excursions, vol. 4: les archives départementales, avignon

The highlight (yes, the highlight … probably) of my time in Avignon was a visit I made to the Archives Départementales. I was super fortunate because my host mother has a friend who works there. She was incredibly generous and gave us a guided tour one afternoon. We went into the grand old stacks, inside what used to be an ecclesiastical and later papal chapel. We also went up the tower of the papal palace where they keep 11 levels (!!) of archives. She told us the story of how the Archives came to be housed in a part of the building, while the other part is where public visits are held. It’s bizarre, because I had already done a guided tour of the Palais and hadn’t even really noticed that we didn’t visit half of the building. I guess tours are kind of like that – it’s hard to keep your bearings. Or is it just me?

Archives

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excursions, vol. 3: villeneuve-les-avignon

Just across the river from Avignon is Villeneuve, which is of course not new (silly French) but is a cool little town in its own right. One evening, we went to check out the Fête de la Musique, where the band was purportedly singing in English but really it was “yaourt” as the French say. We had great burgers from a “truck food” and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Best of all, four adults made the short trip in an old Mini Cooper. It was too funny, like a clown car!
Avignon et Uzes
Summer
Avignon et Uzes
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excursions, vol. 2: uzes

A couple quick snapshots from our first group excursion. We took four short trips from Avignon with the program. On the first, we canoed down the Rhone in the mistral (no small feat!) and passed under the Pont du Gard. That afternoon, we stopped in Uzès, a charming little town where we had too little time. There were many medieval structures for me to enjoy; here are a few glimpses…

La Tour Fenestrelle:
Avignon et Uzes

Le Duché, sadly closed at the moment we were there (I still don’t know why):
Avignon et Uzes

the once and future makeup

Recently — okay, not that recently, in January actually — I was reminded by my mom that I once wore a Dior foundation, and said to myself, huh. I had almost no memory of this! So I thought it might be fun to put together a little post about my go-to products now and their (probably objectively just as good) predecessors.

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(This is from last July on our third anniversary :) )

A beauty blog I read recently gave a name to something I have always experienced as a closet beauty junkie: even if you really like a product, it’s just so fun to try something else. In other words, few things merit a “repurchase” unless the product is completely fantastic and/or at a desirable price point.

Without further ado, the things I love now and their antecedents!

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the best hair trick

Seriously. It’s majikal.

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OK, so as I have discussed before, my only hair goal is to look like Connie Britton all the time. And suddenly, although it’s still not a reality, it’s so much closer.

I found some tip on Refinery 29 about curling your hair in a ponytail, so I tried it.

First, you put your hair in a ponytail on the top of your head, as near to your forehead as possible. Next, divide the ponytail into four sections. With a 1″ curling iron, curl each section and pin it to set. Get on with your morning. When you’re about to leave the house, mist with a little hairspray (I’m using a Tresemmé one right now that I honestly don’t like very much, but even it suffices), unpin, finger-comb or brush, and ta-da!

Does this make any sense? I’ll try to do a picture tutorial soon.

je suis charlie

Coincidentally, my mom and I had planned a trip to Paris that took place several days after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Mom had some trouble with her flights, so I ended up alone on the day of the big manif. The town felt really vibrant, there were people with signs everywhere and the buses and metro were packed. I didn’t go to the manif myself partially because I promised Mom I wouldn’t and partially because I think it would have been a lot of people for me. But we did buy copies of the latest Charlie and I noticed a lot of solidarity imagery around town, plus tons of Je Suis Charlie.

Like in the window of a clothing store:
Paris

…as graffiti in the Luxembourg Gardens:
Paris

… on the Hôtel de Ville:
Paris

… and many buildings lit up like this, the Mairie du 6e:
Paris

My mom and I had a great time hitting the soldes (after-holiday sales).
Paris

The first night I was there, I took a walk setting out from our adorable hotel around the Jardin. The sunset was amazing and the weather was so pleasant. I even ran into a herd of shetland ponies (?!).
Paris
Paris
View from hotel:
Paris
Nearby St-Sulpice:
Paris

After a lightning-fast week, I was on my way home, via Reykjavik.
Paris