Au Revoir Paris

Day 8 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Swan in water with shadow watercolor painting

Today, we’ve just had our last little breakfast in Paris and head back home soon. I loved seeing the swans on the river here, so that’s what I chose for today’s final doodlewash in France. They’re such beautiful birds and I’m only likely to see ducks and geese back home. However, this swan’s travel looks far more relaxing than the kind I’m about to experience. Philippe says he prefers the trip home, but I always find it disorienting, like we’re traveling back in time. Tonight, we’ll be home in time for dinner on a Saturday night, but it will, in reality, be 2:30am on Sunday in France. Hoping to get a little bit of a nap on the plane as once home, we’ll then attempt to stay up for another few hours to begin to reset our internal clocks. It will be exhausting, but also good to be home again.

I wrote that first bit and then had to catch our Uber to the airport before I could complete it. I’m now on the plane, half way back to America, and rather bored because we were informed that the inflight entertainment system wasn’t working for this flight. Hopefully all other systems are working properly. I never realized how much I relied on some silly show to fill the time until now when there’s the sound of wailing air and low murmurs. And me, still wide awake, in a cabin that’s starting to smell like new farts and old socks. From my seat, I see the luckier folks in Business Class sleeping soundly in their fully reclining beds. I’m instead sitting with my knees pressing against the seat in front of me, sitting so upright I may as well be standing, trying to catch a nap as though I were a horse.

Next stop will be a wait through Customs before heading to our second flight back to Kansas City. France is already miles away now, and with each little bump I’m slowly making the transition back to my normal little life. Last night we said goodnight to friends and family for the final time on this trip, trying to pretend another year would pass quickly. It will, in reality, be much slower than that, but as we move away from Paris, I like to think that we’re just beginning a slow journey back. Seasons will pass and days will go by, but each one will bring us closer to our return. A slow and peaceful journey back to our second home. Not rushing, but taking it one ripple of water at a time, like a swan swimming down the river Seine.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Red Orange, Carmine, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine Deep, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 8 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Swan in water with shadow watercolor painting
Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
42 Comments
  1. jmnowak 8 months ago

    Hide your box of macarons from the Customs man, Charlie. He may want them for himself! I’ve enjoyed your Paris sojourn and want to move there, so I looked on the French Entrée website for some inspiration and guess what I saw, an article on how to learn French a hundred times faster, and I thought of you! frenchentree.com. Bisous. 💌

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Janina! 😃💕 hehe… thankfully I just looked at the macarons rather than buying any. They’re just too darn sweet!! lol Cool though! I’ll check out that link. I definitely have to start trying to get serious about learning French. 😊

  2. Awww time traveller, I always love that thought, but not the experience of new farts and stinking socks! I have loved hearing of your French adventures with family and friends. I do hope your body adjusts quickly once you get back home …try and get some zzzzzzzzz, just don’t start neighing while you doze. Lol 😉

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Rebecca! 😃💕 It’s good to be back home, but still missing our little life there. One day we’ll be able to stay a bit longer I hope. And I didn’t make any horse sounds… that I’m aware of… haha… but only managed to get a 20 minute nap. I just can’t sleep well on planes. But feeling great!

  3. Eric Disney 8 months ago

    C’est tres jolie–au revoir cher Paris, a-beintot Kansas City!

  4. Susan Feniak 8 months ago

    Such a beautiful swan !

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    Being separated from family is painful, whether by an ocean or even 9 hours on a highway as we are from one of our sons and his family. You miss a lot and put so much on those few hours spent with them. Next year for you; we are not sure when we’ll be able to visit our Northern California family again. We’re always connected by phone and other devices though it’s hardly the same as holding a grandchild in my arms.

    Glad you and Philippe had such a wonderful Paris vacation, and thank you for letting us have a window into your adventures.

    • Author

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah… thankfully there’s always a way to stay connected digitally. It can help bridge the time in between a bit. And so happy you enjoyed these posts… this was one of my favorite trips there so far since it felt less like tourism and more like hanging out in a new home.

  6. Debra 8 months ago

    I so enjoy your writing! And love your watercolours! I find myself looking forward to your post!

  7. Snehal Kank 8 months ago

    Beautiful Swan and what a wonderful ripple of water ! I could really relate your descripetion, it’s hard to say bye to loved one back home. Have a safe journey!

    • Author

      Thanks, Snehal! 😃💕 So glad you liked the ripple of water… water still sort of terrifies me to paint. hehe… so I’m glad you liked how it turned out. Back home safe and sound (and just a wee bit tired… hehe)

      • Snehal Kank 8 months ago

        I found water is quite hard to paint 😉 You did a great job friend 😀 ohh yes jet lag thing!

