In my hometown of Seattle, there are two kinds of people.  Those who carry “bumbershoots”…

…and those who don’t.

I always regarded carriers as sissies, but before we left for Europe, my sister Constance talked me into buying an umbrella, and I’m glad she did.  We had one day to explore the city of Liege…

…and one day in Paris.

It rained both days.

What are you gonna do?  As the sign says, “You are here.”

You can’t make hay while the sun don’t shine, but there’s no better time to snap bumbershots.

We decided to just relax and enjoy it, from the bus stop in front of the Guillemins train station in Liege

…to the citadel park overlooking Liege.

By the end of the day, even with our umbrellas…

…we were so saturated that we had to find our way home by map wad.

In Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is the go-to place for pond sailing.

Just as we got there, the last boat was hauled out of the water…

…and wheeled off into dry dock.

But it was still perfect weather for dads…

…ducks, and little children.

Not to mention friends…

..and lovers.

After all, this was Paris.

All words and images copyright Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for The Weekly Travel Theme: Relaxing.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated.



  1. I’ve never heard that word! I hate umbrellas. Living in the suburbs, in and out of a car most of the time, I rarely use one. When I’m in NYC or other cities, I try to carry one and hate doing so and invariably they break. Great photos!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I knew someone would understand about my reluctance to carry one. Isn’t Bumbershoot a great word? Every Labor Day we have a big festival in Seattle called Bumbershoot, which is appropriate, because it marks the beginning of fall, and the coming of our rainy season.

  2. I haven’t heard that term for umbrellas since I was a child

    1. It’s delightfully fanciful!

      1. Or maybe Dyson Abbey? Only just one of my favorite lines in your post today!

  3. Carol says:

    Thank you for inviting me along – I did carry my bumbershot because I am, after all, a confirmed sissie.


    1. Hi Carol,
      So glad you could come! I’m a born again sissie!

  4. Amy says:

    “But it was still perfect weather for…” — so very beautiful, Naomi! Thank you for the lovely rainy day tour 🙂

    1. Hi Amy,
      So glad you could come along! I appreciate your stopping by.

  5. Mary Brugh says:

    When I lived on the west coast and in Hawaii I never used a bumbershoot becaus the rain was never that wet; in Hawaii a light rain is considered a blessing. Now in Tennessee I have a bumbershoot in the house and one in the car because a rainfall can be a real soaker. I’ve lost or broken several bunbershoots in the last five years I’ve been here.

    Thanks for your rainy article, I miss gentle west coast rain.

    1. Soft weather is what they call it in Ireland, and it is a perfect description. Can it really be five years, Mary? We still miss you! It is always good to hear from you.

  6. Oh I love it! I want to be there, even with the rain! Thank you for transporting me for a moment.

    1. Hi Anne,
      I know you’d be singin’ in the rain! Thanks for the visit, and for taking the time to comment.

  7. Luckily there are umbrellas, in fact… but in Europe it doesn’t rain forever… at least not where I live! Just think, we were in England last July… three weeks (up to the north of Scotland) and it only rained one (1) day… incredible, hey, I’m talking about the UK! Kisses 😀 claudine

  8. ledrakenoir says:

    Rain can be very inspiring, “rainy photos” even more – very well captured… 🙂

  9. Penelope says:

    Being british, when I lived there, an umbrella was more like an accessory so the trendier it was the better…LOL!

    1. I remember going to England quite a few years ago and bringing back the cutest little brellies for my kids. There is a very nice selection over there. English weather isn’t all that different from Seattle’s—green and often wet–but I think it gets colder there in the winter.

  10. emuse says:

    I’m planning on a move to the northwest in the spring of next year. I will definitely be in the wimpy bumbershot category. I get sneezy. 😉

    Your pics are lovely.

    1. Welcome to the Northwest! I’ve been to all fifty states, and knew that of all places I had been, I wanted to come back here to live. I came as soon as I finished college. Where are you coming from, and what brings you here?

  11. Roy McCarthy says:

    That’s the spirit Naomi – appreciate the rain and the different perspectives it brings rather than grumble and hope for it to stop. And Paris under an umbrella is especially romantic.

    1. Ho there, Roy! Thanks for the visit, and for adding a wonderful perspective to the conversation. In Seattle, if you waited for the rain to stop, you wouldn’t go out of the house from October to March or April. And something there is about an umbrella!

  12. Constance B. Hartle says:

    Dear Naomi,

    Nice post! I was mid sentence, writing to you, when your note arrived this morning. I’m so glad you are home, safe, with your sweet man who loves you. I love you.


    1. Dear Con,
      So good to hear from you. I had a wonderful trip, and am glad to know that you got to rent bikes and are tooling around France on two wheels. Say hi to Bart for me.

