Everyday adventures

Let's Go to Paris!

November 12, 2018

Paris was, in a word, fantastique!

I’ve been to Paris before, but it was always a brief stop on my way someplace else. This time, I spent 12 full days exploring what the city has to offer.

It wasn’t nearly long enough.

Paris is huge, noisy, busy, a city layered with history and culture—and while I was there, a city of brilliant blue skies and mellow light that glowingly illuminated the stone buildings. We had nearly perfect weather, and I can’t help wondering if my impressions would have been different if it had been cold and gray. I feel lucky to have seen Paris at her fall best—lit up by the sun, the trees just beginning to change, with blooming flowers everywhere. Oh, I miss it.

Today I’ll share just a few photos and impressions, because I’m still sorting through my journal and photos (and thoughts). I feel like someone picked me up, shook me vigorously, and returned me to earth, everything still whirling around inside my head. Paris feels like a million years ago, even though it’s only been a little more than a month (already?) since we touched down at Charles de Gaulle airport.

The adventure begins

Laure Ferlita, of The Imaginary Realm and Painted Thoughts blog, and I flew to Paris a few days before her watercolor workshop started. A third friend (hi, Claire!) joined us, and we rented an apartment through Airbnb for the days before we met the rest of the group. That worked beautifully for us, and our apartment host was outstanding (hi, Helen!). If you will be spending more than a few days in Paris, renting an apartment is a fun option. It’s generally cheaper than a Paris hotel, and you get more of a flavor of what it’s like to live in Paris.

Some highlights from our first days included:

The most delicious savory crepe I’ve ever tasted from a little restaurant we randomly chose on our way to the metro station our first morning. It was good, but is there anything as delicious as your first hot meal and cup of coffee when you’ve traveled to a new place and you’re really hungry?

Exploring Rue Cler, a popular market street.  We enjoyed people watching as much as we enjoyed the shops and restaurants. I spent a bundle on tea at Mariage Freres. I’m drinking a cup of Paris Earl Grey as I type this. A highlight for me was a cup of coffee, a buffalo mozzarella flatbread pizza, and sketching at CafĂ© Central.

Everywhere we walked, we came upon architecture and details that caught our eyes:

In addition to the larger and more famous parks like the Luxembourg Gardens or the Tuileries, pretty little parks are everywhere—pockets of quiet green-ness in a noisy world:

And, of course, many boulangeries and patisseries where we snapped photos and sampled the baked goods. Heaven!

The adventure will continue...

Stay tuned for more photos and posts about my favorite places in Paris, as well as in our second location, Le Vieux Couvent in Frayssinet. 

The Highest Highs, the Lowest Lows

November 05, 2018

I know you’re waiting to hear about France, and I’m eager to share—my three weeks there were some of the most interesting and exciting of my life. But first I have to share some sad news from my family in California. Shortly after I returned home, my father was hospitalized, and he passed away last week. His health has been declining for some time, but it still took us by surprise. The memorial service is set for later in the month, partly to allow me to have a little time at home before I have to fly out again.

Last week was tough in other ways. I got sick two days after getting home, and I moved Tank to his new barn where he’s still adjusting to his surroundings. I’m finally feeling better, and I hope to get back to working on my trip journal, photos, and sketchbook this week. Thank you for your patience understanding while I put myself back together.


Find the Road to Happiness

October 26, 2018

Photo by Ugne Vasyliute on Unsplash

“People can hate on you for doing what it is that makes you happy, but ultimately, it has to belong to you. It shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks. Life is not easy. The road to happiness is not a path well trotted. You have to find your own path to enlightenment.
—Jamie Campbell Bower



October 19, 2018

Photo by Jeff Frenette on Unsplash

“Voyage, travel, and change of place impart vigor.
—Seneca the Younger

Hidden Gardens of Paris

The Green Heart of Paris

October 12, 2018

Photo courtesy Damian Aldeta Fuentes via Pixabay

“Look inside the green heart of Paris and you will see the exquisite beauty of one of the world’s most cherished places. That beauty quickens the love of life and stirs our desire for more. People—travelers—always want to come back to Paris again and again.”

I’ll be in Paris (and other parts of France) for the next three weeks—I’ve scheduled a few quotes and tidbits to post while I’m gone, Have a very happy October!

Look for my travel writing here