Paris. Day 18. 19.

On Day 18 Mother Nature had her way with us. It was bitter cold. Then it rained. Then the wind came out to play. Then the clouds split apart. And the sun peeked through. But only for a moment. Then the sun was gone. Then it got colder. MUCH colder. Then in a flash: lightening. And thunder. A rolling thunder so loud it reminded me of those spring afternoons back home in Colorado (oh how I miss thunder!). And then RAIN. Not little sweet Cupcake Royal sprinkles. But cats and dogs rain. Rain that fell harder than I had seen. Maybe ever. We were drenched. Soaked through. And it was…tres bien!!

When weather waxes and wanes like this during times of travel, it makes it VERY difficult to set the day’s agenda. We didn’t know whether to spend the day getting lost in a museum, or shopping the current fashions, or sitting at a local cafe sipping hot chocolate and lattes. Despite it being an “indoor” sort of day, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed off to a local market in Republique called Marche au Enfants Rouges.

Unfortunately, due to the “winter-ish” weather conditions, many of the vendors were closing early. BUT we still got a chance to take in the smells of fresh cooked European fare (definitely one of the most aromatic markets I have EVER been too!), and absorb the bright vibrant colors of the fresh produce, expertly cut florals, and incredibly delicate cream and chocolate filled pastries. After exiting the market, we continued to explore Republique by window shopping, scanning stands and stands of postcards, and whimpering about the cold. Okay, so it was Sarah and I doing most of the whimpering, but Tristan did mention more than once that “a scarf might be kind of nice.” Cleary the man was cold.

As we rounded a corner, I jumped up and down and squealed with excitement, as I gazed at my very first pumpkins of the fall season. I had no idea how attached I was to American traditions, quite particularly those oh so cozy fall traditions. Those curry colored pumpkins quite literally made my day! I jokingly requested that Tristan carry one away for me and haul it around for the rest of day (the little secret was I was NOT joking – I wanted, no I NEEDED one of those pumpkins), but my begging and pleading failed miserably. I made a mental note of where the pumpkins were located, with plans to return later in the week. One of those little beauties WILL find its way to my dining table. That I promise you.

After Republique, I directed us towards the area of Belleville to catch a glimpse of Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise (cimetiere = cemetery). Now, I am well aware that a cemetery doesn’t sound like the most appealing or expected sightseeing experience, but this was something different. As we wandered through the winding cobblestone streets, and climbed the uneven stone steps, up and up and up, we were in total awe. I imagined myself as a character in David Bowe’s 1980’s The Labyrinth, as I snapped photos of moss-covered headstones and brushed my fingers across meticulously chiseled stone walls. It was as if we were stuck in a storybook maze in the quest for something fantastic. In this case it was Jim Morrison, not a baby brother (you’d have to see the movie), but it was a quest nonetheless : )

The pictures of this majestic place really speak for themselves. Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise is dark, but perfectly iridescent; eery, but also incredibly warm and comforting; it’s full of the cracks and whittled stone, but also speckled with buds of new life and greenery. It was one of those places that you just feel honored to be given the opportunity to witness.

After hours of wandering Pere Lachaise, we stopped into a fantastically welcoming cafe to thaw out and drink yummy chocolate chauds. After warming our hands AND bellies, we headed back toward Le Marais and shopped for the rest of the afternoon. We picked up souvenirs and warm weather accessories, sprinted home in the rain and then tucked in for the night.

Bottles and bottles of vino at the market.

S & T outside Marche des Enfants Rouges.

One of the many beautiful buildings in the area of Republique.

Aren’t those the most fabulous pumpkins you’ve ever seen!?!

Quintessential Paris.

Le Metro.

Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise.

A prime example of the vibrancy of the colors…these on a rusted door.

After hours and hours of searching we found his resting place. And so did 50 of the other peeps crowded around.

My symbol for warmth!

Today, on day 19 the rain came down again, but this time during our visit to the area of Montmartre.

