Category Archives: Photos

Around the South in 14 Days: Summer Road Trip 2015 in Photos

This post is long over due. But better late than never.

On the morning of July 3, my boyfriend and I departed for a journey of epic proportions through the South Eastern United States. We endured humidity, heat, and endless hours in the car, but what we gained made every drop of sweat, every backache, and every sunburn worth it. Five thousand three hundred and seventy-three miles later, I have a new appreciation for the stunning beauty, diversity, and complexity of my country, and more importantly, I have a deeper love for and trust in the man with whom I share my life.

Here are some photos from our trip, along with a map of our route. I hope they inspire you to take an adventure, whether it’s to the other side of town, or to the other side of your own country.

Day 1: From Tucson to Houston (A 16 hour trip, all in one day. Texas is HUGE!)

Entering NM in Tree Pose

Day 2: Houston (No photos of Houston, sorry.)

Day 3: Houston to Memphis

Arkansas/Mermaid 1

Our breathtaking AirBnB in the heart of Memphis:

Memphis AirBnB

Day 4: Memphis (spent mostly at the Memphis Zoo, which is fantastic!)

At the Zoo



Our Memphis Favorites:

Otherlands Coffee Bar (try the toasted muffins!), The Memphis Zoo (make sure to catch the bear feeding), the march of the Peabody Ducks (get there early!), and Memphis Pizza Café

Day 5: Memphis to Asheville

Crow Pose

Day 6: Asheville

P1070141 P1070154P1070165

Our Asheville Favorites:

Mount Pisgah Campground (make sure to go on a hike!), and the Folk Art Center 

Day 7: Asheville to Savannah

Savannah in Savannah

Our Savannah Favorites:

Foxy Loxy Café (go for the Horchatta Latté), Fire Street Food (try the Savannah Roll), and Forsyth Park (bring bug spray)

Day 8: Savannah to Sarasota

Day 9: Holmes Beach (the location of my family reunion. That stunning woman at my side is my momma.)

Mom and MeGulfSunset

Day 10: Sarasota to Baton Rouge


Day 11: New Orleans

P1070250 P1070251

Our New Orleans Favorites:

Café du Monde (bring cash!), the Audbon Aquarium of the Americas, and Mr. B’s Bistro (save room for dessert— the bread pudding is divine!)

Day 12: Baton Rouge to Houston


Day 13: Houston (Again, no photos. But certainly some precious memories.)

Day 14: Houston to Tucson


We arrived home exhausted with sore butts and sleepy eyes. We were happy to have left home, and even happier to return. As I’ve learned time and time again, it is often in my journeys far from home that I come to appreciate all that I have right here in my own community. This trip, like all adventures, reinforced my gratitude for where I’m at, who I’m with, and who I am, right here, right now.

Next stop, Portland, Oregon! We just made plans to visit PDX in October. I’ve always wanted to see this city, and luckily, I’ll have an excellent tour guide. Stay tuned!


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From My Balcony: de Février à Juin

Throughout my entire year in Paris, my most frequented sanctuary was the endless, ever-changing view from my balcony. I watched the seasons come and go, month by month, from this lookout of mine, which often felt as if it was floating in the clouds. Gazing out across the horizon, which was smeared with clouds and glowing with fading sunlight, I felt relief, release, reprieve. It never got old.

I shared the first six months of photos from my sanctuary amongst the clouds in this post. Here is the other half:


July got lost somewhere in the bustle of life. I don’t judge this to be a bad thing, but rather a result of a summer enjoyed to the fullest. Thankfully, life often moves too fast for photos, Facebook albums and blog posts. And knowing that it will, I try to live with my spirit as my only camera and my memory as my only archive.

Smiles and all the best,



Filed under Paris, Photos

One thing you will NOT find in your Paris guide book: the Belleville graffiti tour

Parental Warning: The following article may encourage your child to vandalize public property in the name of art. 


Is it possible to adore graffiti without promoting illegal activities? Is this like the square and the rectangle, or am I required to admit to one if I want to have the other? So be it then—I think graffiti, masterfully done and tastefully placed, enriches our society. Take Paris, for instance, with its once-marble-white walls, stained by centuries of dirt and decapitations. A splash of color and a slew of provocative phrases make the place much more interesting and far less dreary. At least that’s what I discovered last weekend.

La Horde UrbaineEnjoy the silenceRue Dénoyez

My friend Matt (merci des centaines fois!) took a group of us on a graffiti tour of one of Paris’s coolest neighborhoods, Belleville. Hip. Edgy. Cheap. Happening. Belleville is the hub of this city’s eccentric, grungy underground.

Whispy Blue Matt and Flora snap a photoWritten on the wall

There is graffiti all over this neighborhood, so naturally there is no set route. However, if you’re going to go on a tour yourself, you should make sure to hit these key spots:

  • Le MUR: This is an ever-changing mural on the corner of rue St. Maur and rue Oberkampf that is supported by the Association Modulable, Urbain, Réactif. The association invites a different street artist to come paint a new mural every month or so. It’s a true example of living art.
  • Rue Dénoyez (pictured above): This is perhaps the most graffitied street in Paris. Full of artists’ studios, restaurants and cafés, Rue Dénoyez is an entire museum in and of itself.
  • La Petite Ceinture: “The Little Belt” (pictured below) is an abandoned railway that runs around the periphery of Paris. It was used back in the 1800s, but was later abandoned in the 1930s as the city evolved. Now, it’s a canvas.

Paint BartHappiness is too shortTunnel

If you’re hoping to see a side of Paris you’ve yet to discover, a graffiti tour of Belleville is sure to deliver. In only a couple of hours you can escape the classic Parisian ambiance and enter the city’s edgy alternative universe.

Now go out there and be a hipster.


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One day in April…

Stroll with me through the Luxembourg Gardens, on a Sunday afternoon, in April.

The trees are blooming,

the bees are buzzing from blossom to blossom to leaf.

blossoms Jardin du Lux bee

Bracelets tied on branches to remind the careful eye of summer

waited the winter out and now they bounce in the breeze.

bracelet 2

Boats bobble in the pond,

sailing to the shores of children’s springtime dreams.

Les Bateauxbateaux 2

Le Printemps, est-ce qu’il arrive? 


I snapped these photos on Sunday. The sun was shining and the people of Paris had come out of their winter hiding places to soak up the warmth. There was a hesitation in the air, as if we all wanted to tear off our coats and brush our bare toes against the grass, but no one dared because we were afraid to declare it Spring too hastily.

We may have kept our coats on this time. But they’ll be off soon.

Smiles and all the best,


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One Last Hurrah (I hope)

OK. I’ll admit it. Paris is beautiful in the snow, and Paris is beautiful when it is adorned in icicles. Never mind the fact that it’s, eh hem, the middle of March.

Here is Paris lately—make sure to wear your snow shoes.

rooftopsFontaine 1 Fontaine 2 Fontaine 3Blvd Montparnasse

Apparently, I chose the best year to move to Paris. According to le Parisien, this winter has been the worst France has seen in several decades. Snow, ice, record-breaking temperatures. Will spring ever come?

Death of a Cactus

Naturally I blame this worst-winter-ever for killing Luz, my darling cactus. She started out so happy and plump and green. Now she is withered and buried in snow.

Rue de Rennes

No matter! Spring must surely be on its way now, and if not, I have posts from my trip to Italy and my Of Monsters and Men concert to share with you (eventually). And if that isn’t enough to make you—and me— smile, then I don’t know what is.

Stay tuned! It’s been busy around here, but I’ll get back to the blog soon enough!

Smiles and all the best,




Filed under Paris, Photos