A Historic Cinematic Trip Across Europe

  Watch any movie set in Europe and it feels like a beautiful old building that is always just a stone’s throw away.  Perhaps it’s kismet, then, that cinemas happen to be some of the most beautiful old buildings in Europe. Here are a few of our favorites.

 Cinéma du Panthéon: Paris is home to an entire host of beautiful old theaters, but the Cinéma du Panthéon is just a bit more special than most.  For over 100 years, the screen in the Panthéon has been operating daily without any interruptions, making it the oldest functioning movie theater in Paris.

  The Panthéon is also inextricably linked to the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave, movement. One of its former owners, Pierre Braunberger, had “discovered” Nouvelle Vague icons like Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Melville and heavily promoted the movement. Today, the Panthéon regularly screens independent films.

 Granada Cinema, Tooting / Gala Bingo Club, Tooting - The Granada Cinema is a luxurious art deco masterpiece built in 1931 in Tooting in London. In 1991, it was renamed the Gala Bingo Club, Tooting, and became the very first cinema to be preserved and given a Grade I listing in 2000.


The building’s current owners, Gala Bingo, have been ramping up  their online bingo offerings in recent years, but they don’t seem to have any plans to let go of one of the most luxurious bingo halls in the UK anytime soon -- especially since it was officially recognized as an asset of community value last year.

  Spazio Oberdan - Built towards the tail-end of the 18th century, the Spazio Oberdan in Milan’s Piazzo Oberdan lay in a dilapidated state for a number of years until it was renovated and reborn as a cultural center in 1999.

  Nowadays it’s more than just a movie theater.  Aside from showing art-house movies and film festivals, it also regularly features modern art and photo exhibits.  The Spazio Oberdan also houses the offices of Milan’s provincial administration.

  These are just a handful of the many breathtaking cinemas found all over Europe. Be sure to stop by when you’re visiting; it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.

Christmas Time in Paris

December (1 of 1)-22Paris is sometimes referred to as the city of lights and I beieve it is definitely that at Christmas time.  In December of 2012, I visited Paris to see the Christmas decorations.  It was indeed a beautiful site as Paris always is!

I did break my rule of staying central on this trip to Paris.  In December Paris can be quite chilly!  It wasn't snowing but the average temperature was probably between 40 - 50° Fahrenheit.  It rained a lot so I really wasn't able to use my good camera at all.  I had just bought it and in all honesty had no idea how to care for it in that type of weather. 

I stayed further away from the Louvre, which is where I usually try to stay when I visit Paris.  It was a 15 minute walk to the metro.  Being from a small town, public transportation is not my favorite to say the least. I find it difficult to navigate my way around especially in a city as large as Paris.

In spite of the fact that I did face some challenges on that trip, it was worth seeing Paris at Christmas. I did want to share my photos even though they are all taken with a cell phone.  One day I would like to visit Paris during the holidays and stay somewhere near the Opera Garnier or Louvre.

I just loved the red tree at the Opera Garnier!
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December (1 of 1)-22The Champs Elysees was very beautiful even in the rain!
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December (1 of 1)-22Happy holidays to all of you!   Thank you so much for stopping by.  Take care my friends!


“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

If there is one quote that I have found to be true while traveling around the world over the past several years to be true, this is it!  

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.”

~Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

I have stayed in many 5 star resorts in countries with thriving economies and I have stayed in hostiles and guest houses in developing countries.  Much of what I have seen has been good and reinforced and or enhanced my knowledge of history as my trips to Paris.  I wanted to be an Anthropology major while in college, but my parents weren't thrilled with that idea so I majored in Biochemistry and graduated with a minor in Anthropology.

 I desperately wanted to see the world - and not just the beautiful touristy parts, but I really wanted to learn about the culture of the many countries I've visited and see what is "below the surface".  I'm very glad and know I'm very fortunate to have visited all seven continents and seen as much of the world as I have.  At this point, however, I still want to travel as much as possible, but will be staying in the first world during my immediate future travels.  The overpopulation and poverty I witnessed in Indonesia , Tanzania, and Vietnam have stymied my curiousity for the time being.

 How long will this last?  My lack of interest in seeing EVERYWHERE and not just the "pretty places" will probably not last long!  I have already been researching some very out of the way places that are NOT considered tourist destinations.  I guess my point is really very simple.  Traveling teaches you so much as well as opens your eyes!  

 I suspect this will not be one of my more popular posts given that these types of images are not popular on my Panoramio and Pixabay sites.

