Archive for September, 2013

Giverny: A Gorgeous Getaway (and one dream down)

Yesterday I did something I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I can remember.

I went to visit the house and gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny. It’s not so much the iconic impressionist painter’s works that have had me dreaming of Giverny – though they are of course quite impressive.

No, it’s that images of the actual place that inspired him grafted themselves onto my mind at a young age; I mean, how flippin’ beautiful can you get?

Lily pond - wow!

Why then has it taken me so many years to go? It’s under an hour’s journey from Paris, a simple train (then short bus) ride to arrive.

Isn’t this often the case with dreams, though, even (especially?) those that we can readily achieve? What do you think holds us back?

I’ve been battling a bit of the blues lately, but I also know how to kick myself in the butt, too. Just do it, Sion. See the gorgeous world and its gifts.

Some dreams are huge; they seem like mountains must be moved. But some…oh some have a clear shape, a concrete form, and are quite easy to make happen. The smallest joys can bring the biggest rewards.

This is what it looks like when one of those dreams comes true.

Lost in the gardens of GIverny

Me in glasses, Giverny

Continue reading ‘Giverny: A Gorgeous Getaway (and one dream down)’

Open House ‘Heritage Days’

Hôtel de Beauvais - Cour Administrative d'appel de Paris

Hôtel de Beauvais – Cour administrative d’appel de Paris

This past weekend was the thirtieth edition of Journées européennes du patrimoine – or “European Heritage Days.” This annual event has become an important date on September’s already busy rentree schedule.

Historic monuments, buildings, private residences, art museums, parks and gardens – all of these open to the public in an impressive show of the country’s rich cultural heritage. 12 million people visit the thousands of sites spread all across France.

A free tour of the towers of Notre Dame were offered for Heritage Days. We took the less crowded option and went around back.

A free tour of the towers of Notre Dame were offered for Heritage Days. We took the less crowded option and went around back.

We had planned to go out exploring on Saturday, but it was raining cats and dogs (or “raining ropes” – il pleut des cordes – as they say in French). Still, I heard on the news that people were waiting up to 3 hours in the rain to get into the Elysee, home of the French president.

(Here’s a video of the Elysee, in case you didn’t make it in, either):

While I love getting a glimpse of normally closed off places – and this weekend offered access to many of them! – I’m also kind of a wimp when it comes to both floods of people and waterworks from the sky.

Luckily our strategy worked – waiting until Sunday gave us a day free of rain (even some sun!) and manageable lines because we picked smaller sites. I didn’t know anything about the administrative court, but hey, why not? They’re letting us in!

Continue reading ‘Open House ‘Heritage Days’’

Back in Paris and Being Wooed

Rain pelted Paris today; cold temperatures slyly snuck in.

But! Up until now, Paris bathed in a surprising amount of sunshine. It’s as if the city knew it must woo me back from Spain.

Soaking up the sun

Soaking up the sun in a park close to home

And speaking of all things woo, reuniting with my man after the summer away has been awesome. He also was pleasantly surprised. Since we met in a season when I was already bundled up in my puffy coat – and winter here lasted through June – he’d never seen me sporting cute summer dresses before. Yes, show a little skin!

Ok, but with a scarf. And something for my arms. And a table in front so you can't really see what I'm wearing. But trust me! More cuteness has happened than usual!

Ok, but with a scarf. And something for my arms. And a table in front so you can’t really see what I’m wearing. But trust me! More cuteness has happened than usual!

I’ve been approaching the city as a newcomer again; being a tourist in my own town. I had an errand close to the Pantheon the other day and then realized – hey! I’ve never been inside the Pantheon! Time to check that off the list.

But of course I didn't have my camera with me so this  is a photo from Flickr Creative Commons. Thanks DoctorWho!

But of course I didn’t have my camera with me so this is a photo from Flickr Creative Commons. Thanks DoctorWho!

My friend Adam also paid visit to the city. And aww, shucks! He proposed to his girlfriend at the Eiffel Tower! (She said yes). We’re batting a thousand for wonderful tourist things to do.

(Come join us on a short video stroll on the tip of Ile de la Cite as we headed to a picnic. More summer stuff!)

Not far from said tip is the Pont des Arts. Adam hadn’t been in Paris for 5 or 6 years. “Hey, when did that bridge get covered over in gold?” he joked as we spied it from Pont Neuf.

Pont des Arts

Oh. Oh dear. Upon closer inspection it is simply the love lock bridge way overloaded now

But back on the trail. It’s the Museum of Montmartre.

Musee de Montmartre

Musee de Montmartre

And quaint Place Dalida…

Place Dalida. A bit more tasteful.

…though the golden tint of (ahem, rhyme with me here), the statue’s t*ts took the classiness level down just a bit.

Statue of famous singer Dalida. The focused golden tint on one body part hard to miss.

What ritual is this?

There’s the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at the Pompidou. (It’s great! The expo is on through November 4 – my birthday! – for anyone who still wants to catch it).

Now, mes petits...pour la France!

Now, mes petits…pour la France!

Summer’s fun and games wane, however. But in it’s place the energy and promise of the busy rentree. Everything is abuzz; everyone’s appointment books full.

Remember the quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, someone who knew a little something about swinging Paris in its heyday: “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

So now over to you: Does the rentree/back to school season energize you or fill you with dread?

If giant fairground rides strike fear into your heart, the apocalyptic sky hanging over the Tuilieres probably doesn't help. (Of course, the other option, is that you find this totally awesome).

Delight or terror in the Tuileries?


paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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