My friends and I stayed at a very charming apartment while we were in Paris. Our boys stayed together with their beloved former French teacher and we were all content. (Well, except, perhaps, for the French teacher, but she never let us know otherwise and let's just say that ignorance is bliss.)
My suite mates and I were a happy lot and we fell in easily together. They took pictures of the boys in front of significant sights and were quite patient with me as I snapped pictures of things like the doors to our building that were very nearly Dix Blue, which I found to be a delight every time I crossed their high threshold.
Or when I took pictures of chairs. (Who wouldn't want that chair? I do.)
Or details that I might want to recreate at Christmas.
Or how I might ventilate my country/beach house (that I will likely never have.)
They were patient with my snapping away at Versailles, but they were not always understanding of it. One friend said, "I am glad I came, but I don't know why anyone would do this twice." Because I was. Doing it for the second time. It was the crowds that she could not stand, while they were a necessary evil to me. "This is sort of what I do,"I told her as I took a picture of another floor. She nodded pleasantly.
But she, an avid gardener, nodded her head again when I said the same to her about Giverny. Good heavens. The crowds there, which I'm sure were not dissimilar to Versailles, were a moving, amorphous mass that enveloped me at every turn. Nothing seemed worth subjecting oneself to it. That it all ended in a Disneyesque gift shop made it worse. My friends did not think it was nearly as bad. A necessary evil.
The gardens at Rodin's home in Paris were much more my speed. Then again, hornbeams, boxwood, hydrangea. I wasn't exactly broadening my horizons.
This last image I took for my friend, Todd. He knows that I feel more relaxed in France. More myself. It releases me from an inbred uptightness. When I told Todd that I was taking Rosie to sit outside with me at Aixois here in town years ago, I said, "It's like France. It's fine." Fine as in alright. But also fine as in splendid.