Visiting AIDS families in Tanzania:      

I used my small camera not my DSLR to take these photos.  The group I was traveling with had permission to take their photos.  I could have used my bigger camera, it was just a personal choice of mine to use my point and shoot...and to only take one quick photo.


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 Trying to help a stray very young pregnant cat in Bali, Indonesia.  I called a vet paid $40 and fed it sugar water all day.  I left her that night with my night gown and AirAisa blanket because I was scheduled to return to the US that day :(


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 Vietnam - looking out my hotel window


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 I'm sure it won't be long before I'm saying this again:

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center."

 Kurt Vonnegut

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  I promise my next post will be a happy one!  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!


“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” ― Thomas Jefferson


 This is Part 2 of my Paris adventure from back in mid June which is a lovely time to visit Paris.  Trust me though, I will go back to visit Paris anytime of the year.  I can certainly understand why so many people I've met have been there five or six times and have plans to go again!

This was my second trip to Paris, but the first time I'd ever visited Versailles.  Just in case you don't know, this is where Marie Antionette lived with her family.  She was ultimately beheaded.  After visiting Versailles I did a lot of reading about what happened.  Yes. I learned all this back in school, but there is nothing like seeing things with your own eyes!  Visiting Paris was DEFINITELY a history lesson for me.

 Here is a photo of the exterior of Versailles.  It might not look like that much on the outside...


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I was surprised to learn that the Shabby Chic design was inspired by the decor at Versailles.  I definitely see some similarity, but Shabby Chic is far from this rich and luxurious looking.

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Here is a photo of my daughter Marissa and I eating at a restaurant in Versailles named Angelinas.  It was a beautiful restaurant and we were waited on by Marie Antionette - or at least someone dressed like her!Paris7





I did not get to see much of the outdoor area and the gardens of Versailles, but if you know me...you know that just means that I must return!Paris44

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 As you can see Versailles is "just a bit over the top" ;( .  HOWEVER, I came away from visiting and reading up on Marie Antionette's fate feeling very sad for her.  Here is a quote written by her after she was imprisoned:

 "I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife, and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long."

Marie Antionette


The following photos are of "The Opera Garnier" which is one of my favorite places to visit in Paris.  It is incredibly ornate, colorful, rich with history, and doesn't take a very long time to see it all.  The first two photos are of the outside of the building, which is beautiful, but does nothing to prepare you for what the interior is like!




Here are some photos of the world famous opera room with the beautiful ceiling designed my the famous artist Marc Chagall.IMG_8374


They do still have plays and performances at the Opera Garnier.  I would love to be able to attend one someday even though I'm not a fan of opera.  No doubt it would be an incredible and unforgettable experience!




The only complaint I have about Paris is that there is a danger of developing a sore neck looking at all of the amazing ceilings that seem to be everywhere!

IMG_8420Here is a view of the city from one of the balconys of the Opera Garnier:


IMG_8318Au Revior Paris...for now :-)

 "Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness."

 Willa Cather

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!


"Paris is always a good idea" Audrey Hepburn

Paris in the spring time is heavenly!  

There is so much to do and see in Paris, this post is only part 1 of 2.  I'm only going to focus on the Louvre and Eiffel Tower since Paris, especially the Louvre Museum, are in my opinion, sensory overload!


Paris-10I have never visited or been to a place where one can simply relax and see so much in such a relatively small area by sitting or wandering the beautiful streets and gardens, especially Les Jardins de Tuileries

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As you can see, there are people everywhere just talking, having lunch, and drinking in the gorgeous sceneryParis-7The Eiffel Tower is as magnificent to view in person as it is in photos!




 "Keep good company - that is, visit the Louvre"

Paul Cezanne

Here is a view of the Palais Royale and louvre from one of the upper floors of the museum:

Paris-17My favorite section of the Louvre are the Victorian style rooms


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I absolutely loved this mural in this sitting room!Paris-34After visiting the Louvre two times, I'm convinced that an entire week there would not be enough time to see everything!  I did get to see my first original painting by my favorite artist - Claude Monet:

Paris-20 I also learned that I absolutely love Francois Boucher and Jean-Honore Fragonard


 The ceilings almost everywhere were mesmerizing!Paris-26

 The stained glass and statues are absolutely fabulous!  So much to see and very difficult to decide what to take photos of since everywhere you look there is so much. It is also a little dark in some areas and a lot of the art work is encased in glass (understandable), so taking photos can be a little challenging in some areas of the Louvre.






Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week my friends. Please feel free to leave a question or comment and remember your e-mail address will not be published.

Au revior for now. ~ Michelle