August 31, 2013
The thing about having visitors from out of town for a long time is this: suddenly, you end up being incredibly busy on the weekends doing touristy things that you would never think to do in your own hometown.
O was visiting for all of August. I decided to take him to the Getty Villa, the less-lauded branch of the Getty Museum, for the simple fact that it’s way prettier (in my opinion) than the main museum over the Sepulveda Pass.
The Getty Villa is modeled after a Roman villa, the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, and houses the Getty’s antiquities collection. Built into the side of a hill in Malibu (or technically, Pacific Palisades) that directly faces the ocean, there are constant cool, salty breezes that cool the outdoor areas of the museum.
June 13, 2013
The front door to Sainte-Chapelle deposits you in the lower chapel, which is, you know, fine. But then, you walk up the stairs to the upper chapel, and it’s almost impossible to stop yourself from gasping.
This place truly can’t be captured in photos. The height and the color and the light all kind of blend together and make your mind seize up until you’re just standing there, mouth slightly agape, eyes glazed over, your brain unable to output anything more advanced than, “oooh, pretty” for a few minutes.
If you go on a sunny day (which you should), the light that filters in through the massive windows stains the floor in constantly-changing patterns. It’s magical.
May 3, 2013
Sometimes, you have to escape the city… even when that city happens to be Paris. Lucky for me, London is just a two-hour train ride away.
Here’s the thing about May in France: there are a ton of bank holidays, some of which land in the middle of the week, like May Day (French Labor Day) did this year. Lots of people faire le pont (“make a bridge”) between the holiday and an adjacent weekend, thereby making it a very long weekend, but one can’t be doing that every time. So, sometimes one has a one-day vacation with which to do as much as one can, and one may as well visit one’s neighboring country.
There are two basic ways to spend such a trip: either running around trying to see as much as possible in a short time, or just chilling out and wandering around, seeing what you happen to see. We took the latter route.