Monday, January 31, 2011

things like this, yes

today was grand. that is probably getting old, but honestly, everyday is grand. and i have high hopes for the future too. today we met at the Cluny museum to explore a little medieval art and architecture for our art and architecture class. (makes sense, no?). we started out by getting a glimpse of some real real old roman ruins, their bath houses to be exact. bath houses were the major social gathering back in that day (about 100 CE/AD) and in the bath houses there were several rooms. people met to talk politics, gossip, and of course, to bathe. those romans were all about science and the latest and greatest in medicine so they had all these theories about changing your body temperature and healing yourself. so there were hot baths, warm baths, and freezing cold baths. the room where the cold baths is the only one still in tact, but we got to go inside and literally look up at a 1900 year old roof. wow. wow. wow. we also spent a while analyzing some columns and i was pretty proud of myself because some of my instincts were actually right. (for instance i randomly guessed that this symbol on one capital was a zodiac symbol and it was, what are the chances?!!)
my favorite part of the museum had to be the 'la dame a la licorne' tapestries. they are these giant tapestries from the 1400s that are just unbelievably intricate. look them up! they were absolutely beautiful and we thoroughly analyzed their meaning too, so if you have any questions, i've got your back. our professor bernie is a super intellect and just loves finding the meaning behind art. he digs deep! and he always says 'things likes this, yes?' and i like it.
enough about that. emily and i headed home after the museum and went on another monday shopping trip and stopped at a little bakery for some french treats. yum. at about 6:00 we decided to start heading for FHE back in Paris and on our way to the stop i realized i didn't have my little metro ticket that we have to use today (because last week ended and the month of february hasn't started yet). we went back and searched everywhere. nothing. emily asked if i just wanted to stay home and i decided it would be worth it to just buy a new ticket. i had this feeling that i should keep an eye out in case it had fallen on the ground, so as we walked to the station i picked up about five dirty/gross tickets to no avail. i had almost lost hope when we got right by the turn stiles and i decided to give it one last try. i picked up a random one from the floor and who knows if it was mine or not, but it sure looked like mine and it sure worked like mine. thank you thank you. i must be doing something right! i figured there must be a reason i was going to FHE tonight. we got up to the stop and waited ten minutes for the train (unusual). then we waited another ten minutes. then we said if a train didn't show up in the next five minutes we were going home (we would already be about 20 minutes late for fhe) but sure enough a train showed up and we got on, but the doors would not close. we waited five minutes. we waited another minute. we gave those doors one more minute or else we were leaving. they closed and we were finally on our way at about 6:55. nice.
fhe was a blast. the last half of the lesson was about baptism and then we played a silly getting to know you game and ate treats. they had popcorn, yum, and these crackers with peanut butter. i was so excited because i have been seriously missing peanut butter! i socialized with a bunch of french young adultes in the stake and then here is my exciting news: i had a little run in with an elder who works in the mission office and he dialed up a certain elder i know and i got to talk to Elder Helvey!!! It was crazy to hear his voice. the missionary then got my number (funny situation) so that Michael could contact me in the future. how fun, i am glad i made it to fhe!
that was a lot of information! enjoy the pictures.
daily door.
brown boots only, please
jamie, allison and i
i'm quite partial to roman brick.
brown boots at the bath house
dont look at us! were in the bath house!
can't lie, i was pretty pumped about my outfit today.
a little french braid in france
glad i can still get away with an old stand by.
gorgeous ceilings in the monk's private chapel,
this is a palm tree vault
some artistic shots:
yes please
my artistic shot secret: (don't tell anyone, its super doofy) sometimes when you are the one behind the camera you can take all kinds of fun artistic shots, but then none of them have you in it. so sometimes you have to say 'ummm, hey, would you mind just taking an artsy picture real quick of me pretending to take some notes? thanks.' and then voila. haha this method was used for both of the 'artsy' shots pictured above. the shots pictured below are just a little extra treat. when we got home from fhe it was freezing cold still, so we decided to warm up with some of the hot chocolate mix we bought today. brilliant idea. nutella toast dipped in h.c.? heaven! and nannick's cute little mugs just make hot chocolate that much better.

