Wednesday, June 22, 2011

KCAI Class Project

I took a class at the Kansas City Art Institute recently, to get graduate credit.The class was called Personal Shrines and it was taught by my friend Dan Dakotas. It was really fun! Here is the shrine I made. My shrine theme was nature and nests. There was also an egg theme going on. I'm including some pics of some other student's projects as well.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Paris Adventures: The End!

Jeff and I headed to Versailles today. We took the metro to Concorde station to catch the RER train. The trains were not marked too well and after almost hopping on the wrong train, we asked someone and as luck would have it, they spoke English and told us what train we needed.
The lines to get into Versailles were LONG, like 1 1/2 hours of waiting long! We made it in and toured the main castle. I kept thinking about what it must have been like to live there and how many people might have passed through the halls.

We walked out into the gardens past the Grand Canal and out to Marie Antoinette's little Chateau, where she liked to dress as a peasant. We really enjoyed the more casual and down to earth landscaping and appeal of the "peasant" buildings.

This is the "Temple of Love" that was built by Marie Antoinette's chateau.
After touring Versailles all day we headed back to our apartment and rested a bit before joining the other ladies for dinner at "Le Grand Colbert". If you have seen the movie "Something's Gotta Give" with Diane Keeton and Jack Nicholson, this restaurant is the one featured at the end of the movie. We had a great meal and I ordered the "roast chicken" that Diane Keeton's character raved about.

Metro Station that we passed on the way to dinner.

Jeff and I goofing around at the Palais Royal on the way to dinner.
Our last day in Paris was spent doing what we liked the most.... wandering. We walked the Rue de Rivoli again, and went to the Marais area. We went into BHV, a most unusual department store, that carried hardware, housewares and clothing. Jeff bought some French clothing and a scarf!

Our last dinner was at a hole in the wall North African Couscouserie restaurant around the corner from our apartment. We had the best couscous and lamb meal!! Yum!

We had a wonderful time in Paris. It really is a romantic, magical place. If it wasn't for the jet lag we've suffered upon our return, I'd go back again next week!! I discovered some things were not like the guidebooks I'd read beforehand had warned:
You can find toilets easily and there was plenty of toilet paper.
French people were very friendly, helpful and most spoke English.
Pick pockets were not everywhere and the metro was safe.
I hope you've enjoyed following along on our adventures! Check out my Etsy shop to see some of the goodies I bought at the flea markets! Au revoir! Jeanne

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Paris Adventures Part 7

Today Jeff and I headed to the Louvre! I wanted to say I saw the "Mona Lisa" in my lifetime, so we metro-ed down to the famous museum. Of all my adventures, I think the Louvre was the biggest disappointment. Crowded, hot, stuffy, muggy and did I say crowded? We fought our way into the museum, dodging Japanese tourists and their cameras and French school field trip groups. The maps provided by the museum were not really user friendly and Jeff and I spent a great deal of our time trying to figure out where we were.

Here she is! I think a more interesting shot is of all the tourists trying to get a picture!

Some more Louvre pictures:

One thing that amazed me when we toured the Louvre, was the lack of climate-regulated conditions. Most musuems keep their art works displayed in humidity controlled environments. The Louvre was hot and steamy inside, I can't imagine that is good for all those priceless works of art! After we had fought the crowds long enough, we headed to the basement cafe to eat a very expensive sandwich lunch. Next we headed outside to hop on a Le'Tour double decker bus for a riding tour of the rest of the sights around the Champs-Elysees and the Eiffel Tower. It was nice to not have to walk for awhile. Jeff got pretty sun burned though!

The lines to get into and up the Eiffel Tower were so long (3-4 hours) that we opted to enjoy the views from the top of our open air bus! Maybe another trip when its not so crowded!

We hopped off the bus at Musee' de l' Armee' to see Napolean's Tomb. Again, lots of school tours!

Back on another bus that took us back to Montemarte. Pictured above is the famous Moulin Rouge. We rested up a bit, then got dressed up and headed off for a dinner in St. Michel and an evening Seine River Cruise. I think the cruise was one of my favorite parts of the trip. All the sights looked different in the dark. I enjoyed seeing all the young Parisians lining the banks of the Seine, yelling hello to the tourists in the boats!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Paris Part 6

Day 8 in Paris was a big day... my hubby arrived! He arrived and hit the ground running, no jet lag whatsoever! I was amazed that he was so awake after spending most of the day before crammed into a tiny coach airline seat. My apartment mate left that morning, so Jeff & I had the apartment to ourselves. After unpacking, we took the metro to Clingancourt to join the other ladies who had arrived the day before. Sheryl & Gwynnie were a great addition to the group, they were so fun and friendly and we enjoyed getting to know them. Pictured below are Sheryl, Gwynnie & Gwen the tour hostess.

At the flea market we looked at lots of vintage goodies and Jeff bought me a pair of vintage (90's) double C Chanel earrings as a Paris trip souvenir!

After touring the flea and having a very expensive Quiche lunch we headed back to Montemarte to rest and then went walking around Montemarte. We were going to take the Funnicular on top of Sacre-Coeur, but it was out of order. So we walked up the 300 plus steps to the top. Wow, what a hike! We ate at a charming little outdoor cafe and then called it a night.

On Sunday, Jeff & I went to the Bastille Flea Market, a twice a year event held in the Bastille area. We saw lots of cool antiques, mostly out of our price range! The outdoor "toilette" facilities amazed us!

Here are more pictures from the Bastille area:

From the Bastille area, Jeff & I headed to Notre Dame for a tour of the cathedral. We enjoyed the strolling/walking and the beautiful weather.

From the Notre Dame area we headed across the Seine and along the Quai de la Tournelle looking at the little book and map vendors that line the streets. We headed in the St. Michel area looking for the little creperie that I had fallen in love with.

We found the creperie called "Little Breizh" . Its located on Rue Gregoire de Tours and we had a fabulous meal. Here is a pic of the cute brother and sister who run the place:

After lunch we wandered around the Saint Sulpice area and down to the Jardin du Luxembourg, to see the huge outdoor gardens. Since it was Sunday the park was filled with families enjoying the day off.

After a very busy day, we headed back to Montemarte for a quiet pizza & calzone dinner at a neighborhood cafe. We head to the Louvre in the morning!