Se changer les idées

We wanted to fill you in on what we’ve been up for the past couple of weeks besides school and studying. In Paris there is no lack of distractions—from the cafes on every street corner (which have outdoor seating even in winter!) to the countless landmarks, museums and neighborhoods that sprinkle the city. We decided to start with the Pantheon since it is located within walking distance to our apartment and we pass by every day on our home way from school.

View of Paris

You can see the dome of the Pantheon sticking out above the rest of the buildings in the skyline, making it easy for us to navigate our way home.

Inside the Pantheon

The massive dome is not only impressive from the outside. Its grand scale really makes you wonder how they built structures like these without modern machinery. Of course, some people (aka all you architects and engineers out there) already understand this.

We also decided to visit one of the houses that Le Corbusier designed, Maison La Roche. It was cool to see such a modern piece of architecture in this abundantly ornate city.

Maison La Roche

Marc pauses outside the Maison La Roche.

Maison Le Roche Interior

Le Corbu would make Martha Stewart proud with this use of neutrals and accent colors. Sacre bleu!

Maison La Roche

The large windows were part of what made this house so fantastic.

Although we must study French and work on homework for a couple hours each afternoon, we have started to seek out new and exciting places to do so. Yes, Starbuck’s is a possibility (can you believe that they have actually found a place here in the land of cafés?!), but a more unique place that we found is on the top floor of the Centre Pompidou.

Centre Pompidu

Mel studies at the Centre Pompidou. The exterior of this building is a bit crazy with all of its infrastructure on display. However, it makes for a great interior with large windows and lots of light with which to view our school books.

Centre Pompidu

After much coersion, Marc traded in his baseball hot for a new French chapeau! He fits in well now as a French student in the city viewing tunnel on the top floor of the Pompidou. Check out Marc's lucky traveling pen!

Another way that we take a break from our studies is to go for a run. Although we don’t have a picture of Le Jardin du Luxembourg yet, where we do most of our runs, we did have the opportunity to run the Paris Semi-Marathon on Sunday morning. And even though it was a sunny and chilly day here, about 25 degrees with a strong wind, it was a great day for a race through the streets of Paris.

m+M at the Semi-Marathon

A couple of crazy Americans before the start of the Paris Semi-Marathon.

Hotel de Ville

Marc ran with his camera the whole race in order to get this great shot of the Hotel de Ville. It's extra spectacular with runners in the foreground, don't you think?

Tour Eiffel running

The race wouldn't be complete without the Tour Eiffel and his entourage running along side us. Guess crazy costumes for races isn't just an American tradition!

Semi finish

Here is a shot of our finish. You may notice that no one is moving… in typical French fashion, the race had its moment of disorganization. With the finish in sight, we literally ran into a wall of people and ended up inching forward to walk across the finish line. Not the best finish or the most well-run race we've run, but it was a great experience and since we were "unofficial" anyway, we enjoyed being a part of it and are looking forward to the marathon in April.

We plan to spend a future post describing the food we’ve been enjoying during our stay. Marc has been sampling many pattisseries in search of the one he can call his favorite…

The eclair

Marc is not the only one interested in this eclair—Sammy has truly embraced the French culture and is begging just as any French dog would. The eclair that Marc is holding was bought in honor of Mel's Mom's birthday, which was on Sunday. Bonne anniversaire Mom! We miss you and enjoyed this eclair while thinking of you!

We wanted to end with a brief explanation of this entry’s title. In class this week, we learned the expression “se changer les idées”. The direct translation is “to change ideas”, but the deeper meaning is used when a person wants to do something to change their focus, to forget the things that have kept them from truly living life and to renew themselves with whatever will inspire them to be a better person. We thought this expression fit perfectly not only with this entry, but also with the reason that we started this crazy adventure in the first place. We run, explore, taste, see, experience, learn and change—all in hopes of making the most of each day we have in this crazy life.


~ by marcandmel on March 10, 2010.

4 Responses to “Se changer les idées”

  1. Marc looks so French in his new hat–Oh, wait, he IS French. And the eclair was delicious, even just in a picture. Thanks for a great birthday treat! Mom

  2. C’est magnifique! Ok, that’s all the French I could come up with right now. :) So glad you guys are having a good time!!! Can’t wait to see more posts.


  3. Sweet Chapeau! I think you guys are ready for your own reality TV series. You could give Anthony Bourdain a run (no pun intended) for his money. I don’t want Bourdain running anywhere. That would turn into a scene from Grey’s Anatomy.

  4. Again, very well done! Enjoy looking at the scenery through your eyes!

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