Monday, December 31, 2012

A WEEK IN PARIS IN 2013

To all my friends and family...may your blessings be many during the coming year of 2013.    A friend asked about suggestions for a week in Paris and I put together a few suggestions....maybe you're headed to Paris in the near future and can put some of these to use for your trip...enjoy....

 FIRST...PURCHASE A RICK STEVES PARIS TRAVEL BOOK....2013....IT'S A BIBLE AND WELL WORTH THE COST....I tear out the pages for the day and put them in my purse when we're there rather than carry the book each day.  I save the pages and put them back into the book each evening....and bring it home with me for reference.     He also has a great six day in Paris tour that you can follow. 

Day 1:   purchase a museum pass for six days ...it pay for itself and eliminates the standing in line as you have special entrances or move to the front at almost everything.  Check out what it offers:  Paris Museum Pass...Rick has this in his book.

This is the day to get your bearings.....maybe a hop on/off bus to get a feel for the city.  Just walk on both sides of the Seine River and enjoy...Walk the Latin Quarter on the left bank...learn the Metro system...walk both of the L'Isle...Cite & St. Louis around Notre Dame....if the line isn't too long take time to visit inside...shortest lines are early in the morning and late in evening.  If you go in for the Mass you can bypass the lines...The Cluny Museum is in the Latin Quarter...check it out...also the Pantheon

Day 2:   We used this day to go to Versailles....it's an easy train ride and a big ticket item on your museum pass...nearly pays for the pass!!! 

             This evening is great to visit Montmartre and enjoy the views and have dinner up there....the Moulin Rouge is also in that area; the show has never interested us but fun to see the outside....

Day 3:     Arc de Triomphe,   Jacquemart-Andre Museum...not on the Pass but well worth the fee....Walk the Champs Elyees, visit the Orangerie Musee (closed Tuesday)   and also the Orsay  Musee  (closed Monday)...

Day 4:   Bell Tower at Notre Dame...go early...before it opens....stand in line...shortest early in the morning...then visit the cathedral;  visit Sainte Chapelle (it's the upstairs chapel that is so beautiful...you also have to go through security here so you can't go to the front of the line with your pass) & Conciergerie next door, ........, Musee Rodin (closed Monday)

Day 5:    This was the day we went to the Louvre....also to the Opera Garnier....and a good shopping day...see below....

Day 6:    This was our day to tour the Eiffel Tower....get your tickets very early online before you leave on your trip....

                 Eiffel-tower.com    today (12/27/12) you can get tickets up to April 1st....so it's probably about 4 months ahead that you can get them.        

              Visit Rue Cler while in this area..have a crepe & beer at Ulysee en Gaule....also the military museums:   Army Museum & Napoleon's Tomb

              The Flame at Pont de L'Ama is in this area and easy to visit if you're a fan of Princess Diana

EVENING CRUISE ON THE SEINE RIVER....dinner cruise is very romantic and fun...but expensive...they also have evening cruises that are just a boat ride with the lights on the buildings..good but the dinner cruise is special!    

                  Seine River Cruises
             
THE BEST PARKS:   Luxembourg (Latin Quarter)  .The Tullieres .. (Louvre)  Park Monceau...(Arc de Tromphe) ..Palace Royal..(Lourve)   Picnic lunches (buy drinks & food in the grocery store) are great fun for lunches in the park and if it's warm plan at least one evening to sit on the quay and eat your dinner with the rest of Paris....again...shop at the store.  FOR A BIT OF ROMANCE...TAKE A PADLOCK WITH YOU TO PUT ON THE BRIDGE AND THROUGH AWAY THE KEY...everlasting love....

FREE MUSEUMS THAT ARE GOOD:     Carnavalet (museum of the city of Paris) in Marais area...Petit Palais....Victor Hugo's House, Fragonard Perfume....there's more (see Rick's book)..also on the first Sunday many of the museums are free.

