Once upon a time I found myself outside a Rick Owens fashion show in Paris, shoulder to shoulder with reporters from Vogue, snapping away with my camera amongst the other photographers and bloggers...not recognising anyone and hoping no-one was noticing me. You might well ask how I found myself there...I was asking the same thing.
What you need to know about me is I'm a planner...I love lists. So, put me in charge of planning a trip to Europe...that we saved for forever for...our first time overseas...well let's just say that I'm going to take that planning to a whole other level. I won't say anything more other than there was a bound book of photocopies/notes that travelled with us, which I might point out came to our rescue in both Rome & Munich...but that's a whole other story.
What I didn't realise until we were there and experiencing it is, sometimes the best travel moments come from things you can't plan for and didn't see coming. So, we'd been to the Louvre and I wanted to hit up another museum (Musee d'Orsay) to make sure our Paris experience of Nutella crepes & pâtisseries was balanced out with an equal amount of culture! We lined up for what felt like ages to someone whose feet were bandaided to the max (Europe = a LOT of walking) and just as we got towards the front of the queue, the fire alarm went off and the museum was evacuated. The queue dissipated & we sat nearby, trying to interpret the body language of the staff to figure out how long this was going to take. When you have 4 days in Paris and two of those days include travel...you need to make decisions quickly about what to see and what to let go. The thing is, in our case, we didn't know if we were ever coming back (maybe someday!) so I was conscious of the fact that letting go could mean "we will never get another chance to see this again"...in other words, I wasn't taking these decisions lightly. In the end we gave up...and didn't have a plan B for that exact moment, so we wandered...which turned out to be the best decision of the those 4 days.
Somehow, we found ourselves outside an impressive building with lots of people milling around. Crowds are run of the mill, but as you can see from the photos, this wasn't your typical crowd. There were photographers, and people madly scribbling notes on Vogue notepads, and people dressed to the max. This was serious "people watching", with a side of guys in dark glasses you wouldn't want to mess with & huge black cars polished to within an inch of their lives. Whatever was happening, I wanted to be in the middle of it. Luke wasn't all that interested, but he sensed my moment and stood to the side & let me live it up with my camera...loved that about him. In all fairness, he did get to see a paparazzo basically get his foot run over by one of those scary black cars...so he wasn't entirely bored!
It was probably fairly obvious that I didn't belong, but I pushed my way into the crowd and took as many photos as I could...everyone was killing time waiting for the show to finish...people were being interviewed by Vogue...the shoes, the bags...the nonchalant hipsters dressed entirely in black leaning against the stone building with their cigarettes...looking intentionally disinterested but just interested enough...everyone was there to be seen. When the doors eventually swung open, the "important people" spilled out and into the black cars. It was amusing that I was probably watching French celebrities & socialites at close range, yet I had no idea who anyone was...except for Rick Owens because I compared some of my photos to Google Images after we got home. As quickly as it had all come together, the cars left and the crowd thinned. It was over...and it was one of my favourite memories of the trip. We finished our wander, along the shadowed Seine and off into the tiny streets of the city that never make any sense in full daylight let alone at dusk. Somehow we found our way back to our cosy little apartment...after stopping at a restaurant and having crepes for dinner. It was literally the perfect end to my perfect Paris day.
Moral of the story...don't plan for everything...allow for wandering...you never know where it may take you and what you might be able to bring home on your camera.
Design Stuff (this is the first time I've tried making my own photo collages instead of dropping pics into pre-made templates so I used a few extras!)