Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Ocean House Mother's Day


Happy Sunday, and more importantly, Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mamas in the world! As I see more and more of my friends become mothers over the last few years (with a big boom in the past few months!) I am even more amazed at the love and joy that being a mother can bring to life. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing loved ones and their babies. It truly brings tears to my eyes on a regular basis.

Since I can't spend Mother's Day with my own magnificent mother this year, I thought I'd share pictures of last year's Mother's Day outing. It was the most perfect and lovely day with the woman who has so selflessly given so much of herself to me and my family over the last 27 years.

The Ocean House is one of those places that takes you back in time. It's the most beautiful, rambling hotel along the Rhode Island coast that seems to forever have a place on the lists of top resorts in the world. It's an escape away from the reality where you can enjoy the little, and plush, things in life.

The tea was absolutely lovely. Utterly perfect. From the champagne and tea selection, to the scones (best lemon scone I've ever had) to the gorgeous pastries that had gold on them, I couldn't get enough. Sadly, our stomachs told us otherwise after nibbling on a little bit of everything.

My mother and I got to catch up in a real way that afternoon after weeks of business trips, visiting friends, and trying our best to guess where it was that I would be moving in just a few short months. We ever started talking (read: daydreaming) about how amazing it would be if the potential opportunity to move to Paris worked out. I remember sipping our darjeeling tea and my sweet mother trying to contain her excitement at the possibility that a dream of mine might become true in a matter of weeks.

It was such a happy few hours that I will always treasure. 

Tea was followed by a nice jaunt down to the beach. While the wind was a little strong and the water a little cold, it was still such a gorgeous afternoon. My mom and I spend hours walking and talking along the beach, so it was only fitting the day ended with our feet in the sand.

Rhode Island (and my sweet mom!) seems miles away to me at the moment, but I love looking at these pictures and reminiscing about such a lovely day with my beautiful mother.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Good Morning

Some days I'm thankful my internal clock wakes me up in the early morning because otherwise I wouldn't be able to catch some of the most ethereal moments of the day. 

There's just something about hazy, early morning light in Paris that makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a beautiful dream during these morning walks when most of paris is still sleeping or enjoying a leisurely morning at home.

There are days when living in France {or abroad in general} is not a picnic for many, many {many} reasons.

 But then there are mornings like this that remind you to slow down, relax and be thankful for the opportunity to live out of your comfort zone and within another culture. It's almost human nature to get caught up in details, small things, and the hardships that life, no matter what, will bring. Sometimes it's necessary for your mental sanity to take that big step back.

So while walking along the Seine one morning a few weeks ago, I did just that. I was rushing along, head down, deep in thought when I happened to look up and see the beauty alongside me. Something I don't get to see every day because by this time of the morning I'm either in my office or among the crowds piled into a smelly RER train.

Just pure, bright, dreamy happiness. In one of my favorite places in the world. Just steps outside my front door. My Parisian address will not be mine forever, but small moments like this remind me of how lucky I am to even experience a few seconds of perfect contentedness that sunshine and a little foggy haze can bring.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Between Lenses: Saturday

As I was downloading pictures to my computer from the last few weeks in the hopes of deleting all those duplicate/crooked/oops-I-took-a-picture-of-my-foot photos in order to make room on my memory card, I happened to see this picture flash by the hundreds of other on their way from my Canon to my Mac. 

And then I happened to be scrolling through my unread blog list just minutes later, and it happened to be a day on two of the blogs I read, Of Trees and Hues and Tara Victoria. So, thought I, let's share a photo of my Saturday morning brunch.

Not brunch because I went to a hip and trendy restaurant with champagne or a bottomless Bellini menu.

Brunch because it was Saturday and I slept until 10:00, lazed in bed until noon, and then decided to pull on my best pair of leggings to run to the end of my street to grab a baguette from the boulangerie and an avocado at the farmer's market. A bouquet of 6 euro roeses were necessary as well.

Brunch with just me and my kindle and Norah Jones playing in the background. 

As much as I'm someone who's usually going at 150 miles per hour, these weekends of rest and relaxation are just as important as the ones filled with fun and a never ending event list.

That is my kind of relaxed Saturday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

And Just Like That...
 find yourself in the end of February looking back at pictures that seem like they were just taken a few weeks ago.

Reality: they were taken three months ago.

I love living through the seasons in Paris. They are more mild and subdued in some ways {for example, I'm not missing out on the 5 feet of snow at home in New England right now}, but also noticeably present and each with their own energy. Fall has been my favorite Parisian season thus far, but then again it always is no matter where I go. Crisp air and richly colored leaves speak to my in a way that even pretty spring flowers can't. Can we turn back time just a little so I can spend my weekends wandering little streets and coming across golden and russet colored gardens?

Also to note, I am not missing the seven {s-e-v-e-n} feet of snow in New England right now. Pictures of snow piled up to roofs, more snow days than I can keep track of, and weekly "dustings" of six inches are not for me. I'm happily enjoying the reliably grey skies and drizzly rain that makes for a nice winter change after years of snow.

It's been a long and short eight months since I first arrived on my initial trip to visit my new home away from home. It feels like a few weeks have passed some days, and on others I feel like I know parts of the city and rhythm of life here so well that I am a natural in this city. But this feeling is ever changing and constantly in motion. Some days I wonder how I've made it so far with my {still} incredibly poor French. Other days I wonder how I lived without a glass of French wine and a little bit of foie gras.

I'm lucky to have lived a life that never stands still for very long. One that has allowed me to live in multiple countries, cities and states.  I'm unbelievably blessed with friends and family that support my long stays away, poor return calling skills, and all-over organized chaos that I tend to bring to the table. I also know that I have so much growing to do in so many ways. In every way imaginable. Do we ever stop growing?

It all depends on the day. Some days, as a coworker told me before I even arrived, France wins. And it wins in a big way. Defeating everything you knew in the world and making you question how you've made it through twenty-seven years of life.

And just like that, I realize how much I don't know and at the same how how much I do know. And that's okay.  Somewhere, I know a 50 year old woman is asking herself the same thing. And that reassures me a little.

This adventure is far from over, and my love affair with France has just begun, although some might consider it five years in the making and eight months of committed monogamy. I have so many little things from the past few months to share that I haven't found the words for until now. But for today, these pretty fall leaves and lengthy amount of inner dialogue will have to do.

Tomorrow is another day.