Greetings from France! I’ve got some pictures.

We spent the last two days in Paris doing what we always do in Paris – running around the city, dragging our luggage up and down the Metro stairs, racing through the stations (with and without luggage), jumping walls and running again to just barely leap onto waiting trains. It occurred to me, as I was jumping a wall after Callaghan in the Metro two nights ago, that Parkour was invented by a French guy. Perhaps he was inspired by similar action-intense negotiations of the Metro stations, running after trains in Paris!

We love Paris, and we had a great time visiting with relatives and friends. Plus, it was beautiful and sunny on one of the days, so for the first time, I got to see Paris in the sun against a blue sky. It was fabulous.

Now we’re on the French Riviera, visiting more friends and Callaghan’s immediate family. (He was born in Paris, but grew up down here.) This morning we caught an early TGV to Cannes, and the five-hour train ride gave me an opportunity to sleep a little as well as to resize some pics for today’s post.

Here’s a smattering of random images from the last two days:

 

Glacière is a stop on the Metro. We thought it was funny to see the sign next to a ski ad ("Glacière" translates to "ice chest.")

Glacière is a stop on the Metro. We thought it was funny to see the sign next to a ski ad (“Glacière” translates to “ice chest.”)

 

Another pic from the Metro. Not even France is safe from the 50 Shades.

Another pic from the Metro. Not even France is safe from the 50 Shades.

 

The view from our hotel window.

The view from our hotel window.

 

...and a nearby abandoned shoe.

…and a nearby abandoned shoe.

 

Here's an interesting little new car: a Smart Car-looking, single person electric Renault.

Here’s an interesting little new car: a Smart Car-looking, single person electric Renault.

 

A random storefront that caught my eye...

A random storefront that caught my eye…

 

Back in the Metro! An ad for an architecture exhibition.

Back in the Metro! An ad for an architecture exhibition.

 

In our usual selfie pose. We're on the train again, en route to visit relatives.

In our usual selfie pose. We’re on the train again, en route to visit relatives.

 

Our queen! Long live La Tour Eiffel!

Our queen! Long live La Tour Eiffel!

 

Back at the Metro - but this pic is to show that it'd been a sunny day!

Back at the Metro – but this pic is to show that it’d been a sunny day!

 

Poster ad - again, in a Metro station - for a street artist exhibit at the Espace Dali.

Poster ad – again, in a Metro station – for a street artist exhibit at the Espace Dali.

 

Paris graffiti, with love.

Paris graffiti, with love.

 

Charlie Hebdo at the news stand, still going strong!

Charlie Hebdo at the news stand, still going strong!

 

This sweet little girl was on our train to Cannes this morning. Her Mommy said I could take her picture. I love French Bulldogs.

This sweet little girl was on our train to Cannes this morning. Her Mommy said I could take her picture. I love French Bulldogs.

 

Notice the absence of Jim Morrison’s grave. That would be because we still haven’t gone, as circumstances didn’t allow for it… but we’re heading back to Paris on Friday, and you know we’re going to Parkour our way to that cemetery the minute we get off the train.

Also not pictured is the group of police officers standing around expectantly in one of the Metro stations, an incongruous sight compared to what I’m used to here. I’ve never seen the cops just hanging around like that in France before. I wanted to snap a picture, but I didn’t think they’d appreciate it, so I held back.

I hope you’re having a great week!

La Tour Eiffel, she is everywhere.

It seems that I started noticing the Eiffel Tower printed on clothing and other things right when we moved back to Arizona last November. That’s when I became aware of the trend, anyway… the Eiffel Tower could have been a popular motif in apparel and home décor fashion for much longer.

At first, I was charmed to happen upon the occasional Eiffel Tower, because the Eiffel Tower is one of my favorite things about France. It’s actually my favorite monument of the monuments I’ve seen in the world, as you may recall me mentioning before. Hence, I own more than a few Eiffel Tower-emblazoned things, myself. A sleeveless t-shirt here. A light sweater there. A French friend gave me a small photo of the Eiffel Tower in a white frame (from the store – I chose it)! A small ring holder in the shape of the Eiffel Tower sits on the dresser. The first Eiffel Tower in my collection, the drawing that Callaghan bought for me when we were there one day (at the Eiffel Tower), hangs in our living room, and of course, there’s the token Eiffel Tower magnet on the refrigerator. And that’s just a sampling of examples. There are more.

So, I started seeing Eiffel Towers plastered all over tarnation last November, but in the almost-year since we’ve been back in AZ? Instead of trailing off into the oblivion that follows a robust trend, the Eiffel Tower not only pressed forward, but it exploded into a frenzy of mass marketing. It’s everywhere, on everything, all over the place… especially, it seems, in the kind of discount stores we favor, such as Target, Marshall’s/T.J. Maxx and Ross. There’s no shortage of Eiffel Towers in these places. If you want it in your house or on your person, you may have it, and for very good prices. The quantities and varieties of Eiffel Towers migrating to the United States from China are staggering.

