Thinking of Paris

French Word(s) of the Day: la paix– Peace

The attacks that happened last night were horrific, and I’m thinking of all of my friends and family in Paris.

My friends and family were all safe, but my heart goes out to everyone who cannot say the same.

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Peace for Paris

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Love the Louvre

French Word of the Day: fatigue (fah-tea-gay)- tired

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day.  I spent mine filing my taxes. (I can hear you all swooning at how romantic that is.)  It was true romance between Uncle Sam and me.  I wanted to leave him, but he told me that I couldn’t because he needed me [to give him even more money].

Valentine’s Day posts have become my grand tradition, mainly because “sparkly love hearts” is the most common term used to find this blog.  I even had someone search that term in Arabic.

For all you sparkly lovers out there, here you go:

sparly love heart

For my follow French enthusiasts, it’s Louvre time.

These Roman bros are just as excited as you are.  Check out the fist pumps:

Roman Bros

We’d had a late night before the Louvre, so we were not as awake as the above gentlemen.  We were channeling this statue:

Naked Statue

The people next to it are incredibly unimpressed.

Really, people just weren’t that interested in the art that day.

Check out the Mona Lisa.  Or don't.

I mean, that’s the Mona Lisa, and only about 5 people are paying attention to her.

I hope you all enjoy her huge wall.  It’s a such a big wall for such a small painting.  She also gets her own security guards.  She is truly the Beyonce of paintings.

But what about the other side of the wall, you ask?  You’ve always secretly wondered what was on the other side of that ridiculously large wall.  Well, I’m here to show you!

Titien "Portrait D'Homme"

Look how depressed Titien’s L’Homme au Gant looks (translation: Man with a Glove. Painters are super creative with names).  He knows nobody’s here to see him.  They’re all about Mona.  He’s so sad that he can’t even put on both of his gloves.  I mean, he doesn’t get security guards or a bullet-proof glass case.  What does a guy have to do to get some credit around here, anyway?

The Winged Victory was out for renovations, but we did get some Venus de Milo action.

Venus de Milo

The man behind me pushed me while I was taking this and then cut in front of me, so you will have to resort to Google to get a better view.

Don’t worry; karma got him in the form of a group of school children.

Sam and I managed to get everyone lost in the museum.  To be fair, many of the staircases are closed off for no apparent reason.  On the maps of the Louvre, it looks like there are stairs up ahead, but it generally turns out to be a wall that says “Do not enter.”  The museum’s cartographer is playing a cruel, cruel trick on all of the tourists.  Or developing the world’s best maze.

It took us 45 minutes to find an exit.  That’s potentially a problem if there’s ever a fire.  Not they ever have to worry about that; it’s not like paintings are flammable or anything.

But enough about fire hazards; this is a Valentine’s Day post.  I’m ending it with some lovers.

Painting Flirtations

Proof that musicians have been kryptonite for women for all time.

But let’s go for some real love action here.  Cupid is the reason for the season (or a guy who got killed because he was helping people get married- same thing).  Here’s the master of love with his lady love:

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

Love to everyone!

Montmartre

French Word of the Day: Montmartre (mon-mar-truh)- the area of Paris with Sacre Coeur, Amelie and large amounts of sex shops

As you probably know, I went to Paris as a “you made it through chemo!” thing.  I get the same amount of joy from going there that a child gets from going to Disney World.  (Coincidentally, I also feel this way about Disney. See posts 1, 2 and 3. I found even more than that, but this entry is not about Disney.)

Joining me on my adventures were my twin sister Caitlin and my friend Grace.

When I started chemo, I set a picture of myself in Monmartre as the background on my phone.  It was to remind myself of what was to come.  When I finally got to Paris, I had Caitlin take a picture of me in the exact same spot.  It was a bit windier this time, and it looks as though someone has since taken a piece of the lamppost off:

Split image

Grace is the person who introduced me to French films (namely Amelie), and we’ve been planning our trip together ever since.

Grace and I in the cafe featured in one of our favorite films.  I don't want to discuss what my hair is doing.

Grace and I in the cafe featured in one of our favorite films. I don’t want to discuss what my hair is doing.

Montmartre is one of my favorite areas in Paris.  I’ve been there many times.  We met up with our friend Sam, who gives tours there regularly.  It was like he was hanging out with friends only he had to work at the same time.  And we didn’t pay him.  So really, not a great time for Sam.  He was a good sport, though!

Sam telling us about a place where someone famous and dead used to live.
Sam telling us about a place where someone famous and dead used to live.

It rained off and on, but it was still much warmer than Chicago!

Feerie IMG_3750IMG_3749wine sccarousel cafe des 2 moulins

Many of these photos were stolen from Caitlin.  She was by far the most avid photographer of the day!  (As evidenced by the fact that she took about 2,000 more photos than I did and that her phone usually died by the middle of the day.)

November, Where Art Thou?

French Word of the Day: disparu (diss-par-ew)- gone, disappeared

For those of you who think the title should be “Wherefore art thou” like the line from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, you’re incorrect.  Wherefore means why.  It’s a common misconception that I’m breaking you all of now.  Juliet isn’t calling out to Romeo, she’s asking the universe why he’s a Montague, son of her foresworn enemy.

And now, we speak French.

I have no idea where time has gone.  I was leaving for Paris, and then all of the sudden it was the week before Thanksgiving.  I still haven’t put up 8 million posts detailing every millisecond of my trip!

It was quite the trip.  I plan on stretching out blogging about it on here from now until Christmas.  (At my current rate of posting, that equals about one entry.)

I took so many pictures that my phone has been yelling at me.  “Yo Meghan, when you gonna take these things off?  You don’t have any more space in the cloud.”

Why do clouds run out of space?  I thought it was impossible to fill them.

But Paris comes later.  To tide you over:

Eiffel Tower from the Metro

I went to my doctor today, and she let me know that my kidney/ lupus levels are pretty much in the normal person range.  I’m pretty excited.  For today, that will trump Paris.

But just for today.

Hasta La Bye Bye and a Merci

French Word of the Day: MERCIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!! (mare-sea)- thank you (excitedly written)

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the Lupus Walk/ was a part of the Lupus Walk.  You guys, we raised a LOT of money!

I was so touched by you all coming.  Really, it meant a lot.  They forgot my speech, but I would have definitely thanked you all in it.  You rock, and couldn’t do what I do without you.

Tank supports Lupus.  (Courtesy of Aunt Kathy)
Tank supports Lupus. (Courtesy of Aunt Kathy)

It’s been an exhausting few weeks.  Now that everything’s all wrapped up, I’m on my way to Paris!  I’ve been pretty much worthless with excitement all day today.

Pain au chocolat here I come!

Transportation

French Word of the Day: Métro (met-row)- metro

I love public transportation.  It lets me walk and think.  I don’t have to worry about hitting anyone while reading, because someone else is driving.

Paris has an amazing system.  You pretty much can’t beat it.  The métro alone goes all over the place.  You have to search pretty hard NOT to find a stop somewhere nearby.

Pigalle was in Amélie, for all the fans out there.  If you want to see more places, here’s a lovely little list.

You should also know that the inside of the trains aren’t generally as nice as the one I took a picture of.  That’s a new train.

Chicago’s El system isn’t quite as widespread as the metro.  It’s not bad, the stop are just much further apart.

I’ll give this to Chicago, though- it has some lovely stations on its El system.

My favorite is Quincy, which was built in 1897.

I’m assuming the blue plastic edgings are from the original 1897 materials.

In this case, Paris wins in efficiency and Chicago wins in old-timey aesthetic.