FRANCE

00110014 Some memories from France.

Paris. We stayed in the 10th Arrondissement, near Canal St Martin. We soon learned there was a bit of a blossoming food scene in the 10th with a *gasp* North American/New World vibe. Filtered coffee at Ten Belles! Thick cut bacon and baked beans at Holy Belly! I admit, I loved it. It was homey.

I developed a strong, strong yearning for near-freezing coke this pregnancy. I will remember Paris evenings spent drinking Coke Zero (sorry! I know!) and watching Elementary. Don't take this as a recommendation for Elementary. Listen, it had its moments. Sometimes you just want something pulpy.

Isn't there a bit of an expectation to do stand-in-line things on trips like this? We decided to visit Musee d'Orsay. This memory makes me chuckle. Brandon was so appalled at the lineup. We were there in November!

Biarritz. My first breath stepping off the train was pure relief. The ocean air and misty rain. It was late and we headed straight to bed but I was so happy to be there.

We kind of had Biarritz to ourselves. We embraced the slow pace. It was the small things - sitting at the farmer's market cafe with a cafe allonge, green leaves, and watching grannies go swimming in the ocean (it was barely 5 degrees!).

Uzes I found Uzes by staring at google maps. I was looking for a specific size of town. Easily walkable but still reachable by train/bus. We stayed in the neatest townhouse. It had one of the loveliest parks with Roman ruins strewn about. It was a bit hilarious. Roman ruins sitting around, blasé, like a bench or garbage can.

Nimes. Our last couple of days we sprung for a bed and breakfast. Our host was Miriam and she brought us local bread, jam, and fruit for breakfast. And a cafe allonge with hot milk. Breakfast really is the stuff, hey?

Nimes has some incredibly preserved Roman structures. Miriam told us that the amphitheatre was still in use "for big rock star concerts, like Sting". We did a self guided tour (again, place to ourselves) and once my brain couldn't hold more of the audio tour, I followed Brandon, found the sun and closed my eyes.

We flew out of Paris. In what was likely a staff mishap, there was only one border patrol booth open and hundreds of us were packed in a snaking line for hours. I was about one second away from passing out at all times. I was frantically fanning myself, pumping my legs, and stuffing oranges in my mouth. Mentally, I started feeling like a toddler. Am I the only one who wants to flop down and start crying?

The last gift of travel is coming home. The Toronto airport felt like the land of milk and honey. I delighted in the clean bathroom, turned my phone off airplane mode, and soaked in the comfort of easy.

*shot with Kodak Portra 160 and Fuji 400h*

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Ends.

I had three photos left when we returned to Edmonton from B.C. The airport is actually in Leduc and despite being ready to get home, we decided to ring our friends for a visit. I felt inclined to finish off my roll there before we got home. Ending the journey. The Hardie's are a really fun clan of seven and I suddenly felt short on film!... 08240036

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The Heaven and the Earth | Keats Island

The best for last. Never do I feel so right, so full, as when I'm surrounded by creation. I love architecture and litte shops and going out for coffee but a proper rest is sitting on a rock, staring at the ocean, the forest, the field, and being quiet.

This is my very favourite roll I shot. I was so concerned I wouldn't get it right! I kept reading that it was much less forgiving than other colour negative films. A slight under or overexposure could ruin everything! But for the most part, I think it turned out really well.

Shot with Kodak Ektar 100.

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Vancouver to Keats Island

We were only in Vancouver for three full days (and a bit) but thinking back, we sure got around. Joey, our host, spoiled us more than once with her breakfast making skills. I'm still thinking about that cranberry studded french toast! On our last day we took the skytrain out to Surrey to be picked up by our cousins Ryan and Rosalee (and baby Riley). They live in a beautiful area outside of Langley. Oh to live in full-time green! We went for a walk in the forest and had pizza and chocolate cake with Rosalee's parents. I wish I was gifted in writing luscious descriptions of experiences but for now it's just cut and dry. We made our way to Keats Island by bus and ferry the next morning. I had packs and bags hanging off every limb of my body. We had to be strategic and modest with groceries which was a small downside. I mean - cabins and snacks are meant for each other! We ran out of dessert rations on day two! A Coffee Crisp had been left behind in one of the cupboards. I resisted. How many previous vacationers had left it untouched? Hundreds? How old was this thing? We ate it.

On our first full day we were gifted with sun. I knew we needed to climb to "Highest Peak". I'm sure I gained one year of life from that view, that air. I didn't have a wide angle lens with me and it pained me just a little. After I had sufficiently exclaimed OH WOW! + OH BRAN! + OH MY GOODNESS!! a hundred times, I sat and stared and felt at peace.

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Shot with Fuji Superia 400. I will definitely continue using this drugstore film. It does really well outdoors and I love the punchy colours. My favourite roll of the trip is next.

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