Day Trois in Paris

August 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Nick and I spent our evening last night at the Eiffel Tower. There was a huge line to ride the elevator up, but it worked out in our favour that we got up just as the sun was setting, which made for some beautiful photos. Just as we were leaving, the light show started!

This morning we woke up early to get to the Louvre just as it opened. We saw the Mona Lisa, three other Da Vincis, the original castle parts of the Medieval Louvre, some mummies, amongst other things. We decided not to spend the entire day as we thought we would since it ended up being a gorgeous day (I’m finally wearing shorts!) and our legs were tired from climbing all the way down the Eiffel Tower!

Of course there will be many more photos to come once I’m home ;)

Paris

August 30, 2011 § 4 Comments

We are in Paris and it is gorgeous!

We can’t even pretend we’re not tourists because neither of us are fluent in French.

Everyone is dressed amazingly and confidently. I’m constantly studying the ladies and taking note of fashion tips.

That’s okay, we are both happier than this guy:

Today, we tackled the Grands Boulevards and department stores, L’eglise de Mary Magdalene and conquered le metro. Tonight, possibly the Eiffel Tower. Tomorrow, the Louvre!

London update

August 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Nick and I spent yesterday walking around the Mayfair, Piccadilly Circus, and SoHo.

We were rained on three different times.

We stopped during one of the rain falls for afternoon tea and patisseries (such a good idea!)

We ate at Michael Caine’s restaurant for dinner. He wasn’t there.

I’ve discovered the only place to get a beer in this town is at a pub.

Festival fashion

August 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

Nick and I arrive in London tomorrow night! We will have two days to explore the city before spending Sunday at the Reading Festival.

I’ve never been to Europe before, let alone a European music festival, so I’m sure it will be an experience! Both of us are bringing our “wellies” and I’m hoping the weather will be warm enough to wear shorts & a tanktop like this pretty lady:

…but I’m also realistic in knowing my festival outfit will probably look more like this (if I’m lucky!):

Suddenly, I’m worried my boots aren’t high enough!

I’d love to hear what your festival must-haves and rules are – have you ever camped out at a festival? Do you swear by a certain outfit? Do you rely on layers? I’m slowly packing my suitcase throughout the day and would love to hear what you have to say!

{images: Pinterest}

R.I.P. Jack Layton

August 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

“We deeply regret to inform you that The Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 a.m. today, Monday August 22”

Read the entire article at CTV.ca

{image source}

It’s almost time

August 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

One week til Europe! What have I done to prepare, you may ask? I bought a few Paris guidebooks and read one cover to cover. I highlighted all the things and places that sounded interesting and once I was finished the book, I went back and put all my markers into a Word document, sorted by neighborhood (or arrondissement). Then I created a day to day schedule and put the most interesting must-sees into the time we had available. The result is a realistic, but adventure-filled week in Paris!

I will surely have much more detail for you once I experience it firsthand, but here are a few things I’m looking forward to.

The Eiffel Tower – open daily 9:00am – 12:45am. We plan on visiting somewhere between sunset and nighttime.

Champs de Mars – the gorgeous public park by the Eiffel Tower.

Louvre – We already have an entire day set aside to spend at one of the world’s largest, most incredible museums. Nick is ready to nerd out, Da Vinci Code style.

Les Deux Magots Cafe – a famous cafe in St-Germain where the intellectual and artistic legends of yore used to meet. Among them, Hemingway and Picasso.

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Deyrolle – “The strangest shop in all of Paris” sounds like a taxidermy zoo!

Grande Galerie de l’Evolution – The story of evolution told with real stuffed animals. Yes, we love animals, alive or dead.

Panthéon – An important architectural icon built slowly throughout the late 1700s.

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Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore – Established by a woman from New Jersey in 1919, this bookstore was a gathering place for writers like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and William S. Burroughs. Just looking at this picture sends me to a happy place.

Auberge Nicolas Flamel – His name will sound familiar to my fellow Harry Potter fans, but maybe like me, you didn’t think he was real. Wrong – Flamel was the most successful of European chemists and, as legend has it, he created the Philosopher’s Stone, which turns lead into gold and can grant immortality. His house is the oldest in Paris, built in 1407, and is now a restaurant.

Hôtels particuliers (mansions) – Apparently Le Marais is full of beautiful old mansions, bursting with history. We will find them!

I have many more items on my agenda, but I won’t give them all away just yet. Stay tuned for full coverage upon my return in September!

Have you ever been to Paris? What were your favorite things to do or see?

{photos above from Pinterest, unless stated otherwise}

Just Kids

August 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids” has been my favorite Summer read. I’ve been taking my time with it, reading it on nights that I have nothing planned or Nick isn’t home. I sit on my balcony with a beer or glass of wine, and imagine what it would be like to come to New York with nothing in the ’60s then end up meeting and befriending some of the most influential musicians, artists, and poets in America at the time, possibly of all time.

Although I must admit I’m not a big Patti Smith fan musically, she seems like such a wonderful, adventurous, and genuine person through her book. A true bohemian. That’s why I was intrigued to hear this morning that she has begun to work with Tony award winning playwright John Logan on a film adaptation of “Just Kids”. If the casting is done well, I think it could be a great film. Just please don’t let them cast Kristen Stewart as Patti!

What’s your favorite read this Summer?

A Canadian elopement in Paris

August 12, 2011 § 4 Comments

As Nick and I get ready to head to London and Paris in just 13 days, I’m finalizing the last of our plans and actually making an itinerary for Paris (I’ll share it with you when it’s done!). I’m finding myself drawn to everything Paris, quite similarly to how I was initially obsessed with anything NYC. That’s why, as soon as I saw this sweet elopement video, I had to share it with you.

The couple in the video knew that a traditional wedding just wasn’t for them, and the bride was inspired by a tear-jerker San Francisco elopement video, so they decided to travel to Paris to tie the knot in what they called “a wedding for two”. Their quick matrimonial trip included visits to many of the romantic spots in Paris and bike rides through the streets. The husband later edited the video footage and presented it to his wife as a gift.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a big, fun wedding – but there’s something so sweet and endearing about a couple saying their vows alone, no distractions, looking so happy to just be with one another.

What do you think? Would you ever elope at city hall or do you want the traditional big wedding?

[via: Design*Sponge]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

August 10, 2011 § 2 Comments

A favourite among readers since it was released in 2005, Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been made into a movie and now even has a release date! It’ll have a limited run in theatres on December 25, 2011 and will start showing nation-wide on January 20, 2012. The movie stars big names like Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and John Goodman and coincidentally (or maybe not so much) will be released just in time to be considered for the next Academy Awards.

Although it’s been a few years now since I’ve read the book, I remember loving it. Set in New York following September 11th, Oskar Schell – an incredibly endearing nine year-old – is convinced that his father who died in the attacks left a message for him hidden somewhere in the city, after finding a mysterious key.

I’ll definitely be re-reading it before the movie comes out. What about you?

[First image from the movie, above: Collider]

MOVE and EAT!

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

As our European trip comes ever closer, I find it’s all I can think about. In my spare time, I’ve been reading our Paris guidebook cover to cover, dreaming of the bread, pastries, wine and maybe even escargot I will be eating there, and researching the history of the amazing city. These two videos by Rick Mereki have me even more excited. Take a look – I bet you’ll get the travel bug too.

{via Swiss Miss}

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