December 30, 2011

cheating on paris

Is anyone else sick of hearing about my thesis? I sure am. So instead I'll post some pictures showing what I did when I had a visit from one of my best friends and took a mental break from writing (which I paid for later, but it was totally worth it). My friend, Kelsey, came in October which last time I checked felt like a week ago but apparently it is the end of December now. What happened to November? I'll never know. Kelsey was here for ten days, and for three of those days we headed off to London by train - something I've never done but always wanted to do. Whenever I have a chance to travel, I usually try to go as far away from Paris as possible but I thought it was time to get my tail over to London because with only a two hour train ride, there are no excuses for never having traveled there before. It only took an afternoon of walking around for me to feel guilt-ridden about my love for a city other than Paris. I love new cities but it usually takes a couple of days for a new place to grow on me, followed by a day where I learn to appreciate it and then one where I'm ready to go. Not the case with London! Maybe I've watched too many Hugh Grant movies in my lifetime but there wasn't a thing I hated about it. British accents, pubs on every corner, reliable transportation, a language that felt like home and a civilians who understood the concept of personal space and avoided body checking people on sidewalks. Bravo, Londoners, bravo.
doing a great job at being tourists on the bus
Westminster neighborhood
Westminster Abbey - no royal wedding but Kelsey was still happy to be there

Westminster Abbey
The moment I fell in love with pub food.

shopping at Harrods...we could afford things in the gift shop only
The Lion King at the Lyceum Theater. Never thought I would enjoy antelopes and hyenas prancing around on stage so much
The London Eye
Tower Bridge, not to be confused with the London Bridge (which we did)
Big Ben. It was big.
cupcakes and shopping all in the same store! fitting rooms first, cupcakes second.
Me, the Queen and Buckingham Palace
next time you complain about being bored...
British Parliament
And of course we spent some time in Paris hanging around. Kelsey signed us up for a few new things that I had never done so it was fun to be a tourist with her in my own city. We got to see Paris by night on bikes and also had an amazing wine tasting + lunch at a local wine bar. 
bikes, bikes, bikes
rocking the neon yellow vest quite nicely
before i narrowly missed a pole and three people
wine tasting
and eating
kelsey and her long awaited hotdog in a baguette
sushi night at my place
yes, there are three desserts for 2 people.
Practicing her french at the Louvre
Leave it to Kelsey to find a homeless cat in the cemetery...
...that would not leave us alone
Awww. Another great visit from another great friend.

October 21, 2011

it's a...thesis!

I knew this day would come...not sleeping at night, easily irritable, craving strange foods, blaming everyone else for my misfortunes, forgetting everything, losing energy and not moving for prolonged periods of time, etc. 

No, I'm not pregnant. Yes, I'm in my late stages of thesis writing. Seems the same to me, though. It keeps me up at odd hours, it's due date is November 7th, it has ruined my social life, gives me mood swings and although I pretty much complain about it nonstop these days, I will love it when it is finished and it's something I'll keep around forever.

To give me a little taste of home and a break from writing at the beginning of September, it was time for a family visit again which was just what I needed after not being home since December. It felt like Christmas with a suitcase full of American goods for Jaime and I, per our requests. My list was basically chunky peanut butter, deodorant that works (NEVER buy French deodorant), regular peanut butter, chunky peanut butter, chocolate chips, regular peanut butter and one bag of Cheetos that Jaime and I tore through immediately. I'm pretty much set for the rest of my time here.

This visit from my mom, Tom and Jaime was different than last year's visit because we had a newbie to Paris all the way from North aunt Dixie! It was great having someone here who was experiencing Paris for the first time because it reminded me of how much I loved it (and still do!) when I first came to visit years ago. We were busy busy busy as you'll see from some of the pictures from their visit...
we spent a lot of time on the balcony of my mom, tom and dixie's rental apartment. the view was an eyesore...not
this is everyone crammed in the apartment enjoying some delicious desserts that my friend adam brought us to enjoy after dinner
we got our daily fill of croissants
we did our fair share of sitting around at cafes
dixie learned how to dominate the metro system
we read up on monet's paintings
and then surrounded ourselves by monet's waterlilies
jaime and I got yelled at for coming too close to an original picasso
we made a visit to oscar wilde's grave in pere lachaise cemetery
it was so hot! trying to find shade in the cemetery
we walked along the river seine
"be free from time to time"
of course we stopped by our favorite parisian landmark
we did some shopping at the outdoor market
and we did some flea market shopping
and while we were shopping the fleas, i found my vintage skeleton key heaven
we also did some fancy shopping at galleries lafayette
we celebrated jaime's birthday
...with the world's best cupcakes
we hung out in the luxembourg gardens
dixie and i hit up the catacombs
where we creeped around under the streets of paris in narrow paths surrounded by bones and skulls
i think it's safe to say by the end, we were all exhausted
on the last night in town, jaime and I played with sparklers and the shutter speed on our cameras...after a few attempts she finally was able to write "paris" legibly. success!

 So if it appears as though I've been in hiding for over a month, it's because I have been. I'll be back in action as soon as my thesis is officially turned in in a couple of weeks.