Tuesday, August 30, 2011

14 nights down, 8 to go...

I left two weeks ago today. So far I've spent 6 nights in Paris, 2 nights in Nicé, 3 nights in the Cinque Terre, and now I am on night 3 of 4 in Florence. From here I will head to Rome for 4 nights, and then on the 1st of September will fly back to Paris for 2 more nights, and then I fly home!!! I am having a fantastic adventure, but I will be so excited to get home and see my hubby and my family! It feels like ages since I've seen them.
I don't have all my pictures downloaded, and none of them edited (I am up to about 1200....Yikes!) but here are a few quick shots of my first three days in Paris, unedited, which were spent with some of very my best friends. (ladies, I miss you already!) They continued northeast towards Croatia as two of them are embarking on a round-the-world journey, and the third has already seen these parts of Europe. Ah, but those three days were fun! Anyways, here's a peek.
The view from the apartment I stayed at through Airbnb.
The most delicious sammie maybe ever.
Our second day we were supposed to meet at Versaille, which first was a mistake because none of us realized how gigantic it is, but then different calamities made us all late so we missed our meetup. With the size of the place (I don't know if this is accurate, but it felt like two DisneyWorlds put together) and just so many people, I spent the first half of the day searching in vain for my friends and utterly depressed to have missed out on one of our only two full days together. But alas, midday, from across a grassy section of Marie-Antiounette's private estate, I heard Amanda's laugh! We all ran to each other, which I am sure was quite comical to the other foreign tourists. Never been so relieved to see these two in all my life!
Versaille...
And just a few from day two at the Louvre
 My favorite sculpture, because it is unknown who made her.
Sorry there has been such a lapse with posting, but the previous two places I've stayed had terrible wifi connections, and Paris was such a whirlwind, that I was practically asleep every night before my head even hit the pillow. I will try to actually edit some of the pictures before posting again. Hope everyone fared okay with all that has been going on at home, between earthquakes and storms!

~AB

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blending in.

Or at least, attempting to.  I have been forewarned that casual American dress will make me stick out like a sore thumb, especially in France, so as I am starting to pack I wanted a little inspiration to create that je ne sais quoi of the French. As I perused the blogosphere and Pinterest for inspiration, I found some recurring elements amongst the style of the lovely Parisian ladies.

First, the importance/versatility of the white shirt.

Source: google.ca via Ashley on Pinterest




Source: None via Ashley on Pinterest


Looser fits of clothing, along with layers. Lots of layers.










Top not buns. Easy and oh-so-chic.







Big bags. Big hats. Big sunglasses. Like, giant.











And finally, when in doubt, tuck that shirt in.







Source: elle.com via Ashley on Pinterest


I think these chic young lady's hitting all of the above.

Source: gq.com via Ashley on Pinterest


As a little bonus, and since my first stop after Paris is the French Riveria, here's a little St. Tropez inspiration.

Source: google.com via Ashley on Pinterest




And, to use as a packing guide, another travelers pre-packing round up.

Source: None via Ashley on Pinterest


Overall, you could say Europeans in general, although I think even more so with the Parisians, taking dressing up just a notch or two higher than we do here in the States. Anyone else notice, nary a sneaker in sight? What's a walking girl to do? Grin and bear it, apparently.

Another caveat to my packing, besides trying to garner just a little bit of chic, is that I am attempting to only bring a carry on. For three weeks of travel. And to just make it even a tiny bit more interesting, I am dealing with two very different climates. In France, especially in Paris, the expected weather is cool, in the low 70's for a daily high and 50's for a low at night, where as in Italy, temps should be in the upper 80's during the day.What's the saying, 'Nothing to it, but to do it'? Well, that's what I am about to attempt. Wish me luck.

~AB

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Unrequited Love....

I decided that since I am about to embark on what is definitely shaping up to be the trip of lifetime, it was time to bite the bullet and throw down for a new picture takin' machine. I managed to get through my semester of photography school with only rented and borrowed cameras, as I was too much of a commitment phobe to pick one out. But, as my departure date loomed and I started in search of the perfect camera, yet again, little did I know I was about to fall in love. Yep, it was love at first sight.

Meet is the Fujifilm Finepix X100, also known as Mr. Dreamboat. I'll give you a minute.



 

A digital camera with all the modern day qualities a girl could want, packaged perfectly with just the right amount of vintage aesthetic. Does it get any better? No, it does not. Like I said, it was love.

But alas, as these things often go, this will be a story of unrequited love, which I quickly realized once I saw Dreamboat's price tag. But don't feel too bad, you see to help mend my broken heart, I ordered up this cutie...




Not quite a DSLR, but a little more than a standard point-n-shoot, I am hoping the Nikon P7000 fits me just right.  I have been wanting a DSLR for sooo long now, but I think I have continually delayed buying one because secretly, I am scared that the bulk will deter me from using it. I am hoping this camera will give me a taste of the DSLR-like functions, but with the ease and portability I'm not quite ready to give up.

The only problem is, that with work and running around getting last minute stuff ready for my trip, I have barely gotten to take it out of the box! On that 9 hour plane ride I have a feeling me and the manual are going to get acquainted, real quick.

I swear, I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world.  An amazing adventure about to begin and a rad new camera! I am extremely grateful!!


~AB

all images from google.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Girl Shredders

Just in case anybody was feeling like a pansy...

Carving the Mountains from Juan Rayos on Vimeo.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: Photobooth Edition

Photobucket
Ok, so I know technically it's Monday, but I've had these photobooth shots for two weeks now and I've been saving 'em to post on a Sunday, and yesterday just got away from me, so here we are! Anyways, the first strip is from a few weeks back when me and my gal pals headed over to Orlando for a little night on the town to check out a small indie art gallery that was opening, and when we needed a late night bite to eat we stumbled upon Stardust, a local coffee shop/cafe/movie house. While some of the staff were just maybe a little too cool for school, or at the very least too cool to be nice to us, their redeeming quality was definitely their analog photobooth. Yes, that is a bowl of chips in our hands, and while I admit to nothing, it is possible that we were slightly intoxicated. Maybe, just a little. The next weekend after JB and I hit the Enzian, we scooted on over for a little snap session of our own.

I am determined to blog more this week, but as the trip gets closer, time is running like a bandit!

~AB