Somebody Else’s Vacation: The UK

vacation pictures header UK

This time, the pictures come from my hubby! During his senior year in college (2010) he took a school trip to Engand, Ireland, and Scotland. I certainly wish I could have gone along on this extensive journey! Instead, I spent my time getting to know my new roommate who I’d only met once before relocating to Kansas. I would say rooming with her was a gamble that paid off big time…. But enough about me. England! Ireland! Scotland! I love the contrast of the old and the new evident in a country like this with strong ties to its past.

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There’s something especially interesting about peeking in on a friend’s vacation pictures when compared to looking through a collection of curated professional shots. Yes, the “Must Sees” are present, but also random other shots that really give you a glimpse of what they thought was interesting or compelling.

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Somebody Else’s Vacation is a series I started that was born from constantly getting the travel itch. Just because it’s not realistic for all of us to travel as much as we would like to, that’s no reason not to travel with our imaginations and dream of new places to visit. View the first in this series: shots from Mongolia.


Happy Halloween!

Earlier this week, I tried to stop by San Diego’s spookiest coffee house, Lestat’s, to take some photos for you, but it was so overrun with people staring at their laptops (seriously–like every table) that I only managed to get a couple good shots. This morning while I was brainstorming a few alternate ideas, I came up with the perfect idea–doctor up some shots I took this summer at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris! So I took the idea and ran with it.

(Did you know that most old movies shot “night” scenes during the day, with a dark filter?)

The cemetery is actually a pretty peaceful place to take a stroll during the day, and it’s worth stopping by to see some famous graves, like Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison. Just be sure to check their hours before heading over–it closes around 5 or 6 PM, so no creepy night visits possible (phew!).

I suppose you could call both photos above “The Escape!”

Seriously, though, beautiful cemeteries like this are so fascinating to me. Graves upon elaborate graves–something very, very different than the rolling grassy area dotted with headstones that typifies the average graveyard here in the USA.

To get the special effects on these pictures, I used (and then tweaked) a few of The Pioneer Woman’s Photoshop Actions.

Art from the Marché aux Puces (Paris)

Has it really been four months since we got back from our summer vacation to Europe?.

My number one priority (aside from showing Doug the best that the City of Lights has to offer) was making it to the famous Paris flea market, the Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt. While there are several famous flea markets in Paris, this one is the most well-revered by insiders. It is the largest, which means there is something for everybody–ephemera from every era at both high and low price points.

If you find yourself in Paris and would like to visit, don’t fool yourself (like I did) into thinking that just because your hotel is on Rue de Clignancourt (in Montmartre) that you’re close by. Sorry, you’ll be out of luck. It is easy to get to, though. Take the Métro 4 (fuchsia) north to Porte de Clignancourt, cross a street, and go under a bridge and you’ll be there. Sorry for the lack of detail, but it is large, follow the masses, and there are directional signs.

Clearly, I couldn’t afford (or transport) the incredible inlaid mirrors above, nor did I come away with a bargain on a perfectly aged Turkish rug (which was my secret hope), but I did leaf through one vendor’s extensive collection of magazine advertisements from the 1920s through the 1940s and two stole my heart. They were reasonably priced, in protective plastic, and would fit in the suitcase. WIN! We sandwiched them between a few layers of corrugated cardboard for the trip home to the USA.

You’re probably saying to yourself, well this is awesome, Staci, but why are you sharing this with us now, mid-October, when you bought them in June? 

Well, the good news is that Wednesday night I finally framed the magazine ads I bought at Les Puces, oh so many months later.

The first poster reads “Winter and Spring in Morocco.” If you lived in cold France in the 1920s, wouldn’t you dream of vacationing in one of your warmer colonies? I would too! The chunky and graphic line work first drew me to this, piece, and if you add the fact that I did my study abroad in Morocco, I would be a fool not to buy it. Not everybody can say they own something from 1929!

The second one is for a famous French-made car brand, Renault. This snowy Christmas ad contrasts nicely against the promise of warm weather in Morocco, and the color palette here is right up my alley. I love the blues and greens.

Next week I’ll show you where these ended up hanging in our new apartment!

If you’re like me, and love checking out other people’s vacation photos (it’s true!), check out my Eurotrip posts here, here, and here.

Pssst… just in case you didn’t know… I really love comments.