I think I was expecting it to be like the Statue of Liberty: standing solitary, declaring official business. She welcomes huddled masses, as long as the huddled masses are willing to get up early, stand in line for hours to ride the ferry, remember to pack sunblock and a picnic and devote an entire day to her. If you want to see Our Iconic Lady, you're going to work for it.
The Eiffel Tower on the other hand, is your neighbor who shows up unannounced. There you are, just walking along the street, and BAM he pops in with wine and cheese and a baguette. He likes to hang out in the midst of the cars and strollers, couples getting married and people selling snow globes.
The Eiffel Tower is an extrovert.
It's also where I met Irene (pronounced E-ren, isn't the sound of that lovely?). She's a wildly talented photographer who I felt like I already knew through Shutter Sisters. But no matter how long you've been reading someone's blog, it's surreal when they step off your computer screen into 3-dimensional life. This feeling is magnified when you happen to be half way around the world, meeting under a world monument.
But the beauty of internet friends, is that because you already know so much about them, there's a kind of immediate comfort between you. I felt this way with Irene. She's so talented yet unassuming, and was amazingly generous with her time. She took the entire day to show us around. And given the fact that we only had 2 and a half days there, we felt lucky and grateful for her.
One of the highlights was when she took us to this bridge, called the pont des Arts. I'd seen it prior in this video she did of a photo walk in Paris (which you should watch, it's dreamy). But I never knew the significance of what the locks meant. She told us the tradition is for couples to put a lock on together, then throw the key into the Seine river as a symbol of their love. Jason and I are lame and couldn't find a lock. So to make up for it, I think we are maybe going to lock our love into a chain linked fence at the Alamo. And then maybe go on a world tour locking our love into Mt. Rushmore, Yosemite, the Liberty Bell...
Kidding aside, I do think this is pretty sweet.
Irene also took us to famous Cafe de Flore.
where we happily depleted France's supply of cheese and bread.
She introduced us to real macaroons, which was really really evil.
And basically, our time in Paris just wouldn't have been the same without her. Also, if you never saw the shots of her rocking out our Paris bag, check out her supermodel self in the Epiphanie Look Book.
Annnd this is where I should be posting all of the amazing pictures that my professional photographer self took because my professional photographer self was surrounded by so much beauty, she just couldn't put her camera down.
Except, when presented with experiences of a lifetime, my professional photographer self would rather gaze destructively into my own reflection to ponder my ass.
She would also like to take non-sensical pictures of the French iconic landmarks like the Louvre. Look, The Louvre! So much history! What an amazing spectacle!
BUT, have you seen the CLOUDS? I mean, I think one is even in the shape of a dinosaur.
And the tomatoes. DUDE. Parisienne tomatoes.
An obligatory shot of a street grocer, complete with poodle cliche.
Plus a random street shot and a BIKE. With a BOX on the back of it. Try to hold back your excitement.
And come back tomorrow for more random, nonsensical shots from London.