There was so much about my recent trip to Paris that was wonderful.  Unexpectedly, my time spent sightseeing alone each day was partly what made the trip so memorable.

En Paris

As I explored the different Arrondisements, it didn’t matter if I stopped every five feet to snap a picture, decided to veer off my charted course to wander down an interesting side street, or found myself lost and had to retrace my steps.  When my feet got tired or I got hungry, I stopped to rest or to eat; and at the end of the day I always had adventures to report back to my husband.

My sketch book was always handy, and since Paris is a city for people watching my cafe breaks provided the perfect opportunity to try and capture the expressions and spirit of those around me.

cartoon head illustration studies

Quick sketch of cheerful middle aged man

In short, I would say that my entire trip was trés parfait except for one little thing.  Everyone (or so it seems) in Paris smokes – and I’m not referring to the occasional social cigarette.  Parisians seem to be heavy weight champions in the sport of chain smoking.  Sitting in the those wonderful outdoor cafes means you’re liable to be served up a side of cancer along with your Chèvre.

Quick sketch of Parisian girl smoking

C’est domage, but maybe by the next time I visit that will have changed.  Here’s hoping…









  1. Denise Pellegrino says:

    Hi Joana… Welcome Home! So glad you enjoyed!… The cafes are wonderful over there… I would imagine that being alone most of the time can give you a better insight on what is around you, because you have no interruptions… Always nice to share with someone, but I would not mind at all if I had to go cruising solo, great experience!

    Unfortunately the smoking habits there are not very nice, agree with you on that!

    Keep those posts coming, I thoroughly enjoy! Denise

  2. Helen Reich says:

    Cute sketches! Glad you had a good time, and sorry about the smokers. I’ve gotten so un-used to smoke that now even a little bit annoys me.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      I really wasn’t exaggerating about the smoking. One night when Andy and I and two of our colleagues were dining at the patio of a restaurant near our hotel, I noticed that a (rather overweight) woman was dining alone near us. What caught my attention initially was the smell of smoke. And then I realized that during the entire 2 hours we shared the patio with her she ALWAYS had a cigarette lit. The only time she put the cigarette down was when she erupted into a violent fit of coughing that sounded more like a death rattle than anything else. We seriously thought she was going to die right there on the spot! Bleh!

      I’m enjoying my non-smoking apartment balcony very much. 🙂 xox – Joana

      On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 3:48 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


        • Joana says:

          Hmm, I didn’t picture the Japanese as smokers (ever). I wonder if they still smoke? My mom didn’t mention it from her trip last year to Osaka. And since she’s REALLY bothered by smoking, I’m pretty sure she would have complained to me…not to mention probably caused a national incident over it. Hee hee!

          🙂 Joana

          On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:18 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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