Remember that hair dying party I mentioned? Well, I won the trip to Paris that was part of the contest. Apparently my new red hair got the most votes out of all of the before and after shots so off I went to Paris.
I left for Paris last Thursday. I flew from Seattle to Los Angeles, then from Los Angeles to Houston and finally from Houston to Paris. It was a long and draining trip and it was made worse by my lack of sleep. Any time I take a trip, I can't sleep the night before so by the time I reach my destination, I'm exhausted. I went on this trip with 7 other people (who I met for the first time during the trip) and we stayed in these very cute apartments. Half of us stayed in this apartment then my half of the group stayed in this apartment.
The goal of the trip was to expose us as beauty bloggers to French beauty brands. With that as an objective, we explored Paris visting the Rene Furterer salon, the Lancome Institute, the Clarins Institute (I wasn't doing too well so I missed the first two stops) and the Beyond Beauty trade show. We also spent some time shopping and sightseeing. I didn't do a lot of shopping in the city. I picked up a Black Musk perfume oil from Colette that I read about in Lucky months ago and a green tea Roger & Gallet soap at a pharmacy. I did go a little crazy at the airport's and airline's duty free shops though, spent about $200 Euros on different makeup palettes from Guerlain, Lancome, Chanel and Bobbi Brown.
The sights in Paris were amazing, as I expected them to be. What struck me was how I was walking around in a city that had so much history, a history much, much longer than our American one. I was drawn to all of the architecture and statues. Even Place de la Concorde with it's history has beauty in it. My only regret is not being able to see more of it. It reminded me a lot of growing up in Portugal.
This city was definitely hard on me though. We did so much walking around that I needed some time to recover. I missed a few dinners and even stayed in a whole day because I was sick... still am too. I'm convinced that Paris is not a very accessible city for the handicapped but I can see now why French women don't have a weight problem... it's all that walking! I made the mistake of bringing new walking shoes with me and as a result, the blisters were endless. My pinkie toes actually bled!
I went to Paris dreaming of rich, brothy sauces. I've been obsessed with making the perfect white wine sauce lately and I have yet to create it... there's always something off about it. My first few meals in Paris were not culinary masterpieces. I had a mushroom omlette that was a little bland and a salad that had an odd dressing with boiled potatoes on it but the meals I had during my last 2 days were simply amazing. The meal we had on our last night in Paris at L'Ami Jean was the best meal of my entire life. This restaurant was a tiny place but everyone obsessed about the food they served us. They served a parmesean cheese soup that mindblowing. We sat there trying to analyze the flavors and figure out how the soup was made. I even tried scallops because everything was so good and I hate fish! The experience at this restaurant has definitely inspired me to learn how to cook.
We left Paris this past Wednesday and I took the same route in return. It was 2am when I got home on Thursday. I was so happy to be home and use my own bathroom and sleep in my own bed. Paris was beautiful but sometimes you just miss the comforts of being home. I will always have these pictures to look back on my trip though.
It's been a long time since I've blogged personally. I've been blogging for my site Product Girl all along but I haven't really blogged like I use for about 2 years and I've missed it a lot. I think part of why I stopped was that I was looking at blogs and dealing with them all day long, the last thing I wanted to do was take time and say something of my own. It was an outlet for me and I think it's time to bring that outlet back.
There were a few changes in my life this year, mainly work related. I left Six Apart at the end of June for a job I thought would give me some room to grow and would get me out of the house. Turns out that job was really a mistake, there really wasn't enough work to warrant me being there full time so before they cut my hours down, I started looking for another job. During that time, I tried to go back to Six Apart but I guess it was for the best that it didn't work out. but that's a long story. I ended up going back to the company I left for Six Apart. I've been back for 4 months now and it's going well.
Personally, not a whole lot has changed though. I'm still single and still not wanting to be single. I've made the usual resolutions. lose weight, get out of debt and just to have a happier life. Who knows, maybe a year from now, I will have gotten somewhere with those resolutions and will have something good to reflect on. For now, I'm feeling encouraged and optimistic when I haven't felt that way in a really long time.
I've broken radio silence to say this...
Gmail finally has real IMAP support!
I just set this up and it works well. It brings all my labels into Outlook
and all of my changes are reflected when I check in on them in the browser.
This is perfect.
Ok, more later...
Jennifer Weiner: The Guy Not Taken: Stories
It would be nice if I could read something other than chick lit, wouldn't it?