  13. Did you sing while you strolling in the rain?

    1. A quick chorus of “Isn’t It a Lovely Day” (to be caught in the rain.)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  14. restlessjo says:

    Hey, what’s a drop of rain between friends! 🙂

    1. Right! Between, on top of, all over, down under, but really, what the heck, we aren’t sugar cubes and we didn’t melt when we got wet!
      Thanks for stopping by, Jo.

  15. Terrific idea for a post, Naomi, especially when coupled with your whimsical photos. It’s a vexing question, isn’t it – to carry, or not to carry! The worst thing about them is that they disappear – they’re worse than pens that way! When I lived in Sri Lanka I bought two terrific umbrellas for the house – one for each door, for when one arrived in the middle of a downpour. It was a terrific idea, and worked a treat for the first few months, until one disappeared, then the other … But bumbershoot? I’m off to study where this extraordinary word comes from. 🙂

    1. I love your idea. “They disappear like pens.” Makes me smile, because it’s so true! I will confess to having a closet full, left over from visitors who leave them when I have parties, and no idea who left them. Which is ironic, because I don’t carry them. And I still had to buy one because I needed a compact lightweight one for travel.
      Thanks so much for the visit, Meredith. I hope this finds you well.

  16. Rain creates such lovely, Impressionistic photos! I started to duck in out of a rain shower in Hawaii, and was gently reprimanded for trying to miss out on a rare experience . . . and he was right, I enjoyed Hawaiian rain very much!
    Let’s go singing and dancing in the rain 😉

    1. I’d LOVE to, Mary! What a wonderful chance meeting that took you back out into the rain!

  17. Rain, bumbershoots”, and umbrellas. Sweet pictures in summer wet and not. Thanks for the tour, Naomi, in the city of Liege and in Paris. Always delightful traveling with you. 🙂

    1. Hi Tess,
      Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to respond. I always love to hear from you.

      1. And always fun to read your posts. 😀

  18. nutsfortreasure says:

    I have been thinking of you as storm after storm comes ashore where you are. Take care I know you are used to rain but enough is enough.

    1. Dear Eunice,
      That is so sweet of you! I’ve been in Europe for the last couple of weeks, and missed the worst of it, but my husband says he’s had to batten down the hatches. He is a soccer referee and booked lots of games over the weekend so he wouldn’t miss me too much, and he got very wet and cold with all the stormy weather! Hope you are staying high and dry, and warm, too, with fall weather closing in.

      1. nutsfortreasure says:

        Glad you were off having fun! Glad hubby weathered the storm we are enjoying just another stretch of glorious weather warm 70’s and 80’s and beautiful sunshine and the colors here are AMAZING

      2. Sounds great, Eunice! Low 70s is perfect for me, mid or high 60s if I’m working in the garden. I was made for Seattle, I guess!

      3. nutsfortreasure says:

        🙂 I was made for the SOUTH 🙂

      4. And just think–in the blogosphere we can still be neighbors!

      5. nutsfortreasure says:

        indeed 🙂

  19. scillagrace says:

    I love the sweet whimsy of your posts! …and rain will make the flowers grow… 🙂

    1. Thank you, Scilla. I was so impressed with all the flowers still in full bloom over there. We still have lots of flowers in Seattle, but this time of year too much rain tends to dissolve flowers and make raspberries grow moldy on the vine if not picked immediately. I’m always a little reluctant to let go, but it might be time to bring out the harvest colors.

  20. Alison says:

    Rain doesn’t have to also dampen your spirits – I love “bumbershots” (at first I thought your heading was a typo :)), and “map wad”
    I remember getting some great shots of people with umbrellas from my window above them when I was in Venice. There’s a couple in this post

    1. Thanks, Alison. I figured some folks would think of it as a typo, but the light would go on when it fell into context. I really enjoyed checking out your link–lots of fun photos!

  21. Sweetest post ever! I hate umbrellas…but confess to being a carrier when necessary. (for example….On Saturday….umbrella over dogs during heavy rains….because they “needed” to go outside!)

    Love, Love, Love these shots, Naomi! psb

    1. Thank you, Paula! In Seattle we mostly get soft weather, and spitting rain. I’m sure you get heavy rains, and then there is no dancing between the raindrops. I’d be a carrier too!
      Thanks so much for the sweet visit, and lovely comment.

      1. It seems to either RAIN here….or not. Not much in-between! Your posts are always a highlight to my day!

  22. Pat says:

    Great post, Naomi. I especially like the photos of the friends and lovers. Some things should never be stopped because of rain, especially good conversations and kissing. 🙂

    1. Excellent point, Pat! The park was full of folks who stopped to take refuge under a tree, but that shot on the bench was my favorite. Thanks for the visit.

