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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.

Chartres
Chartres
Chartres
Chartres
Chartres
Chartres
Chartres
ChartresChartres

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.

Paris
Paris
Paris
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Paris

One of the fun things that I do here is work as a private French teacher for ex-pats.  Lucky me I have the coolest students who like to go on outings to practice their vocabulary!

A few weeks ago we learned about des animaux and a group of us set out to the Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes to practice naming animals.  It had been so long since I’d been to a zoo that I’d forgotten how fun they can be!  Highlights included two apes kissing, seeing raccoons in captivity, the hedgehog exhibit, and hanging out with four teenage boys all afternoon.  They keep me young.

Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes

As I look back on these photos, I am reminded of how lucky we are to be living out a dream, even if our plans don’t always work out as we imagined them.  It’s particularly hard to be away from family and friends when we are having a hard time, as we have been lately.  But places like this and the friends that we have made here make it easier to get through the hard spots in life.

I’m grateful for every opportunity we’ve had while we’ve been here, especially the ones like visiting le Mont Saint-Michel, a place so gorgeous it took my breath away and strengthened my belief that there is a greater plan and purpose here on this earth.  We’re trying to make the most of our last two months here with more trips like this one (amidst the problem of finding out where we’re going to in the states, haha) and lots of long walks along the Seine.  That means lots of good pictures coming up!  But for now, enjoy the rest of the Mont Saint-Michel, or the time that we spent exploring the tiny paths through the tiers of houses on the island.  This was definitely one of the most incredible trips that we have taken this time in Paris.

Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel

Of course we had to check out the gardens of the Mont Saint-Michel.  Lucky for us you’re kind of forced to head out that way — the gift shop leads out into them and we couldn’t have been happier!

Somehow, we magically got the perfect day at the Mont Saint-Michel.  I’m not sure how that happened, but if you guys ever go I hope you get a day as awesome as ours was!  I’ve been missing it lately.  We’ve had kind of the worst month ever, so looking back on this pictures (when we’ve had the time) has helped to make this month better!

I’m going to miss things like this when we move back to America.

Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-MichelLe Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel

Le Mont Saint-Michel


Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel
Le Mont Saint-Michel

 

 

Only one more Mont Saint-Michel post to go, and then we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Paris-centric posts!

The Husband hates when I’m in charge of planning our visitors schedules….  Something about me scheduling every moment of every day until they’re so tired that they can’t function???  Ludacris.

So, when MK got a tiny bit sick while she was here, The Husband jumped on the opportunity to laugh and blame it on me.  And now every once in a while, just to rub it in, he’ll say “Remember that one time you went so crazy with scheduling that you made MK sick?  Have you learned your lesson about vacation planning?”  Meanie….

Anyways, while MK was here she had a mixed bag of good and bad luck.  Like I said, she had awesome metro juju, especially for the line 13, and she was lucky enough to see the first few days of the sales, meaning that of course we had to hit up some normally extremely expensive shops that just for those few weeks count as mostly expensive shops.  Shown here:

Paris

We also, of course, had to hit up the Catacombes, since MK is a nurse and loves dead things.  But don’t worry if she is ever your nurse, she usually doesn’t kill people and is quite good at her job!  Sadly, we went to visit one of my favorite museums here, the Musée Rodin, and the house was closed for restoration.  Awesome news, mainly because the inside was falling apart (I’ve done multiple photo essays for myself on photos of the cracks in the walls and foundation of that house….), but also sad news since then we only got to see the sculptures in the gardens, which were also partly closed for a party for the Indian Embassy that they would be having later that night.

Highlights included getting hit on by construction workers, one of said construction workers thinking I was Québécoise (at least its some kind of native speaker!), and finding a Thinker phone case for my ancient phone for €1 at the gift shop.  All in all, a win!  Oh, and don’t forget the delicious chocolate/almond/pistachio pastry we had at the end….

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ParisParis
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Paris
Paris
Paris

Oh yeah, and of course we had to throw up the single ladies pose… Especially since neither of us are single ladies…. Such is life.

One of the great things about France is stellar weather we have pretty regularly.  Everything here is pretty middle of the road as far as temperatures go, even if we do get more rain than normal.  Lucky for MK, while she was here she magically brought a week long respite from the rain, leading to the perfect opportunity for us to spend as much time outside as possible!

Not to be outdone by The Husband’s and my picnic along the banks of the Seine in early March last year ( I was just so antsy for picnic weather!!!!), MK and I left for Fontainebleau with picnic in two — two delicious baguette sandwiches loaded up with all the veggies that would fit!  And of course, some tasty treats.  What would a picnic be without great scenery and tasty treats?

Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau

The Husband and I live in a great neighborhood in Paris — it’s definitely not too touristy, and theres always something to do.  Not to mention that we live in a mostly immigrant neighborhood, which is perfect, since we fit right in to that category! (I don’t like calling us expats — theres just something about that word that doesn’t seem to fit our situation….)

Ever since we moved here in 2011, we’ve always taken the bus/walked past this little park that looked like it had some cool art inside and said “lets go in there next time we go past”.  Well, with school done and applications done and a lonely Christmas upon us, we finally did just that!

Imagine my surprise when, in addition to being a park, this place is also a community garden!  This spot might just be my new favorite place in our quartier…

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As all good things in life, London had to come to an end all too quickly (understandable, since we only had a day in the city itself).  After having a jam session with one of his British music buddies, The Husband met back up with us so we could visit Buckingham Palace and Picadilly Circus.  How i wish we could have seen a show while we were there (The Husband still has never seen a musical!), but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Instead, we finished off our night by heading to the Hard Rock London — first of all, because the Loggers go to a Hardrock in every city they visit, and second of all, because we like to support The Husbands older sister, Jayn, who works as an accountant for the Seminole tribe.  We like to think that our meals that night helped pay a fraction of her salary :).

Looking back on this trip I can’t help but think it was incredible that we didn’t end up in Wales or something.  With no GPS, a French car, and no idea of where we were driving, we did surprisingly well, with only a few wrong-side-of-the-road mishaps.  Whoops!  What are crazy Americans good for if not scaring the locals when we go on vacation?

 England 2013
England 2013
England 2013
England 2013

And for anyone wondering about the conclusion to the plumbing story from last post, we were right in being worried — the “plumbers” actually broke two more things in our bathroom, meaning that we are now the recipients of a new toilet that will be coming our way this Wednesday.  Needless to say, life with a broken toilet is ….interesting….

Before leaving for London at the end of August, The Husband and I tried to take every chance we could to soak up the last rays of summer.  Well, really we were trying to soak up any rays of summer at all — something about writing a thesis and working all summer kept us pretty pasty white and lacking in summer soaking if you catch my drift.  We knew that summer would likely be gone by the time we returned from vacation, so we took the opportunity to meet up with one of The Husband’s friends from school and explore le jardin du Luxembourg.

It’d been a few years since I’d been (read: 3 years) and The Husband had never been, so we took the afternoon to play explorers.  If only The Husband had had an Indiana Jones hat and me a German accent, all his childhood dreams about exploration would have come true.  Alas, I have no German accent and we didn’t find any treasure, but we did have a great afternoon!

 Le jardin du Luxembourg
Le jardin du Luxembourg
Le jardin du Luxembourg
Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg
Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg
Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg
Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg


Le jardin du Luxembourg