Monday, March 23, 2015

The Palais Royal - Paris



It had been years and years since I last was in Paris.


And I honestly can't remember the last time I was able to wander quietly on my own, just to see and dream...


Perhaps just before leaving for Provence nearly ten years ago?


And so, last Thursday, as I only had a few hours to tick off the clock, I didn't waste time.


I visited my favorite areas on the right bank wisely, as if investing in the memories that they would provide until who knows when, again.


And of course that included walking through the arches of the Palais Royal in the 1st Arrondissement - that little jewel box in the very heart of Paris, that just might be the heart of Paris for it pumps out an oxygen that makes us all breathe...


...that undefinable perfume...


...of something like Beauty, Romance, Elegance, Art and Time...blended so carefully that only the best within you knows that it is spelled P. A. R. I. S. 


And so what was I doing there you ask? 

Well, I was there to see a beautiful blonde. Yes, that is the very one above. Some of you might recognize her as Ellie or Eleanor A. O'Connell Decret who writes at Have Some Decorum. I have mentioned her to you before. She is, quite frankly, one of the most amazing women that I have ever met. It was a stunning experience in the best possible sense and one that meant so much to me on a personal level that I want to keep that gift for myself. I know that you will understand. But I do have to give the credit to someone who is also so very exceptional, my friend Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, known to many as La Contessa at The Vintage Contessa. It was her idea that I meet Ellie as a surprise and she made it happen entirely. I can never thank you enough, Elizabeth.

Today is Ellie's birthday. She emanates many of the ingredients of that same enchanting perfume as found in the Palais Royal, where I paced with excitement only a few minutes before arriving at her door. As with her lovely portrait here, there is no black and white for this one, just a blaze of color.

Happy Birthday, Ellie! Keep fighting the good fight, you are loved by many all over the world...

36 comments:

joyful17 said...

What an enchanting memoir of your Paris moment. And your tribute to your dear friend Ellie...the words and photographs are simply magic. Thank you.

La Contessa said...

DO you know I had NEVER Been to the PALAIS ROYAL until my last trip to meet Eleanor too!How on earth had I missed that I have no idea..............it willNOT be missed again!
SO,THRILLED you had a little ADVENTURE to carry you NORTH and even MORE happy to hear YOU MET THE BIRTHDAY GAL YOURSELF!!!Just reading the BLOG puts a smile on our faces but to meet the WOMAN behind the BLOG puts us up there with the MOON!!!
Now if my BIRTHDAY BOX has arrived TODAY..............I will be doing PIROUETTES and Jete's..........for hours!!!!
With a little bit of luck...............just a little bit.I will hear HER crunching a FRIDO.........................XOXOXOXOXO

Loree said...

Paris. How wonderful. La Contessa is so sweet and always doing her best to surprise people. I am glad you got to meet Ellie. Have a nice week Heather and enjoy your memories of Paris.

Bill Facker said...

Heather .. wow .. anything else is fluff. Merci Beaucoup

Judith Ross said...

How great that you got to meet this brave, amazing person.

But there was one tiny detail missing from this post !!!! I couldn't visualize you walking around Paris as accurately as I would have liked. What were you wearing?

Sandy said...

Oh, I've been waiting for this. La Contessa told me all about this beautiful and generous surprise. Loved your photos of Paris. Happy Borthday dear Ellie.You were the perect gift.

Lorrie said...

What a gift for both you and Eleanor. She is amazing - I've recently found her blog and am in awe of her courage and bravery.
Gorgeous Paris photos.

robin said...

Wow - so lovely! Is it me, or do even the people in the photos make it look like it was in the early 60's? Loving the black and white glamour, the discreet ambiance, which then makes the colored warmth of your friend all the more lovely. It feels like a lovely secret, but we are glad you shared these glimpses! So happy that you had a lovely reunion with Paris and a stunning experience - hooray!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Lucky you and I totally understand you wanting to keep the details of your meeting private.
I read her blog and am in awe...of her writing, knowledge, taste and of her strength in dealing with ALS plus she has a great sense of humor.
We'll be visiting the Palais Royal in May...fabulous photos!

Rowan said...

What a lovely surprise, for Ellie and for your readers! And no doubt, a lovely encounter for you too, although it was not by chance. I love the way you respected your private time, meeting with her and have decided to keep it to yourselves. There is often the temptation to "over" share, that touches on journalism , simply for the sensationalism for the reader. I'm sure you made each other's day! Brava to Elizabeth, The Contessa!
Cheers,
Deborah from Melbourne

Rowan said...

