dimanche 8 novembre 2009

Week Seven: Brrrr, parks, brrrrrrrrr

This week consisted largely of me scurrying frantically around Paris in an effort to see as many gardens as possible before Tuesday, the day I have to present my independent project. Yikes!!

However, I did get a bit of free time to have the best lemon tart ever.

And to have my own personal version of a hitchcock movie (remember my seagull attack?)

Went to the Parc Montsouris at the southernmost point of Paris

Got lost at the ultra-modern Parc Andre-Citroen

Spent the last sunny afternoon at the Jardin des Plantes, which was created to be used as Louis XVI's medecinal herb garden and now is a very family friendly, fun and educational park and menagerie

Inside the Jardin Alpin, which belongs to the école botanique (botany school)

And lastly, for my favorite parents, I made some friends with a few flamingos.

dimanche 1 novembre 2009

Week Six: Ugly painting, beautiful days and Versailles

This week went by very quickly, with a number of large, stressful tests and long museum visits. We went to Versaille which was a wonderful break, and the weather was so beautiful it seemed impossible that we were already deep into fall. Everybody kept saying it was an 'été indien' (indian summer). Towards the end of the week, it started to get much colder (right in time for our visit to the Pere Lachaise cemetary where we saw among others, Jim Morrison's grave) and as I'm writing this from the salon, Paris is blanketed by a pure white fog that has cut the eiffel tower cleanly in half and made the top part disappear.

Monday night I decided to accompany a few girls out to go see a concert, but every body was late and the line was too long, the area too questionable so we left to go find a thai restaurant somebody had heard of, in the area near the Centre Pompidou. We instead found a wonderful little indian restaurant in a peaceful, cobblestoned alley, down one end of which we could see this strangely tall and narrow cathedral. It was a bit spooky, so I guess perfect for this week.
We drank delicious mango lassis which are like mango smoothies, but more amazing. Me and Sarah (pictured above) were awkwardly wearing the same shirt. Dorky, but cute.

We had our post/neo- impressionism visite at the Musée d'Orsay today. This is the ugliest painting ever (in my opinion, which I probably share with many others). It's just strange. But, it was an unschooled artist which was pretty rare at the time for the big painters and he managed to become somewhat known, so claps for him. But, still, yuck.

Tuesday we went to the Petite Palais to look at some Courbet and some Carpeaux sculptures. We took a kind of long way, and ended up walking along the Seine for 20 minutes, it was so pleasant and perfectly picturesque nobody minded.

Then on thursday we scooted just outside of paris on the RER trains to Versailles. Minus a little girl on a pink bike crashing into me, the stinging nettle and my hair getting bitten by a sheep, it was pretty lovely. I could not and can not fathom living there, even as a servant or a gardener. Pictured above is from Marie Antoinette's little palace.

There were boats to row in the massive fountains for 15 euros an hour and we of course seized that opportunity. It was a wonderful way to see more of the gardens and we didn't have to sign any paperwork!

View from the fountain.

They napped, we read, sang, chatted, I zenned out...
My crew (I was the captain, of course!)

More of the gardens
Unfortunately, Jeff Koone's balloon animals have been gone for a few months, but in their place are all these strange purple and silver sculptures. Inside there was one room where there were these large purple weather-balloon type things floating on the ceiling. A bit odd, but they were kinda cool.
Last but not least, the glass gallery.

dimanche 25 octobre 2009

Week Five: Wonderful skies, yummy snacks and antibiotics

This week was largely spent in a druggy/fatiguey haze, although I am now happily drug-free and the weather is beautiful, and I'm very content. We went to the Gustave Moreau museum, the Musee d'Orsay (for our impressionism visite, which was incredible!) and a few others...
This is where I had the most incredible, heavenly lemon tartlet... ever.

Starting to look wintery a weensy bit

This is one of the many delectable lunchtime treats I've had from the bon marché. I'm still managing to eat something different every day.