  23. kathy says:

    What a sweet post. You always make me smile, Naomi!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for the visit, and for making me smile too. I hope the writing group on for tomorrow?

  24. Amar Naik says:

    nice clicks

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your visit,and taking the time to comment.

  25. Elyse says:

    Love the shots, but hate umbrellas. I am right at eye-level!

    1. Oh, yeah. That would be nerve wracking to contend with on a rainy day.
      Thanks for the visit!

  26. pattisj says:

    Lovely adventure in the rain. It’s often too windy for an umbrella here, but it was nice to see that you found so many.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Oh, my gosh, it was a fun day for me. Yes, it was raining, but umbrellas are so photogenic that I was ecstatic!

  27. bulldog says:

    Love it, but it sure looks wet…

    1. Oh, yes, but we Seattlites are born with webbing between our toes, so we hardly mind at all!
      Thanks for the visit!

  28. footsy2 says:

    I have never heard that name before. Here in the UK I carry an umbrella rain or shine. Sadly, shades of Mary Poppins – mostly the wind will turn it upside down.

    1. Mary Poppins, yes! I want a ‘brellie like HERS!

  29. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    Umbrellas are for sissies – inconvenient to carry, blow inside out and poke passers by. Beautiful to look at though but “I love the rain – it washes memories off the sidewalk of life.” (Woody Allen) Love your images too

    1. Great quote! Thanks for the visit, Laura, and your generous response.

    2. frizztext says:

      I made a quotation of your amusing statement, Laura, with a link to Naomi’s post:

  30. niasunset says:

    It is raining in here too today… Beautiful post and photographs dear Naomi, Thank you, love, nia

    1. Dear Nia,
      I’m not afraid to go out in the rain, but sometimes it is nice to be cozy and warm inside, looking out at the raindrops on the windowpanes. So good to hear from you. Thanks so much for the visit.

  31. niasunset says:

    Oh dear I forgot to say, I loved these little boats 🙂

    1. I had hoped to be able to photograph children playing with them in the fountain, but it was also very interesting to see what happens to them when they are pulled out for bad weather.

  32. 4amWriter says:

    I hate carrying umbrellas. It’s just one more thing to deal with. I wear a raincoat with a hood, and I’m good to go. However, if I lived in an area where it rained more than 50% of the time, I might reconsider. I’d at least keep one in the car. 😉

    1. That is exactly how I feel and how I deal with it. Mostly we get spitting rain, and I just pull up my hood and go for it, but sometimes there is a downpour, and in that case, there are a couple of umbrellas tucked into the back of the car for weenies or emergencies (like bringing a precious art project from school doors to the parking lot.)

  33. I love the shots from the train station, the one taken from above is particularly dreamy.

    1. Thank you. And thanks to the jet lag that had me up early enough to capture those rainy pre-dawn moments!

      1. Glad to hear that the jet lag was good for something 🙂

      2. Not so useful on this side of the pond, but I’m gradually getting over it. It’s always good to go and good to come home. Thanks for the visit!

  34. Reminds me of England. I’ve a stand by the front door stuffed full of umbrellas, so I don’t get sick of using the same one all the time. My favourite is a huge yellow and white striped golfing umbrella, which my dog uses, too. She just trots along under it, right next to me. All the other dog walkers, with their dripping wet pooches, laugh and say, “Look at your dry dog!”

    Love your photos.

    1. Dear Sarah,
      I love that image. You are a person who is not afraid of a little color!

  35. ShimonZ says:

    I used to like umbrellas in Europe. It was nice not to get too wet, especially if I had books under my arm. But unfortunately, in Jerusalem… though some do use them, you can get a sudden wind that will turn the umbrella inside out. That’s a very aggravating experience, and so I don’t use them much. Thanks for the nice pictures.

    1. My new umbrella is somehow vented to keep the rain out, but to let the wind get through and keep the umbrella from turning inside out. I like staying dry, but there is also something very fun–just fun–about twirling an umbrella over your shoulder.
      Thanks so much for your visit, Shimon. I love to hear form you.

  36. adinparadise says:

    Lovely post, Naomi. You have such a plethora of ‘bumbershoot’ pics. Loved them. i have a photo of hubby and I sitting underneath one in Central Park. 🙂

    1. Hi Sylvia,
      Thanks so much. It was easy to get those shots, because they were everywhere. I’d love to see the photo of you both in Central Park–maybe for one of these upcoming photo challenges you can sneak it in?

  37. Maureen Kay says:

    Lovely! I’ve always been a “wear something with a hood” type, but now I feel inspired to bring out an old umbrella.

    1. Hi Maureen,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I have a big hood on my raincoat, but I do love to twirl an umbrella over my shoulder, just for fun.

