A Day in Rouen, France

I’ll admit: Rouen was never on my Bucket List. And, I knew next to nothing about the city before we embarked on our whirlwind search for affordable getaways from Paris last month. But, after discovering that Rouen, the capital of France’s Normandy region, was located just over an hour’s train ride northwest of Paris (at only €11 a ticket!), we absolutely couldn’t pass it up. Like Paris, Rouen was established on the River Seine, complete with several iron bridges between the left and right banks and a large, inhabited island. But, Rouen’s charming, small(er) town vibe made it feel vastly different — and that was A-Okay with […]

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6 Lesser Known Paris Gems: Pink Pangea Preview

I am excited to share with you that I have been given the great honor of writing for Pink Pangea, a website specific to women travelers, as a Foreign Correspondent in Paris! Over the next few weeks, I will post a series of three articles on the site, the first of which has been published today! Huzzah! My post is entitled “6 Lesser-Known Paris Gems” and outlines a few of my favorite underappreciated attractions. While it’s a simple first start, I am thrilled to have made a splash into the world of online writing. Check out the post’s introduction below… and then, […]

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Musée des Égouts de Paris

… the great prodigality of Paris, her marvelous fête, her Beaujon folly, her orgy, her full-handed outpouring of gold, her pageant, her luxury, her magnificence, is her sewer. Maybe it’s cliché to begin my account of the Musée des Égouts de Paris, or the Paris Sewer Museum, with a quote from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, but I don’t care. Images of Jean Valjean sludging through the dark, muck-filled tunnels, a wounded Marius slung over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, are in part what drew me to this bizarre museum in the first place. (That, and my passion for interesting feats of […]

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Beautiful Bones & Our Visit to the Museum of Natural History

I’ve discovered over the past few months that I have a weird affinity for bones — a strange thing, I know, to discover while living in Paris of all places… but hear me out. My path to self-discovery began in the Catacombs of Paris during our pre-Halloween jaunt through the city’s dark, damp underbelly. It really is a bit morbid if you think about it: paying money to gawk at the ornately-stacked remains of centuries of deceased French citizens. But, it turned out to be one of the biggest highlights of my Fall, mainly because it helped me to connect with history in a tangible way and because […]

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The Strasbourg Christmas Market (and why I won’t stop traveling)

  Three days after a truck barreled into a crowded Christmas Market in Berlin, Chris and I boarded a bus en route to Strasbourg, France – the self-proclaimed Capital of Christmas – to visit its own famous Marché de Noël. We weren’t seeking out trouble. Nor were we necessarily going out of our way to make a statement against the evils in this world. We simply had made plans to spend a few days before Christmas enjoying the old, Germanic, yuletide tradition – plans that we had no desire to cancel. The decision to go to Strasbourg as planned was not, of course, made without some deliberation. As we […]

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Autumn Snapshots: Day Trip to la Château de Rambouillet

Paris is currently under siege by the highest level of air pollution the poor city has seen in 10 years. Air pollution. No, not Paris! you say. Paris, with its romance and its mystery and its unparalleled perfection, cannot possibly have a problem with air pollution! Alas, even gay Paris must account for its industrial waste and its dependence on diesel fuels. The illusion was shattered for me and now I must share the stinky, smoggy truth with you. Sorry. This pollution problem, however crummy it may be, hasn’t come without its perks. In an effort to improve air quality by encouraging would-be drivers to stay off the road, public transportation […]

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Go and Sin No More: My Favorite Painting at the Louvre (so far)

My Favorite Painting at the Louvre (so far) | thisplaceishomeblog.com

The best part about getting a membership to the Musée du Louvre is that I can visit the famous museum as often as I please. I don’t have to feel rushed, like I need to ingest all of that culture in one, greedy bite. I can spend an afternoon browsing the Egyptian artifacts and another meandering through the Roman sculptures. I can revisit my favorite Greek pottery or Moroccan tiles. And, I don’t have to feel guilty for spending a half an hour admiring a single Italian painting either. It’s fate that I even found the painting at all, hidden as it is in a corner behind the […]

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Roundabout Horror at the Arc de Triomphe

Roundabout Horror at the Arc de Triomphe | thisplaceishomeblog.com

Every few weeks since we arrived in Paris, I make a point to visit the Arc de Triomphe. This might seem like a silly ritual because, you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times. Maybe so. Maybe it’s touristy and over-crowded. Maybe they charge an arm and a leg to climb the 284 steps to the overlook at the top. Maybe. But, is it worth it to me? Absolutely. Now, I like a spectacular view just as much as the next person. I too get googly-eyed over the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur basilica and the giant Ferris Wheel at the […]

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Autumn Snapshots: The Paris Catacombs

This past weekend, in an attempt to celebrate Halloween in some capacity, Chris and I decided to pay a visit to the Catacombs of Paris. We really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, except that we’d get to see a few bones, maybe learn some historical tidbits, and, above all, we’d get a healthy dose of some pre-Halloween spookiness. While all of these expectations were met during our tour, I never anticipated finding it as entertaining and informative as we did. There is a vast expanse of history (nearly 2000 years!) buried in the dark tunnels below The City of Light, and […]

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Autumn Snapshots: Seeking Quiet in la Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

This week, Chris and I were in need of some quiet. Don’t get me wrong: urban living is great. To be able to step through our door and immediately become part of the hustle and bustle is exhilarating, the fulfillment of a 15 year old dream from the heart of this urbanite wannabe. But, everyone needs a break from the noise every once in a while, a break from the car horns and sirens, the click-clack of shoes on concrete, the constant chatter from bars and cafés. Sometimes, you need to hear bird song or wind in the trees… or just hear yourself think. Chris […]

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