After visiting the Cathédrale de Chartres, the Husband and I still had some time left before our afternoon train back to Paris, so we decided to further explore Chartres.  Before going to visit for the day, some friends had lent us a book about the town that gave us a hankering to explore some of the other cathedrals in the area.  What can I say, we’re suckers for a good church (which, surprisingly, are all over the place in Chicago!  Now to just figure out if its culturally acceptable here to go into a church and walk around like we do in France….).

We visited two other churches that we came across while simply meandering the streets of Chartres (which were much more quaint than those of Paris…).  Our favorite church was definitely the first church — it was simply one of those magical moments that we will never forget.

I’ve always heard that cathedrals were once painted and have such have spent hours sitting in cathedrals across France, trying to imagine what they once looked like.  The beauty of this particular cathedral, painted, left me almost in tears.  imagine my further joy when, all of the sudden, organ music started booming around us, echoing through the beautiful passageway that we were standing in.  We were all alone in the cathedral except for the mystery organist, so The Husband and I sat down to enjoy the moment, not speaking, simply soaking it all in.  After about half an hour, the music stopped, and slowly a man in business attire carrying a lunch bag and a briefcase descended from the alcove and left the building with a simple “Au revoir”.

The second cathedral we visited was beautiful in a more simple, sad way.  It was obvious once again that we were the only ones there, and that these other cathedrals in Chartres do not have the resources to restore them in a way that would rival the Cathédrale de Chartres.  We made sure to donate whatever sous we had on us at each cathedral, but it was sad to see that these churches, as beautiful as they are, are under appreciated by the tourists that take the trek out to Chartres.

 

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Out of all the cathedrals and churches in France that The Husband and I have been to throughout the years, I definitely think Chartres has the most beautiful grounds.  What made the grounds even more magical was the free baguette that we ate for lunch on the grounds!

Funny story — The Husband and I spent probably a half an hour walking around the little side streets, looking for the perfect place to eat lunch.  As we were just about to give up and go to a place neither one of us wanted to go, a nice looking lady stopped us on the street and asked if we eat baguettes.  Um, YES!  Only like 2 a day.  Turns out she was from the office of tourism and they were doing a baguette survey — we took ten minutes to taste test baguettes for the city and we got our favorite one for free as a thank you gift.  Pretty good deal, right?  This is why we love France and we love being able to speak French.  If we had only spoken English we would have been a no go!  God bless those baguette loving people.

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Chartres
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Chartres

Buckle your seatbelts for even more photos of Chartres!  I couldn’t help myself — not only do I normally take way more photos than actually needed, I was mid-4 month freak-out about how we were leaving France soon and wouldn’t have many more opportunities to take photos of places like this.  If you want to see even more (but still not the full collection), check out my flickr page by clicking on the photos.

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Chartres

About a month before we left France The Husband and I decided we needed one last trip to a historical site in France.  We enjoyed le Mont-Saint-Michel so much that we knew our choice needed to be another church.  They just don’t make them in America like they did in Europe!  So, off we went to the town of Chartres, about an hour train ride from Paris that cost us all of €12 each.

The town itself is beautiful.  Full of winding streets paved by cobblestone and with churches on almost every corner, it is a quintessential stereotypical French town.  Now, I have to say that we had been told so so so much about Chartres, so we were expecting a lot.  And it didn’t disappoint!  But I will say that Chartres itself was not our favorite church in the town — that will come in the next post!

 

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Chartres

Things have been moving quickly in these parts.  I feel like ever since we’ve gotten back to the states we’ve been running non-stop.  We got back in June.  Since then we’ve been to Florida visiting family, Utah for a wedding, Illinois visiting family, then are moving into Chicago this weekend where The Husband and I are both working, and are going to California next weekend.  Between all of that visiting we found time to job hunt enough for me to currently have two jobs.  We’ve been blessed in more ways than I can count since returning to the States, but incredibly busy at the same time.

Currently we’re sleeping on an air mattress on the floor of our apartment until we get to move all our furniture that we haven’t seen in 2 years (!!!!!!) in this weekend.  We have no internet.  We have no light in our bedroom.  We have nothing to cook with.  We’re so busy that neither one of us gets home till 9 at night.  And we’re incredibly happy.  I miss Paris with all of my heart, but it was time for that chapter to end and this one to begin.  We’re just hoping this domestic chapter is a short one and that we start another international adventure again soon…  In the mean time, enjoy my sporadic blogging of pictures of Paris that make me swoon.  Once we get internet I’ll post some pictures of our new home, Chicago.

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The Husband and I are slowly getting settled back in the States.  We both officially have jobs and are starting the apartment hunt today after work (I’m writing this from a desk in a high rise in a city — who would have guessed just a few weeks ago!).  Of course its my lunch break, but as I have this down time its hard to believe that just a short while ago we were living our dream in a tiny minuscule studio in Paris.  Oh Paris, la ville de mes rêves.

We knew it was going to be like this but it’s still hard.  It seems like Paris was just a dream — an extremely long dream with lots of ups and downs, but a dream none the less.  I think thats why we basically our whole last month out of doors in the city — I don’t think we’ve ever walked so much before in our lives.  I can’t say I regret it.  These are some of our most magical memories.

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Paris

The Husband and I are total and complete tourists and love viewing our city by boat…  I mean, what’s not to love?  You get to see all the sights and don’t have to move an inch, plus you get a great breeze during the summer!  I’m sold!

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Paris

Not gonna lie… Even though I have that weird arm growing out of my head in that last picture, its still on the new cover I just had made for my Kindle. Paris me manques!

I grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago, and have always loved animals.  I was lucky enough to convince my dad to volunteer at the Shedd Aquarium in the city as a youngster, and continued doing so up until The Husband and I moved to France.  Suffice to say that I LOVE going to zoos and aquariums.  I love animals.  Too bad I’m allergic to all of them, or I’m pretty sure The Husband and I would have a regular ménagerie….

 

Anyways, after visiting the jardin des plantes and seeing the zoo there for a French lesson one week, the Logger boys and I decided to hit up the newly re-opened parc zoologique de Paris before we all left the country.  Wow.  That’s all I have to say.  We were in the zoo for around 3 hours, and felt completely content!  And they’re not even done with the construction yet!  I’d love to go back in a few years and see everything once its finished — it is definitely in my top zoos in the world.  Enjoy a few snaps I took while we were there!

 

 Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris
Parc zoologique de Paris

A few weeks before we left Paris for good (this time….) we had some friends in town — a friend of my fathers who was visiting with his wife and daughter for his daughters college graduation.  Anyone who knows me knows that theres one thing I love more than The Husband in this world, and thats Paris.  I jump at the chance to show people around my city and share some of the love that I have for it.  Lucky for me The Husband thinks Paris is just as great as I do…. (He was a staunch Lyon lover before we moved to Paris….  Something to do with him having lived there before and hearing from all the Lyonnais that Paris was lame….  Good thing we fixed that!)

We spent just a few days together, but managed to hit up some of my favorite sights in the city.

 

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Paris

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