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IMG_6338I’m going to narrate a little bit of my experience at the Louvre, during our vacation in France! I absolutely love museums! It’s always part of my vacation, specially after moving to Denver! Denver is a fantastic place to live, but we don’t have access to culture here and our Denver Art Museum is a little bit of a joke! so, every time I travel, I make sure I include museums, and theater and a little bit of culture as part of my vacation, to make up for what I don’t have access at home!

and, I have to say, I’m a bit of a museum snob! after visiting the best museums in São Paulo and NYC, and around the country, it’s hard to impress me! I also covered arts and culture for Brazilian magazines and local newspapers in the East Coast, so I’ve been to a lot of museums, way too many times! that’s how to Louvre comes into play! of course visiting The Louvre was a must in my Parisian itinerary! however, due to the size of the museum, I really didn’t want to focus on the Louvre during this trip! – did you know, it would take someone nine months to visit the entire museum? the Louvre is the largest museum in the world!

I wanted to visit the Rodin Museum and the Museo D’Orsay in this trip and leave the Louvre for a time where I could come back to Paris with more time, so I could go back to The Louvre twice, at least! see it with more time and patience! however, things changed along the way! I ended up not going to the Rodin or D’Orsay, due to poor planning? I don’t know… and The Louvre was open on a Monday when everything else was closed!

I made a list of what was more important for me, with the location of each piece of art, so I wouldn’t waist my time looking for everything and prepared myself the best that I could to brave the crowds! but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw!

IMG_6340IMG_6341The Louvre is, without a doubt, impressive! the day before, when we were biking home long the Seine, we biked past the Louvre and I couldn’t believe the size of the building. it might be the longest building I’ve ever seen in my life! we biked for blocks and blocks and the building continued going! I could really not believe the size of that place! people are not kidding!

also, I follow a Brazilian blog in Paris, Conexão Paris, and they posted a secret entrance, that nobody really knows about, where you can scape the long lines and just buy your ticket and get in! I was so glad I had this tip and would love to share here with you: when you go to the Louvre, instead of following the crowds and try to enter through the main entrance, the pyramids, walk past them, continue walking a look for the entrance called Porte de Lions!

it’s a little hidden, so you need to pay attention! if you enter the entire complex through the main entrance, you are going to walk past the pyramids, continue walking, and the Porte de Lions will be on your left!

porte-lionimage from conexão paris!

so, that’s was a win! I absolutely love museums, but I hate crowds, and I can’t deal with them! I get nervous and anxious and then I need to leave before I have a panic attack. but, that did not solve all our problems! the Louvre, as was everything else in Paris, was packed! full with people and tourists everywhere!

IMG_6343 IMG_6342 IMG_6348IMG_6347it was great to know what I wanted to see and have my itinerary ready, with all the room numbers, so I would not waist time! The Louvre has 35,000 permanent pieces of art! also, the museum has 4 floors, 60,600m2 and 3 wings: Denon, Richelieu and Sully!

we saw the monalisa, of course, not impressive at all and super small! the monalisa is on Denon, room 206 (the numbers might change), on room 277 there were so many french painters, we saw a few Delacroix, oh, my heart! we saw the Venus de Milo, in the ground floor!

IMG_6349^^ the silly monalisa!

we made a quick stop to have some coffee and hot chocolate at Angelina, the famous Parisian café inside the Louvre and then continued to explore. the Louvre was built in 1190 – maybe the oldest building I’ve ever been inside! but it was only converted into a museum in 1793, after Luis XIV moved to Versailles! we passed through the pyramids, and tried for minutes to find the Napoleon Quarters! B. always talks about how impressed he was with the Napoleon quarters!

IMG_6350^^ i had some fantastic cappuccinos and lattes in france! their coffee is exquisite!

by then I’d had enough and needed o leave! there was so many people, you are always bumping into people and that drove me insane! if you do well with crowds, make sure to visit the wonderful Egyptian area!

IMG_6346^^ the arch that leads to the Jardim das Tuileries – I was dying to visit this place. somehow, we turned the other way and went home…?

 

…more to come!

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it was rather painful to wait to finally announce our engagement to our friends and loved ones. we waited about two weeks! i had in mind what I wanted to do, though. and when i have a plan, i stick to it. while we were in spain,we phoned our family and told them the news!

i also purchased a bunch of madrid postcards, stamps and other stationery! i’m sending a few of our favorite pictures to the printer. never mind. i spent nights sorting through gorgeous designs of engagement announcements online, however, i decided that a custom portrait of us as a family, our first illustrated portrait was a much better idea, it was special! we are starting here a tradition of getting our family portrait done during very special moments of our lives!

i researched various artists who do this type of work and fell completely in love with my little buffalo. lisa is extremely talented and she worked with us to get a portrait that reflected our personality and i just love it!

vanessawe also purchased the cutest paper bags, washi tapes, stamps, colorful paper for confetti and ribbons and finally, after weeks of working on this, we sent out last week the announcement to friends and family in the US, brazil, spain, eveywhere! the best experience was to roam through El Rastro, the largest flea market in spain, searching for vintage spanish stamps, postcards and envelopes!

 

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now: on to planning our engagement party. it will be a party not to be missed, we are a lot of fun!

new jersey, be prepared!

 

0202_vanessa-bret_130429a little more from our engagement photo shoot. our photographer didn’t know the meaning Plaza Mayor has for us. stopping here was natural, organic. but, before our trip, B. would tell me all these stories of him hanging out at Plaza Mayor! it was one of his favorite spots in Madrid and he spent a lot of time there and he thought of it as a special place!

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DSC07474the thought of going back home makes me want to cry. everybody should have the chance to live in a gorgeous place like this. even if it is for a little while. i could completely imagine my life here in madrid. this place was made for me and i was made for this place. the beauty, the food, the style, the life, i just had the best experience of my life. i’ll miss spain with all my heart. and i vow to return here every single chance i have.

i need to thank my sweet cousins for hosting us for such a long time! we loved spending time together and we are so happy we got to reunite after 15 years! you were the best hosts in the world! thank you so, so much!

see you soon, denver!

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 10.01.07 PMon monday, B. and I had the chance to spend a wonderful afternoon with Jesus and his friend Carlos. they are two amazing Spanish photographers and we had the best of times! we felt completely comfortable, we got to do all our crazy wish list pictures, they were super fun and the results are just amazing!

i’d like to share with you a sneak peak on our engagement shoot! in the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more, including all the pictures we took in different locations throughout madrid! enjoy!

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what i love most is that he really captured who we are, you can really see how much fun we have together, our dances, laughter, love, it’s just amazing! i’m in love with these images!!!

you can see all the images here!

all images by Jesus Cabellero from White Dress Photo

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