My first night in Paris was a bit restless so I got a slow start to my Saturday, but a slow start was actually pretty great. I ordered breakfast in and after trying a bite from 4? 5? different pastries and breads and enjoying a wonderful egg white omelet with herbs and spinach, I made my way back out into Paris. It was 12:30 in the afternoon. I hadn’t made firm plans for the day but had given myself a few mental options to decide from. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do until I started walking down the street and I thought, you know, I’d like to visit Yves Saint Laurent today. Well, his studio at least.
What a great choice! The museum is the actual studio location from when he was alive which makes it a really special place to visit. To be able to be physically present at the site where an artist’s work has once been done feels like such a privilege to me. I especially loved seeing his work space and some of his sketchwork from his early childhood days through his professional career. The theme for The Farm Chicks 2020 Fair is coming from the inspiration I gathered here.
Naturally, after gathering fashion inspiration, what better thing to do than go for a little shopping? The Avenue Montaigne was just a short walk away so off I went for some scarf shopping at Chanel. I love scarves! And what a surreal setting. At one point, I was stopped in my tracks outside one of the many high fashion boutiques when I saw the most elegant lady trying on a stunning all-white, floor length winter coat, complete with huge fur cuffs, hood edging, and hem. As she spun in the mirror, her friend and the sales associate clapped and smiled in delight. I was cheering too, on the inside. I was so happy to have this perfect moment in the perfect setting and I LOVE to see people being happy.
Although Paris had a recent heat wave, the temps magically cooled off for my visit. Hooray! It was a sunny day, in the mid seventies, and the city was at its finest.
On my way to my next stop, I was thinking about the messages I’ve been receiving after my last blog post. People were asking if I feel safe and if I speak French. The short answer is that yes, I feel safe and I only speak a few words of French. The long answer is that I tend to be a very cautious person but I’ve worked really hard to get out of the overly cautious shell I’ve built around myself. I want to be safe but I don’t want to be so cautious that I can’t enjoy myself. There needs to be a balance. In my early twenties, I was involved in a horrific accident where two people were killed and my life was spared. The experience plunged me into many years of being too scared to live my life, do basic things, and just enjoy myself. I’ve done a lot of work to go outside of my comfort zone. Traveling internationally (and by myself!) is a big accomplishment for me. I do take precautions. I don’t go into areas if I don’t feel safe. I try and avoid streets that don’t have people on them. I am constantly aware of my surroundings. I always make sure my phone is charged and I use google maps to get everywhere. It’s a miracle worker. Because of all of the traveling I do, I have a phone plan that when I travel internationally and use data, I pay a flat $10 fee per day for the access and it’s totally worth it. As a backup, I carry a hotel business card with the name and location of my hotel in case I need to catch a taxi or ask for help so I can show a non-English speaking person where I need to go. (I have not had many taxi drivers in Paris who can speak English). I never take the train or bus by myselfin a big city. Never. I get lost way too easily and you can get really far away really quickly and that’s terrifying to me…. So anyway, I was thinking about the questions I had been receiving about my safety when coincidentally I’m on a quiet street with no-one else around but a man who approaches me. He says something to me in French, in a pretty aggressive way and I ignore him. Do not engage!That’s my rule. He keeps getting closer and eventually gets into my personal space, continuing to speak aggressively to me (and thankfully I can’t understand him). So, I make a choice to say NON!to him in a stand-your-ground sort of way, while continuing to walk down the street. Unfortunately, he becomes more aggressive and is inches away from me, yelling. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m actually going to have to defend myself and am mentally preparing for what I’m going to do. Hey! I do CrossFit six days a week, so I dofeel strong and confident, which is a blessing in a situation where I probably would have crumbled in the past. Anyway, this is us briskly walking down this quiet street. And guess what happens? Bradley Cooper swoops in and saves the day. I’m not kidding. A black car comes out of nowhere, pulls right up to the street a few feet away from us, and Bradley Cooper hops out. My long story is going to get longer because I need to interject that as an adult, I’ve never been someone who is smitten with famous people or supposed heartthrobs. And I’ve actually always kind of rolled my eyes when ladies swoon over Bradley Cooper. I’m always just sort of like, meh. What’s the big deal?Until today, let me tell you. So yes, he steps out, directly in our path, and he is holding his baby. He is tan and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and a lifesaver! His driver gets out, comes around to the sidewalk, opens a door into a courtyard where Bradley slips away and the mean guy peels of to the right and disappears. Just like that. He’ll (B Coops) never know that he was in the right place at the right time, but dang! He really helped me out.
After being helped out by the Hollywood hero, I made it to my next dream destination: L’Officine Universelle, Perfumer for a beautiful bottle of all natural (and alcohol free) perfume. What a lovely setting and experience. I have a full post I’ll be sharing about it soon.
By this time, it was 4:30 or 5 and I was hungry so naturally I decided to stop in to Laduree for some iced tea and a treat. This is when I’m doing another cheer! for August in Paris. Normally, there’d be a wait to be seated, but not today. I zipped right in like a VIP. And because I’m obsessed with Pistachio everything in France, I naturally ordered the Harmoniewhich is a pistachio macaron with a pistachio mousse, topped with raspberries, strawberries and pistachios. Magnifique!
After a bit more shopping and wandering, I made a detour to the Luxembourg Gardens, which is one of my absolute favorite places in Paris, and enjoyed a lovely dinner at Le Pavillon de la Fontaine. What a beautiful setting and another absolutely delicious dinner: salad with greens, cucumber, tomatoes, smoked salmon, and shrimp.
Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.