What a day it had been... not quite as I imagined spending my 30th birthday in Paris would be, but still wonderful in all the ways that make it real. The morning had started off overcast and drab, but opened up to patches of beautiful blue skies almost simultaneously with rounding a corner to my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Climbing up the Eiffel Tower had been my goal for so long, that completing it seemed surreal.
The day continued with wandering through the Parisian streets and seeing more iconic places throughout the city. We were walking along the Seine when a riverside vendor captured my attention. Most of the vendors were selling cheap souvenirs to tourists, but this space was filled with gorgeous antique books. He was closing, so I didn't want to delay him too much, but I couldn't resist letting him know that his books were "magnifique"!
He smiled and proceeded to show me a few of his favorites, including some of his oldest first editions! An admission that I don't read French was responded to with acknowledgement that I wouldn't really be able to truly appreciate everything that these books had the potential to share. He then showed some illustrations, from books like "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and an illustration of the bridge spanning the Seine between us and the Eiffel Tower. After sharing the highlights he insisted that I take as many photos as I wanted. I took a few of the stunning ancient books, but wish I had taken a least one of him, with his beautiful antique books.
This image is part of the 2018 Vignettes Calendar, available for purchase here!