I LOVE Montmartre. I love the dangerously uneven cobblestone paths that you can wander over aimlessly for hours and hours. I love the “I now know I’m REALLY out of shape” staircases that look as though they are leading you straight to those perfectly puffy clouds high in the sky. I love the graffiti soaked walls, that almost seem to be a distinct and purposeful aspect of the buildings, roofs, and chimneys. I love that some of my most favorite artists (Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso) lived in Montmartre while they created some of their most famous masterpieces. I love the bountiful supply of cafes, patisseries, and boulangeries. I love Place du Tertre where local artists put their pencils to paper and create superlative portraits of any tourist willing to pay the price. I love Basilique du Sacre-Couer and its distinctive bell that makes the ground shake below you as it swings back and forth to celebrate the hour. I love how the Red Light District makes you cringe, but also secretly wish that you were brave enough to explore Musee de l’Erotisme. I love the grandness of Moulin Rouge’s red windmill as it sits in an advantageous position above decades of cabaret history. I simply LOVE Montmarte.

Despite being in one of my most favorite areas of Paris today, I did miss something. Boy, oh boy, did I miss my husband today. I don’t know if it was seeing the incredibly beautiful picturesque streets of Montmartre again which we once strolled during our honeymoon, or the drops of rain that reminded me of home in Seattle, or the creepy French guy who aggressively hit on me while I was waiting for Sarah and Tristan to be done viewing the dome in the Sacre-Coeur. Whatever it was I was, I was reminded of him today. Constantly. I miss his voice, his warmth (it would have been so nice to stick my freezing, ice cold hands on his bare back today), his smile, his laugh, and most of all his love. Not having Adam by my side has definitely been the most challenging aspect of this trip. I wish everyday that I’m here that he could have come along on this journey with me, but I know that my time alone and away, will make our marriage that much stronger in the years to come. I miss you Adam.

The most famous cabaret of all.

Chomping down on the largest slice of cheesecake I’ve ever seen!

Montmartre. Mont means “hill”.

A wall of “love” in a random garden.

The most fantastic vintage vest I have EVER seen hanging in a boutique window. The building behind is reflecting off the glass. Gorgeous!

The overcast skies with little sunbreaks made for the most unbelievable lighting.

One of the many artists hard at work in Place du Tertre underneath the monstrous Sacre-Coeur.

The Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.

The view of Paris down below, as we waited out the rain under the trees.

My favorite shot of the day. There was this BEAUTIFUL amber colored building off to the right of the Sacre-Coeur. I just couldn’t stop looking in its direction.

A view of the basilica from the gardens down below.

French shutters. One of the most splendid things ever created.

Heading out of Montmartre.

After days and days of staring at this magical carousel strategically placed in the square in front of Hotel De Ville near my apartment, I just had to share a couple pics…isn’t it fantastic!?!


Filed under Travel

83 responses to “Paris. Day 18. 19.

  1. These are great pictures. They remind me of my trip to Paris…thank you!

  2. Thanks for this fabulous reminder of Paris in the Fall. We were there last November.

  3. what a wonderful & refreshing perspective of Montmarte! I feel like I’m back, 10 years after our honeymoon. Cool!

  4. elisajoy

    these pictures are amazing! makes me want to visit this beautiful place even more. thanks for sharing.

  5. lycons

    You should visit India …. keep on writing.

  6. Jenn! I just logged on to wordpress to look at my blog and you are on the homepage as the Freshly Pressed travel link! Thats so cool.

    • Thanks darling! Yeah I was so surprised myself. I got on to my dashboard and noticed that I’d had 365 views by 9am and was like “wow that’s weird, this MUST be a mistake.” I then logged on to the home page and was like “is that MY blog??!?!” Crazy! Miss you girl!!!

  7. susanpowellsez

    if you love montmarte, check out the film “irma la douce”. it’s an old billy wilder film with shirley macclaine and jack lemmon. it’s filmed in and around montmarte. it’s black and white, of course, and it’s really quite funny. macclaine is call girl, and lemon is a straighedged, do gooder beat cop that falls in love w macclaine. you can imagine from there! thanks for a great post- the pictures are awesome.

  8. everythingneat

    Congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed!
    I love Paris and your beautiful photographs and descriptions of your experiences brought back lovely memories of when I was there a year ago. If you get a chance, enjoy the lively market on Sundays at Mott Picotte.

  9. wadingacross

    What a lovely selection of photos.

    My only memory of Paris is the Eifel Tower, but that’s not surprising… I was four.

  10. Mych

    Hey! Your photos are awesome!!! I hope to see all these when i go paris in january! 🙂 keep on writing!! 🙂

  11. Hi! I love your pictures. I just moved to Germany after 8 years in Paris and your post brought back such great memories, especially the pictures of Montmartre. I lived in Abbesses for 5 years and got married in the red brick church there (St. Jean de Montmartre)…and one of my favorite wedding pictures was taken in front of the “love wall in the random park.” lol. Thanks for sharing!