  38. Vous est ici! I love it. I have one in my front garden. Thanks Naomi.

    1. HI Susan,
      That is so cool! Hope you are well. Thanks for the visit.

  39. megtraveling says:

    When I was in Seattle it rained every day and the hotel kept a basket of umbrellas to use (and I did)! Travel can be an adventure… 🙂

    1. Dear Meg,
      Yes, there are days–and weeks–like that in Seattle. I hope you still had fun in Seattle. So good to hear from you!

  40. frizztext says:

    I like Laura’s ironic comment:
    “Umbrellas are for sissies – inconvenient to carry, blow inside out and poke passers by. Beautiful to look at though but “I love the rain – it washes memories off the sidewalk of life.” (Woody Allen)”

    1. That was a gooder–I’m on the same page with Woody Allen.

  41. Ruth says:

    Pittsburgh’s Gene Kelly would like your wonderful photo essay, Naomi.
    We need your husband’s support afar dismal game one tonight.

    1. Hi Ruth,
      Yeah, aaarrrrr! Thom said they didn’t do too well last night, but we have our fingers crossed for you guys.

      1. Ruth says:

        Today was a much better outcome and now back to the Burgh! Thank Thom for his unwavering support

  42. Jamie Dedes says:

    And after all it WAS Paris. How fun . . . rainy or no, huh? And your bumbershot reminds of an aritists palette.

    Lovely! … and thanks so much for the work you loaded into Bardo. Hooray! I sense you’ve been busy. Are you birthing a new book?

    Long distance hugs! 🙂

    1. HI Jamie,
      It has been pretty busy around here, with little time in between travels to catch up with blogging or writing. This is a busy month for storytelling too, and a couple weeks of out of town visitors, but on November 1st it will calm down considerably.
      I love that expression–birthing a book. Right now all I have to show for it is labor pains, but am, well, pushing on.
      Jamie, your poetry has been exquisite. I just press the ‘like’ button because that’s usually all there is to do, but I have been so moved by it. Have you thought of submitting it as a volume of collected works?
      Warm hugs to you too!

      1. Jamie Dedes says:

        Thanks for the vote of confidence, Naomi. I don’t think I can do the marketing things this would require … the being on the road, the public readings and presentations. What I plan to attempt is putting them up in Kindle on Amazon (assuming I can master the skills) as a gift to the so many kind people who have asked. 🙂

        P.S.: I keep chuckling at “bumbershots” … I don’t think I’ve heard that since I was a kid. Makes me smile.

      2. Dear Jamie,
        This sounds wonderful. I know what they say about marketing, and all that, but I do think that your work would stand on its own, without the big road trips and readings, etc. You do such a great job managing Into the Bardo, and The Poet BY Day. Now they have blog tours, and I bet it wouldn’t be much more difficult than that. You have many devoted followers who would love to celebrate you and your work. Sign me up as a blog host for your release party!

  43. Umbrellas help save the day and all the possible fun activities or errands we would otherwise miss if we don’t have one. An exciting trip indeed, rain or shine. Have a great day.

    1. Dear Island Traveler,

      I was really really happy to have my umbrella that day, for sure! Thanks for the visit–stay warm and dry!

  44. reocochran says:

    The photos tell their story but the person behind the lens, you! chose awesome places, people and sights to really tell the story! You are very good, even if they are bumbershots!!

    1. Hi Robin,
      Thank you! I love pulling it all together–verbal and visual–and making it click! I appreciate your stopping by, and sharing your really sweet comments!

  45. I remember going to school or work and it would never rain if I had an umbrella with me. If I forgot the umbrella – downpours. hahaha

    1. I think that’s what happened this week. I had storyteller friends visiting from Australia and New Zealand. I NEVER carry an umbrella in Seattle, but rain was predicted and because I didn’t want my guests to get wet, I brought one just in case they might need one. Of course, because I brought the umbrella, it didn’t rain.
      Thanks for the visit. I always love to hear from you.

      1. Well … as long as you didn’t lose the umbrella it worked out well. ~~~~ : – )

  46. Madhu says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time bumbershots and all! 🙂 I find the chance of rain drops considerably when I am carrying one!

    1. I never let a few raindrops stand in the way of a good time, bumbershoot or no. Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  47. t2van says:

    Bumbershoots – love it! I’m definitely in the category of carrier here in Vancouver, Seattle’s wet Canadian sister…and as your wonderful photos show, they can definitely bring people together! 😉


    1. Hi Terri!
      I forget sometimes that you are in my neck of the woods. Thank you for stopping by and for your generous response!

  48. frizztext says:

    hi Naomi,
    you made me smile with:
    “RAINY DAY = perfect weather
    for dads & ducks”

    1. Thank you for giving me a reason to revisit Paris and Liege!

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