Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The City of Lights Part 2: Versailles

Seeing this place first-hand, I no longer question why the French killed their royal family!

The front gate: pure gold

Imagine walking up to this place thinking 'this is my house'

Hall of Mirrors
The Queen's Bedroom

The King's Meeting Room--the famous globe is in the pic

The Gardens

Monday, December 22, 2008

They bring out the Best and the Worst of us...

That's what the holidays do.

Each and every year since I was a child, I wondered what the holidays were all about. I wondered why we do what we do this time of year--what's it all for? Is it simply a celebration of Jesus' birth? Or is it all about that fat guy in the red suit?
I thought I would have found the answer by now (it's been almost 20 years since I've started looking!) but I'm still searching. I'm still trying to figure out why we all run around picking up gifts for people that, more than likely, do not need more 'things' in their life.

Really, when I think back to Christmas' past, I remember the one's that included good friends (and sometimes family) and good food--simple as that. Christmas' that didn't have a ton of hype surrounding them--one's that were planned last-minute. What don't I remember from Christmas' past? Things. Material Things. For instance, Christmas 1996 was one of my fondest memories--I don't recall what presents I got that year, though. (Actually, I probably didn't get much of anything that year because most of my friend back then were starving artists)

I was on the subway yesterday, minding my own business, listening to my ipod. There was an older, attractive woman sitting across from me. At one point when I looked up, she was wiping tears from her eyes. Like a trainwreck, I couldn't help but watch her. She then began to ball, tears flowing like a faucet. I felt bad for her--I wanted to comfort her but she's a complete stranger and I didn't want to make her feel worse. I wondered what she was crying about. Did she lose a loved-one recently? Is her best friend dying of Cancer? Or, because of the holiday pychosis we all suffer from, was she simply crying because her husband invited two more people to Christmas dinner?
Food for thought.

In the world we live in right now, where celebrities rule and enough is never enough, it's hard to find the true meaning of Christmas. So, no matter what your plans are for the holidays, keep in mind one thing: just when you think you have it bad, there's someone else who has it worse than you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The City of Lights

God, I love Paris. There's no other place like it on earth. It's magical.
I spent 10 glorious days there in November--below is just a sampling of photos from my journey.

(I know! It's taken me long enough to post these!)

A view from Notre Dame

Pont Alexandre Bridge--an iconic Paris image

Hotel Du Louvre

The Venus de Milo--she's exquisite
Place de la Concorde (King Louis XVIwas beheaded here!)

'She' is the piece de la resistance, n'est pas?

Notre Dame

A view of the Left Bank

The famous Arc