DAY 1

Jul 09 2015

DAY 2

Jul 10 2015

We arrived at LHR a bit early and were picked up by our driver, Andy. He talked for the entire duration of the drive--over an hour. He told us all about his daughter's upcoming wedding, his trips to the Mediterranean, and his love of BBQ. Cooking, he said, is a gift of yourself. He also described his favorite starter dish to make for guests: two baked tomatoes for eyes, an onion for the nose, dolmas laid end to end for the mouth, and sliced black olives for eyelashes or a mustache, arranged on the plate to resemble the faces of each guest. Andy is truly one of a kind.

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DAY 3

Jul 11 2015
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DAY 4

Jul 12 2015
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We moved to a new apartment in Paddington this morning. The new place is a much better fit for us and is completely adorable. It has a loft and a balcony overlooking the street, and is about a block from Hyde Park. Huge upgrade. The rain has given us a perfect excuse to stay inside and relax this evening. I have so many crosswords to finish...

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DAY 5

Jul 13 2015
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We took the train up to Watford for the Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden. The tour is certainly not on the same level as anything Disney would have done, but we were impressed by how much stuff was on display: actual sets, costumes, wigs, and props from the films; a scale model of Hogwarts; mechanical special effects pieces; architectural drawings; animatronics... The best part of the tour is the recreated Kings Cross station, which houses the Hogwarts Express, a full-size steam engine train. You can walk through the attached passenger carriage, where each compartment is decorated as it would have been for the films in the series.
I tried Butterbeer for the first time; it's like a cream soda topped with the most delicious butterscotch foam. Magical. The final room before exiting into the gift shop--which I would imagine is WB's largest revenue source--was stacked wall-to-wall with wand boxes that are individually labeled with crew members' names. There were thousands and thousands of them. It really gives you a sense of the scale of labor required to make the eight films. Very impressive.

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DAY 6

Jul 14 2015
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DAY 7

Jul 15 2015
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DAY 8

Jul 16 2015
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DAY 9

Jul 17 2015

DAY 10

Jul 18 2015
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DAY 11

Jul 19 2015
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DAY 12

Jul 20 2015
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DAY 13

Jul 21 2015

DAY 14

Jul 22 2015
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DAY 15

Jul 23 2015
"I would hate Versailles without golf carts." -Pat
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DAY 16

Jul 24 2015

Yesterday's trip to Versailles wiped us out, so apart from a quick trip to some bookstores and lunch, we mostly spent the day resting and getting ready for our trip to Normandy. Time for some much-needed napping.

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DAY 17

Jul 25 2015

DAY 18

Jul 26 2015

DAY 19

Jul 27 2015

Not much to report today, as we spent most of it traveling back to Paris and getting settled in our new apartment in Le Marais. We did so much yesterday and are very tired today. Must rest up so we can explore our new neighborhood tomorrow...

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DAY 20

Jul 28 2015

DAY 21

Jul 29 2015

DAY 22

Jul 30 2015

DAY 23

Jul 31 2015

DAY 24

Aug 01 2015

DAY 25

Aug 02 2015

DAY 26

Aug 03 2015

Well, this trip had to come to an end sometime and it finally has. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go the places we went and do the things that we got to do.
Thank you to all who helped make this trip possible--the Donahues, the Barnicks, Stu. And thank you to Patrick, who planned this beautiful trip, made all the arrangements, executed them flawlessly, and was able to stay "in the moment" to enjoy it all. He made sure to include all of the things that he knows I love--tea, bookstores, street markets, cats and horses--and added some new things to my experience, like new languages, Michelin star restaurants, and centuries-old architecture and art. I am so grateful to him for taking me on this trip and for making it so wonderful.
So this is the end. Thank you for following our adventures and we look forward to following yours!

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