Where do you go when you have a week off and are kind of sick of flying? To Paris via the Chunnel, of course! Since we’re in Birmingham and not London this meant two 2 hour trains, but it was still easier than flying. I’ve spent some time in Paris already – when I was 13 for a semester, a few months for a study abroad during college, and Derek and I spent a week or so there when I was pregnant in 2012. But it’s Paris, so it’s still worth it to go back. It was also really nice to not feel pressured to see anything specific. We saw a ton last time so while we hit a few big sites, we just did what sounded fun.We stayed in an apartment in the Marais not far from the Centre Pompidou, which I’m embarrassed to admit that I had never been to. So, after we got the keys to our apartment and dropped our bags off we went to the Pompidou. I’m actually quite glad I waited this long to see it. I was 19 when did my study abroad and I’ve learned a lot about modern art since so I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much if I had gone then. Additionally I think toddlers get more out of modern art museums than (for example) a museum focusing on renaissance art, like some of the ones we visited in Florence. There’s something really appealing to toddlers in big bold swatches of color or spattered paint or minimalist lines and circles (like Mondrian). Modern art is so visual and easier to talk about to a 1 or 2 year old than other periods of art. For example when the two of us were in the Tate Modern a few months ago she really liked the Bacchus series by J.M.W. Turner because we could talk about the red vs. white contrast and trace the circles in the air. We saw, traced in the air, labeled colors, and more at the Pompidou that day. Continue reading
We made it to and just past our one year mark of living here. Wow. I took some time to go back and read what I wrote on the blog when we were first here, and I’m happy to report that life is much smoother now and we’ve learned so very much in the past year. I sort of feel badly for my past self and how overwhelmed I was! However, going through some of that was a necessary evil in order to get us to where we are now. Anyway, we took some time to sit down and list a few things we’ve learned over the past year.
Get ready for a monster post. I see this as a good thing though – it means we’ve learned and grown and that living here has been worth all the initial stress.