Actually, I got back last week. I'm still readjusting to life at home, and to be honest, there are days I wish I were still on holiday. I had a grand time in Paris and London - and yes, I managed to squeeze in some bead-buying. I'll leave my beads post to later, but for now, I wanted to share some highlights of my trip.
Highlight No. 1:
Vintage beads (ca. 1960s) at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris. Some other bloggers have mentioned this famous flea/vintage market and the great finds you can unearth here (beads! buttons! ribbons!). The store is an absolute treasure trove of vintage beads and findings and should definitely be on your list of places to shop at if you ever visit Paris. If you can, set aside an hour or two (or more) to trawl through the stacks of bead boxes. I definitely do not recommend going when you have just got off the plane and are clearly woozy from jetlag - which was the case with me. If I had been more rested, I would probably have bought more than the 16 euros worth of beads I came home with. Which - on second thought - might have been a blessing in disguise. Who knows how much I might have spent if I'd been my normal self :-)? I should also warn you that the place is mighty dusty, so don't breathe in too hard. According to the elderly lady who owns the store (my French-speaking friend struck up a conversation with her while I was sorting through what I wanted), most of her customers are either Americans or Japanese. And she said the Americans usually buy huge quantities. Which made me wonder, is this where all the online vintage bead stores get their stock?
Highlight No. 2:
Visiting the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club. I watch football - or soccer as some of you may know it - and have been a supporter of The Arsenal for more years than some of my co-workers have been alive. This is their brand new spanking home and it is amazing. In the face of disappointments and upheavals the club has faced in recent years - and it has faced many - it was good to be reminded of the club/team's rich history and also, that 'class is permanent', even if success may not be. However much I, and my fellow long-suffering supporters, may wish it were.
Highlight No. 3:
Freaking butterbeer guys!! Need I say more? There are only 2 places in the world you can drink this. Florida, USA and Watford, UK at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London. The drink is divine, and tastes like a root beer float with a touch of cream soda. Not as sweet as you think it might be. The only downside was having to drink this outside on a cold, grey, rainy day. The cold made me forget my plans of refilling my cup and pouring the drink into a thermos so I could savour it later. Wish JK Rowling would just give in and let some soda company manufacture and sell this drink worldwide. She'd be the richest person on the planet (if she isn't already).
Is it sad that the highlight of my holiday would be beads, football and butterbeer? You'd think I'd have said visiting Monet's home in Giverny- which I did - or seeing Vincent Van Gogh's grave - which I also did. Huh. Who knew?