Waterlogue Wednesdays: September in Alsace

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Beautiful Eguisheim
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
St. Hippolyte
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Pink gingerbread houses in Colmar
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Café Pfeffel, Colmar
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Riquewihr

Continuing last week‘s Waterlogue Wednesday theme (because I’m in love with Alsace and took enough photos there to keep me posting for months), I have here a few more of those beautiful shutters and charming façades.

Follow me on Instagram to see the originals of these photos: @fallingoffbicycles.

Advertisements

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Fall in Alsace

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Autumn light over the vines
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography, muscat grapes, fig season
Fig and Muscat grape season is my favorite!
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography, Colmar, Alsace tourism, la Petite Venise, Colmar
Le Petite Venise, Colmar
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Colmar shutters and flowers

I spent several days in the Alsace region already this Fall and became completely smitten with it within the first few minutes walking around. Although it wasn’t my first time to Alsace, it certainly hadn’t made as strong of an impression on me in previous visits, but this time – perhaps due to the freedom of having a car and having done lots of research – I was able to fully appreciate the incredible beauty and charm of the region.

One of the main reasons to visits the French countryside in September is to see the rolling hills of vineyards that seem to completely blanket the country. Of course, it’s most fun to catch them with the grapes still hanging on them, but the autumn sun would look beautiful on the grape vines with or without them. We visited Colmar, Strasbourg, and many other little towns in the area as the area firmly secured itself as one of France’s most enchanting regions!

Follow me on Instagram to see the originals of these photos: @fallingoffbicycles.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Fall in Place de Vosges

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Early morning at Place des Vosges
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
September at Place des Vosges… with a bicycle

A simple Waterlogue Wednesday for you today. The September sun looks so beautiful on Place des Vosges.

Follow me on Instagram to see the originals of these photos: @fallingoffbicycles.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Maine in September

Maine, Maine thing, United States, East Coast photography, New England, Bremen, Kennebunkport, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Rockland Breakwater, Portland Head Lighthouse
Beautiful dock overlooking the Atlantic
Maine, Maine thing, United States, East Coast photography, New England, Bremen, Kennebunkport, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Rockland Breakwater, Portland Head Lighthouse
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
Maine, Maine thing, United States, East Coast photography, New England, Bremen, Kennebunkport, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Rockland Breakwater, Portland Head Lighthouse
Charming Kennebunkport
Maine, Maine thing, United States, East Coast photography, New England, Bremen, Kennebunkport, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Rockland Breakwater, Portland Head Lighthouse
Portland Head Lighthouse

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most beautiful states in the U.S., in my opinion. I had been to Maine on a family vacation as a kid, but this time I was headed there alone for the wedding of friends, and was able to take a couple of extra days to explore. I hope you enjoy what I found along the way.

Turns out Maine looks just as beautiful in Waterlogues as it does in real life.

Mersea: Always By the Sea

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Last Christmastime, my mom, my sister, and I went to a local Kansas City shop that sells all kinds of monogrammed items. It’s such a fun place to go, as there’s apparently no end to what can be monogrammed! Haha. One item I spotted and kept returning to while we were in the shop was a beautiful “travel wrap”, as it was called. It was a sort-of cross between a scarf/shawl and a wrap with a narrow V-shape to it making it easy to envelope yourself in it. The product and company name, Mersea, stuck with me as I made a mental note to add the wrap to my wishlist.

After seeing more Mersea products at shops around town, I sat down one day to learn more about the company. I quickly learned that it was a local Kansas City company that was relatively new on the scene. As I read about their story and spoke with friends about Mersea, I learned there are several parallels between the philosophies and underlying messages that Mersea and Falling Off Bicycles share that go beyond being KC-based.

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candleMersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

When I went to the Mersea office, Lina Dickinson (co-owner with Melanie Bolin and Stephanie Lawrence) graciously showed me all around the space, introducing me to all the products. The packaging is simple and elegant and the scents refreshing while not being overpowering.

The company name, as explained by Lina, came from a connection with the sea that all three owners share. All three women come from the coastal United States and share a love – and longing – for the sea. The name is one of my very favorite things about the brand; it comes from combining the French word mer for ‘sea’ plus the word, itself, making the sound of the one French word everyone knows: merci. The company name is more than a cute play on words, though. It is exactly how the co-owners feel – thankful!

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle
Linen travel wrap pouch

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

Mersea, Kansas City, beach, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Julie Willard, scented candle

I’m so excited to have teamed up with Mersea to introduce my followers (in Kansas City and elsewhere) to Mersea products. The selection of candles, soaps, and salts Lina sent me home with are refreshing, aromatic but not over-powering, and also cleverly named. A few names (that you’ll appreciate especially if you’re familiar with the French language) include: L’eau Tide, Saltaire, Bohème, and Sirène. My personal favorite of the scents I have in my home is Tossa, which is so refreshing and has a very “clean” scent.

