June 11, 2013

[Day Seventeen: A Pilgrimage]

We caught a train AND a bus to Villa Savoye today. If you know anything about architecture, know any architecture students or understand even the slightest bit about the architect Le Corbusier, you'll understand the importance of this house.I can remember spending hours on the perspective drawings freshman year for drafting class on Villa Savoye. 

Villa Savoye and I, we have a history.
I've seen Villa Savoye at least once in my life. Life is good.

June 10, 2013

[Day Sixteen: Where I'm convinced Cinderella would have lived...]

Today we visited a Chateau, or more commonly known as a castle. Home of Henry II's mistress Diane, until he died and his widow Catherine de' Medici regained the property. The rooms were simple (I suppose everything is simple after seeing Versailles), but the kitchen in particular had a wonderful authentic feel.
[Chateau de Chenonceau]

 [servants quarters]
After lunch, which consisted of a vegetable salad (not my preference), pork tenderloin with what I call hashbrowns (Whataburger in France?) and creme brûlée (not the best I've had), we headed to Leonardo DaVinci's home. There were phenomenal gadgets and inventions everywhere. The first car. His rendition of the first helicopter and plane. Interactive inventions to top it off. My idea of an adult intellectual playground.
[A few of Da Vinci's inventions. Way before his time.]
Château d'Amboise. Where I would imagine Cinderella would have lived. Complete with the quaint town. The town of Amboise is well kept, has the most beautiful homes built into the hillsides and according to the tour guide, is like 80% of the other towns in France where most of the French live unlike Paris.  

The more I see and the more time I spend here, the more I believe France is very similar to home. Without the castles and extremely rare and old architecture of course. On the way out to the countryside I saw schools quite like my old high school with tracks and fields, obnoxious children at the museums with their summer camp groups, homeless people on the corner, morning and afternoon traffic jams, gas stations like mine (I finally found one! And it's EXPENSIVE), and people who live their lives, take care of their families and survive day to day in the city or in the country. 

Conclusion: We're all the same, some just live in cooler places.

June 9, 2013

[Day Fourteen: Something like Halloween in June]

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But the group was going, and it was free.

The Paris Catacombs. 

Long story short, in the 18th century bones from all the city's cemeteries were stored in disused limestones quarries. The first bones were brought in 1786 and simply thrown into the corridors. In 1810, under the Empire they had the Catacombs arranged in an orderly fashion, forming a decorative facade with the skulls, with long bones behind and the remaining bones all piled up.

So yes, imagine standing in a 4ft space surrounded by 6 million Parisian bones. 2km long.
Creepy. Eerie. Dark. Cold. Wet. 
Aside from this didn't get into much this weekend. Unless I consider the dessert. Crepes, milkshakes, cheesecake, (mind blowing) ice cream...yeah, I got into that.

June 7, 2013

[Day Thirteen: A Different Perspective]

We've visited a few firms these last two weeks and I've been nothing short of impressed. Inspired more or less.

The work I've seen makes me appreciate the degree I've received, although at times I wasn't sure if its what I wanted. I'm aware that there is so much that I can do with a degree in architecture, but this trip proved the case. From architects that design interior spaces for Hermes, furniture and all, to architects that design social housing for students.


My goal now, take that inspiration and find a job that's right for me.

June 4, 2013

[Day Ten: Frame worthy]

We visited the countryside today. Absolutely gorgeous. The kind of gorgeous that you see in a framed picture at a restaurant and only dream about going. Old homes full of character and life, cobblestone roads and fresh flowers to top it off.

[Jean Monet's garden]

 Important thing to know about me: I'm incredibly picky. Like only chicken and potatoes picky. Goal #2 was to try new dishes. So today I tried duck. AND French cheese.

 [Vincent van Gogh's room where he died. Probably the dreariest place I've been this entire trip.]

The weather has started to warm up and I'm so thankful. The cold weather was starting to become difficult I bare. 


June 3, 2013

And then I turned...

It's my birthday.  And I'm in PARIS. Enough said.

But I'll continue.

Although 21 passed by entirely too fast I'm so glad to be 22. Each year I grow more into the woman I'm supposed to be, I get closer to figuring out my purpose in life and understand more about the world around me.  
I used to beat myself up about what I thought were small accomplishments for my age. I'm in college, yes, but look at Mark Zuckerberg. Millionaire. Or yes, I have a good head on my shoulders, but look at Rihanna at age 25 (probably not the best example), pop star.
I've come to terms with my success (and failures). In due time...

June 2, 2013

[Day Six/Day Seven: All Gold Everything]

It's day eight (already?) and Paris is still amazing. Learning more about the people, culture and enjoying the experience of just being here.  From the flea market where people practically harass you to buy knockoff Louis Vuitton to the simple and eloquent meals (lunch and dinner), metro and phenomenal style of every Parisian
 (how is it even possible to be THAT stylish)?

Visited Versailles on Friday and Paris Opera on Saturday. Can you say opulent? Probably the most extravagant thing I've ever seen. Seriously, rooms of gold?

 [Palace of Versailles]


 [Arche de la Défense]

[Probably one of my favorite buildings of all time. Paris Opera House]

 [Paris Opera costumes]

 [View from the top floor of the mall...yeah, their mall is something serious.]
I'm writing this post from the laundry mat. Yes, we're even washing our clothes with the Parisians (haha). Although I'm well aware that I don't look like a Parisian (nor do I speak French), it's nice to think for half a second that I do.
A day hasn't passed that I haven't been thankful for this experience.