Had some incredible sunrises this week. They abruptly stopped a few days ago. :(

Kaelyn and I attended a cooking class last night. Asides from two little old ladies, we were the only students that weren't newly weds. :)
We made:
Afterwards we had a picnic on the champs de mars and watched the new light show on the eiffel tower.
Fun week!

dimanche 18 octobre 2009

Week Four: sick :(

This week was spent under the weather, as were the previous 3 weeks, so I finally gave in and saw a doctor. It was surprisingly un-scary minus all the drugs I have to take for a week (probably more than I've taken combined in my life). The doctor was interesting and told us a funny story of how he went to see a client in the 7th arrond. where there are a lot of hotel particulaires, which is where the house is set back from the street, usually behind a courtyard or a garden. This one was set behind a garden with a large wall in front of it. He told us how he went through the little door only to find a garden... full of sheep! In the middle of Paris! Anyways, maybe it's just the drugs but I find that delightful.
We had two birthdays this week, which was nice. Both of which involved way too many bon marché pasteries and orangina...
Now, on to the pictures!

Here's my medicine. Three times a day!

We had some beautiful sunrises this week. This one, a little bit later, cast an amazingly intense rose colored light all over the salon. It was beautiful.

This week we went to the Musée de Rodin and the Musée d'Orsay and I think the Louvre once.

dimanche 11 octobre 2009

Week Three: Louvre, Louvre and Louvre!

This week started out with an afternoon at the races for me and Kaelyn. We chose to conform and purchased little feathery flowery hair pieces. While ours were nice, they do not begin to compare to some of the fantastic works of hattery displayed by some of the distinguished visitors there.
"And they're off"!

This week was rather busy with three visits to the Louvre, a long art history test and a visite to "Carnavalet" which is a museum of Parisian history.

We saw several famous works including the Venus de Milo and la Joconde (Mona Lisa). It's sad how the tourists crowd around and don't even learn the history or look at them, they just take grinning, badly posed pictures in front of Venus and Mona. With the Mona Lisa, it's sort of amusing because she is a tiny little piece with a huge fence around her, and facing her on the opposite wall, usually with like 3 or 4 people looking at it, is this incredible, massive, colorful painting depicting lots of groovy religious scenes, the center of which is a flawless last supper. Sad how art becomes monuments, monuments become photo ops.
Poupard teachin'.

I got kinda distracted while wearing my Lolita glasses the other night... and there was lightning, which never helps me.

Right during a huge lightning strike

During the hourly 10 minute light show

Last night, taken by some fellow US expat students who asked us to take their picture. Shortly after this we got a banana split on a little cafe right over the seine. lovely!

Week Two: Antibes, Nice and Cannes

After a 5/6 hour, literally whirlwind 300 mph trip on the TGV we arrived in Antibes and made the pleasant 10 minute trek to our Hostel. CREPS, as it was called, is a sort of hostel/YMCA/sports boarding school. There are a group of kids there about our age who specialize in usually soccer or sailing and they do their sports during the day and there are a number of class rooms (the ones we also used) where they have classes at night.

The Second day, before we visited the Picasso museum, we got to stroll around the small, friendly town of Old Antibes. It's kind of a fort, with big old walls around most of the town and a little castle on the hill which you can see behind our hostel. The markets had everything you could ever want to buy. And a thousand types of salts, peppers and other spices. Really incredible.

Kaelyn and I started most of our mornings with a job/walk around the edge of the peninsula to walk the sunrise. It was so beautiful, this picture barely does it justice.
One day we were joined by Sarah who joined us in some picturesque yoga poses.

This is a shot of the little beach where I was attacked and wounded by a seagull when we went swimming at around 6:45 in the morning to catch the sunrise. We were surprised to find the water to be perfectly comfortable and the air when we got out warm.

This is the last shot I got before my camera died, of a view of Cannes from a little lookout place on top of a fort on the hill.