Mersea, Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, France photography, Instagram collaboration, always by the sea

The linen travel wraps are a newer addition and perfect for summertime and warmer destinations. I used mine for evenings outside by the beach, days when it was sprinkling a bit but too warm for a heavier cover, and {update} in the French Riviera in October when the weather was warm yet unpredictable. Now, I’m going to need to get a wrap for the chillier months!

Mersea, Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, France photography, Instagram collaboration, always by the sea

Mersea, Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, France photography, Instagram collaboration, always by the sea

You can check out Mersea products at their website mersea.com.

Photos shot at Brigantine Beach, New Jersey, USA and Calanques Sormiou, France.
© Falling Off Bicycles
Photos are all copyrighted and may not be used without express written permission.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Sunflower Fields of Kansas at Grinter Farms

While I wander around the world most of the year, I still return home to the U.S. often to see family (and Brinkley, of course!) often. A couple of years ago, my cousin introduced me to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and it’s only 40 minutes away from where I grew up. I’m still wondering how I could have missed it all these years. The full story will appear in another blog post, but here are the Waterlogues from recent sunrise visit to Grinter Farms in Lawrence, Kansas.

Has Waterlogue Wednesday ever looked so good as it does dressed in yellow?

 watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
Sunrise over the sunflower and corn fields at Grinter Farms
 watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
Sunrise over the sunflower field at Grinter Farms
 watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise, sunflower state
My beloved bike and logo!
 watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
Perfect contrast
 watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
All the lovely details

Grinter Farms
24154 Stillwell Road
Lawrence, Kansas
66044

Broken Biscuits

Julia Willard - Broken Biscuits Paris, bicycle Paris
Moi

Coucou, Everyone! Just had to share one of my favorite photos and its accompanying story…

A year ago, a friend of a friend told me she had a friend (are you following?) that I just had to meet, as she was about to move to Paris. Great, I thought, I love to meet others with a shared love for Paris. Patty and I agreed to meet in the neighborhood she had chosen to live in for the next 12 months: the 11th. Of the 20 arrondissements in Paris, a handful of them hold much less interest to me than others, and the 11th is one of them. I can’t say I know why this is, but something about it has never had much draw for me. I know there are many loyal onzième-ers out there, so please don’t be offended! Anyway, the good news is, Patty – even before moving to Paris – loved the 11th, so she was totally prepared to share her knowledge of the neighborhood with me.

We made plans for a morning date on what ended up being a rather wet day. I stopped over at her place near a charming small park, then we headed to the nearby and newly-opened Broken Biscuits. We chatted briefly with the two employees then ordered our goodies and settled into the front two seats. As you can see from the exterior photo, it’s a very small space, so we were lucky to get the best seats in the house.

Not too many people stopped in in the time we were sitting there, but the story that goes along with the shot of me in the window is one of my all-time favorite photo stories. You see, a woman with the red grocery cart walked up first, and parked her market purchases right out front. Seeing this, I interrupted Patty, and hopped outside to take a photo. What a cute shot, right? Within a couple of minutes, though, a man on this lovely blue bike parked it right in front, and perfectly, too. You see, it’s not leaning, it’s not locked up, it’s just perfectly positioned in front of the shop front.

At this point, Patty was 100% in on the impromptu photo shoot as well, and we knew we had to be quick about it because these customers would be served within minutes. We both jumped up and shot each other sitting poetically in the front window in what had been an already-darling scene, but the elements that came along just made it that much better.

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Pâtisseries and tea goodies
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography
Scones and hot tea

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, colorful France, France photography

Photo taken a year ago by Ms. Paris On a Dime

Address: 
10 Passage Rochebrune, 75011 Paris
Hours: 
Wed-Fri 8:30am-7pm
Sat-Sun 11-7pm

Sunflower Fields of Kansas at Grinter Farms

Usually when people hear I’m from Kansas City, they drop the “City” and talk about “Kansas” from then on. If you’re from the area, you know exactly why this is frustrating. Kansas has some antiquated laws and rampant sentiment that I do not agree with or care to be associated with. I guess the addition of “City” implies a certain level of progressive thinking that I prefer to be associated with. However, back in 2014, my hometown fellow adventurer introduced me to a Kansas wonder, a destination I had never heard of before that played a major role in changing my view on the State. When we finally had our excursion to the not-so-far-away glorious fields of sunflowers she had recently learned about, my feelings about the Sunflower State softened.

