Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back in Paris

After a decent night's rest, we packed up early and drove into Paris, hoping to avoid too much traffic and get the car turned in to the rental agency on time. We stopped at my apartment and dropped off all of our stuff first. (It was really convenient to have a parking garage just below my building for that.)

Then we went bak to my apartment, picked up Mom and Dad's stuff, and headed to their hotel. We spent the week doing a handful of different things, but the pace was much slower than the rest of our trip (or any of our previous trips to Paris). Here's what we did:

Arc de Triomphe
(After, of course, climbing the 5 billion stairs involved)

Pere Lachaise Cemetery (yep, that would be my 3rd visit.)

But we did see Abelard and Heloise's final resting place.
Oscar Wilde's gravestone

We also went to the very interesting (and free) Carnavalet Museum. It's all about French history, so if that doesn't float your boat, skip it.

A model of the famous (and now non-existent) Bastille.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man
And a gorgeous Art Nouveau room.

The Louvre (of course.)

La Defense

The Luxembourg Gardens

This random (but pretty) restaurant east of Notre Dame.

as well as the Orangerie Museum to see the Waterlily paintings, and I frankly can't remember what else.
It was nice.
It was relaxed.
My parents let me sleep in and meet them downtown at noon.
Love my parents.
Love Paris.
Not going to cry.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


After Dresden we drove back toward Paris, stopping in Trier before driving to Tinqueux and grabbing whatever hotel room we could find.
Trier is a small-ish college town, and it's really charming. (Just like every other town or city we visited on our trip.)
Roman amphitheater

St. Gangolf Church

Ruins of some Roman baths

Trier Palace

Constantine Basilica

Trier Cathedral (also known as St. Peter's)

St. Gangolf Church with a lovely row of houses facing out into one of the main squares in the city.

The Porta Nigra

This was the last real stop before we got back to Paris, and by this point we were all a bit tired. So we drove until we found a hotel with an available room and passed out until morning.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear Arizona:

Thanks for sharing your monsoon season with us. You can take it back now.



Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Today, while going through my blog reader, I came across this post, and the quotation (by George Bernard Shaw) pretty much changed my life.

"Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself."
(Emphasis added)

So, now I'm just trying to decide which version of my life I'm going to set about creating...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Drawing Lessons (and a painting studio)

My art lessons are going MUCH better the second time around.

I'll show you my sketches soon. My teacher is fantastic and really laid back, which helps me to not feel super self-conscious and even more critical of myself than I normally would be in an art class. (Perfection is usually possible on the first try, right?)

This week I learned about value and shading. Fun stuff!! It makes such a big difference in the feel of a picture.

So, anyways... just thought I would check in and report on how that's going.

I also bought the most amazing book about acrylic painting techniques, and my dad is helping me turn my mom's old office into a painting studio, so I might be able to actually use some of the techniques soon (more on that later--including the title of the book, which is currently flitting around the edges on my conscious mind, but refusing to actually enter).

Decisions, decisions...

So, since I've been home from France I've felt like I should go back to school.

[Insert me whining here.]

I'm secretly (or not so secretly) looking forward to learning all kinds of good stuff, and I'm very openly annoyed about being a poor graduate student living in a crappy basement apartment in Madison, WI. Even though I haven't even applied to the program yet.

Shall I share with you my master plan?

Go to school and get my Master's. (Right now looking at PFMP at Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison and French Pedagogy at NYU)
Get a job at a university or junior college.
Use my faculty/staff benefit to take fine arts classes and become a famous painter, quit my day job, and move to the French countryside where the most difficult decision I will make each day is if I should do plein air painting or use my awesome studio.

Good plan, right?

I know. If you need any help formulating an awesome plan of your own, just let me know.