Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An American Girlfriend In London, Pt 11: Il Était Comme Un Rêve

I still can't believe I went to Paris. Seriously, I am completely unable to accept the fact that I was there. Add in the fact that the area of Paris where my friend Mary lives is so unbelievably beautiful and picturesque that it pretty much felt like I was walking on the set of a movie or some new amazing set up at Universal Studios.

Montmartre is where her apartment is... and to be honest, if I was ever going to live in Paris I really can't imagine living anywhere BUT there.


I went totally bananas for this house... like head over heels in love with it

While I am not a "church person"... the architecture of this one (Sacre- Coeur) blew me away
  

Mary's apartment was fabulous! The building had so much of the original design that I couldn't stop staring and commenting on every little detail. Even the old tile in the massive foyer as you entered the building was beautiful.

....just like the view out her front door...

Not far from that front door I got to see some pretty awesome things.....(& yes, I was totally humming "Lady Marmalade" in my head the whole time)



One evening Mary told me she was taking me to see the Eiffel Tower, and after we got off the metro she suggested we stop for some coffee/tea. (Tea was 8 freakin Euros!!! Just a cup of hot water and a cheap bag of Lipton tea... 8 Euros!! WTF?!) She told me "it wasn't time yet"... that she wanted me to see something and we had to time it right. So we sat there, giggled, and Mary showed off her unparalleled talent with spoons....

Then it was time. We rushed out the door and as we rounded the corner of the block we were on (mind you, I had ZERO clue as to where we were at the moment) I was greeted by this next sight... and let out a very uncharacteristic squeak......

She told me that we were probably too late to make it there in time, because she wanted me to be able to stand directly beneath it, so I just flipped my crappy camera into video mode and filmed it as I walked...

video

We did make it there before the lights went out, but not quick enough to stand directly beneath it. I gotta tell you, that is fine just fine by me, I was impressed enough!
(and I couldn't stop taking pictures!)

or stop smiling......... (even though it was bitterly cold!)

I did manage to get a shot straight up.....all the while cursing my crap camera....
On the way to the center of The Eiffel Tower a man walked out of one of the service entrances and Mary stopped dead in her tracks, she knew him. Turned out he was the cousin of a friend of hers... and was the guy in charge of the lovely twinkling lights! Mary translated for me (her French is impeccable) and told him for me "Thank you, you did an amazing job!"
We had stopped along the way back to the Metro completely captivated by some icicles on a "living wall" and tried to take pictures.. but after viewing the pictures decided it just looked like chilly snot and wasn't really photo worthy...

We did end up in a small pub near her apartment that she told me was quintessentially the most Parisian bar in Paris, "Chez Ammad". While we stood there drinking some yummy red wine I couldn't help but be intriegued by the hand painted border around the bar. I wandered over to get a better look as Mary translated what the owner was telling her that an AMERICAN (from Texas to be exact) artist had painted it all by hand about 10 or so years back. That's when I came across some words that were written (well, painted) and suddenly burst out laughing.....

Mary had to translate for the owner, he never noticed the words (he was much shorter than me) and he didn't speak English anyway... poor guy was a bit taken aback) Still really funny though!

Back in Montmartre I was shown some more beautiful buildings and art....

("Le Passe-Muraille" by Jean Marais)

On my last day we went to the Louvre....... ♥
I could honestly spend 12hours a day (if not more) for a month straight and STILL not see everything... but in a few hours I sure did get an eye full. I'm a total art nerd, so The Louvre was almost like porn to me, I was silently going out of my mind with joy....

the Venus De Milo

Aphrodite

"Winged Victory"

The Mona Lisa (who, BTW, I am totally convinced is actually DaVinci's gay lover...)

Artemis/Diana the huntress

The plaque said this was a man, but Mary & I couldn't understand why it had boobies AND a penis... so we called the statue "hermaphrodite"

Napoleon III's dining room

Napoleon's bedroom

Interior shot of The Louvre (which Mary later informed me was known as "The Cour Marly")

The Crown Jewels
Oh.. and this.. this was like the coolest part!... as we were walking through the never ending maze of The Louvre I saw this on the wall and almost did another Eiffel Towel squeal.... 
I had been wanting to see Messerschmidt's sculptures for a while now, and was lead to believe I had to go to Germany to see them, which was fine, I'd like to see Germany someday... but apparently they were in Paris while I was!!!! So I went into the exhibit and started taking pictures... and managed to get a few before I was told I couldn't take pictures. To which I replied (in my head) "neener neener neener, I got a few anyway!"



(awesome, eh?)

I have no idea what this one was called, or who the sculptor was... but I loved it. It was HUGE, beyond life size. Well, the wee jawas were about as tall as my bicep, but the knight they carried was immense.

On my last night in Paris we braved the frigid wind (seriously, I had to keep counting my fingers to make sure they were still attached!) to go see The Arc de Triomphe ...

I was quite pleased... :)

wandering under The Arc de Triomphe
 and around it....





Straight shot down Avenue des Champs-Élysées from under The Arc de Triomphe


As we were leaving we passed by a "Hugo Boss" store and both commented on how much we liked the window display, except for the ugly clothes... then we realized that all the animals in the window were ACTUALLY ANIMALS. Dead, but real pelts, real feathers... and I was kinda horrified...(seriously? a giraffe pelt? sickos!!)


On my last day, the morning I was leaving.... Mary took me to Notre Dame Catherdral. Wow, just wow!



Shakespeare and Co., the second incarnation of Paris' premier English-language bookstore


Statue of Charles the Great, aka Charlemagne, in the courtyard of Notre Dame. The inscription reads "Charlemagne et ses levdes" ("Charlemagne and his servants.") 



and if that wasn't enough....
video

and outside Notre Dame...
video
Paris really was an amazing experience, and I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was there. I was quite sad that the BF couldn't make it, I would have loved to have seen so much of it with him, as opposed to just show him pictures from my horrible ancient camera.... he would have loved Paris. I'm sure he'll see it someday, with or without me, who knows? Technically it's only like 2 1/2 hours by train from where he lives... but it's a world away from where I live, so it was a real treat to spend even just 4 days there. Had it not been for Mary I doubt that I would/could have... she made the entire time there so special to me, like a dream really.

9 comments:

  1. You packed in a lot of fun and awesome photos in four days. Looks like an amazing place to see.

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  2. That's awesome, I am so incredibly jealous! You pretty much did everything most people go to France to do. And I had no idea they lit up the Eiffel tower. Really cool.

    PS - I'm doing "guest posts" now and I did the first one without telling the guy that I was doing it but I wanted to do one with you next (assuming you're interested). Basically you just link me to one of your blogs you think is funny or email me with a funny story and I illustrate it and post it as a guest post. Lemme know!

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  3. JPT- I am still having to look at pictures to remind myself that I did not dream that trip, it was beautiful. I highly recommend Paris, and they were nice to me! I thought for sure I'd get a snooty "oh! American?!" treatment... but no, they were kind, very kind.

    CB- I could not possibly be more honored! Thank you! ♥ I will get on that immediately.
    Kinda funny though, 'cause I was gonna ask you to do a "guest post" anyway! For real.

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  4. Thank you so much for this post and beautiful pictures. It brought back my wonderful memories from Paris and a huge desire to go back.
    Sadly I didn't see the Eiffel tower at night and this is one thing I really regret. But I surly will go check it out the next time I'll go to Paris.

    I'm glad that you had such a wonderful time there! It's probably impossible not to be impressed by such a beautiful city as Paris is :)

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  5. Starlight- for whatever it's worth, I didn't get to see the Eiffel Tower in daylight... does that help? :)

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  6. Yay! I'd be honored! Let me know what you've got in mind :-)

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  7. It really is a magical city. I love it

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  8. I am jealous! I have a list of things in Europe (because there's just THAT much I need to see!) that I MUST go see, and the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are #2 & #3.

    (I followed Cake Betch's links over from your guest post. (: )

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  9. Maggie- WELCOME! I love that you popped over here from Cake Betch's blog... it's just more proof that we're all in good company :)

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