Monday, February 17, 2014

Things to see in Paris, France

 We only had two days in Paris
But really I felt like that was enough.

This was my second time in the city,
as I went first when I was 18 when traveling
through for a couple of days on my way to a pilgrimage
destination further south in France. 
At the time Paris was the only place in the world that I wanted to be.
I was obsessed.
And like any obsessed fresh out of high school teenage girl,
I saw the city through rose tinted glasses.
Paris was perfect.

Flash forward 9 years where I get to experience my "perfect" city again.
Although somehow it is not the same.
And I am left with that same familiar feeling that
you really can never go back.
Things won't be the same.
Because I am not the same.

That is not to say that I didn't have a great time.
Playing tour guide to my mom and sister,
who were first timers in the city of love,
was a great experience.
But this time I seemed to see a lot of the dirtier side of the city
which I somehow missed with the first time around.

Nevertheless here is my list of must-sees :
Things to see

- Museums -

 Musee d'orsay
Although the Louvre is probably the most world renowned art gallery
for its feature in the Da Vinci Code, and for housing the Mona Lisa.
In my opinion the Musee d'orsay (housed in a gorgeous old train station)
is a trillion times better.
All the rooms lead to the great hall (pictured above),
and it has just as many famous pieces of art work without the lineups.

It houses the Mona Lisa,
and the Da Vinci code was written about it.
Yada yada yada...
you should probably see it while you are in Paris.

- Cathedrals -

Notre Dame
 When I was 18,
one of our first stops in the city was the famed Notre Dame.
Of course this was a church trip so that shouldn't be very surprising,
but it was the first full on cathedral that I had ever been in so it meant a lot to me.
Saying that...
right after wards we went into the nearby
Saint Chapelle to check out the gorgeous stained glass,
and tile work.

Sacre Coeur
This gorgeous white cathedral
sits atop of a hillside with a gorgeous view below of the city.
What I didn't know before heading up here was that
there were buses and trams that would take you to the top
or you could just walk up the multitude of steps like we did :)

One word to the wise :
Just below this lovely gem is a more sketchy area of town
so make sure to watch your belongings.
Also watch out for scam artists who try to get you by tying
a couple of strings to your wrist and proceeding to make you a bracelet
and charge you for it.
They were there when I was 18 and they were still there 9 years later.
So they will probably be there waiting for you when you get there as well.

- Cafe's cafe's cafe's - 

For trying true Parisian 
Creme brulee, Nutella crepes, French onion soup...etc..

Things to see at least once

Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
I went up my first time in the city,
but decided to save the top for when I would return one day.
So this time I needed to hit the top.
It's extra to do so,
but the view is worth it :)
Arc De Triomphe 
This was our first thing we saw of the city,
as we walked up from the metro station.
And it no lie looked just like this.

Moulin Rouge and the red light district
It has nothing on the red light district in Amsterdam.
But the Moulin Rouge is always a classic must see once
(or in my case twice).
This is also in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood,
so just make sure to keep a head about yourself
 as you are can canning in the street.

 One big tip about traveling to Paris would be :

Try to learn at least a little French before heading there.
I know a bit from taking it in high school and then again in college,
but I still wish that I had brushed up before heading there.
This is a good tip for traveling anywhere where English is not the first language,
but especially in France, where the French get fed up with westerners constantly asking
 "Do you speak English?" 

Happy travels!
Love Britt

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Work of Art Birthday

 For the 27th celebration of my birth day,
I decided to throw a "Come as your favorite Work of Art" themed party :)

If you're not familiar with my tradition of having
a themed party every year please check out this post to get yourself educated :P

And now for the costumes my amazing friends came up with...

 Octavio and Cassandra as...
Puck and Titania!

 My darling sister Jessica as...
 A Mucha inspired goddess! (if you look closely you can
see that her tattoo is actually of the middle woman featured above) 

                                                            Jhayne (on the right) came as...
a piece of poetry!

"It's no use/Mother dear..."
by Sappho

It’s no use
Mother dear, I
can’t finish my
You may
blame Aphrodite
soft as she is
she has almost
killed me with
love for that boy

Shev on the left came as quotes from a bunch of her favorite songs.
And Wai - Lee came as...
 Snow White!

My friend Sean (featured here with his darling girlfriend Courtney) came as...
A Mark Rothko painting! (Which I thought was a very ingenious use of a sweater ;) )

Megan came as...
 A sheet of music!

My darling old room mate Terri,
also came as a piece of poetry that she loved!

Sarah came as....
A Banksy original!

 Crazy Erik went over board again and came as...
Rodin's "The Gates Of Hell" by melting little army figures 
to a mask which he painted and glued to his face!

Ryan came as a character from Edward Hopper's classic diner scene
"Nighthawks" (and even brought Popeye's cigarettes and a coffee mug with him!).

And his lovely girlfriend Azalea came as the main character of this short film.

 And of course, my partner Nate and I, were...
Klimts "The Kiss"! 
Which I got to see the original in Vienna last fall!

It was quite the amazing start to my 27th year on this earth.
And as you can tell,
I've got some pretty amazing friends to share it with ;)

I'd also like to thank this man 

For graciously allowing me to have my party at his house
and be the photographer of these amazing photos!
Thank you tenfold, Greg!

- Love Britt
xoxoxoxo etc...