Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ah Paris...

Well my friends, I have been back from Paris for a few days now and I'm still dreaming about being there.  It was wonderful and I could not have had a better 3 days away.  I will go into detail later on, but for now, here are a few Instagram  photos (follow me...jmcnamara78) of what I did while I was there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 1

I know my counting might seem a little off, but I have to get through today and then I leave tonight for Paris.  So technically I have 1 more day.  OMG in going to Paris!!! I'm so case you couldn't tell.  Tonight, at 7:01pm I will be on a Eurostar train en route to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Its going to be amazing.  This guy right here, my wonderful flatmate Tom, who you all know and love...

...he is responsible for this trip.  He gave me the gift of a Eurostar voucher to help fund my long standing dream to visit Paris!  We're staying in this very cool hotel located between Gare de Lyon and Opéra Bastille.

We'll be doing lots of exciting things that I have written about in the last 17 days exploring a fun new city (new for me, not for him) and practising my very poor French speaking skills.  

But what I'm really looking forward to is spending the long weekend with my dear friend and having a wonderful time.  

Je vous verrai la semaine prochaine...that's like French innit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 2

One thing that I am very much looking forward to is getting out of London and recharging my batteries.  I've been feeling a bit low and anxious, so it will be good to be able to mentally check out for a few days and just enjoy life.  I haven't been out of London since New Year and I am way over due to.  So I hope to be doing a bit of this...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 3 (and my 100th post!)

Today marks my 100th post my friends, I feel like I should have a party, much like they do when a television series hits their 100th episode. I remember thinking wow 100 really isnt that high of a number, it seems like you hit it so fast. However I have been blogging for 2 years now and only just hit 100! To celebrate, I'm going to tell you about how I leave London in 3 days, for a long weekend in if you didn't already know that! What am I looking forward to, you ask....

Cafés...Parisian cafés.  One thing I love to do when I travel is fit in and feel like I local.  So I very much look forward to sitting outside at a café with a cup of coffee and a baguette chatting about my day (or day ahead) and attempting to be all chic like the local Parisians.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 4 (and 5 since I missed it on Sunday)

While I already touched a little bit on my excitement to go to Montmartre when I wrote about the Sacre Coeur but on a whole I am very much looking forward to exploring this part of the city.  Montmartre is talked about by Parisians the way New Yorkers talk about the village which I can completely relate to having lived in New York and the village is one of my favourite areas.  Montmartre, is hear, is quite an artsy, bohemian area that is a great place to try and lose yourself in. The cobbled streets make it one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Paris.  Montmartre is also home to the Moulin Rouge.  While I would love to go an see a show there, its quite pricey and a but out of my budget for this trip, but I plan on heading over to check out the area.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 6

Rodin was a French sculptor probably most known for The Thinker and The Kiss.  The Musée Rodin is located at the gorgeous Hôtel Biron which is where Rodin used as his workshop in the early 1900's.  It is Tom who is really keen on going here and proposed the idea to me last week. After seeing only the grounds, I was on board.  Have a look for yourself...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 7

The Cinémathèque Française is a cinema/museum of sorts not too far from the hotel we're staying in and I found out that while we are in Paris there is a Tim Burton exhibition on.  I'm quite excited about this as I missed the one that was at the MoMA when I lived in New York.  I love finding special little things that are happening in a city you are visiting.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 8

There is a famous painting by George Seurat (that was also featured in a scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) called Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte or Sunday Afternoon on the Island La Grande Jatte of a group of towns people sitting, sunning and playing by the Seine. Something about this painting epitomizes beauty and relaxation to me and I look forward to taking in all that beauty (without the period clothing) as I wander down the river walk enjoying Paris.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 9

If you didn't know this about me already, you will now...I am a huge skincare freak. I love skincare and I think is incredibly important to look after your skin.  I mean, after all, your face is the first thing people see.  As for French skincare, I have tried a few brands  (AvèneCaudalie) and have really liked them so I'm very excited to try out a few more brands I have heard about in the last year or so. Here is hoping that by purchasing some new products I can have my skin look amazing. French woman have the most beautiful skin, case and point...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 10

It may seem really simple and to some of you it may seem lame, but something I'm really excited to do is take the Eurostar from St. Pancras in London to Gare du Nord in Paris.  I really enjoy the train rides, I find them quite relaxing. Its great to be able to sit and take in the scenery while traveling comfortably. I used to take the Acela train from New York to Boston, it was one of my favorite ways to travel home.  But I am looking forward to the train ride, we leave after work on Thursday so it will be a great way to decompress from the day before starting a holiday.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 11

Croissants. Yes you can get them anywhere but they are the best when you get them in their native area.  It's like lobster, yes you can get lobster at almost any restaurant but you will get the best lobster in the North East of the United States.  But back to croissants...flaky, buttery goodness of puffed pastry served in a Parisian cafe, I can almost taste them now! I cannot wait wake up in Paris, pop out to a café for breakfast, drink coffee, eat croissants and discuss what the plan for the day is. Ugh...sounds like heaven...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 12

I may not see Quasimodo, but I will go to the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris.  As I wrote in Day 12, I love churches and Notre Dame just may be the most well known cathedrals in the world.  Did you know it was one of the first buildings in the world to use flying buttresses...well you do now, and I get to go seem them!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 13

Known as "the most beautiful avenue in the world" the Champs Elysées has all you need, shopping, cafes, many sights to see and at the end is the Arc de Triomphe.  I love to shop and although I can't really afford it, I do look forward to some wonderful window shopping. But honestly, I can't wait to stroll along such a gorgeous road and take in Paris.

Where else can you find an Abercrombie and Fitch that looks like this?!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 14

When in a big city you must take in some of its most well-known sights and something I'm looking forward to doing is heading to The Louvre. If you don't know, the Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa, while she is quite small (so I hear) and always surrounded by crowds of people you can't not go and check her out.  I mean, that would be like going to the Vatican City and not seeing the Sistine Chapel (kind of). So when in Rome...or Paris!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 15

I love churches.  I don't really go to church much (with the exception of weddings and such) but I really love churches.  They have such amazing structure and history.  So one thing I am excited to see in Paris the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and I've been told that the view from the top is unreal!  So I'm ready to do some climbing...