter from Rue de la Bûcherie below.
Loved this little niche with a typewriter and notes.
It's definitely worth musing through and we loved the variety of what was crammed on the shelves.
After moseying through the bookstore and finding a cafe for a nutella crepe for me, ham omelette for Ben, we had our morning coffee and headed back across the Seine to Notre Dame. Truly, the grandeur of this old church cannot even be expressed fully by anything but being there. The craftsmanship, scale and beauty are really stunning. There were always people in the courtyard and it was a lovely meeting place for friends to talk at all times of day.
Notre Dame is the monument most visited in France, seeing over 12 million visitors each year. This Gothic cathedral was started in 1163 and two hundred years later it was dedicated in it's first mass. How incredible for those workers to labor their whole lives, knowing that they would never see its completion, but perhaps many generations down would.
It felt rather surreal every time we walked by Notre Dame. It's just so huge and ornate and then you can go right across the street and buy a postcard and munch on an eclair. Most of these pictures of Notre Dame were taken on different days, at different times, from different locations...in the courtyard, from across the Seine, and from the gardens. I loved the way the evening light would hit it but then in the daytime it had a whole different effect too.
The work was exquisite. We were so amazed that a lot of the work was done by regular citizens, under the oversight of craftsmen.
The sun came beautifully through the top of Notre Dame on this morning.
And the gardens outside of Notre Dame....well, they were lovely and especially when the light was soft at night..very romantic. Thanks for these pictures, Fiona!
So here's the scoop on what I am going to do, if you haven't heard. I am going to put all my Paris pictures in a client gallery by the end of the week and I'll share the password for it. If you would like to purchase any prints, they will be available. I will also be doing some giveaways for prints as a thank you for all you lovely supporters. I'm hoping to have this up on Thursday.
Much more to come! Au revoir!