  8. Jodi 8 months ago

    ❤️

  9. Elestra 8 months ago

    Very beautiful picture! Congratulation Charlie!

  10. GeorgieMoon 8 months ago

    Travelling is indeed stressful and exhausting. But you will have your lovely sketchbook to remind you of your wonderful holiday.

    • Author

      Thanks, Georgie! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m so happy I got the little red sketchbook. It’s wonderful and just feels fun to paint in. And paintings trigger so many more memories for me than photos.

  11. Laurence 8 months ago

    Hi Charlie, it’s 10h12 morning here so you probably sleep in your bed now as it’s about 3 am. Amazing painting and really splendid colors and water effects.
    I wish your intern clock will find the best way for you and yes, I’m sure a year goes very quickly ! See you soon and as waiting, I’ll look forward for your beautiful paintings.

    • Author

      Thanks, Laurence! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… I was actually asleep then… but woke up at 5am because my internal clock was convinced it was nearly lunch time. lol Still managed a full good night’s sleep though, so I feel really great today!

  12. Margriet Bierens 8 months ago

    Like a swan, relaxing in the new time zone, back in time about 7 hours? I guess.
    And back to normal life again though it’s Sunday and you can take enough sleep for tomorrow starts again and probably back to work.
    Swans I like, they seem so peacefull and light driving upon the water!
    Hope you start the new week as light as the swans Charlie!

    • Author

      So glad you liked the swan, Margriet! 😃💕 It was really fun to paint this one. And yes… back to normal life, but I’m feeling great and actually energized. Ready to get back into our little routines at home and heading into my favorite seasons!!

  13. Tom Merriman 8 months ago

    Swans are gorgeous birds, Charlie, so elegant – even when defending their young. Hope your flight home managed to improve somewhat – or at least you caught a little shut eye…

    • Author

      Thanks, Tom!! 😃 So good to be home again!! Sorry for the delay, missing some comments lately in the WordPress app. 😊

  14. creatingincolors 8 months ago

    What a beautiful, peaceful painting to close your trip to Paris. It’s been a pleasure to follow your journey. I hope the good memories of your time living in Paris will carry you through until you return.

    • Author

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I’m so pleased you enjoyed this little journey. I had a wonderful time, and was actually surprised I was able to manage a post each day with such a packed schedule, but so glad I did. I can’t imagine not making a painting each day now, even when I’m traveling.

  15. Jacob 8 months ago

    A really beautiful swan, Charlie – how striking it is surrounded by that dark, rippling water; poignant in its way, but we know how swiftly time flies – you’ll be back there before you know it! I hope you had a good journey back and have reverted to some kind of American order. I also hope that Phineas isn’t giving you too much trouble for going on holiday without him! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃 I rather liked how the swan turned out… was a bit of rush job, but sometimes those turn out the best! hehe And yes, back home with Phineas and although he seemed pissed at first, now he’s just curled up in a ball and snoring. Being with so many other dogs at “camp” really wears him out.

  16. Teri C 8 months ago

    A beautiful swan Charlie. Interesting that when I was in Hamburg they had swans all over too.
    And you must be home now. Welcome back to reality.

  17. circadianreflections 8 months ago

    I hope you are home by now, and settling into your normal routine. I absolutely loved what you said here, ” I like to think that we’re just beginning a slow journey back. Seasons will pass and days will go by, but each one will bring us closer to our return. A slow and peaceful journey back to our second home. Not rushing, but taking it one ripple of water at a time, like a swan swimming down the river Seine.”

    LOVE IT!

    Your swan is beautiful!

    • Author

      awww… thanks so much, Deborah! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you liked this post! It was written in the midst of such choas, that I wasn’t sure what I was even saying. hehe… and glad you liked my swan. I was pleased with how this one turned out! 😊

  18. Jill Kuhn 8 months ago

    Some how I missed this post… 😉 Some days seem to “fly” by EXCEPT when you are flying in an airplane!! Lol! 😊 Beautiful Swan, Charlie! 💙💜❤️

    • Author

      Thanks, Jill! 😃💕 Glad you liked my swan! And yeah… long airplane trips are rough… I was never more excited to be back home again!

  19. Paris is a special place and your sketches are all beautiful and make Paris even more special!
    robert

  20. Terri 8 months ago

    As a new reader I loved following along in your travels! And your art is stunning. Thanks for taking us along!

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