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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!

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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

When MK decided she was coming to visit, we knew that we had to visit a château.  I mean, what would a trip to Paris be without something decadently over the top?  Now, the obvious choice would have been Versailles, but we ruled that out because she isn’t as obsessed with Louis XIV as I am (seriously, historical crush.  Sorry Husband, but I wish you wore a curly wig and red soled heels while walking around Versailles).

The next logical choice?  Fontainebleau, of course!  Located south of Paris, it doesn’t get as many visitors and is therefore ideal for picnicking and spending the day taking in the air of the French countryside.  Plus, lets not forget the fact that Napoléon took up residence in those hallowed halls.  What’s not to love?

Our trip was made even better by the realization that the woods surrounding the Château were the inspiration for those in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and although we can’t find any proof of it, the library looks like it may have served as inspiration as well!  (Stay tuned for that picture, though…  I may have gone completely overboard on taking pictures since it was MK’s first château and the sun just so happened to be shining the whole time we were there!).

My favorite part of the château, though?  Definitely the grounds.  Theres just something about that sweeping staircase at the entrance to the château as well as the serene lake and gardens that just gets me every time.  Who wants to go halvesies on a château with The Husband and I?

Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau

I find that no matter how many times I go to the Louvre to wander on a rainy afternoon, I am constantly surprised by something that I come across.

This particular time, it was a beautiful painting found in a forgotten stairwell — one that was commissioned only a few years ago and therefore is special in terms of the Louvre.  MK and I spent our time wandering (as thats the best way to explore the Louvre, in my humble opinion) with no particular goal in mind except seeing some beautiful art and finding a particular room that had a special ceiling.

I’m going to miss rainy afternoons in the Louvre when we move back to the states.  Somehow, with all my visits there, I still get the feeling that theres so much more to be explored housed within those walls.

Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris

A few weekends ago the perfect storm happened — we had plans with friends on a Friday night, it was magically in the 70’s all day long, and it there wasn’t a cloud in sight!  Of course, we had to have a picnic on the Seine– one of my favorite summer-time activities!  Lucky for us the weather decided to be completely and totally cooperative, and as soon as we sat down on our little corner of cobblestone the temperature dropped into the 60’s — making it perfect weather for a light cardigan and time with friends!

If you haven’t noticed, theres been a lack of posting going on here lately — thats cause I’m in the throes of intense thesis-ing, meaning that most of what I do is sitting either in bed in my pajamas, writing frantically about cultural translation in the Goutte d’Or, or do the same, only dressed and sitting in an uncomfortable metal chair at the library where I work.  What can I say, my life is glamorous.  So, when I do take the opportunity to go out and do something other than schoolwork at the moment, its incredibly nice when things work out as beautifully as they did the night of our picnic!

Lucky for me, The Husband was in a good mood and agreed to go for a walk until the wee hours of the morning after our picnic was completed — I love Paris by night!

Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris
Paris


Paris


Paris


Paris
Paris

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hang out with one of my old roommates in Paris!  I have to say, the next time you’re planning a reunion with friends you haven’t seen in a while, Paris is the place to go!  The weather was beautiful, the food was great, and we were able to walk from landmark to landmark for most of the day, seeing the sights while talking!  Unfortunately, I had to leave early after a frantic call from The Husband about our bathroom flooding due to a leak from the ceiling (darn those upstairs neighbors who left their shower on all day…), but it was still a fantastic day!

Right before we left, we spent an hour or so under the Arc de Triomphe.  Because we don’t actually go up close and look at it very often, I always forget how intricate and beautiful it is.   I couldn’t get over the detailing that had been done on this giant block of stone!  Hence all the photos…

L'Arc de Triomphe
L'Arc de Triomphe
L'Arc de Triomphe


L'Arc de Triomphe


L'Arc de Triomphe
L'Arc de Triomphe

If the weather looks gorgeous in these photos, thats because it was.  How I’m yearning for those days 0f 60 degree weather now that its in the 90’s and we don’t have ac….

All of our Château visiting this year has brought me one invaluable bit on knowledge — where there is a Château, there will be swans, and where there are swans, there will inevitably  be baby swans.

I love baby swans.  Theres something about their gray fuzziness and their wings that are constantly flapping as they run about (although they’re much to tiny for their overly-large bodies still) that is just endearing.

So, during a week like this one (GRE, teaching, work, thesis-ing, and visa appointment -HOLLA!), I salute you tiny ugly swanlings.  You make my world happy, and that’s something that I am grateful for.


Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles
Versailles


Versailles


Versailles

We got to Fontainebleau around lunch time on purpose.  Aka, I was sick of having picnics on our bed when I felt like having a picnic, I wanted a real picnic and I wanted it right then, no matter that the temperature was only a balmy 59 degrees…  You know, this was much better weather for a picnic than the last time I made us go out (in February….).

After we had walked around the Château we meandered on over to the English gardens located next to the lake.  I’ve got to admit, there are much worse places to picnic in 59 degree weather….  The only drawback to our picnic was that we decided we were hungry right smack-dab in the middle of the “pelouse interdite” (keep off the grass) section.  Alas, we had to sit on a bench, so it wasn’t a real picnic, but we’ll let it pass since this was the first one of the season!

Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau


Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau


Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau


Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau