Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More Paris!

My friend from Switzerland wanted to go to the Tamara de Lempicka exhibit at the Pinacotheque.  I was not familiar with her work, but was game.  She's a modern artist who was friends with some of the Hollywood elite in the 20's & 30's, including Dali.  The exhibit was quite interesting & I liked that it was "off the beaten tourist path." 
We also went to one of the places on my "list."  Galeries Lafayette.  It's a gorgeous department store/mall designed in the style of an old, grand opera house. 

This is Au Printemps, one of Galeries Lafayette's competition.  It was pretty grand, too.

Here's the ceiling of the entryway to Galeries Lafayette!  Un-freakin-believable!

View from the Chanel store.  Heaven!

Another cool thing about Galeries Lafayette is that they have a roof where you can grab a bite, drink or just relax and check out the view.  Here's a shot of the street below from the roof.

Paris selfie - don't judge.  Sometimes you do what you have to do.  This picture cracks me up; evidently, someone didn't want their picture taken!

Later we went to grab a bite in the Bastille area.  This famous guy, Matt something or other, was having dinner there, too.  If you watch Breaking Bad (which I don't), you'll recognize him.  My friend's friend's friend (got it?  Fantastic, let's continue) was a HUGE fan.  I asked him to send me the picture of he and Matt so I could show my friends in the States who watch the show. 

Always thinking, I decided that I needed proof that I didn't just grab a picture of the web and tell a tall tale of eating with famous people in Paris.  So, here's proof that I knew the guy in the picture with Matt!  

I don't recall the name of the restaurant, but do recall that my Swiss friend's Parisian friend ordered Rose and I discovered that I heart Rose...a lot.  We had a delicious, entertaining dinner and plenty of wine.  Pretty sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow that night!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Streetcar In Paris

Wow, how time has flown.  I'm ready to go back to Europe, but I never finished sharing my last visit.  It was the most incredible trip I've ever had.  My first trip, I did all the touristy things I felt obligated to do.  This trip, I did all the things I wanted to do and saved time to explore and hang out with Parisians, like a Parisian.  That's the way to truly experience a place, in my opinion!

Finishing up the walking tour, we ventured to the highest part of Montemartre, Sacre Coeur!

 A view from Sacre Coeur.  It's the Eiffel Tower in a tree!

I could reach out and touch it!

We rode a Streetcar...I didn't even know Paris had a streetcar.  It was only about 2 blocks, but still..

Afterward, we ate, here:

My friend, Etienne taught me my new favorite thing, which I discovered at the restaurant...Cafe Gourmand.  It was a sampling of desserts with espresso.  Yummmmmola!  I've been trying to talk restaurants into offering cafe gourmand, here!

Post walking tour and Sacre Coeur, I went to a private party, where a friend of my friend's friend (got it?  Ok, good let's continue) was having a private party for his latest scarf designs.  I didn't take any pictures; I thought it would be rude.  Everyone was quite friendly.  The apartment was located just before the building opened up into a courtyard...and the decor!  It was so very perfect.  Chic without seemingly trying to be so.  Anyway, I didn't purchase any of the creative scarves, but I did buy this:

It was such a unique necklace - a leather braided back with several strands of chains; different textures and lengths.  This photo does not do it justice...I'll have to take a photo wearing it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Amazing Afternoon

After saying Bonjour to the Eiffel Tower, I headed to the Arc de Triomphe.  Along the way, I stumbled upon this street!

Writer, poet and politician.  He wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame, among other great literature, like Les Miserables.

Ahh, the Arc!

I also discovered my luggage, which I can't afford in this lifetime.  The piece that has an envelope type design was the coolest!  If the buckle was unfastened, it expanded quite a bit.  I was in love!!!  However, it was SO expensive, the least expensive thing was a key chain.  It would set you back 70 euro.  That's over $80.00 - for a key chain!

Walking down the Champs Elysees, I met this blushing Frenchman.  Every time I said a word, he'd just blush.  I promise, I wasn't saying anything "blush worthy" but it was so cute, nonetheless.  I just wanted to take him home with me, he was so adorable. 

Once I said, au revoir to the handsome, blushing Frenchman, I met my friend from Switzerland and we headed to my favorite part of Paris...Montmartre!!!  We went on Sandeman's walking tour, which began outside the famous Moulin Rouge.  Moulin means windmill and Rouge, as you probably know, means red.  The red windmill.  I didn't go inside.  Firstly, I really have no desire and secondly, it's ridiculously expensive...something like 100 euro.  A picture works for me!

Walking up to the highest part of Paris, we passed so many lovely streets:

Cafe 2 Moulins - cafe of two windmills: this is a significant place.  It's where the film Amelie was written and filmed.