CHURCHES:    all are free:  Notre Dame, St. Suplice (Latin Quarter), Sacre-Coeur Basilica (Montmartre), St. Eustache (Les Halles...near the Stock Exchange)...so many more in every neighborhood

SHOPPPING:   Everywhere...but check out Galleries Lafayettte...just behind the Opera Garnier ... wonderful stained glass ceiling in the center and also go up to the roof for views all over Paris
                       There are wonderful little shopping malls all over Paris....very old and beautiful...called Passages and also Galeries....attached is a link to a story about them...wonderful and I just found them this year! 

                     passages & galeries in Paris

CONCERTS are fun in the churches...we did one in Saint Chapelle this spring and loved it...you buy the tickets outside during the day...if you do this one...go early as it requires going through security.

So much more....but a lot depends on what your interests are.  Best to take a different area each day and do everything in that area...but everything is small and you can walk everywhere. 

Have you considered an apartment....many people are doing that now and really like it over a hotel.

Even if you're not planning a trip soon...I hope that you've enjoyed a mind's eye visit to the City of Love......Happy New Years.....

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Link to the Christmas Boat Parade Photos

For those with IPads or Tablets...that do not play the slideshows that I normally post on my blogs...here is a LINK that will take you to my Picasa web page where you can click on slideshow and see the photos...

2012 Christmas Boat Parade Lights

Merry Christmas


Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 Christmas Lights



2012 CHRISTMAS LIGHTS .... It's been a while since I've posted...for those that check regularly...my apologies for the extended absence...I'll try to do better.  The past month has been very busy as we completed our extensive Christmas decorations for the Boat Parade Party last weekend.  The slideshow is a combination of photos that were taken by our good friend Jim Benet during the party on Saturday night.  The photos taken from the lake are by me during the Sunday night parade...somewhat fuzzy but fun to look at from the perspective of the lake.  This was the 25th Anniversary of our Boat Parade here in East Lake; to celebrate they had four searchlights in the sky and we released fifty helium filled white balloons with a small light inside of the balloon each night; we all released them together from the boats at the start of the parade.  A fabulous sight in the night sky!   The final set of photos are from two nights of viewing lights; Yale Avenue in Fullerton has the sparkleballs high in the sky along with several extra special yard displays.  A few are from a neighborhood in north Brea.  Do hope you enjoy the Christmas lights. 

 To all of my readers....Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year in 2013.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Serendipity art in Albi, France


One of my favorite photos taken in Albi; the decorative painting on the blank wall of a house we found on an evening walk through the town
 This ancient town dates back to the Bronze Age (3000-600 BC) and today is famous for several things including the Museum of Toulouse-Lautrec and the Sainte Cecile Cathedral; two of the most important sites.  Red brick is the main feature of most of the buildings and is known as the Languedoc-style red brick construction.

The cathedral is a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style, built between the 13th and 15th centuries as a statement of Christian faith after the upheavals of the Cathar heresy.  It is characterised by a strong contrast between its austere, defensive exterior and its beautiful interior decorations.  

The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum has more than 1000 works and is the largest public collection in the world devote to Toulouse-Lautrec who was born in this city in 1864.  It is housed near the cathedral in the former Bishops' Palace which is older than the Palace of the Popes in Avignon.  
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Walled City of Carcassonne

 A view of the walls at night from the old bridge that leads into the modern town.   Carcassonne is completely encircled by an ancient wall that dates back beyond the fifth century.  A stronghold of the Cathars in the twelfth century; it was restored in 1853.   Today it is primarily a tourist attraction.  We stayed right outside the walls in an Abbey that is located across the road from the main gate on our last trip.  There are some wonderful hotels located inside of the gates; we stayed in the Best Western back in 2004 on a trip.  It's a magical experience to wander the deserted streets at night.

One of my favorite photos in Carcassonne; a window near the church inside the walled city. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Artists in Collioure


 Our recent visit to the village of Collioure on the Mediterranean in the South of France was a breath of fresh air during our trip last spring.  A haven for artists we enjoyed our few nights in the Hoterl des Templiers overlooking the port.  This hotel has over 2000 original works of art, including a small drawing by Picasso over the bar.