Heather, I meant to say that I loved your images, as always! Especially the difference between the drama of the black and white images as opposed to the warmth of the photo of Ellie. BTW, in the second photo, it looked like some wonderful detailed mise-en-scene, with the woman walking through the Place du Palais Royal, in her black striped coat, perfectly complementing the black striped bollards! A little piece of wonderful artistic synchronicity!
Cheers,
Deborah

RebeccaNYC said...

Lovely

Tracy Wood said...

Dear Heather, what a fleeting and precious visit you have had to Paris. One which you will treasure for many years to come. xxTracy

silkannthreades said...

Wonderful photos, and what a treat for both you and Ellie to have this meet-up. Doing a little dance of happiness for you.

ourfrenchoasis.com said...

As always beautifully written. I am sure it was a most memorable trip.

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

The inspirational people we meet around the world through our blogosphere lives absolutely delights me. Through you I have 'met' the Contessa and Ellie and countless others. What a blessing is this techno friendship circle!

Karena Albert said...

Heather how very exciting! I have just begun following Ellie and her blog "Have Some Decorum."
Her story is incredible and she is a marvel of a woman. Of course I am sure we would all love to hear more about your visit!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
A New Gallery in Town!

Gillian Longworth McGuire said...

Paris is magical. Thank you for sharing your little piece of it. And your extraordinary friend with us.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh I am so glad that you enjoyed it! Alas (for the better or for the worse), I was snapping like a fiend and there will be more...!!

Heather Robinson said...

All thanks to you, my wonderful friend. I wish the world knew how incredible you are in so many ways...you have one of the biggest and most generous hearts that I know!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
And the next time, we should try to find a way to explore the Palais Royal...together!

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Loree, I will! It was truly such an amazing day...it took me several to get back up to speed afterwards!!

Heather Robinson said...

I loved your poem, Bill.

Heather Robinson said...

Ah, great question Judith! But stomping around Paris is more like it as I wore my Hugo Boss combat boots (they are so comfortable). And not surprisingly, I wore all black - skinny pants, leather trimmed tshirt, vintage Yamamoto jacket with tails and an oversize vintage men's Costume National tux coat. It was freeeeezing so thank Goodness I had my favorite black pashmina (at least with a thin red and gold plaid!) to try and keep me warm...Oh! And I had my favorite leopard print calf hair tote on my arm with camera snuggled inside...

Heeheehee. Does that help? ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Do you know that you were the only person she told?! And trust me, Ellie is the true gift. I wasn't even the ribbon!

Heather Robinson said...

She has the most amazing energy, Lorrie. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Yay, Sister! You of all people know how much went into this day and what it meant to me...and thank you for getting the Wizard of Oz switch into color for Ellie...on purpose! Aha! Looove youuuu....

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you! I am glad you like them! And yes to every word that you used to describe Ellie...I just would add that she is incredibly loving and kind.

Heather Robinson said...

Brava is right!! Elizabeth's neighbors call her their "Fairy Godmother" and now I know why...well, I have for some time actually, she is wonderfulwonderful! And thank you for understanding, Deborah. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Yay! I am so excited that you saw that!! But I have to admit something truly embarrassing...I didn't! Not until I saw it on the screen and then I was SO bummed...I truly would have stalked that woman to get a perfect photo if I had known. This is yet another example of why I will never be a real photographer!

Heather Robinson said...

And I can just see you doing it, G. :)

Janey and Co. said...

She is amazing and beautiful......so happy that you got to meet her.....Sounds like you had a wonderful trip.

puppyfur said...

So glad that you and Ellie, obviously kindred spirits, could meet. Happy late birthday, Ellie!

Wyn Vogel said...

Awesome shots!! WOW!!

Stephen Andrew said...

Just love this so much. I can't wait to hear all about the adventures you, Ellie, and CONTESSA have this summer with you in the driver's seat!

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my goodness gracious, can you IMAGINE?

penelopebianchi said...

I am completely unsafe at any speed! I had to delete 2,000 emails because I cannot deal with the "housekeeping"! I saw this for the first time today.....July 5th!!

I am thrilled for both you and Ellie! (I met Ellie in Santa Barbara) I wish wish wish I could say I "knew" her! I met her..I loved her....and my daughter Ella (they are the same age)!!!! knew her a bit better and loved her, too!!!

Elizabeth is indeed a "fairy Godmother" whipping around the earth creating lovely meetings!

What a lovely post.....I am sorry I missed on the first go around....glad I got it now!!!

Happy belated birthday Ellie!!! I know you got the cards we all sent you via La Contessa!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!