When I brought this up the other day, Callaghan said, “Yeah. I’m trying to get away from there, and the Eiffel Tower is running after me.”

Here, enjoy some random Eiffel Tower store sightings:

 

The Eiffel Tower on hat boxes.

The Eiffel Tower on hat boxes.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on canvas.

The Eiffel Tower on canvas.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on a hook board.

The Eiffel Tower on a hook board.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on bathroom accessories.

The Eiffel Tower on bathroom accessories.

 

 

The Eiffel Tower on a knit top.

The Eiffel Tower on a knit top.

 

 

And, while we're at it, let's not forget the fleur de lys (more ubiquitous now than ever, as well).

And, while we’re at it, let’s not forget the fleur de lys (more ubiquitous now than ever, as well).

 

I’m not sure if it’s the Eiffel Tower, specifically, or the city of Paris itself that’s all the rage right now. The Eiffel Tower has become synonymous with Paris, so it could be either. And honestly, I don’t mind that Eiffel Towers jump into my face every time I turn around. I could be ambushed by worse things, for sure.

So I’m not complaining here… I’m more nonplussed than anything, and maybe I feel just a little bit like the plethora of Eiffel Towers cheapens the experience of her somehow. It’s like seeing your lover’s face depicted, suddenly, on clothing worn by other people. Poor Eiffel Tower! If monuments were songs, she’d be the most over-played one by a mile. Being everywhere takes the edge off her splendor; it’s hard to be one-of-a-kind and de rigueur at the same time.

On his part, Callaghan is in disgust. He loves the Eiffel Tower as much as I do, and he likes all of our Eiffel Towers, but he rolls his eyes at the herds of Eiffel Towers roaming through stores.

 

The Eiffel Tower on a shopping bag.

The Eiffel Tower on a shopping bag.

Well aren’t I just the Fashionista’s Fashionista.

Two things that always attract me when I’m browsing through retail clothing racks:

1). Anything gray.

2). Anything featuring the Eiffel Tower.

(Which is actually an appropriate combination, considering that I’ve never seen Paris when it wasn’t cold, gray and raining… even in June.)

But I mean, I love the color gray, as you likely already know if you’ve been reading here for a while. Gray is to me what sparkly things are to my inner four-year-old, and the Eiffel Tower is my all-time favorite monument… so when the Eiffel Tower lights up and gets on with her sparklicious self late at night, my inner four-year-old and I float away on an invisible carpet woven of delight-bordering-on-euphoria. Many a time I’ve waited, shivering, on a chair at an outdoor café under the black Paris night sky, warming my icy hands on a cup of hot chocolate while staring at the Eiffel Tower. When she finally starts sparkling, it feels like she’s sparkling just for me, because I’d been staring at her so hard. (Speaking of hot chocolate, if you ever visit the Louvre, I recommend that you go upstairs to the Café Richelieu and treat yourself to a cup on the lovely terrace overlooking the pyramid. The hot chocolate at the Café Richelieu is decadence redefined.)

“Yeah, and I know why,” Callaghan said when we were talking about my Eiffel Tower obsession love. This was last week.

“Why?” I wanted to know what he thought he knew about me.

“It’s obvious! The Eiffel Tower is a phallic symbol.” He looked pleased with himself as he said it.

But his words gave me pause.

“Um… the Eiffel Tower is a girl,” I said. La Tour Eiffel.” Was I really pointing this out to my French husband?

I’d never seen the Eiffel Tower as phallic, or otherwise male in any respect. She’s a she. She’s elegant and strong and magnificent, and if I come across an article of clothing depicting her, I’ll usually at least contemplate buying it if it’s in the realm of possibility.

So when Chantal was visiting from France (she left on Saturday) for a couple of weeks and we went browsing through Ross one day, it wasn’t surprising that I walked out with another Eiffel Tower shirt, thus prompting the Eiffel Tower conversation with Callaghan, who was ever so surprised when I got home and showed him my purchase. I reasoned that I didn’t yet have a sleeveless Eiffel Tower t-shirt, so it made sense to get this one. Plus, it was all of $6.99 (who doesn’t love Ross), and the graphic is in shades of gray. Triple win!

On Wednesday evening, I came home from work, threw the Eiffel Tower shirt on over a sports bra and shorts and headed out to Boot Camp class at the gym. Because the Eiffel Tower – who is a girl – kicks ass.

Here’s the Eiffel Tower waiting for class to start:

 

At Boot Camp class with the Eiffel Tower.

At Boot Camp class with the Eiffel Tower.

 

Later, I snapped some pics wearing the shirt with a couple of different attitudes, because this particular Eiffel Tower asks for it. Also, it’s been months since my last silly “picture of me in a t-shirt” post (inside joke), so why not go ahead and derp my way through a couple with the Eiffel Tower?

 

The Eiffel Tower, "And your point is?" style.

The Eiffel Tower, “And your point is?” style.

 

The Eiffel Tower, '80's Billy Idol style.

The Eiffel Tower, ’80’s Billy Idol style.

 

Happy Friday, all! =)