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Archive for April, 2008

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Apr
17
2008

Paris Pictures

Rachel has about 1/3 of the pictures into a flickr album.  Here they are…

Paris Pictures Set One

Apr
16
2008

Paris Diary

Day One

We arrived in Paris without incident. Smooth flight. Cramped but smooth. OMG at the people. Country came to town. I miss home a little already. Husband arrived safe and sound about 7 pm after choosing a Taxi with a driver that didn’t know where Rue Du Cygne was located. But they found it finally. We rested for a bit and then went out and walked along the Seine and caught sight of the Eiffel Tower all lit up. Got a hamburger from McDonalds and went back to the room. Nope not kidding. Leave it to us hicks to go to Paris and eat a hamburger from McDonalds. But hey it was the first morsel of food we had all day so it was yummy.

Day Two

We slept later than usual so when we finally did wake up at 9 am we rushed around and headed out into the city. Here is the list of places we went today.

1. Notre Dame – AMAZING

2. Eiffel Tower – WOW, more than I expected

3. Arch de Triomphe – Maybe my favorite

4. Palais Royal – Husband’s and Hannah’s favorite

5. Palais Petite

6. At a distance Hotel Invallides

7. And everything in between.

We mastered the metro like we have lived here always. It was very easy – as long as you watch your bag for pick pockets (more on this later but just suffice it to say everything you have heard about this is true) and if you don’t mind being touched by people you don’t know. One particular trip today it was so crowded I thought seriously of throwing up so people would give me some space.

We plan on making a day trip back in to visit the Louvre. We of course saw the outside but didn’t really have time to even go through and peak at the Mona Lisa.

And yes crepes are just as delish as you have heard. We have eaten them twice today. Nutella – OH MY! And Rachel got a Sucre – Citron that was pretty darn tasty. I think purchasing a crepe pan is a must for us now.

So guess where we ate on night two. Same McDonalds but got it to go! I am not kidding. We were so tired we just said to heck with it. We just needed to just fill an empty hole in our tummies and come back to the hotel to repack all and get ready for our taxi ride to Versailles in the morning, pick up our rental car and then drive down to our house in Valencay.

It has been great but at times overwhelming. I think everyone will be glad to get to the house in Valencay and rest and prop our feet up for a while. My dogs are barking! I haven’t walked this much since…well forever.

I thought I would be most amazed by the Eiffel Tower and it was very surreal to stand under it and look up at such an amazing piece of architecture. However, the Arch de Triomphe was stunning. There will be lots of pictures later. With captions and comments.

Everyone has faired pretty well except for Hannah. She has had some anxiety but she is doing better. It was a very overwhelming couple of days with all the “exact opposite” of our real lives. I will be surprised if she ever wants to leave the US again even though she does love all things British. After our trip to London on the 21st she may mark that off her list of places to live later on in life.

I have realized that while I can endure change and do love to see all the beautiful and historic things Paris has to offer, there was a very good reason God had me born there. He knew how much I love new things and how spoiled to conveniences I would become. Ice in my drinks. COLD cokes. Acres of land to own a house built well after the 17th century. My own vehicles, WITH AN S as in plural, more than one vehicle. has to offer, I belong in the good old US of A.

By the way, when you visit Paris, if you visit Paris here is what to wear: Black knee high boots (leather of course) with straight leg pants or jeans tucked in, a huge bag of some sort, leather as well, And all the rest black attire, top and coat or sweater and for goodness sakes, tie a scarf around your neck. These suggestions are for men or women. I noticed Burberry is very popular here for scarves. But I also saw massive knitted ones. And it is certainly a tradition to wear a beret. Couldn’t tell you how many I saw…men and women.

When we were at Notre Dame, we heard so many different languages. French, English, American English, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and other Asian languages. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by the beggars but I was taken back a bit. But I quickly made a mental note of what they looked like. They carried cards written in English saying how they had family in Bosnia or where ever and could we please help. After the first one approached us, and we told them no, Husband began to say NO when they approached and asked if we spoke English.

So back to the metro incident. A little girl about 10 tried to unzip my purse and it on my arm! She had it about undone when I grabbed her arm. She jerked back and said “Pardon, I need to pass.” and gestured to let her by. I told her no go right back where you came from. I locked my zipper from then on. And we began to watch for the same kind of children. They are everywhere. They get on and off the metro watching for tourists. I heard so much about this but wanted to believe it was not true.

Midnight…more later. Tomorrow is another big day.

Day Three – Quite possibly the most stressful day in my 48+ years. Seriously. Getting to Versailles and renting the car and getting to the house in Valencay was more than I could have ever imagined. Language wasn’t so much of a barrier as the ROAD signs or lack of them. Let me tell you, next time you THINK about complaining about US roads, shame on you! We have a WONDERFUL, organized road system, even with constant construction.

But, all that aside we made it to the house in Valencay. It is a lovely older (17th century old) home in a lovely little village. We adored the bakery and chocolatier and they know how to have a grocery store. WOW what a selection for such a small town. LOVELY produce. We drove around a bit and looked at the chateau and took pictures upon pictures.

Day Four – woke up to find everyone, maybe not especially but as much as anyone, husband wanting to go home. Seen it, got a hat, ate a crepe, kissed wife at Eiffel Tower but just didn’t now if he wanted to be here his whole time off. THANK GOODNESS. We were all on the same page. Hannah and I had already had a melt down the day before with all the stress of getting the car rented and travel to the house. I love my husband…its like he can read my mind. He said “Call and change your tickets to one day next week and buy me one.”

Day 5 Called Continental and its either now or never. They had 5 tickets for Tuesday but after that we would either have to keep our tickets as they are, fly some of us separately (NO WAY) or pack our bags and it the road to the airport on Monday. Spring has sprung and the traveling is about to commence! I just was thankful I called when I did.

Details on Day 5 and 6 with photos later!

Day 7 Here I sit in a hotel room in Paris. Tomorrow we fly back home to the US. We couldn’t be happier. I have enjoyed my vacation but I have also learned a lot about myself and this trip has made me let go of many ideas I thought I might like to grasp. First let me say I love America and all it is and will ever be and know now I can never live anywhere else, happily. Viva la France but GOD BLESS AMERICA! I was born here because this is where I am supposed to be. In my little green cottage at the end of the dirt road in VERY rural Louisiana. Home Sweet Home. I want to get back. Eat a steak my husband cooked. And piddle in my garden a little. Plant some zinnas and pick asparagus!

I have enjoyed my time here but no way no how do I want to stay a month! One week is plenty – maybe 10 days but no more. I will leave the longer adventures to the real adventurers! I havent sworn off traveling and the flying was a piece of cake and yeah, as far as I know, I am going to England in October. But for 5 days only!

Rachel will be working on photo albums to post. I am really suffering from jet lag this morning so I will write more later. But my final words for you today are: There are places I have been to, places I long to go, but at the end of the day there is no place like home.

Apr
07
2008

Au Revoir!

Heading for parts unknown!

It is nearly time!  This weekend has been spent saying our good byes to friends and families.  Hoping we haven’t left anything crucial out of our luggage.  Double and triple checking everything we could think of.  This afternoon I will pack the car and get the last minute cleaning done and tomorrow I hope to sleep past 3 am, though in reality the more tired I am the greater chance there is I can sleep on the flight.

My oldest daughter as agreed to post entries for me when I get a chance to send them to her.  Or maybe she will just check in with you and let you know we arrived and are having a wonderful time.

Until then, stay safe and have a wonderful April!

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