Our Trip to France | Summer 2017

Kathryn Frugé Cincinanti Film Photographer France Kodak Portra 400 The Find Lab Paris Perpignan Mont St Michel_0008.jpg

If you're friends with me or Griffin on Facebook, you may have seen the blog post Griffin did a month or so ago about how we were able to afford a trip to France while we were in the process of buying a house. If you haven't seen that post, I would highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in finding ways you can make traveling more affordable.

I'm super lucky, because not only does my husband know how to budget for travel, but he also is the most laid-back, and easy to follow travel guide. I didn't know where we were going on our honeymoon until we were leaving our reception, and I'm honestly ok with letting him plan all of our travel for the rest of our lives. For me, there's something relaxing about just following along and not having to plan anything.

I decided to only take a film camera on this trip, my Pentax K1000. It's a small, 35mm camera, and it really helped me slow down and worry less about photography. It also made Griffin feel better knowing that if the camera was stollen or if I accidentally left it somewhere, we'd only be out $75 as oppose to thousands with our digital gear. All of the photos in this post were taken on that Pentax K1000 on Kodak Portra 400 film, and developed at The FIND Lab.

First Stop, Paris

We spent the first three days of our trip staying on Île de la Cité, which I have also been told is nicknamed ice cream island. It makes sense, because there's more ice cream and gelato shops than I could keep up with. Did I eat ice cream every day? Of course. Multiple times a day? Yeah, that definitely happened.

Kathryn Frugé Cincinanti Film Photographer France Kodak Portra 400 The Find Lab Paris Perpignan Mont St Michel_0001.jpg

We took the metro straight to our Air BNB from the airport, and when we walked up from the station underground, Griffin said, "Look up." Notre Dame was RIGHT THERE. It was incredible. We saw so many beautiful buildings in Paris, but there was something about Notre Dame that made me really emotional. It was elaborate, but the church felt like the intricacies were crafted out of a true devotion to God.  I also realized it may be the first famous building I ever knew about, due to a certain Disney movie that I watched probably a hundred times as a child. Seeing it in person was wild.

We got a museum pass and rushed around the city, logging over 36 miles of walking in three days according to our iPhones (did you know that your iPhone tracks your steps every day in the Health App? It also correctly guessed my weight and height, but that's not what I'm here to talk about.) Our friends told us about this, and I also would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see all the big museums in Paris. We hustled to see all those sites in just a few days, and we were only able to do it because we could jump all the museum lines with those passes. You also save money this way, so it's a win-win.

Next, Mont St. Michel

We headed north to visit Mont St. Michel. Google pictures of it, and you'll be wondering, "Does this castle in the middle of the ocean really exist?" Well, it's not a castle but it DOES exist and it's beautiful. We stayed with the sweetest woman who had a quaint Air BNB with fresh flowers waiting for us on our nightstands. I wanted to get a little taste of the French countryside, and we definitely did in this part of our trip.

Back to Paris

After we went to Mont St. Michel, we were headed down to the South of France, so we spent another night in Paris. It was our date night, and we did a little more sight seeing before our fancy dinner at L'Orangerie, which was so delicious.

And Now Down South

We spent the last few days of our trip with some family friends in Perpignan. When we were planning our trip, people who had been to France before us kept saying, "Don't spend all your time in Paris. There are other parts of France that are even more beautiful, and less expensive." When we got to Perpignan, I thought, "This must be the place." I think this might be France's version of the suburbs, and if so, sign me up for that French suburban lifestyle. Especially if I can spend all my days at Plage De Collioure.

France was beautiful, and these photos will always hold such a special place in my heart. Taking only a film camera caused me to slow down and really enjoy where I was, instead of trying to capture the perfect image. I'm hoping to incorporate more of this philosophy into my professional work.

And here's a photo Griffin took of me when I handed him the camera at the Palace of Versailles. If our future kids look at this blogpost someday, I want them to see documentation of their mom in France as well, not just their dad :) And I think he did a pretty dang good job, too.

Kathryn Frugé Cincinanti Film Photographer France Kodak Portra 400 The Find Lab Paris Perpignan Mont St Michel_0016.jpg