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Day 6 was our last in Paris before heading to Zurich.  A waiter at a creperie had mentioned the Catacombs and Chris was OBSESSED with going.  We could NOT leave Paris before going there.  And it was the only place we went that I hadn’t been before… so I was pretty excited about seeing something brand new.

You hike down a teeny tiny circular stairwell for 60 meters.  Then walk through the bones of 6 million French people.

They pulled up all of the graves in Paris because they thought it was the graves making people sick.  They filled an abandoned quarry with the bones.  They made walls with the skulls and femurs, then piled the rest of the bones behind them.

 

Interesting, no?

So, on to something fresher!

Versailles!

Such a ridiculous, over-the-top and gaudy place.

The following images were beyond odd.  Versailles is hosting the work of Jeff Koons.  In all of the rooms.  It’s large.  And odd.

 

We got up bright and early the next day to fly to Zurich.  But instead of an early night, we cuddled up with a bottle of wine and a movie.  Hey, it was cold outside ๐Ÿ™‚

 

After shooting until the wee hours of Day 4, we gave in to sleep for the majority of the day.  Absolute and utter exhaustion.  But we did make it the Louvre!  Just in time for it to close.

 

We walked through the Tuileries and down the Champs Elysses for dinner & wine at one resturant, cheese & wine at a second and creme brulee & wine at a third.  It was a beautiful and relaxing day.

 

 

Day 5 started much as Day 4, but without all the sleeping!  We spent most of the day at the Louvre and the Tuileries

This is the only picture of the two of us in Paris.  I must must must remember to have more of these taken.

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For dinner, we decided to jump on the metro and get off when it felt like a good stop.  We decided on Bastille (I think… could be totally wrong on this one though.)  Apparently it’s the oldest area of Paris… once very Jewish, now very gay.  All of the resturants were small and the Parisians piled outside under heaters to watch people walk the cobblestone streets.  Probably the best meal that we had – French Onion Soup, Steak Tartar and Creme Brulee.  I drool just thinking of it. 

 

 

This trip was an absolute dream come true for so many reasons.  The business end of it is more than anyone in their first years of business could ever ask for.  But the pleasure end of it was just as amazing.  I adore Paris (who doesn’t really.) It was my third time visiting and I don’t think I will ever ever tire of it.  But it was Chris’ first trip to Europe!   And I was beyond excited to experience the city with him.  To see it for the first time through his eyes.  And it did not disappoint!

We landed super super early on Thursday morning.  Me, in my infinite wisdom, wore white.  Which I proceeded to spill coffee all over before even leaving LAX.  I was tired.  And gross.  And dirty.  And my teeth had those ick sweaters on them that you get when you haven’t brushed.  But we couldn’t check in until 2 pm and there was a whole city to see.  There are no pictures because I was cranky.   But we gave ourselves a tour of our new ‘hood, found our first (of many many many) baguettes and visited The Opera before heading home for a well needed nap.

We woke up at dark and decided our first act should be super douper touristy.  Eiffel Tower!

 

The View from the Top. 

 

We left the Tower and headed to the Champs Elysses.  Tons and tons of people, everywhere. We are just about to cross the street.  Look Left, good.  Look Right, Santa?

 

I’m not exactly sure what this was.  And no one we asked seemed to know either.  Hundreds… maybe even thousands of people, dressed like Santa, on motorbikes, tooling down the Champs Elysses.  Not leisurely strolling… tooling.  Like teenagers. It was absolutely amazing.

 

 

The Arc de Triomphe.

I think we ended the night with a bottle of wine, cheese and bread.  We would end every night this way.  And this is why I currently must attend classes at the gym every day, for the rest of the year.

Day 2

Strolling somewhere, we see a school group singing carols in the street.  These two liked me and my camera.  So they posed.  Lots.

The bread in Paris is to die for.  I could eat only Parisian baguettes for the rest of my life and die happy.  Even the birds heart it.

This is the only sun we saw the 10 days we were in Europe.  It was cold, grey and ugly for most of it.  Made me so grateful for the Southern California weather!

I tried to go light on the camera equipment for walking the city.  I used only my very first dSLR, the Nikon D50, and my absolute lightest lens, a 50 mm 1.8.  But with the camera and the video camera, my shoulders were KILLING me by noon.  Lucky me, Chris got to enjoy the purse for a good chunk of the day.  (I love you Chris)

 

Montmartre.

 

Sacre Coeur

I may have had a slight pigeon obsession on this trip.

 

Some of the best stuff is a happy accident.  Like this image below.  I was taking a picture of the sunset.  Didn’t realize that I’d caught the wing tip of a pigeon until I uploaded the cards.  Not sure how it happened really.  Happy Accident.

And an end to the day with the trees, the sun and the Eiffel Tower.

I have an awful memory.  I think we visited the Moulin Rouge after this.  And popped by Notre Dame.  But it was closed (no worries… we went back!)  Then a creperie for dessert, followed by dinner.  I’m sure then there was wine, cheese and bread.

Because there was so little planning time for this trip due to the immense To Do List prior to our departure, we decided to wing it.  The whole trip.  So different from my usual MO, whereby I buy books and research and make lists and circle maps and create plans.  We wondered through the city instead.  We talked to people on the metro, asked waiters for suggestions and just took in the city.  We made sure to hit the main attractions though.  An excellent planner took care of us… thanks for your list Kerrie, we would have been lost without it!

Day 3 was shoot day.  Shoot day ALLLLL day.  Parisian parties are a bit different.  They start late and end early.  I don’t think I’ve ever shot anything at 4 am until this night.  Sadly, all of the images are to be kept confidential, so I can’t share with you all! It was perhaps the most over-the-top soiree I’ve attended.  Something out of a wild dream.  An amazing reason to fly to Paris.

We’re home after the most amazing trip with a little work and a lot of pleasure!  France was fabulous, Switzerland was stunning and North Carolina felt like home.  We traipsed through the cities spending a few moments with the monuments and then the rest winding our way through the off-the-beaten track cafes.  I believe we inhaled our weight in wine, cheese and bread daily!

There’s always something so amazing about coming home though.  Back to the comforts of home where you refrain from consuming immense platters of cheese.  Although, I guess there’s a bit of trepidation.  I’m not so sure what my new norm is going to be.  I don’t know what my day-in-day-out looks like quite yet as it’s all going to be brand new.  I think the excitement and sheer giddiness topples that trepidation though!  

Anywho, lots and lots of photos to share when I weed through them very very soon.   But for now, the one that stuck with me the entire trip.  I absolutely adore this one.  Shot on Christmas Eve from the very top of Zurich, in the middle of the woods.  Perhaps, one of the very best Christmas Eves ever.

 

Hope that everyone had an absolutely wonderful holiday season!

I get really really excited about every single event that I shoot.  I feel so honored/blessed/giddy to be welcomed into the circle of trust ๐Ÿ™‚

But this weekend something incredible is happening to me.  Something that I never would have even attempted to wrap my mind around, because really, something like this only happens to the big guns.  It happens to the people who’ve been around forever and ever.

I booked an international shoot!  Chris and I leave tomorrow to shoot an event in Paris!  And then we leave Paris to shoot an event in Zurich!  I’ve been doing the happy pants dance  ๐Ÿ™‚

As I am physically attached to my email in the States, I am sure to find every WiFi connection in France & Switzerland (fingers crossed!)  Please excuse me if I run a bit slow on emails though. 

Business should return to normal on January 2, 2009.

Also, I apologize to every single one of you that has ever emailed me, and that just received a bajillion Out of Office Replies from me.  Clearly, I have no clue how to utilize this feature and totally screwed butchered it.

Happy Holidays!