  12. You take stunning pictures! Missing Paris, but almost as good looking at the photos. 🙂

  13. Kayla LaFleur

    Beautiful pictures! I hope someday I can see these breathtaking sights in person… Le sigh : )

  14. Nice pictures! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!France looks as nice as I’ve heard, hope to get there soon….

  15. Ah, what a nice trip! Thank you! It’s been a decade since I’ve been in Paris, and you highlighted some of my favorite parts. Merci! Merci!

  16. You got me even more excited about my trip next month. We try to go every year. Love Paris and I’ve been everywhere you’ve mentioned but you could go back again and again to the same spots.

  17. Do you know, Oscar Wilde once wrote, “All good Americans go to Paris after their death. And where do the bad Americans go? Back to America.” I didn’t mean to be rude by posting this, but, frankly, I found it witty and coherent with your infatuation with the city 😉 By the way, the pictures are awfully good!

  18. krs

    I could probably look at pictures of Montmartre all day. The alleyways and cobbles of this neighborhood are my favorite.

  19. cupcakesandwhiskey

    I can’t wait to go in 10 days!! your blog just made my day!!


  20. your photography is breathtaking Jenn, lovely eye for perspective you got there. thanks for this gorgeous GORGEOUS glimpse of Paris through your lens! i LOVED your post.
    too bad Adam couldn’t be there with you…
    but thank you SO much for sharing these precious photos…despite the overcast skies of Paris, they sure brightened up my evening 🙂

  21. Wow incredible photos!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed and thank you for sharing all of these. Amazing.

    Drive on,
    – M.

  22. sandyhawkins

    Amazingly beautiful…I have always wanted to visit Paris…have plans to do so in 2012. Your pictures have warmed my heart!!!

  23. Even after spending a summer in Paris I didn’t realize how colorful Paris was until I viewed your pictures. Your post is incredible and certainly brings back a lot of memories. I hope that you enjoy your time in one of the world’s best cities!

  24. Vanessa

    My best friend is AMAZING! I love you Jenn Elliott Blake! Your pics are unbelievably gorgeous. Ugh, so nice. So jealous.
    And just so you know I LAUGHED my ass off at the ‘creepy aggressive’ guy. Oh my.
    Cannot wait to catch up with you.

  25. lovely photos. but i feel like you could have loosened up on the saturation and contrast.

  26. Thank you for this post, I felt like I traveled without leaving my computer. Your pictures are incredible! Keep up the great work.

  27. Great blog & photos. I love Paris and can’t wait to go back – now your blog is making me hungrier for a trip.

  28. Aren’t S&T cute? Man I could really use a cupcake. Holy cow that stuff is all so beautiful. Looks like you’re having a great time. How are you processing it all? On trips like that I have so much information coming in I have a hard time processing and downloading!

    Great shots!


  29. Beautiful pictures. Was there last year and loved reliving all the great places we visited. Thanks.

  30. Beautiful memories from beautiful photos. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  31. Thanx for those pix. Paris is always GREAT!

  32. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  33. Amazing photos! I love the range–from vistas to details, and especially the patterns and colors you captured. So fun to get lost in–enjoy the rest of your time in Paris!

  34. Your photos are just beautiful! I would love to go to Paris some day soon, and your pics are very inspiring 🙂 Hope you are having a lovely trip!

  35. You trip looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous. You’re right, those pumpkins look amazing, and so does all the rest of the food! I never ate such rich baking as I did in Paris, I loved every second of it.

  36. I am just back from Paris, it is so amazing that your pictures are so very different from mine. I love that place. Your pictures are very beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Sunflowerdiva

    Great photos! Since I’m a food lover, my favorites were of course the coffee and the cupcakes! Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed, by the way!

  38. Bonjour! I really enjoyed my stroll around Paris via your photos here today. I’ve been many times and am always looking forward to a next visit. It’s always fun to see the perspective of others through their camera lens. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed. My blog has been featured as well and it is fun to get all the comments. Au revoir!

  39. You share the same love of Paris as I do! Lovely! Therese

  40. Ann

    Your writing and pic’s are amazing!!!!! I agree with Emma, “this is just the beginning!” Congratulations on being on the front cover, excellent!!!!!

