I’m writing this on our last morning in Paris. We’ve settled into a nice little routine here. I usually get up first and get ready and then head out to write or to do a little shopping for our day while Morgan gets ready. There’s a little coolness in the air this morning that hasn’t been here yet this week. It feels a little bit like fall today after a week of blue skies and warm temperatures. The trees have begun changing colors here, a bit earlier than Chicago, which has made this beautiful city all the more lovely.
Before I talk about some of the specifics of the trip, I, or perhaps I should say we, really found a nice little groove here. I think we both came to the conclusion the other day that we haven’t really vacationed in Paris, as much as we lived in Paris for a week. With the exception of purchasing tickets for Moulin Rouge before we got here, we decided not to plan anything in advance on this trip. We had lots of friends recommending things for us to do and we asked a few people before we came what they might recommend, but we chose to wake up every morning, and see what we felt like that morning before heading off in any certain direction.
It was a great way to spend time in Paris. We never felt hurried or rushed or on a schedule, and instead of using the Metro, which is a great, clean and efficient way to get around the city, most of the time we explored on foot. I’ve always believed in learning about cities on foot. You come across so many more things that way. And we certainly did. Our rule of thumb was simply, let’s try to take a street or a bridge that we hadn’t before. It was great. We began each day by setting out in a certain direction, maybe stopping at one of the cafés and having a couple of espressos and a little breakfast before we got too far on our journey.
In addition to being a great photographer, Morgan has an unreal sense of direction. Once in a while we’d stop and consult a map, but quite honestly we just managed to find whatever we were looking for just by winding our way through the beautiful city. If one of us spotted a little something down an alley or a narrow side street or one of the many parks and gardens, we’d make a detour and do a little exploring.
I should add here that when I’m traveling through a city I usually find it hard to travel with someone because photography is such a strange animal. There’s lots of suddenly pausing when something catches my eye, waiting a minute to see if something is really there to make a photograph and then waiting for the people to get out of the way or the light to get right or whatever. Lots of starting and stopping. I’d be the first to admit that it would probably be a difficult way to vacation for most people. But after a nice test run last month in Vegas, Morgan and I have managed to find a rhythm and pace that I’ve never experienced traveling with anyone else. As we walked along every time I found myself about to turn to her and say, “Hey I’m going to stop and take a picture here,” she inevitably was already in the process of pulling her camera out. It was very cool.
She shot digital and I shot both film and digital. We’ll definitely break the one thousand photos barrier on this trip. I should mention that all the photographs in my last blog entry with the exception of the photo of us at Man Ray were taken by Morgan. I’ll start putting copyright tags on them so she gets the credit she deserves!