Around the port you will find metal frames that "frame" a scene perfect for painting.  Here is one that frames the port and the church....I've given you several views so that you can see how well it works.

And then below is an artist actually painting the scene.  Enjoy....


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Roman Amphitheatre in Arles


The Roman Arena in Arles is one of the best preserved site in France and is still in use today.  Built by the Romans in 90 AD for chariot races and bloody hand to hand battles, it held 20,000 spectators. 

During the fifth century it became a town as 200 houses and 2 churches were built inside of the arena. 

In 1826 the buildings were removed and it was restored to the present condition that we see it in today. 

It now seats 13,000 people and is used primarily for the Camargue Bull Games, concerts and plays.  The Camargue Bull Games run from April through August each year.  Instead of killing the bulls, the participants are dressed in all white and attempt to remove a ribbon, flower or some type of ornament  that has been attached to a bull's head.  As you can see, much of the arena is below street level as the town of Arles has built up around the arena over the centuries. 
There are several other Roman sites in the city of Arles.  Vincent van Gogh painted here for several years and you can visit the sites of his famous paintings.  The town is small enough that you can walk everywhere.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Planning a new trip in the fall of 2013...

I'm slowing feeling guilty about not posting in my blog; so will start next week with posting more of my photos from the spring trip to France.  For now I've been very busy attending classes at our local university that are designed for Senior Citizens; no homework, no stress, just enjoy the opportunity to learn new things.  I've spent most of my time in classes on android cell phones...yes...I'm entering the smart phone world and love all of it.  I'm taking several different writing classes.  For one of them I'm working on my travel blog from my 2009 trip with my twin sister to "clean" it up for a book someday.  I'm sitting in on Lectures about European Art, and my favorite are my two classes a week on French.  Little by little I learn new words and phrases.  Still haven't mastered the art of conjugating verbs; concentrating more on phrases that I can use when I'm in France.

We're also planning a new trip in the fall of 2013; Jim and I will go to St. Petersburg, Russia at the beginning of the trip and then do several major Eastern Europe Cities (Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna) and then head for Paris for a couple of weeks.  My twin sister will meet us in Paris just before Jim departs for the USA and we will spend another six weeks traveling in France, Spain and Italy to celebrate our 75th birthday.

So we've lots of traveling to do over the next year...stay tuned for updates as we put our plans together.  In the meantime, I'll post photos regularly for your enjoyment.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm back....an old tale of visiting New York City in 1998

My vacation was great and I've enjoyed not stressing about my daily blog...especially after deleting so many posts at the beginning of October.  Since we last talked we spent several weeks in New Jersey visiting our daughter and her family.  During that time we took the opportunity to spend several days with friends in New York City.   We walked the streets, saw two plays and enjoyed the Big Apple.  It brought back memories of my first "birthday trip" with my twin sister in 1998.  Realizing that I had never put pen to paper on the memories I decided to compose a piece on the trip for my writing class that I'm taking at the University.  Now I'm sharing it with my friends around the world today.



CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS

            In June of 1998, I was in Indiana visiting my twin sister Mary; and we were busy planning the celebration of our sixtieth birthday coming up in December.  The family had always gathered in Indiana for surprise parties for our older sisters on their sixtieth; but we wanted something different!
            Within a week we had made a decision that the perfect way to celebrate our birthday was not with our families but only with our two older sisters in the Big Apple:  New York City.  Given that our birthday falls just three days before Christmas, we weren't sure how our husbands and children would feel about our trip; but we plunged ahead with our plans.
            We called our sisters and they were as excited about the trip as we were.  Soon we were scheduling all of the things that we wanted to do; think of the perfect date with your best fella and that was our plan.   We started making reservations and writing letters in an attempt to get tickets for television shows.  Yes, David Letterman was high on our list since he was from Indiana.  All four of us sent in requests for tickets; but that was one item on our list that didn't happen!
            Another hitch was the reservation for our birthday dinner.  We had in mind that our special dinner should be in the Rainbow & Stars Room in Rockefeller Center; they decided to close that winter for redecorating.   Disappointed but soon we started thinking of other restaurants that were really special and finally decided to go to the Windows of the World at the top of the World Trade Center.  Little did we know that it would be blown out of the skyline three years later.
            Returning to California I broke the news to my husband and children that I was planning my birthday with my sisters in New York City.  Mary and I had not been together on our birthday since 1956, our eighteenth birthday; so how could they say much of anything.   I promised to be home for our annual Christmas Eve Mass and family party. 
            Through the fall we continued to make our plans for December; soon I had reservations on American Airlines to fly from California into JFK in New York City.  All three of my sisters were flying together from Indiana and would arrive before me.  The plan was for me to take a shuttle bus to the hotel and meet them there on December 21st.
            We reserved a room with two queen beds at the Sheraton Manhattan on 7th at 53rd street, smack dab in the center of all the places we wanted to see on our special trip.  I had been traveling at that time for business and had accrued Sheraton Points that allowed us the use of the concierge floor, an added plus for free breakfast in the morning and cocktails in the evening!
            December arrived with a flurry of activity; we had our annual Eastlake Christmas Boat Parade party and then I worked to prepared the house for the family party on Christmas Eve.  By the time I left for New York the tables were set, the Christmas gifts were wrapped and under the tree; except those for the grandchildren that we sorted by age and arranged on the staircase with the youngest at the bottom.  Food was purchased and ready for Jim to prepare early on the 24th.  The pizza was ordered...a traditional food for the grandchildren...and set for delivery just as we would be returning from Mass.  I had dotted my "i's" and crossed my "t's", so off to the Big Apple I flew on December 21st!
            The weather in NYC was perfect as I landed: crisp, clear and brisk, but no snow.  I arrived at the Sheraton Hotel by way of the shuttle bus and found all three of my sisters waiting for me.  Soon we were off to see the fabulous Christmas decorations in Rockefeller Plaza.  Absolutely amazing to each of us; none  of us had ever seen such huge displays.  It was an Alice In Wonderful version of Christmas ornaments' that had been scattered across the city like magic!   The trees were wrapped with sparkling lights and we found it difficult to stop walking.  We finally return to our hotel and a fun night of chattering away into the wee hours.

             The four of us had never before slept in the same room with each other and those few days created a bond that has lasted these many years.   My oldest sister was born in 1925, then a brother in 1932, another sister in 1935 and we twins in 1938 plus the unexpected baby brother in 1943.  We were like two families because of the difference in ages and we were lumped in with the baby brother!  What a difference this one trip has made in our relationships with our older sisters in the ensuing years. 
            Mary and I were determined to be on the "Today Show" for our birthday.  So, early on the morning of December 22nd, our actual birthday, we set the alarm for the crack of dawn and quietly slipped out of the hotel early in the morning.  It was still dark when we arrived at the television station that is located adjacent to Rockefeller Plaza.  Mary had purchased red hats and gloves for us to wear...as the wolf would say, "the better to see you my dear"; and prepared a large sign that said, "TWINS 60 TODAY" and two smaller ones.  One of these told the story of our trip to NYC and the other referenced the fact that the large Christmas tree on the plaza was also sixty years old.  I'm sure it was our smiling faces that actually caught his eye.  Plus the Santa hats that we'd also brought with us from home.

            We were early enough that we positioned ourselves at the rope where we knew that Al Roker would be standing when talking to the audience.  By the time the show started filming the area was packed solid but we held our spot and sure enough we were interviewed for all of maybe a minute or was that thirty seconds, and that was our claim to fame!   

