10 Days in France…Scenes from Our Time in Paris (B&W)

So, yes, we’ve been in France these past 10 days!

Originally planned to be our “babymoon”, not realizing the struggles that lay ahead, it ended up being a much-needed respite from real life. No fertility drugs/needles, no alcohol/caffeine restrictions, no work, no cell phones or laptops. Nothing but time for just the two of us to reconnect and recharge.

It was my 2nd time and Dan’s first to Paris, and my first time to the French countryside. I’ll provide a few posts with excerpts from our holiday, as we not surprisingly took a ton of photos.

How was it, you ask?

Well, I truly adore my husband so we made the most of wherever we were. But Paris as a city? I don’t have any crazy need to return. In my 20’s it was phenomenal. 16 years later, I found the city overall to be highly, highly overrated. It reeked – from the nonstop cloud of cigarette smoke, to the urine-soaked city streets accessorized with the occasional mixture of both human AND dog feces on the sidewalks, to the self-absorbed, assholish attitudes of most people on the streets (and many service staff in the restaurants), (even in the late autumn) masses of tourists acting like idiots in nearly every arrondisement (let me tell you, the selfie stick thing is fucking out of control – people care more about walking around staring at themselves in a camera than actually looking directly at what’s around them), to the heightened fear I had after being verbally (and nearly physically) harassed by the criminals posing as souvenir hawkers, it just didn’t make sense for me. I’m not saying we didn’t have some lovely moments, which I’ll show you, but it’s definitely not a city I’d return to.

The countryside, on the other hand? Absolutely in love. We agreed that our next travel to Europe will most definitely focus on being out in our element – nature. You’ll see by the vast quantity of photos where our passions truly were, and I still get smiles remembering the gorgeous fall strolls we took in the early mornings out in the small village of Giverny where Monet called home.

Getting home last night and having our sweet Ruby to give hugs and kisses to that night, then enjoy good clean air and water and a complete lack of pretention in our little neck of the woods? That was a beautiful sigh of relief. Nothing like travel to remind you where your heart is 🙂

Starting off in black and white, here is a smattering of shots for your perusal…enjoy and let me know your thought (but don’t use w/o my permission, as usual) !

Music on the bridge on our first day in Paris. Damn cool.

Stopped by 200 year-old Debauve & Gallais (who were the official chocolate supplier to Napoleon…) for chocolates for our friends taking care of Ruby…and a bunch for ourselves which never made the trip home, they were so nice. 🙂

Seeing my history buff husband’s amazement walking in the courtyard at the Louvre was wonderful.

I must say I do love the art installations. Well, this one of the hands at least. I can’t say I was in love with the “cement blocks smeared in butter” (I shit you not) in front of another building.

Panorama shot of the courtyard at the Louvre where we watched people, including a super cute little girl chasing a puppy…the early morning kept it a bit less obnoxious tourist-wise…

The shapes and walls and statues and rooftops at Rodin…one of my favorite places in Paris which, sadly, is STILL under renovation, meaning we couldn’t see The Kiss and only could walk the gardens…not a terrible thing but oy! I really wanted Dan to see it…

Sitting by the Seine in a rare clean, non-stinky spot…did you know that it’s so polluted that swimming in it is actually illegal?

Tour boats going down the Seine by the Ile de Cite

Notice anything interesting about this couple? There were a lot of blindfolds on statues after protests in Paris – love this simple yet strong statement (as compared to near the Bastille where much was sadly defaced).

Peeking in a hotel courtyard on Ile St Louis. Ahhh…that’s where they kept the peace and quiet 🙂

We went to Pere Lachaise on our first day, Dan’s only request for the trip. The soles of my feet were still feeling like sharp needles thanks to the meds still leaving my system, but with lots of foot rest breaks we were able to get out there to the 20th Arrondisemnt and stroll amongst the trees and see some cool graves. No, there are no photos of Jim Morrison’s grave. Neither of us cared too much for him and when we happened to see it, we were disgusted at how the gravesite had been littered with fan crap. Think wads of gum and trinkets and plastic crap defacing an otherwise gorgeous cemetery. Shame on Paris for allowing this.

Seeing the grave of Belgian writer Georges Rodenbach was a highlight for me.

We were both excited to see the lovely gravesite for our favorite composer, Chopin. Lots of flowers for him. Isn’t she lovely?

This is the street we stayed on in Montorgueil straddling the 1st & 2nd during our first 3 days. We had a cozy, inexpensive Airbnb with easy access to the open air market and had by far the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in in years!

My most favorite place in Paris was this lovely patissier, Stohrer. Opened in 1730 by former pastry chef to Louis XV, it had THE best croissants and eclairs, nice folks running the place, and lots of other treats we packed up for the train ride to Giverny.

The Abbesses metro stop in Montmartre where we stayed during our last third of the trip is one of only 3 original glass signs left. Pretty cool sign, pretty insane staircase going up…!

Our tiny Airbnb flat in Montmartre. Cute studio but with an uncomfortable bed, and shower reminiscent of an upright coffin it was so awkward and small, I wasn’t thrilled.


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