This was one of my favorite stories.  It looks like graffiti, but it's much more.  The painting on the right is a self portrait of a famous Parisian artist, Mystic.  She no longer looks like that, as she's aged about 50 years, but her story is awesome!  She was young and in love.  The story goes like this:  her boyfriend, seemingly out of nowhere, breaks up with her.  She's devastated.  Not only does he break her heart, but tops it off by ending with, "I never want to see your face again."  After she picks up her crushed heart and dusts it off, she thinks, "you never want to see my face again, huh."  She made a stencil of her face and painted it outside all of his favorite hangouts.  So, he'd see her face where ever he went.  Rock on, sister...rock...on! 

Standby...more of the walking tour to come!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wonderful Paris...Once Again

It's been three years since my last trip to Paris though it feels like decades.  This trip, I was determined to pack even lighter than my last trip.  Initially, I packed a weekender bag, but it allowed little in the way of souvenirs and it may not have been durable enough to withstand being checked luggage.  So, I settled on this duffel - the weekender was packed inside so that I could use it as a carry on for the return trip.  See, I use my noggin for something more than just looking pretty. :-)


The downside of carrying a duffel or tote bag is that if you're traveling with someone who's using rolling luggage, you will wait for them a great deal.  At curbs, at stairs, etc.  While you wait, it will feel like your shoulders will fall off.  All in all though, it wasn't too bad.  Lesson learned, however.

The first day I was in Paris, it was a sunny warm day.  So, I went to the Eiffel Tower.  I took so many photos of the tower; one of the most well known sights in Paris.  Here is my approach to the Tower on that first day:




Not bad for the first afternoon.  Fear not, my pretties, there's much more to come...the first day and beyond!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So, I Was Just Riding Along...

When I came to this:

Had I been on my cross bike, it wouldn't have been end of the trail, by any means!  This was my first ever ride in my new hometown.  It's about 40 miles of paved trail - the Pinellas Trail.  It's quite fun...the trail meanders though several quaint, cool towns.  However, it's not really designed for a speedy 60-100 miles.  It's better for a leisurely ride.

This is a view from the SPBC's (St. Pete Bike Club) start.  That's Tampa Bay in the background.  How cool is that?  There's something about a cool morning and the smell of salt in the air.  It's a nice way to wake up and spin out some miles.

Sunday Funday

I finally made it to the beach!  With the exception of the past few days, we've been having unseasonably warm weather - so I've been told.  It was overcast by the time we made it to the beach, but no matter.  It was a good time. 

After adequate lounging time, we made our way to Hurricane Restaurant to take in the view from above.

The view was pretty amazing.  As the sun descended beyond the horizon, I notice a dorsal fin...then another, then another.  EEEEEEKKKK.  After a longer look, we all noticed that the dorsal fins were rounding in and out of the water.  Dolphins.  Not sharks.  Whew!  There were about 5 that we saw, coming toward the shore to feed. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Discovering My New Neighborhood and Fringing My Jeans

I grew up in a "big small town."  When it was founded, it was small; the river was the heartbeat of the city, so city mapping didn't extend too far from the riverfront.  However, it grew, but the layout of the roads really didn't accommodate the growth very well.  What do I mean?  Well, the layout is pretty "jacked up."  Streets dead end and pick up several blocks away.  It makes absolutely NO sense, but it was what I knew.
Fast forward to two months ago.  I'm walking downtown in my new city and stumble upon 3rd & 3rd.  Yep, that's right.  What's even more confusing is that there are four of them!  There's a 3rd Ave. N, 3rd Ave. S., 3rd St. N., and 3rd St. S.  Thank goodness for gps.  However, my gps navigator (I named her Roberta, 'cuz she sounds like a robot) seems to like to mess with me.  I'll just be driving along on the route that she suggests, then out of the blue, she'll say, in a demanding tone, "make u-turn and turn right onto 22nd Ave N."  I'll scream at her..."but I AM on 22nd Ave. N."  Then, I remember that I'm yelling at my phone, like a crazy person and just proceed.  But I digress.  Now, that I know that streets run north & south, I'm able to find my way around town.
The Dali museum is only about a mile away!  This was my favorite part of the Dali museum.  The art was cool, too.  There were a couple of pieces that I could stare at all day, but overall, it's not my style of art.  No doubt, he was a creative visionary, though!

View of the bay from the Dali Museum.
While visiting the Dali, I noticed that Marissa Tomei worked there.  Who knew?


Couldn't help taking this picture of what's going on.  Yes, those are fringed jeans...not cut off capris...FRINGED!  New fashion trend? 

I haven't yet made it to this museum, but can't wait!  Chihuly!  I love, love, love his stuff.  One day, I aspire to own a piece.  One of those gnarly chandeliers would be an amazing addition to my crib!


This is a place downtown.  I'm all for supporting women getting off the streets, but I don't know about this.  I kid...but I must find out the story behind the name.  I hear they have wonderful tea.  I have yet to try it out, but will give you a full report once I do.

At the famous, Jannis Landing, an ACDC cover band shook me all night long. 


Just a gorgeous scene near Beach Drive.  I can't believe it's winter!

Anybody know what kind of tree this is?  At first, I thought it was covered in Spanish Moss.  However, those tendrils aren't moss, they're root type growths...very odd, yet quite lovely.