            Back to the hotel to pick up the sleepy heads that had enjoy several extra hours.  They were busy getting ready and we soon realized that sharing one bathroom with four woman would not be an easy task.  Especially since our two older sisters needed hours of preparation as compared to our hop out of bed and go attitude.  After a quick breakfast on the Concierge Floor, we were out the door and headed for our first adventure:  The Empire State Building.
             As we rode up in the elevator, another passenger turned and said to us, "Are you the twins that were on the Today Show this morning?"   Well you can just imagine how that made our day!  What fun as we braved the strong winds at the observation deck and thought about the movies that had been made about this very spot.  One of the views that I caught on my camera was of the very tall World Trade Center Buildings that loomed above the tall buildings near the tip of the Island.  It was special as we were having dinner there this evening. 
             Heading back we took time to see the magnificent Christmas Decorations in Rockefeller Center on our way for a visit the St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Followed by a light lunch before we got in line for our matinee performance of the Rockettes at Radio City Hall.
            What a day...and it was not over yet!  After the show we walked towards our hotel enjoying the many stores and their individual Christmas displays.  After waiting for our older sisters; we were ready much faster than they were, we headed up to the Concierge Floor for cocktails before waving down a taxi for our evening adventure.
            Our dinner at the Windows of the World Restaurant was a gourmet feast complete with matching wines and then a small birthday cake with two candles for dessert.  The views were spectacular and it was truly a moment to remember.   Heading home by taxi we shared stories of memories of the past and then tucked into a deep sleep much faster than the first night.

            Rising early on the morning of the 23rd, our last full day in the Big Apple, we stopped in to see the Trump Towers and then over to Central Park where we caught the prettiest horse buggy we could find.  The weather was crisp and very cold as we bundled under the horse blankets provided by the cabbie!  What a glorious way to see Central Park as we snuggled deep into our blankets.   After our ride we crossed the street and entered the Plaza Hotel for a warm drink and to enjoy the very old and well preserved decor of years gone by.  

            From there we headed back for the hotel and a quick rest and cocktails before catching another taxi to the famous restaurant known as "The Tavern on the Green" for dinner compliments of our oldest sister as her birthday gift to us.  Then it was off to the theater for a stage production of "Miss Saigon" a gift from our other sister.   It was a late night and not much chatter at bedtime as we quieted down for our last winter's sleep together in New York City.
            We woke on the 24th to snow; beautiful but what would it do to our flights?  My flight was scheduled for noon and I arrived in plenty of time.  My sisters enjoyed a day of snow before heading to the airport for their short flight to Indiana.   I boarded the plane and then waited for nearly three hours before we were able to take off because of the icing problems.  My well laid plans were suddenly in turmoil!   My three o'clock arrival stretched further and further.   Decisions were made just before I finally left the tarmac that everyone would go to Mass and have dinner without me; actually without us as Jim was going to be at the airport waiting for me.
            The plane touched ground in Los Angeles about six pm and we headed in traffic towards our home in Orange County.  Everyone was waiting to open presents when we walked into their warm embrace at the end of a very hectic day for all of us.   Did I regret throwing everyone's Christmas Eve into chaos...not for a New York Minute! 

            Having just returned from a trip to New York City and reviewing the changes from my first trip:  The World Trade Center is being rebuilt, only one building but still will eventually tower over the other buildings nearby.  The area near the center has been totally rehabbed and is a vibrant and important part of the city.  The Rockettes are still dancing, Time Square is now reserved for pedestrians, The Tavern on the Green has closed, The Plaza Hotel is now mostly condos, the carriages at Central Park are still beautiful and life goes on in the Big Apple!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Signing out for a short vacation

Today I accidentally deleted many days worth of blogging when I was checking out possible new layouts for my blog.  When they ask the question...are you sure you want to delete....best to check carefully before confirming the actions.  So I have decided it time to take a vacation.  In November I will be back to send you more of my favorite photos from our trip.  Continue to enjoy the hundreds of possibilities you can find by exploring my blogspot!  See you soon.....