I had no idea what to expect during our first visit there, all I knew was that we were heading for sunflower fields. We went to Grinter Farms one mid-afternoon on a late summer day, so the sun shone bright on the acres and acres of sunflowers. The scene was not lost on me, however, with the tens of thousands of sunflowers standing in salute to the sun. I was now in awe of Kansas’ beauty.
watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
And this is only a few acres of it…watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise

In 2015, my fellow adventurer and I watched the Grinter Farms Facebook page closely and made our trek out west 😉 once we were confident the flowers were close to blooming / in bloom. I, myself, about to return to Paris, was on a bit of a time crunch. My departure in a few days meant that I had only a small window of time to see the sunflowers in bloom. Sadly, when we arrived where we had frolicked a year before among the yellow beauties, there was nothing but an empty field. We saw no signs to lead us elsewhere, so we just called it a loss and headed home. Not a week later, after I had returned to Europe, my sunflower buddy sent me a photo of the beautiful farm in full bloom. We had been around the corner (in farm distance) from where she eventually found the flowers. Turns out they use different fields from time to time. If only we had known!

This year was different, though. For months, I checked in on the sunflower fields. As the fields have become more and more of an attraction for people all across the Midwest, it seems details of the “bloom report” have become more specific. In July, I noticed they had only just planted the sunflower seeds. This worried me, as I could imagine myself faced with the same issue I had worried about in 2015: a year without an awe-striking sunflower field view.

Well, who knew such enormous plants could grow so much in two months time?! By early September, the report was that the flowers were nearly due to bloom. This year I was not going to miss it!

watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
Me shooting the flowers

watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise

I made two trips within a few days, once at sunset with my mom and then a few days later at sunrise by myself. Not surprisingly, there were very few people there when I arrived at 6:30 am. For about half an hour, it was just me, by bicycle, and a few people with a drone. Yes, you read that correctly… I took my bike with me! What would make for a more charming photo than an adorable prop amongst the flowers?

I just loved wandering around and through the 40 acres of sunflowers. Beauty like that requires a lot of stopping and staring. How else can you fully comprehend you’re in the presence of such beauty? Eventually, I took my bike around the Farm to shoot it in different settings. The sun came up quickly, so I had to work quickly. And even though the fields seem to go on forever, I did my best to stay where the now-large influx of visitors was not yet. (If you know my photography, you know how infrequently I have people in my shots.)

watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise

watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise
Sunrise at Grinter Farms, Kansas

watercolor, waterlogue, tinrocket, Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise

When I was taking one of my last photos of the morning, I rolled my bike out of the field (no flowers were trampled in the process!), and as I was nearing the edge, I saw a beautiful shot behind me. I parked my bike to get the shot, then realized it was even better with the bike in the foreground. You may have seen this image elsewhere, since a few passers-by thought it was cute enough to shoot as well. As I’m sure you photographers know, it can be very frustrating when a person “steals” your shot (especially right in front of you!), but I didn’t say anything… I was too busy appreciating the view. 🌻🌻🌻

Julie Willard, Julia Willard, sunflowers Grinter Farms, Kansas, Sunflower Fields, sunflowers, flowers, sunrise

A special thanks to the owners and farmers at Grinter Farms, who generously allow their property to become a literal stomping ground for at least a couple of weeks a year. The donations we leave in the boxes around the property are but a token of my great appreciation for sharing Nature’s beauty with a larger audience.

Grinter Farms
24154 Stillwell Road
Lawrence, Kansas
66044

© Falling Off Bicycles
Photos are all copyrighted and may not be used without express written permission.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Bike Parking in Amsterdam

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Amsterdam, solo bike parking, France photography
My new favorite façade in Amsterdam… with a bike, of course!
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Amsterdam, solo bike parking, France photography
My favorite stoop in the the whole city
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Amsterdam, solo bike parking, France photography
On my way to brunch at Le Pain Quotidien
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Amsterdam, solo bike parking, France photography
Charming Seven Bridges Hotel on Reguliersgracht

Amsterdam again this Waterlogue Wednesday. The name Falling Off Bicycles didn’t pop out of nowhere. Nope, it came to me one day when I was living in Amsterdam. I was doing a lot of soul-searching at that time, as well as a lot of writing. I was so inspired by all the charming scenes of bikes parked in front of cute scenes, I had decided to shoot them and create a site to share them. I didn’t know at that time what purpose these hundreds of photos would serve and how they would end up inspiring me to create a travel photography business eventually. Since that time six years ago, I haven’t been able to stop taking photos of parked bikes – in Amsterdam and elsewhere. I’ve since added bicycle photos from Paris, London, Rome, Gent, and many smaller cities. I have so many, I could never possibly share them all. So for now, please enjoy a few of my favorite recent ones. 😍