    • Thanks Ann!!!!! Hey I saw your engagement status on FB and just chatted with Dinah about you! Congratulations friend! So thrilled for you! Can’t wait to see you when I get home and hear all about it!

  41. Amazing pics, my dream place…

  42. Beautiful pictures- makes me want to go back!!

  43. Henry

    oh my god . everything is so old . but they are so beautiful in pictures.

  44. very beautifull…i wanna traveling there

  45. izonevisionpress

    Fabulous, your enthusiasm is charming.
    Paris is the first city in the world…and there is no second, third or fourth.

  46. what a fantastic post. i’m living in amsterdam for two months (documenting my travels as well!) and have been debating about taking the train to my favorite city for my birthday in november. i think your post might have been the deciding vote. paris really is the epicenter of life.

  47. loving the Montmarte post! Nice pic. I was there a few weeks back. And it was raining too!

  48. shoxnzshoe

    It is beautiful ! I want to go to Paris too!
    But the problem is I have no money!!!

  49. Great blog! Pictures are amazing, couldn’t stop reading 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  50. These pictures are gorgeous and sounds like you’re having a wonderful time- really making the most of it.

    I’ll be sure to stay and read more and can’t wait to see more amazing pics. I’ve always wanted to travel around more but with life and bills it’s been hard- recently emigrated though so I guess thats a good move 🙂 x

  51. Beautiful photos! I often complain that Paris is constantly overcast and grey but should start seeing it in a different light, because evidently, there is color everywhere. Thanks for opening my eyes to it!


    Nice blog nice post i love it.

  53. Fantastic photos and descriptions of your travels around Paris! My wife and I visited the city for only two days last November. Your post shows me that we barely scratched the surface of this beautiful city. Thanks for sharing your travel journal and those amazing photos!

  54. Oh la la! Wonderful piccies of Paris. I felt like I was there with you…

  55. stunning pics!!love your photos,

  56. akitasu

    I don’t live in Paris but I go there pretty often to see my boyfriend and friends. First, I really hated Paris because… hm, French people who don’t live in Paris really don’t like it you know. But now I think I became a kind of “Parisienne”. I really enjoy spending hours infront of the Opera with my friends, eating pizza. And your pictures showed me a face of Paris I’ve never seen. For me, it’s just a city. I’ve never really cared about how beautiful it is. But I think next time I’ll go, I will carefully watch everything around me. So, thank you, and your pictures are really WONDERFUL.

  57. sevenperfumes

    Oh how I miss Paris! Love your photos. They brought back so many memories.

  58. Really nice photos. I have been in Paris countless times but you photos are probably lovelier than real Paris. Or your artistic eyes maybe see Paris in a different manner. Or maybe you are very much talented in taking photos and any place turn into a wonderland.

  59. J

    Wow those photos are so vivide I wish I was there!
    Want beautiful ready to wear dresses? Visit

  60. sayitinasong

    I absolutely adore your travel pics! You should be professional travel writers and photographers…weather in Europe this time of year is usually very bleak (well, mid to Northern Europe that is) you have been very lucky not to have been rained on the entire time… ;o). Loved this post!

  61. Gina Mortenson

    I love your photos and the different perspective you take on each one is just beautiful. Keep up the great work and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  62. Beautiful photos, I’m so jealous. I’m planning a trip to Paris for November. Hope I take some pictures as beautiful as yours.

  63. Beautiful, stunning photos!
    Im thirsting for Paris now!

    Do check out my blog if you get a chance 🙂

  64. Lori

    I had a wonderful vacation last week in Paris, still sad to be home. I feel like I’m there with you in spirit. Keep posting pictures, they’re great

  65. Pingback: Hold on… | Ever Grey

  66. I love Montmartre too! but till have to visit “Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise”…Nice photos.

  67. Those pictures are amazing!

  68. Very gooooood the post, thanks.

  69. What a great post! I had the chance to go about 5 years ago- your blog definitely brings me back 🙂

  70. Lost in France

    Great photos and the way you write is really fun to read.

    The way you talk about your husband, is very touching.

  71. mikyc14

    What lovely pictures!

  72. lovely photos. wish i could be there! 😉

  73. Awesome pics !! The Parisian streets looks as lively as ever. Nice post.

  74. Pingback: trip to paris?! yes, please! | bow tie & bustle: the blog

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