You might enjoy Virginia's Paris Through my Lens at http://paristhroughmylens.blogspot.com/




Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sailboats in Paris


We always enjoy visiting the large fountain in the northern end of Luxembourg Gardens when in Paris.  On April 14th we arrived mid-day and were rewarded with the children sailing their boats that they rented from the vendor.  They control the boat using a long pole to push it out and the fountain in the center continues to push it back to various areas of the fountain as the children run to follow their boats.  It was a cool day with welcome sunshine and this was a good reason to pull up the ever present green chairs and rest our feet while we watched the children.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Metro Late at Night

On  Sunday evening, April 15th, we dressed in our best outfits and rode the Metro to Notre Dame for an evening mass.  Then we caught the Metro over to the Lourve area and enjoyed a special treat:  drinks at the five star Hotel Le Meurice on rue de Rivoli.  We were greeted graciously by the doorman and entered the Bar 228, a favorite of Hemingway when he was in Paris.  We each enjoyed a kir served with a dish of several different snacks while we enjoyed the jazz musicians that play in the bar nightly.   On our way home by Metro that evening...probably about 10 pm...we heard music but no musicians...only a photographer and a ballet dancer.  We stayed and watched his performance; we applauded at the end and he turned and thanked us.   Paris continues to surprise us....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Art-Nouveau Building




 On April 12th, Jim and I went searching for this building near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement at 29 Avuene Rapp.  It was built by Lavirotte & Bigot in 1901 during the Art-Nouveau Period (1890-1914).

During the late 1800s, many European artists, graphic designers, and architects rebelled against formal, classical approaches to design. They believed that the greatest beauty could be found in nature. Organic (living creatures and plants) were used to decorate the outsides of buildings.  You'll find the "cows" under the center balcony.  The "woman" is over the front door.
Art Nouveau (French for "New Style") flourished in major European cities between 1890 and 1914.  In the United States, Art Nouveau ideas were expressed in the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright.


In the later half of the twentieth century, Modernist architects took the concept of organic architecture to new heights. By using new forms of concrete and cantilever trusses, architects could create swooping arches without visible beams or pillars.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hummingbirds

These are baby hummingbirds...not in Paris...but here in our yard in California!  They are hours from taking their first flight and as you can see ... scared to death!  They've outgrown their nest and mom is sure to push them out to fend for themselves soon!  They are giving me the evil eye as I snap these photos...wondering where in the "h...." is mama when we need her!  Enjoy this slice of life.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paris Opera Garnier


Feast your eyes on this magnificent ceiling that was painted by Marc Chagall in 1964.  We found this in Pari's Opera Garnier that was opened in 1875; designed by Charles Garnier and built by Haussmann for the Opera Company started by King Louis XIV in 1669.  There was seating for 2,000 people.  On April 19th we toured the inside of the building; what a thrill to actually sit in a seat under this ceiling.  Originally used for both opera and ballet performances; the building has been used for ballet performances primarily since the new Opera Bastille was completed in 1989.  Add this to your must see list when in Paris.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Luxembourg Gardens


In the afternoon of April 11th we found this magnificent horse as part of the Fontaine de Obsevatorie in the southern end of the Jarden du Luxembourg.  The park is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.  The fountain's centerpiece represents the four parts of the world represented by four women holding a globe.  The sculptor was Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux in 1874.  Those are turtles sending streams of water  towards the horses.

Monday, June 18, 2012

People Powered Merry-go-round!

On a rainy April 10th we visited the people powered merry-go-round across the street from the Eiffel Tower.  This Carrousel is powered by both the riders and people sitting around in various spots by pedaling bicycles!