late night mug shot
the ultimate late night snack. hot chocolate and nutella toast.
step count:12208. yippee.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


all day today i have had a wonderful song stuck in my head... "i looked out the window and what did i see..." its a little bit out of control.

that aside, today has been absolutely lovely. we had to get up bright and early to make it to church on time, and we actually ended up being about 25 minutes early so i got to practice with the choir. church was really good, and i felt like i understood even more than i did last week. i even made a comment in sunday school (en francais of course)... well allison and i made a combined comment. and i think everyone understood what we were saying? sacrament was wonderful and i loved getting to sing with the choir. we sang cantique 80 - Dieu, Notre Pere, with a little violin and piano and i thought it went fairly well. i love singing in french. mmm.
after church we headed back home and allison and kira came with us to le vesinet to meet the madame (its official - her name is Nannick, with an N) and see our house. they loved the green countryside that surrounds us, and so do i! we all joined together for a lunch of apples, bread, cheese, and nutella. yum. apples + nutella = heaven. who are we kidding.. anything + nutella = heaven. after lunch the girls headed home (allison had some great experiences riding the RER) and emily and i got all bundled up and went for a little afternoon promenade around our fairytale town of a home. i have been dying to get out with my camera and just explore and take some pictures, and i took quite a few, so here are some of the best. it was a freezing cold but a perfect afternoon, and apparently a post lunch walk is the thing to do... everyone was out and about walking around the most quaint little neighborhood. we have this giant park that just goes through the center of all the homes and follows along a little river. it was gorgeous this afternoon, hopefully some of the pictures i took can do it justice. enjoy le vesinet

view from my room, itching to get outside. can you see me?
our little dining table
the tulips i got for Nannick
our 'front door' - i still can't figure out how to lock it
our 'half house' - its that white wall with 2 windows
the beginnings of our walk
gorgeous old trees and little bridges everywhere
looking at the park - i love the people sitting on the benches
some great fur hats out for a stroll
more beauty and bridges
the colors are divine
the sun begins to set
even the houses are fun to look at
birds are everywhere!
i love our swans
little vesinet children playing by the riverside, straight out of a story book!
frozen river
make sure you click on them and open them bigger, they are much prettier that way! it really was an absolutely gorgeous walk, and here are a few extra treats:

french shampoo, and i finally found some conditioner!
at church standing around the heater (le chauffage!) to get warm
and of course. shoes.
au revoir mes amis!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

je t'aime, hubert.

a gorgeous vesinet morning

inspiration for all
smart cars are everywhere!
me with the eiffel tower
i really like these green men
emily, alliance, and james
can you tell i am freezing cold?
bons bons
adding to the door collection
standing in front of a monet
a delicious and long awaited croque monsieur

another exhausting and wonderful day in the heart of paris. today we (emily, jamie, allison and i) conquered another walk for our class, this time in the 16th arrondissement. the city is divided into these little sections called arrondissements and i'm not really sure why. ha. i just looked it up, and pretty much it is just divided into 20 little sections. great. we hit the 16th today- which is supposedly one of the classiest - it is also one of the least commercial.
we started our walk on this quaint little bridge that gave us a lovely view of the eiffel tower (which i still have yet to see up close, oops!) and took us on an adventure on the allee de cygnes, aka the path of swans. we didnt see any swans, but we did find this little blue bench where many lovers had carved their names. we loved it! our favorite had to be "je t'aime, hubert" how french is that? then we ventured a little further to the mini statue of liberty where there were a bunch of french teens smoking (apparently it is a cool place to hang out).
after that little walk, we found ourselves in the midst of an antique market! it was so neat to see some of the old french things on sale. there was some of the neatest jewelry, china, books etc. but of course everything was quite pricey. at the end there was this cute little candy booth and i had to get some. yum! next we wound our way along some old neighborhood streets and found ourselves at the musee marmatton where they currently have a lovely claude monet exhibit. i love monet and the impressionists so i was super excited to see his works in real life. they were amazing. i love being able to look at an actual painting and think that at one time claude monet was literally standing there looking at that very canvas and creating something absolutely beautiful. we got to see all kinds of sunsets, landscapes, bridges, and water lilies. our guide book encouraged us to "take a few minutes to sit and contemplate Monet's water lilies".. check! i really enjoyed the art, and the museum itself was actually really beautiful too.
after that we were all starving and we decided we actually wanted to sit down and eat somewheres, but we also didn't want to pay a lot... so we began an adventure. and we ended up getting very lost. and more lost. and more hungry. and no one could decide on anything. we kept trying to take buses, but let me tell you, the buses are no metro - they are not our friends. we decided to just get on a bus and get off when we saw something that looked alright. finally we found a random brasserie (restaurant and cafe) and decided to try it out - and it as exactly what we wanted! i had a croque monsieur (classic french take on a grilled ham and cheese) and we shared a dessert and were all happy and full. and our waiter was really cute and whistle-y so we left him a nice tip.
after that we took a little trip to jamie and allison's place to see how different it was. holy cow, so different. they live in the midst of a real parisien neighborhood where we pretty much live out in the country. their house is like a glorified apartment and ours is definitely a house. i loved meeting their madame though. glad to have a face to put with all their funny stories.

