Wednesday, July 31, 2013

All good things come to an end...

... including magical summers where you live in Paris. 

JP's school program finished up this week and last night there was a closing social! 
Everyone came to say goodbye to each other and it was so much fun to hang out and mingle with all our new friends, plus it was in this amazing social club in the heart of Paris so I was loving every minute of it! :)
We are now on our way to London for a few days (!!!!!) and I'll be sharing some of my "Paris Favorites" tomorrow!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Père Lachaise Cemetery

This place is easily one of my top five favorite places I have been in my life. 
I can't get enough of the quiet reverence and peaceful solitude that is abundant in them, I really can't.  
And this cemetery is the KING OF ALL CEMETERIES!

There is an incredible amount of famous and influential people buried in Pére Lachaise (it's known as the "grandest address in Paris") and I accidentally spent a good few hours one morning researching the people who are buried there (which I enjoyed far more than I should have haha) and then I got ahold of a map of the cemetery and mapped out all the graves I wanted to see (it would be so easy to get lost in there!) 
You can see a full list of everyone buried in the cemetery here!

I apologize for the picture overload, but I couldn't help myself. It was beautiful! And haunting, and soothing, and secluded and one of the best ways (in my opinion) to spend an afternoon!

Artist of my favorite painting, Raft of the Medusa.

Isadora Duncan's urn full of her ashes is placed here!

 Alright, so I suffered a bit of a disappointment at this stop: 
I heard years ago that it is good luck/a rite of passage/etc to kiss Oscar Wilde's grave while wearing lipstick and had decided that I would definitely complete that task sometime in my life.
So when I discovered that Oscar Wilde was buried at Pére Lachaise, I was so excited that I would actually fulfill this goal and even took like 5 whole minutes to decide which color of lipstick I should wear. 

When I finally arrived at his grave, much to my horror and disappointment, the good old historical society of Paris had put up glass walls around Oscar's grave and washed all the lips off :(
Some people still kiss the glass (see below) but I couldn't bring myself to do it! 
Life goal = crushed. 
But I bounced back rather quickly from this set back upon finding Gertrude Stein's grave just down the row!

They say that his grave is the most visited in the entire cemetery!

And last, but not least, Frederick Chopin:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Paris Plages

Every summer, Paris decides to become even more awesome and installs a make-shift beach along part of the Seine!

They bring in sand, lawn chairs, vendors, and even have "misting stations" set up so you can cool down! 
(Because no way would you want to get in the river, hello skin disease!)

JP and I spent an afternoon at the "beach" this week, and it was one of our funnest days here! It was simultaneously hilarious and awesome to see people building sand castles and tanning in swimsuits right in the middle of Paris!

 ^^^ I befriended some African children after teaching them how to make paper-cup sand castles. 
Language barrier? No problem!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Because driving to Germany is actually an option here...

This past weekend JP and I went to Germany!
It was a bit of a spur of the moment decision, but the great thing is Germany is closer to us here than California is to us back home! 
Weird. But awesome.

And we were on a mission this road trip: 
to find the original farm that the Brummer's (JP's family/our last name/my family now too) originated from!
JP's dad had been there many many years ago, but only briefly and no one was home so he couldn't go inside.

So we packed up a rental car on Friday and drove through Paris (which might have been the most terrifying thing I have ever done. It is every man for themselves out there.) and out into the countryside on our way to Menslage, Germany (oh yeah, the Brummer farm is in the tiniest little provincial town in Germany, where maybe like 1/10 people speak any English, if you're lucky, aaaand neither JP or I speak any German. So this had to be a success, right? Right.)

We drove through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and on into Germany! (JP was loving the autobahn, despite our somewhat pitiful car that couldn't go over 110 mph) 
We discovered our car had a USB port and it was the best discovery ever and from then on there was a lot of broadway musical sing alongs happening.
(JP and I are terrible singers, which is unfortunate. BUT I have to say it is way more fun than one of us being good at singing and the other one being not-so-good... this way we just get to sing as loud as we can off-key together!) 
Les Miserables and Beauty and the Beast are our current favorites, in case you were wondering. 

Anyways, we arrived and spent the night at the only hotel in town and the next morning met up with the president of the Menslage Historical Society!
He was the cutest little old German man and he was so pumped that we were there to learn about Menslage/our family. 

He spent the entire day with us and took us around to everything.
He even bought us enormous ice cream sundaes because he "had a feeling we were the type of people who enjoyed ice cream"
hahaha so classic. 

Oh, and on a side note, I love animals. Love them. 
JP on the other hand, not so much. Partially because he's allergic to most of them and partially because he has no soul, but I'm working on it.
So, being surrounded by farm animals all weekend was a definite highlight for me, and I fed them every chance I could. 
(you'll see below...)

^^^ just look how happy he is! He is one of my favorite people I've ever met.

 ^^^ Menslage had one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen.
 I have a strange love for cemeteries. I say strange because while they are such sad places, I love the peaceful and solemn melancholy you feel in them!

Germany was amazing, but now that we're back in Paris time is somehow almost gone: 
We leave France in 1 week from today! 1 week!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What do you do on the hottest day of the year?

And when you live on the top floor of a building that hasn't discovered it's the 21st century yet?

You go to a nice, air conditioned museum!

JP had never been to the Georges Pompidou Modern Art Museum, and it's one of my absolute favorite museums, so we decided to spend the afternoon there yesterday!
Because I'm pretty sure it was hotter inside our apartment than it was outside... 

Anyways, this museum: (!!!) 
Even if you don't like modern art all that much (I love it) you can still appreciate the masterpieces in here!
They had an exhibition right now displaying a lot of Roy Lichtenstein's pieces, an artist I had heard of and seen pictures of his pieces in magazines and whatnot, but now I love him! 

Our time here is winding down (we leave for London a week from tomorrow!) so we are busy checking the touristy things we want to do off our list!

^^^alright, this was my favorite part of the whole exhibition!! 
Lichenstein did a lithograph of Monet's 'Rouen Cathedral' paintings (3 of which I have prints of hanging in mine and JP's room back in Provo!)
And I seriously love how you can see the whole work in progress, even his notes on what colors he wanted to use!


 ^^^Kandinsky is another artist I love! JP didn't quite understand it, but I'll convert him eventually ;)

However, JP loves the dada movement! Who knew?! I didn't.  

^^^ This was the best. This group of art students were having a very in-depth conversation about whether or not this should be considered art, and they were arguing back and forth and I was so entranced listening to their reasoning for both sides. I just creepily stood and listened to them for like 20 minutes.