04 August 2009

travel photo tuesdays: iconic

This represents a first glance of a much anticipated return. greeting an old friend, though I had made her acquaintance only three years prior. I'd felt I'd known her all my life, and seeing her in the flesh was simultaneously thrilling and comforting. Thrilling, to feel the weight of the adventure which I was about to embark upon. Inexplicably comforting, because I suddenly felt at home, chez moi, in a foreign country.

You know those moments in life where everything just feels right? This was one in my life, listening to the tour guide spout off facts in French, gliding along the Seine, enjoying the company of those who would turn out to be very dear friends to me, and just reveling in the fact that I was finally in France. This represents the point at which my love for France, the language, the people, the way of life, became deeply rooted in my heart.

(I also wanted to post some Eiffel Tower pictures in anticipation of this necklace that I just bought last night. I'm actually not one for wearing jewelry all the time, so it has to be a special piece for me to purchase it. I believe this falls in that category, and I think I will love it for a very long time to come. Promise to post pictures of it on me when it arrives!)

30 July 2009

28 July 2009

Travel Photo Tuesdays: Colmar

Petite Venise: November 2008

I adored the Northeast corner of France, a region that has gone back and forth between France and Germany (it has been French since WWII). Because of the relatively constant switch of cultures, the Alsace region is well-known for its interesting cultural mix. It's especially fun during the Advent season since the Germans know how to do Christmas, huge trees, lots of garlands, the whole thing. Seeing this picture reminds me of this little excursion, where we prowled the town of Colmar, enjoying a crisp winter morning and savoring the anticipation of Christmas and a little vin chaud. Nothing like a Sunday stroll in France.

21 July 2009

travel photo tuesdays: piazza navona

My best birthday so far was last year. I chose to spend my 21st birthday weekend gallivanting about Rome, and it was an amazing time. One of my favorite places was the Piazza Navona. People-watching, street artists, true artists, cafés, many of my favorite things in one place. I loved the place settings and the charm of the whole area. Can't wait to go back and enjoy some more in the near future.

14 July 2009

travel photo tuesdays: le 14 juillet

This week's edition of travel photo tuesday is a bit supersized in honor of Bastille Day! For those who don't know the history (or need a little refresher), you can read a little more about it here. It is, as you may guess, a complicated story. But on to the pictures!

cézanne's middle school in aix-en-provence

the eiffel tower (la tour eiffel): as quintessentially french as revolutions

le drapeau à Versailles

the extravagance which prompted the French people to revolt/seize the Bastille and declare their rights as citizens and humans

et finalement, l'arc de triomphe

And bonus video: La Marseillaise, which apparently gave Edith Piaf her big break. I get chills every time I listen to it.

All photos © Jillian Nightingale

02 June 2009

travel photo tuesdays: le château de vizille

This small castle hosts the museum of the French revolution. Situated just outside of Grenoble, this castle also offers fairly extensive grounds which include a menagerie. We may or may not have had an experience with some very curious and dirty sheep. They also had a surprising range of more exotic animals. The museum was fairly interesting. I was more entranced with walking around the castle, listening to the floorboards creak and enjoying the grand staircases overlooking les paumes.

At least at this museum, they didn't insult our intelligence by asking us if we knew France had a revolution in 1789. Yes, this really happened somewhere else in France. I mean, I know we're Americans, but we are studying French, and if we retain one thing about French history, it's that they had a revolution in 1789.