Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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My Statue Pic for a Travel Photo Challenge

Thank god it’s not statutes. Am I right? Ha, ha. You’ve probably seen this one before because I am so proud of it.

Travel Challenge-Statue

What can I tell you about this photo? I looked out the window at the Louvre and clicked the button. I have started to really more into photography, which means three things:

1. I don’t use auto settings anymore.

2. I’ve become kind of annoying to my friends.

3. I will post more photos on here.

Statues are so easy to photograph because they stand there and look pretty and don’t even get mad when you take a selfie with them. Statutes are noticeably more difficult.

Where’sMyBackpack, thank you for such a great travel challenge.


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Going to Paris? Four Things to Know

River Seine, Paris Travel Guide

“So… tell me all about France. I want a list of things you liked and what you didn’t.”

My sister’s boyfriend asked this as we sat around the table sharing a plate of sweet potato fries post trip. I was in a jet-lagged stupor. I didn’t sleep on the plane. I didn’t sleep in Paris. I took a plane at 4:00 pm in England and landed at 4:00 pm in Seattle. Time travel is exhausting.

When he asked me about the trip I growled, “Well, a guy whipped a beer can at me in Grenoble.”

I don’t know why I went right to the negative thing, the what-I-thought-was-funny thing. Yes, this actually happened. The Husband and I were trying to find our hotel room in Grenoble, a city in the French Alps and heard drunken ramblings from across the street.

Then a beer can collided with my leg. I yelled WHAT THE F*CK? in my big Chicago mean voice. I contemplated throwing it back, but I’m a lefty and not a very good pitcher and I didn’t really feel like being the subject of a brutal attack.

He lumbered back into whatever dive he came from. I have to mention him. Because the beer thrower (I call him Lance) is possibly the only real “rude” person we met traveling through France. And we met a lot of people.

Ok, I am 90% sure a group of girls were talking smack about me on the train, but it’s not like I was about to ask them to confirm.

Excusie-moi are you talking about moi? 

I can, however, confirm this:

1. French people are not rude!

French people are not rude!

Eiffel Tower, Paris Travel Tips

I have to say this twice because even my most worldly friends warned me that I would be hissed at for daring to bother them with French where I didn’t perfectly hit the accents. I do speak French, almost fluently, but I am pretty sure I sound like a choking goose. Most people were super patient and hospitable.

I wouldn’t call them small-town smiley, but they are not rude.

Let’s move on to Paris hotels.

2. Paris hotels are small 

Design Sorbonne

Cutest place ever

Yep, expect a very small room for a very big price. But you knew that.

We stayed at the Design Sorbonne, a little hotel in the 6th arondissment that looks like bien sur something right out of Amelie.

It was difficult to find, like everything in Paris. We got off the metro, and went on a thirty-minute hunt for this tiny hotel, me in a fraying t-shirt, baggy jeans, plane breath and all, piloting my suitcase around piles of dog stuff and hordes of impeccably dressed students on bicycles.

When we finally found the hotel (not its fault), it proved to be a welcome respite, a cozy hideaway where I could conceal my unsophisticated self until the bags under my eyes subsided.

If it’s your first time in Paris, do not stay near the airport the entire trip and try to train in, thinking you’ll save a few euros. Stay near what you want to see, my universal travel rule. And look into renting an apartment if you really want to save.  Continue reading


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Paris Travel Photo Essay, Film Noir Edition

Paris is pretty.

Sure, it smells of urine in some spots and there are piles of dog merde everywhere, but I barely even noticed because there is so much pretty to take in. It is so gorgeous, I broke my rule about living through the lens and filled up my camera’s CF card the third day in.

This is the first of my Paris photo essays, the Film Noir edition, otherwise known as the day I tried to be artsy by snapping photos of statues and strangers in monochrome.

Paris travel photos


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Bad Behavior at the Louvre

There’s so much to tell you all about my travels in Paris. The lights stretching over the inky black Seine, the oh-so fashionable Parisians, the bookstores, the bakeries.

But before I write my photo narratives and list of Studs and Duds, I want to discuss a disturbing new social development: the need to compulsively take photos of art. Or I suppose on a bigger scale, our need to document and share everything.

A few days before I left for Paris, I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, a multi-layer mockumentary about street art, directed by Banksy, that dude all your hipster friends are so into.

The movie tells the story of Theirry Guetta who films every waking moment of his life, from banal trips to the grocery store to his baby’s first steps. He eventually turns his focus to his cousin “Invader,” a street artist who creates these space invader mosaics:

IMG_2592

Invader introduces Thierry to all kinds of street artists. He becomes what Hunter Thompson was to the Hells Angels—an insider, able to access what others cannot. Mid-film (*spoiler alert*) the audience realizes that Thierry isn’t a filmmaker; he’s mentally ill, a hoarder of footage because his mom died when he was a kid and he’s afraid of missing moments. He has great footage, but makes an unusable film.

He reminds me of myself and my own compulsive need to document everything. But it’s not just me. It’s a lot of us. And I don’t even have a smartphone.

Exit Through the Gift Shop stayed fresh in my mind when I went to Paris. I spent hours in the Pompidou, the Louvre, the Dali museum, and then another day with my bros vanGogh and Gougin at Musee d’Orsay.

Saw lots of world-famous art, paintings and sculptures my art teacher told me I would never see.

Dali's Minotaur

That’s me and Dali’s minotaur. I didn’t realize he was patting my head.

That was cool.

This was not.

Mona Lisa in Paris

The Mona Lisa through a wall of iPhones & iPads

Long lines of people at the Louvre taking photo after photo, not waiting more than a minute to absorb the work. At the Mona Lisa, I had to stand on my toes to glance over the wall of raised iPads and iPhones. The band of zombies clicked away like we were on a safari and an elephant emerged from the brush.

Why are we in such a rush to snap, share, and go?

Is it because we’re all walking around with mini-computers and it’s so convenient and so irresistible? Or like Thierry, are we afraid of missing something? Continue reading