Paris part one blog:
You might remember Mark & Larry from their intimate rooftop wedding: HERE. They decided to have a Parisian Honeymoon and actually took me with them! It was a fantastic trip and our work relationship has blossomed into such a great friendship. I am so thankful for these two. They are some of the most thoughtful, sweet, HILARIOUS, endearing, generous souls on this planet. I’m so happy they found each other, and I’m forever grateful that our paths crossed. (Thank you Rachel & Tyler Myroniuk for having Mark be the emcee at your wedding!!!!)
Let me first start out by saying, jet-lag is real, folks. The first day was kind of a wash, because of a small snafu with check-in compiled with some serious effects from time traveling—I literally fell asleep in the lobby of our hotel. Um, our hotel, by the way, was AMAZING. Check it out: Le Dokhan’s Tribute Hotel, located in the adorable Tracadéro neighborhood — located in the 16th District, just a stones throw from the Eiffel Tower.
Event the decor of the bathrooms were super chic, and I was in love with the checkerboard tiled floor and striped wall paper. So Parisian.
The elevator… OMG. It was literally a two ( US ) person lift, lined in old Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, it was seriously a work of art.
Did I mention that in our lobby was the home of France’s oldest champagne bar. . . yeah, I was in heaven. All of their wines/champagnes are all organic, so that means NO HANGOVERS. It was GLORIOUS. Get with it America!
So on day one we discovered the BEST little cafe just a couple blocks from our hotel, Lé Kléber We had several meals here. The food was reasonably priced, the wines (Rosé all day!) were devine and the staff was super friendly.
::Side bar, I’d like to give myself a virtual pat on the back, we averaged about 10 miles of walking per day, Paris paced. I think I need to go back and stay for a month, I’d be back in my skinny jeans in no time! ::
DAY TWO: Red Bus, Louvré, Disneyland Paris
We decided to prebook tickets for the Red Bus — which is a great way to get a lay of the land (plus, nine times out of ten when you pre-book any excursions it’ll be cheaper. We did this for The Louvré and Disney, too.) Upon boarding the bus, you are given headphones, and while you drive around the different areas, a narrator explains the history and importance of the buildings as you drive by. It’s a taxi of sorts, because with your ticket you can get off at designated spots, and then catch the next bus when you’re ready to go somewhere else. Highly recommend this for the first day.
We jumped off close to The Louvré — we took our time getting there. Let’s face it, traveling with a photographer, you’re gonna have to stop every 5 feet. (Sorry, not sorry.) One thing I absolutely loved about Paris, is that every Metro (Subway) stop was different and that they tried to incorporate art whenever possible. (No wonder so many amazing Artist’s called this city, HOME)
Mark is seriously the BEST museum buddy. Having studied, and just having a natural knack for Art History, he could point out what artist painted or sculpted which piece, and usually the story or motivation behind it. It was really fun to watch him react to certain pieces, the kid was in his element and it was adorable.
I don’t think people truly grasp the size of some of these magnificent paintings when looking at photos of them on-line or in books. It seems as though, most of the time people are speeding through the museum just to see the Mona Lisa. Please, take your time. Relish in every detail and brush stroke of these oversized masterpieces, because this is as close as you can get to Miss Lisa, and it’s maaaaaaaybe a 16×20 at best. #overrated
This has always been one of my favorites “Coronation of Napoleon” finished in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, who was Napoleon’s official painter and it measures in at 20 feet x 32 feet.
After the museum we went exploring and happened to stumble upon this adorable street in the 12th District, called Rue Crémieux All the houses were vibrantly painted, it reminded me of the costal towns in Ireland where they apparently believed the bright colors would ward off evil spirits. No evil spirits here, though! Rue Crémieux is affectionately called the “Notting Hill of Paris”.
Mark and Larry had some business to attend to in the Financial District, and so I decided to tag along
Can you guess what movie this makes me think of? And if you haven’t seen it. . what are you waiting for?
But first a pit stop at Ladurée for some of THE best macarons!
The Champs Élysées is kind of like Rodeo Drive in LA. All of the high end, high fashion stores are located in this area, and one lucky boy got a Hermes scarf for an early Christmas present. 🙂
Louis Vuitton Flagship Store
This is their Opera House, isn’t it lovely?
DAY 4: FREE DAY — we all kind of did our own thing. I started out heading towards the MoMa, but because it was a National Holiday, it was closed. Lé Sad. 😔
But, just outside the museum was a 3 block long Farmers Market — and it was AMAZING.
Since the MoMa was closed, I headed over to the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation and even though none of his works were on display I got to see many pieces by a new (to-me) photographer, Raymond Depardon. Not only was Depardon’s work inspiring but so was the architecture— and the LIGHT of the building, oh, my. Breathtaking.
After feeling rejuvenated and inspired I went to Montparnasse Cemetery to see if I could find the grave of Man Ray Little did I know, what an amazing place this would be and who else I would discover there.
Many of the grave sites were not just for one person, but for entire families. And many of the tombs had flower boxes built in so surviving relatives could plant fresh herbs or flowers.
This was a pleasant surprise! This is the tomb of Cesar Baldaccini an amazing sculpture artist that just happens to be *MY* favorite sculpture artist; and I love the fact that one of this pieces has been used for his tombstone.
This is the grave of Antione Haumont, a real jack of all trades type of guy. He was a researcher, geographer, teacher, writer, city planner. . the list really goes on and on.
But I think what I dug the most about the way Parisians honor their dead, is the amount of information they put on the tombstone. You can actually start to paint a picture of who that person was, what they enjoyed, their profession, even how they perished. Like this one, this tombstone reads: Paul The Count of Marcieu, Born 1896 – Died 1917, Pilot Aviator fallen in honor in the field near Chemin des Dames on June 12 1917, The young pilot was always ready to leave for a mission, and on June 5th he was in a plane accident on the return of a reconnaissance mission beyond the enemy lines. He died from his injuries. He was buried along with his wife, Pauline Marie Ghislaine Chantal de Beauffort, Countess of de Marcieu, Born 17 Nov 1869 – Jun 1 1941. The mind starts to wander. . . this couple was only 17 years old when WW1 started in 1914. Did they have children before he was sent away? He was only 20 when his plane went down. She passed away at the young age of 44. I wonder if she ever re-married — but then wouldn’t she have been buried with her second husband? Maybe she spent the next 24 years alone and passed of a broken heart. I’ll probably never know, but I appreciate getting to know part of their story.
And after searching for quite awhile, I finally found him.
Be sure to click on the next post, so you can follow along on our Parisian adventure. 🙂