Here is Jim on a special bike adding his energy by pedaling his bicycle!   I added my power by sitting on the bench with the wheel in front.  Something different to do after we visited the nearby Musee du Quai Branly.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

PROMENADE PLANTEE


On April 9th we took the Metro to the Bastille Station, walked past the Opera de Paris Bastille and found the stairway up to the Promenade Plantee or as the french call it:  Coulee verte...the green course.
This is a nearly three mile walking trail created along the path of an old train line that cut through the center of the 12th arrondissement from the Bastille towards the Bois de Vincennes, a very large park just outside the peripherique.  Much of it is elevated and has views of the city on both sides of the trail.
On the corner of Avenue Daumesnil...the trail parallels this street...and Rue de Rambouillet, we discovered this unusual building.  Not the building so much as the statues that surround the top floor.  A close up is below.  And, on the ground floor there is a police station!   Rue de Rambouillet leads into the Gare de Lyon, one of Paris' major train stations.   Notice the unusual cut outs on the back of each statue. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Val-de-Grace

On April 11th we toured the "Val-de-Grace" in the 5th arrondissement where I discovered this fun photo of a spiraling staircase.  "Val-de-Grace" is a Military Hospital and also a Museum for the Military Medical History.  At one time it was an Abbey and part of our tour included a magnificent church that is only accessible to the public through the Museum.   It is located very close to Luxembourg Gardens and easy to visit.   A photo of the ceiling in the church is found below.  This was my day to enjoy looking up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Toy Store Delight

This photo of an "Alice In Wonderland" tea party store display was taken during Easter Week

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chapeau Boutique


Loved this little Chapeau shop in the St. Paul's Villages!  Tucked off the street in a secluded square off of Rue St. Paul; I couldn't resist snapping a photo on the morning of April 4th as we discovered new areas.

Friday, June 8, 2012

MARAIS in Paris



On April 4th I spotted this sleepy lion guarding two red doors.   We'd just left the Bastille Memorial in the park at the corner of Blvd Henri IV and Quai Henri IV...heading towards St. Paul's Village.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our group at the Arc de Triomphe

Yes...I'm still in the USA but I do miss blogging; so thought I'd start posting a photo every few days that you might enjoy from our recent trip to France.  This was taken on Terry's camera by a passing tourist!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

HOME IN THE USA


Thursday, May 31, 2012

We arrived home about 11 pm last night.  A very long day if you start at 6 am in Paris and remember to add the nine hours difference making a total of twenty-six hours we were awake with only a nap here and there.

The first flight was ten hours to Dallas, Texas; long but uneventful.  It was daylight for the whole trip and everyone stays awake for the most part.  I do try to do some exercises every hour to keep from getting too stiff.

The fun began when we landed in Dallas.  There had been a bad thunderstorm all day to the point that they actually shut down the airport for an hour in the afternoon.  It was open when we arrived but everything was really backed up.  It took an hour and a half to get through customs; about three times the normal!   When we arrived I turned on my cell phone while still in the airplane and it worked.  The battery had held a full charge for two months!  I called my sister who was tracking our flight and she told me that our connecting flight had been canceled because of the storms.  While we were still processing through customs inspections I was able to talk with airline staff and they said that they’d already switched us to another later flight for Los Angeles; I asked about Orange County and because of all the delays he was able to get us on a flight that had been scheduled to leave at 5 pm but was delayed until 7 pm.  

We were thrilled with the change as it cut our travel time from the airport to home in half!  We eventually had to wait until 8:30 pm before the flight finally got off the ground.  The airport was a mess because so many flights were canceled and/or late because of the storms.  Once we were in the air I could see the clouds in a distance where the lightening was flashing in huge strikes one after another…so fast it was like daylight!  But, we were far enough away so that other than a few bumps we were fine.  We arrived safely in California after a three hour flight.

By 11 pm we were home and tucked into bed…left the luggage in the car!  We slept through until 6 am so we should be just fine as far as jet lags goes.  We did take our “No Jet Lag” pills all the way home.  It’s been a busy day with laundry, paying bills and getting back in the grove after being gone two months.  Thanks again for sharing our journey.  I’m going to take a vacation from blogging for awhile but hope you find time to go back through some of my earlier post to read about other trips we’ve taken.