tonight for dinner i had an apple and some camembert (i was still pretty full from lunch) and for dessert i had a nutella sandwhich and a handful of chocopix, but i cannot lie, i am seriously craving some homemade cookies. man, maybe i will see what kind of ingredients i can find at the Leader Price and give it a whirl. good day. good night.

oh yeah and for the nerd in all of you... step count: 16,511

Friday, January 28, 2011

happy birthday h. ray hart

i love paris
my birthday shout out sign
rose window at the notre dame - breathtaking
okay i gave in and lit a candle. i had to!
just eating another nutella crepe.
what can i say. i love shoes!
shoes at sainte chapelle
these windows are amazing
the detail - c'est incroyable!
beautiful orchids at an flower market. mmm
just doing what i do best. groovin at the BHV

today i am happy.
i got to do one of my favorite things, with some of my new favorite people!
i went ice skating! (le patinage!)
ice skating in paris, does it get any better than that?

girls skate
isn't this just whimsical?
skating in paris. love

other noteworthy events. we have this class called 'paris walks' and it is all on our own. we just have to follow a certain number of walks that are all laid out for us in this book called 'walking through paris' history' (please read that in an uppity, scholarly accent). sounds easy right? oh wait. all the walks are at least three hours long and take forever! emily and i had quite the walk today (19528 steps!) it was also my dear grandpa hart's birthday today so i made this little shout out sign and took pictures with it everywhere! that was fun. we went to the notre dame, and actually went inside this time. i loved it. we sat down for a little mass, walked around and could barely speak as we took it all in. it truly is beautiful. and even though it was filled with all kinds of tourists and touristy things, i couldn't help but remember that one time that beautiful cathedral was dedicated simply to the worship of God. years were spent perfecting it, and being there just filled me with joy.
next we headed to the conciergerie. i'm not going to lie... it was a bit of a let down. but hey, it lowered our expectations for the next stop, sainte-chapelle, and once we figured out we could go upstairs we were absolutely blown away. it is almost impossible to take in all the stained glass that literally surrounds you. each window tells a bible story (though i found them a little bit impossible to read) and each window is completely different. the detail and work that has gone in to each of those extensive windows... holy cow. (or perhaps in honor of my grandpa for his birthday... crad!) we just sat and looked for quite a while. oh, right before st. chapelle we headed to the latin quarter for a little crepe break to lift our spirits and give us needed energy. it totally worked. we ate at the little "boulangerie de papa" love it.
after sainte-chapelle we were freezing cold so we took a quick stop at the Palais de Justice and might have snuck into a court room that i don't think we were supposed to be in (no one really stops you from doing anything here) and then we headed to explore the BHV while waiting for the rest of those who wanted to ice skate. i love the BHV.
ice skating was an absolute blast. it really was so whimsical with the glowing carousel and sparkling hotel de ville lights surrounding us. and they played some kesha and usher so it felt a little bit like home.
at home nannick (actually it might be mannick!) made us a little pizza dinner because we had not eaten yet. she is so cute. love life. how do i always end up staying up so late? goodnight all. thanks for taking the time to read. bon soir.