January Flashback


That's Mysore Palace in India. A good friend of mine is traveling to Mysore (the "City of Palaces") for a wedding later this month, and she's decided to stop by Paris for three days on the way back.

India. And France. Excuse me while my eyes bug out.

She asked me about restaurant and to-do recommendations in Paris, and last night as I was emailing her back, I realized, Hey. I really DO know stuff about this city! Which should be obvious, but it kind of wasn't until that point. I mean, I know practical information now. I can tell you how to get from A to B, and where to eat when you're at C (and what to order), and how long it'll take to get there, and if there's a chance you can fit D into your schedule, too, but as long as it's not a Monday, because D is closed on Mondays. Oh, and you should check out E, F, and G if you have the time, because they're amazing and centrally located.

That sort of thing.

Cool, huh?

And it's exciting for me to realize this, because my year is about to get a LOT more Paris-y. Between promoting Anna and diving back into Book Three, I'm falling into that world again. It's a nice place to be.

So it's reminded me that I never finished telling you about my trip last January! If you recall, my laptop died toward the end of it, and then I came home, and I was really, really tired and busy. And a little melancholy. France was incredible. Going back to my regularly scheduled life? Who wants that?

When I came back, my friend Connie (who also went to Paris this year!) left this quote in my comments:

"America is my country and Paris is my hometown." — Gertrude Stein

I like that.

So here are some scattered memories from my last week in my hometown. Here's an obligatory pretty picture:

So now I can show you some crap!

Here's a random big thing near the Catacombs:

I have no idea what it is. BUT I LIKE IT.

And here's a picture from the actual Catacombs:

It looks like a toilet. And it says "Etienne."

Of course I took a picture.

(I think it's saying that the remains behind it were taken from St. Etienne's cemetery in 1787 and deposited here, behind the stone toilet thing. Anyone else have a better translation? And of course I took pictures at St. Etienne, too!)

If you recall, I took also took several of the Hot Dudes at the Louvre. This guy was in my favorite art museum, the Musée d'Orsay. He isn't super-hot, but he sure as heck thinks he is! It made me laugh. I believe it was my sister who dubbed this: God's Gift to the Flower Ladies.

(Real name: Le Chevalier aux Fleurs by Georges Rochegrosse.)

Here's the Musée d'Orsay itself:

Gorgeous, isn't it? The building is a former railway station, and the museum is primarily known for it's collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Also, if you ask a native Parisian what their favorite art museum is, chances are high they'll say the d'Orsay!

I took this next one for Lois, who recommended I try them and said they were tastier than the variety we find in America. Too bad I don't remember exactly what "they" are. Vietnamese spring rolls? Maybe? Ha!

But I do recall them being delicious, and that's what counts. Thank you, Lois!

We found them around the corner from the Panthéon, my favorite monument. Here's me on the outside:

And my husband Jarrod on the inside:

We are QUITE happy to be there. If you couldn't tell.

Here are the cutest helmets I've ever seen:

And here are some ceramic pickles:

Oh! And C-3PO:

I'm becoming a nut for les BD (bandes dessinées, comic books) and this was inside of Album, a huuuuge comics store (actually two stores, on opposite sides of the street!) in the Latin Quarter. French comics are VERY different from American comics—they're big and hardcover and glossy and just plain beautiful. Not a lot of superheroes either, though they definitely have our imports! And though still considered a bit nerdy, they're popular and much more mainstream. You'll always find elegantly dressed businessmen browsing the shops.

And there are many, many comics shops.

This particular store also taught me that the French word for "wand" is "baguette."

HA!! Awesome.

Jarrod and I spent our last day at the Musée de la Magie and Musée des Automates (Magic Museum and Automaton Museum—they share a building) with our friend Manning. And as I was trying to get this shot of Jarrod:

I accidentally dropped my camera and got this:

Which I ended up liking, because how cool are Manning's shoes? Also, his socks match my coat. Which makes for a nice "huh" moment.

The museums were filled with what can only be described as "Really F***ed Up S***." Which is, of course, my favorite kind of stuff.


Obviously, I cannot recommend these museums highly enough.

That's enough for today. I took a few thousand pictures while I was in Paris, so I think I'll do this again! But I won't post ALL of the pictures. I promise.

There are still two days left to enter my "I Heart YA in NY" contest. Enter if you're interested!

EDITED TO ADD: I just realized that today is La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day). Joyeux quatorze juillet!


  1. OMG I loved this post. I so miss Paris!

    We had the money all saved to go this year, but I asked my husband if we could skip it so I would be able to focus on my book and hopefully make this the year I join the ranks of the published. Still have yet to see if that decision will pay off. At least I have an agent now.

    Oh, and the d'Orsay is my favorite museum too! Not only is the building beautiful, but the paintings are just amazing. Though it always makes me think of Clueless...

    "She's a full on Monet"
    "What's a Monet?"
    "It's like a painting, see? From far away it's OK, but up close it's a big old mess."


  2. Man, that was cool. I really like your taste in museums.

  3. I never get tired of seeing photos from your trip, Steph! AWESOME! I want to go to Paris now sooooooooooo bad!!! The dropped camera photo is FTW! Am now considering having France ship you crepes in exchange for an arc of Anna...

  4. Those museums are awesome. I love Paris! Not that I've been, but I just know I would love it. :)

  5. Adding India to my list of To Be Visited places. If only for an entire CITY of PALACES.

  6. Kind of makes me wish you had finish updating your blog before I went. Oh well not that I would have had time to do it all. Guess I will just have to go back next year, you should come!

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  8. A 'Working Model' of ...

    ... Chompy Fortune Teller?

    Nightmare Inducer?

    Love this post, as I love all your posts: with giddy, unbridled joie.


  9. Omigosh! I want to go so much I could cry. Well, Italy first! :)

    Your husband looks like he's about to explode with excitement in that Pantheon pic though. :)

    Looks like fun, glad you enjoyed. And I can't wait a little more for ANNA.

    PS, I agree with your translation for the cemetery. I still haven't figured out why you'd want your bones in toilet, but clearly it made sense to somebody.

  10. Oh, Paris! It's *counts on fingers* still nine months until I'm going back. Le sigh.

    Paris! And England! Ah! Now I'm all excited.

  11. It's so pretty there! And the stuff is kinda wacky. BUT AWESOME. And that's simply all that matters. Stuff like this makes me sad that I have yet to leave the U.S. of A.

    Quite sad, indeed.

    You should do these posts more :D I love seeing all the things you saw!

  12. These pictures are so much fun to look at! Please please please do more posts. If you have time.

    ...also, I think I already put this in a comment here one time, but I'm going to Paris in January with my school's art dept. And I plan on visiting the hot guys you singled out in the Louvre :)

  13. Anonymous9:10 AM GMT-5

    I love those pictures. I haven't seen enough of either India or France, so I'll have to make do. (Being of South Asian descent, I've been to India a few times, but I'd really like to sink my teeth in at some point. Same with France; I've never seen any of the famed countryside.)

    Anyway, great post! And yay for Laini; I also saw your other post. :) She's very inspiring, and I'm envious you got to read her new book already. :P


    P.S. Great hair!